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Posted By: pjdee Front Engine Oil Leak 235 - Thu Apr 29 2021 02:57 AM
Howdy, my 55 1st series had been sitting for a couple of years.
When I got her running again I noticed a leak coming from the
timing cover/engine mount area. I snapped a picture that I
took from the passenger side fender. Any advice or suggestion
is greatly appreciated!

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Posted By: tclederman Re: Front Engine Oil Leak 235 - Thu Apr 29 2021 11:02 AM
Crankshaft front seal - it dries/sets-up in-place, and then leaks in place after the crankshaft is rotated?
Posted By: pjdee Re: Front Engine Oil Leak 235 - Thu Apr 29 2021 12:59 PM
Im not sure, I just noticed it when I started running it. Going to try and remove radiator, timing chain cover. Is this something a speedy sleeve would
fix?
Posted By: glenns towing Re: Front Engine Oil Leak 235 - Thu Apr 29 2021 01:13 PM
Well if there is a grove where the seal rides, then a sleeve would probly be a good idea. Might just be a hard seal? You'll see when its opened up. Oh, and the timing chain cover does NOT need to be removed to replace the seal.
Posted By: Phak1 Re: Front Engine Oil Leak 235 - Thu Apr 29 2021 01:13 PM
This is a somewhat tedious job, not meant for the “Faint of Heart”, but with guidance, doable by most that possess a bit of mechanical aptitude.

You’ll need to pull the harmonic balancer to replace the seal. The balancer has threaded holes to bolt a puller to. You can rent one from most FLAPS. Don’t use a three jaw puller as it may damage the rubber or rivets in the harmonic balancer.

Once the balancer is removed you have access to the seal. A bit tricky, but you can get the old seal out, without pulling the timing cover. Don’t attempt to pull the cover, as access to the two lower bolts are from inside the crankcase. I used a small three jaw puller with the jaws inverted. I’m sure there are other methods, that other on this forum would love to share.

Once removed, inspect the area on the harmonic balancer for wear. If worn, you can buy a stainless steel sleeve to go over the worn area to give your new seal a nice area to ride on. Mine needed the speedy sleeve so I provided a picture of what it looks like installed.

Assembly is a bit more tricky but certainly doable! To tap the new seal in place, I use a large socket that contacts the outside edge of the seal and has clearance inside for the crank shaft. A little smear of #2 Permatex or suitable Locktite on the OD of the seal helps.

Next is to replace the balancer. A subject of debate as to how to do it, has been raging for years on this forum. I installed this balancer by hammering it on the same way the GM factory trained mechanics did it for years. You will need to drive hardwood wedges between the flywheel and the back of the bell housing, to protect the thrust bearing on the crank. You’ll also need to use something like a block of wood (on the end grain), to protect the balancer from hammer marks. My balancer has the ears for a hand crank, so I fabricated a installation tool from a few black iron fitting, so I had clearance for the ears.

Others have threaded the snout on the crank shaft, so you can use a balancer installation tool, definitely a much gentler method with the added security of a bolted on balancer.

Good Luck!

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Posted By: pjdee Re: Front Engine Oil Leak 235 - Thu Apr 29 2021 08:00 PM
Thank you for the detailed explanation! And photos! I really appreciate it. I’ll start digging into it this weekend. I’ll keep you posted!
Posted By: Phak1 Re: Front Engine Oil Leak 235 - Fri Apr 30 2021 12:02 AM
thumbs_up
Posted By: TBUChevy Re: Front Engine Oil Leak 235 - Fri Apr 30 2021 05:09 PM
I use a Lisle 58340 Seal Remover for this type work.

Lisle Seal Remover [amazon.com]

The other trick is to cut a piece of plastic from a pop (or soda if you live in certain geographic regions) bottle. Wrap it around the OD (the sealing surface on the nose) of the crank and slide it back under the lip of the old seal. Then slide the tip of the tool under the lip and over the top of the plastic.

The thin layer of plastic protects the sealing surface of the crank.
Posted By: klhansen Re: Front Engine Oil Leak 235 - Fri Apr 30 2021 05:34 PM
The poor man's trick to removing a seal like that is to screw a sheet metal screw into the metal rim of the seal and use a pry bar under the head of the screw to pop it out.
Posted By: TBUChevy Re: Front Engine Oil Leak 235 - Fri Apr 30 2021 05:37 PM
I have successfully used the screw into the metal approach. I have also seen people ruin a good sealing surface when the drill bit jumped.
Posted By: klhansen Re: Front Engine Oil Leak 235 - Fri Apr 30 2021 05:54 PM
Originally Posted by TBUChevy
I have also seen people ruin a good sealing surface when the drill bit jumped.
That is a good point, but wouldn't be an issue with a timing cover seal as the sealing surface is laying on the workbench (on the balancer). A light tap with a center punch helps keep the drill in position.
Posted By: Phak1 Re: Front Engine Oil Leak 235 - Fri Apr 30 2021 07:30 PM
Originally Posted by klhansen
A light tap with a center punch helps keep the drill in position.

With such a small bit, I would be concerned about the bit going in too far, having it catch on something inside and snapping off because you know that once you break thru, that drill is going to want to go in full depth. I would use a drill stop or a piece of tape limiting the depth, to help prevent such a disaster from happening.
Posted By: TBUChevy Re: Front Engine Oil Leak 235 - Fri Apr 30 2021 11:13 PM
Good point Kevin. I work on too many different cars. I forgot that the sealing surface was the OD of the hub on the backside of the balancer.

Thanks for catching my mistake.
Posted By: pjdee Re: Front Engine Oil Leak 235 - Sun May 02 2021 01:23 AM
Ok, I had a chance to remove the radiator and the grill.
I’ve got a puller and will try to remove the harmonic balancer soon.
Ideally I’d like to try to leave the timing cover on.I ordered a speedy sleeve and front seal from Rock Auto.
Thanks again for all the hints and tricks!
Posted By: pjdee Re: Front Engine Oil Leak 235 - Sat May 08 2021 03:38 PM
Hey guys, getting ready to reinstall should I put ib weld in the grooves on the damper shaft? Thanks, I am using a Speedy Sleeve,

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Posted By: ApacheFiend Re: Front Engine Oil Leak 235 - Sun May 09 2021 07:50 PM
If I remember correctly, the speedy sleeve should have come with a compound you use to attach the sleeve and that is all you should need to use.
Posted By: Phak1 Re: Front Engine Oil Leak 235 - Mon May 10 2021 12:03 PM
With the depth of those grooves, I would fill them with JB Weld first, then use a non-hardening sealer as specified in the instructions. I used some type of Loctite, but can’t remember which one.
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