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Rear Crank Seal - Replace With Engine In Place?

Moss Motors
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pmhowe Philip Howe
Linville, North Carolina, USA   USA
I suspect you don't need to replace the rear seal, and you do need to address crankcase ventilation, as others have suggested above. I have a Morgan, with the TR4A engine. The PO had blocked the vent from the rocker cover and Triumph had blocked the vent on the left side of the block. My Morgan consumed (blew) a quart of oil in about ten miles. The solution was to install a TR4/TR3 breather pipe in the crankcase. It was also recommended that I keep the oil level at halfway between lower and upper fill marks. Those two steps solved the problem.

There is a fairly large body of literature out there to help you. Google "Triumph TR4 crankcase ventilation" and you will get a nice evening's reading. At the least, go to this site:

http://www.tr-register.co.uk/forums/index.php?/topic/15420-crankcase-breathing/

Good Luck!

PMH

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Starshark Avatar
Starshark Joe Garcia
Gainesville, Georgia, USA   USA
1960 Triumph TR3A "White Knight"
Since I didn't have a "super leak", I had no intention of swapping out my rear main engine seal while I had my TR trani (a TR-4A trani purchased used from J.C. Whitney in 1977!) being rebuilt by Mark Macy of Macy's Garage...but a causal comment made by Mark Macy of Macy's Garage, Ltd. of Tipp City OH.. 937-667-3014 alerted me to a new seal kit that could be replace without removing the crank. So I went for it...so can you. Moss Motors sells a rear seal kit that requires removal and machining of the crank to accept the seal. Mark sold me a rear seal kit (from Germany) that did not require crank machining (about $200 bucks...just like Moss Motors) and with some cussing and fussing, could be installed without crank removal. In order to install it, I needed to remove the oil pan and rear main bearing cap of the crankshaft... to do so, I "created" a rear engine mount 2" x 6"...see pic. Get new pan gasket and rear cap felt from Moss.

God bless Mark...he said to insert the seal, one could "unhook" the seal's inner spring and reinstall it after the seal went over the crank's flywheel interface....WRONG! No way could my fat fingers accomplished that which he suggested. I carefully stretched the seal and it's spring over the flywheel attachment interface...but the darn seal inner spring would not stay put while do this...so with some non hardening panel sealer putty I had lying around, I place tiny bits around the seal in four locations temporarily securing the spring in place while I stretched it...then with a hook, removed the soft putty bits after the seal was in place....REMEMBER TO PUT GREASE ALL AROUND THE SEAL/CRANK INNER AREA BEFORE INSTALLATION OF THE SEAL. It's a good idea to mark the lower bend point of the seal with a Sharpie so you can make sure the seal's top slot is vertical when installed. While doing all this, I was not surprised to learn that my rear main lower bearing was toast...so I replaced just the lower cap and did not mess with any others. The engine should last longer than me so I am ok with this. Do NOT tighten the seal until AFTER you reinstall the main bearing cap...the cap won't seat properly if you have tighten the seal before hand. (Lessons learned from Joe's seal adventure.)

Wishing you well...let me know how it goes.


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smdl Gold Member Shaun Laughy
Courtenay, BC, Canada   CAN
Thanks, Phillip. Good to know that you were able to solve a problem of similar proportions with such a simple change. I already have a line on an original road draft tube, and will plan to try installing that before bothering to remove the engine. Hopefully, the affect will be as positive as your experienced. Will spend some (additional) time reading up on TR4 crankcase ventilation.

Cheers,
Shaun

In reply to # 1496866 by pmhowe I suspect you don't need to replace the rear seal, and you do need to address crankcase ventilation, as others have suggested above. I have a Morgan, with the TR4A engine. The PO had blocked the vent from the rocker cover and Triumph had blocked the vent on the left side of the block. My Morgan consumed (blew) a quart of oil in about ten miles. The solution was to install a TR4/TR3 breather pipe in the crankcase. It was also recommended that I keep the oil level at halfway between lower and upper fill marks. Those two steps solved the problem.

There is a fairly large body of literature out there to help you. Google "Triumph TR4 crankcase ventilation" and you will get a nice evening's reading. At the least, go to this site:

http://www.tr-register.co.uk/forums/index.php?/topic/15420-crankcase-breathing/

Good Luck!

PMH

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smdl Gold Member Shaun Laughy
Courtenay, BC, Canada   CAN
Thanks, Joe. This is the actual seal kit that I have already purchased, so good to know it worked well for you. I think I will see what I can do to solve the breathing issues first, and, depending upon outcome, will either try this, or pull the engine to go through it completely. Likely the latter, just to be sure, but it's nice to know that it can be done this way if needed.

Cheers,
Shaun

In reply to # 1496887 by Starshark Since I didn't have a "super leak", I had no intention of swapping out my rear main engine seal while I had my TR trani (a TR-4A trani purchased used from J.C. Whitney in 1977!) being rebuilt by Mark Macy of Macy's Garage...but a causal comment made by Mark Macy of Macy's Garage, Ltd. of Tipp City OH.. 937-667-3014 alerted me to a new seal kit that could be replace without removing the crank. So I went for it...so can you. Moss Motors sells a rear seal kit that requires removal and machining of the crank to accept the seal. Mark sold me a rear seal kit (from Germany) that did not require crank machining (about $200 bucks...just like Moss Motors) and with some cussing and fussing, could be installed without crank removal. In order to install it, I needed to remove the oil pan and rear main bearing cap of the crankshaft... to do so, I "created" a rear engine mount 2" x 6"...see pic. Get new pan gasket and rear cap felt from Moss.

God bless Mark...he said to insert the seal, one could "unhook" the seal's inner spring and reinstall it after the seal went over the crank's flywheel interface....WRONG! No way could my fat fingers accomplished that which he suggested. I carefully stretched the seal and it's spring over the flywheel attachment interface...but the darn seal inner spring would not stay put while do this...so with some non hardening panel sealer putty I had lying around, I place tiny bits around the seal in four locations temporarily securing the spring in place while I stretched it...then with a hook, removed the soft putty bits after the seal was in place....REMEMBER TO PUT GREASE ALL AROUND THE SEAL/CRANK INNER AREA BEFORE INSTALLATION OF THE SEAL. It's a good idea to mark the lower bend point of the seal with a Sharpie so you can make sure the seal's top slot is vertical when installed. While doing all this, I was not surprised to learn that my rear main lower bearing was toast...so I replaced just the lower cap and did not mess with any others. The engine should last longer than me so I am ok with this. Do NOT tighten the seal until AFTER you reinstall the main bearing cap...the cap won't seat properly if you have tighten the seal before hand. (Lessons learned from Joe's seal adventure.)

Wishing you well...let me know how it goes.

pmhowe Philip Howe
Linville, North Carolina, USA   USA
Shaun,
When you get ready to remove the plug behind the fuel pump on the left hand side of your engine, do a web search. There are several different approaches. I found one on a British Triumph website that worked well for me, with slight modification. Here is a link to how I did it.

https://groups.google.com/forum/#!searchin/mog-group/philipmhowe@gmail.com%7Csort:date/mog-group/9l0BYPHa2qs/tRQTVj3UAQAJ

Good luck,

Phil

smdl Gold Member Shaun Laughy
Courtenay, BC, Canada   CAN
Hi, Phil.

Thanks for sharing the link, but I don't seem to be able to get to it without being a member of the group. Will try joining and see if I can get there.

The plug on the block has already been removed on my engine, and a previous PO has fashioned a pipe/hose combination that goes up and behind the engine. Hopefully, it will be a simple matter of removing what he has put there, and the new road draft tube will install easily. That's what I am hoping for, anyway!

Cheers,
Shaun

In reply to # 1497209 by pmhowe Shaun,
When you get ready to remove the plug behind the fuel pump on the left hand side of your engine, do a web search. There are several different approaches. I found one on a British Triumph website that worked well for me, with slight modification. Here is a link to how I did it.

https://groups.google.com/forum/#!searchin/mog-group/philipmhowe@gmail.com%7Csort:date/mog-group/9l0BYPHa2qs/tRQTVj3UAQAJ

Good luck,

Phil

TriumphantMan Avatar
TriumphantMan Raymond C
Southeast, Southeast, USA   USA
I have a ‘63 TR4 with the downdraft tube. I am considering adding a filter (maybe some foam) to the bottom of the tube to help with the minor habit of it marking its territory.
Any thoughts?

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TR3driver Randall Y
Confusion, Los Angeles, USA   USA
My first thought is that adding a filter near the end is not going to help; the oil mist will just settle inside and eventually drip through. I think it would need to be on the upwards section of tube, so any condensed mist will run back towards the crankcase.

Also, any restriction is going to increase pressure inside the crankcase, which will lead to increased leakage past the rear main seal, if you still have the factory scroll-type seal.

A better alternative is probably to add a catch can to collect the condensed oil mist; but of course it will have to be emptied from time to time.



Randall
56 TR3 TS13571L daily driver
71 Stag LE1473L awaiting engine rebuild
7? Stag awaiting gearbox rebuild

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