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TR2/3/3A TR3 Rear Main Seal Questions

aaronclark

Freshman Member
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First of all, hello everyone, I am a new user here and I have been reading this forum heavily for the past month as I have been wrapping up my first frame off tr3 restoration.

I am hoping someone can help me out, I picked up a partial restoration that had a rebuilt engine about 5 years ago. I started the car last weekend, which was incredibly exciting, but there was a small stream of oil running steadily from the rear of the engine. After ruling out the oil filter and housing, oil pressure line, and other things i ordered a rear main seal assembly and assumed the leak was due to the engine sitting too long before being ran. When looking at the seal, the rubber ring around the crankshaft isn't very tight, could this be the culprit? Also, did the original seals use this rubber ring or has this been converted to use a different style? None of the catalogs show a rubber ring as part of the seal, but they do show it as part of the conversion kit. So if anyone has any advice for me I would greatly appreciate it, like for example, do I have to pull the crankshaft to change the seal? And how do i know if this has been converted to a different style?

Thanks, Aaron
 

TR3driver

Great Pumpkin - R.I.P
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The original seals had no rubber, so your engine has been converted. The conversion involves modifying the crank, so the only way to go back is to replace the crank.

Unfortunately, many of the conversion kits were supplied with the wrong instructions, saying to grind the crank too small. If this is the case, you'll have to either have your crank welded up and reground; or replaced. However, some people have been able to get them to seal by carefully trimming a few turns out of the spring that goes around the rubber seal.

Here's an old tech article with a few more tips on getting them to seal :
https://www.socaltriumphs.org/docs/mainseal.htm

Check to be sure the oil is coming past the seal, and not between the main cap and the block. The joint between cap & block is supposed to be sealed with felt, but as mentioned in the article, many gasket kits don't have enough felt in them. Or, someone may have forgotten the felt entirely.
 

PeterK

Yoda
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TR3driver said:
The original seals had no rubber, so your engine has been Check to be sure the oil is coming past the seal, and not between the main cap and the block. The joint between cap & block is supposed to be sealed with felt, but as mentioned in the article, many gasket kits don't have enough felt in them. Or, someone may have forgotten the felt entirely.

I had a local machine shop try to fill this gap with silicone instead of using the felt that I supplied. I removed the cap and found that their silicone only filled the top and the bottom was void. I cleaned up the silicone mess and replaced it with 1" cut pieces of felt soaked in Indian Head gasket shellac tapped in with a drift to tightly fill the area (per the service manual.)
 
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aaronclark

aaronclark

Freshman Member
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OK, thanks, I am going to try to tighten up the rubber seal first, but how do I get the seal off of the crankshaft? Do i need to drop the crankshaft out?

Felt was used between the cap and the block and it doesn't look like any oil was coming past there.

Aaron
 

TR3driver

Great Pumpkin - R.I.P
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aaronclark said:
I am going to try to tighten up the rubber seal first, but how do I get the seal off of the crankshaft? Do i need to drop the crankshaft out?
I believe you do. But I've not tried it myself (my seal is still on the shelf), so it's possible there is a way to cheat. Ken's article about the Morgan mechanic said he did it all with the engine in the car, which implies to me the crank was in the block.

If the spring or seal will turn, perhaps you can rotate until you can access the ends of the spring, without removing the seal at all ?

BTW, that article was written by Ken Gillanders, proprietor of British Frame and Engine.
https://www.britishframeandengine.com
You could try giving him a call. Not sure if he's in town at the moment, might be off racing, but he should be back in a day or two. Ken takes a personal interest in the parts he sells (including the conversion kit) and has owned a TR2 since new (has several drag racing trophies won with it !) so he knows his way around TRactor motors. He's not much for email, but he loves to talk (so better phone than write).
 

donbmw

Jedi Warrior
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You should be able to change the seal with out removing the crankshaft. But I think you are going to need a new seal to replace the one installed. You will probley tear up the seal trying to get the spring off.

Don
 
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aaronclark

aaronclark

Freshman Member
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Thanks everyone, I am going to get plenty of felt, a new rubber seal, the sealants that are mentioned in the article above and try to fix this by shortening the spring and sealing things up as I go.

I will post how on how it works out since I am sure others are dealing with this too.

thanks
Aaron
 

Banjo

Yoda
Country flag
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HOWDY neighbor!
You should be able to get the old seal out with the crank in the engine using a seal puller (craftsman makes one) or a tranny pick with a curved tip. just be careful not to marr the crank.
I sometimes use a small flat bladed screwdriver and a hammer to "tap" a hole into the middle of the seal so I can get a grip without being near the metal surfaces.
Best of luck.
I'm staying with the original setup on mine as I'm fine with dealing with the little bit of leakage.
 
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