View Full Version : Replaced rear main seal today - pics

07-25-2009, 12:38 AM
Today was rear main seal day. This was done with the 430 in my 59 bird. The engine was jacked up and boards placed under the mounts to hold it up. The only thing disconnected to jack the engine up, other than engine mounts, was the upper radiator hose. The oil pump was removed in order to remove the oil pan. Removal of the rear main bearing cap went smoothly. See picture of bearing cap with lower rope seal behind it. Removal of the upper seal was difficult, we used a screw into the seal and one person had to pull while the other turned the crankshaft. The seal was really deteriorated and we broke off about 3/4 of an inch at a time. But eventually it all came out fine. One person told me beforehand that some engines have a pin in the seal channel to prevent seal rotation. No such pin was present in my engine. See the picture of our rudimentary removal tool...long dry wall screw and vise grips. I used FelPro neoprene gaskets to replace the original gaskets. The gaskets on the sides of the bearing cap use a nail to expand them. You can see them inserted before being pounded in in one of the pictures. In the picture of the bottom of the engine with pan removed you can see paint on a counterweight that looks roughly like a "T". One of the biggest problems we had was getting the oil pump back in during reassembly. The drive shaft had fallen out during dissasembly. We tried for an hour to get the shaft properly seated in the pump. When the two pump bolts were tightened the pump did not lie flat on the seating surface. We finally loosened the distributor so the pump could be properly seated then tightened down the distributor. Everything ran fine after the job was finished, so this obviously worked. I had purchased a replacement pump drive shaft that is heavier duty than the original however the one "Precision Oip Pumps" sent me was several inches too short. The job took about 8 hours sart to finish. It was nice doing this on a garage lift. I couldn't imagine trying this on my back under the car.


07-25-2009, 01:05 AM
Hi Vern!

Thanks for the account and for the great pictures of the process! I am glad things worked out okay for you, after an 8 hour go at it!

07-27-2009, 03:37 PM
Thanks for posting up the pics & I'm glad you have the task at hand completed. :)

Now, How much blood did you two guys loose? LOL!!


07-27-2009, 07:38 PM
It was nice doing this on a garage lift. I couldn't imagine trying this on my back under the car.


I'm afraid I can imagine it that way. I did that in my dad's driveway back before I bought my place. I also replaced all the main bearings at the same time, the rear main bearing didn't look very healthy when I dropped it down.

Doing those bearings on the ground was lots of fun.:eek:

08-06-2009, 10:43 PM
My hat's off to you for taking on that job from under the car. I'll try the power steering cylinder seals for my 59 on my back sometime this fall and the malfunctioning generator on my 60 soon.


08-07-2009, 11:53 PM
... I used FelPro neoprene gaskets to replace the original gaskets. The gaskets on the sides of the bearing cap use a nail to expand them. You can see them inserted before being pounded in in one of the pictures...

Vernz, what a great job well done. (I certainly would have scratched the crank using a drywall screw.)

So, you replaced the rope with a FelPro split neoprene seal? How did it turn out, now that it's been a while?

BTW, your pictures are exceptionally sharp and clear! - Dave

08-08-2009, 12:41 AM
Simplyconnected - So far no leaks, but then I've only put about 30 miles on her since the job was completed. Thanks for the compliment on the pictures. I use an older Canon ELPH digital camera that is only 5 megapixels. The current model, for about $230, is 12 megapixels and is top rated. Some of the closeups I can get are amazing. Take a look at this closeup. I actually use the camera in closeup mode, then view on the screen to see details that I can't see otherwise.


08-08-2009, 01:41 AM
Vernz, the thing that really stands out, is your ability to take such close shots USING A FLASH!!! Mine washes out terribly unless I put a styrofoam bowl around my lens to tame down the light. Your camera is excellent for close-up shots.

08-08-2009, 08:45 AM
Simplyconnected - I've had my share of washed out pictures using flash during closeups. Two techniques I've used is to put a piece of masking tape over the flash (styrofoam cup is even better if you can get it to stay in place) or angle the shot so the flash doesn't reflect back to the lens. Below is a shot from my other hobby using the masking tape method. I really got close with this one and did not even see the dust until looking at the picture. It is about four times actual size. Reflectivity of the subject has a lot to do with success.


08-12-2009, 06:20 PM
Don't you ever change the oil?? (just kidding)
i used to have a thing to install the upper rear main seal, called "chinese finger".was a wire mesh type thing that went over the crank first and pulled the seal into place. I think the retaining pin you refered to is in the cap if used at all. Just so you know, I have installed those rear seals on my back on a creeper! many years ago, no more!!
Don't you love those 430s!!! plenty of power, I used to drag race my dad's 58 Mercury Montery 383 against 390 Galaxies. usually beat them in a drag, always outran them for top-end.

08-12-2009, 10:58 PM
It really looked grungy in there didn't it. The good news was that there wasn't much crud in the oil pan and the oil pump screen was pretty clean.
The mechanic who provided the lift and helped me out couldn't find the handle to his "chinese finger" tool so he resorted to the screw. It worked.
I still need to do some work on both my 430's to get the full stock potential out of them. I'm going to rebuild the carbs, give them a good tune up and install electronic ignition. I know there is a lot more power in there that I'm not seeing yet. I sure do love the sound of a big V8 though. Now to find some good 98 octane gas.....maybe i can attach some wings and drive out to the airport.