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Generation III Internal Engine
1997-2006 LS1 | LS6
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Old 03-17-2012, 11:06 AM   #1
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Default Installing Rear Main Oil Seal

I ordered GM part # 89060436 rear main oil seal, it's the reverse lip design. On the inside diameter of the seal, there's some grease, or it appears to be grease. I thought the ID was supposed to be DRY, and the OD lightly coated with oil? Or is this "grease" supposed to be there?

Also, I don't have to remove the rear cover to replace the seal, do I? I plan on carefully removing the old seal, then lightly tapping in the new one until it bottoms out. If I'm not removing the rear cover, no special alignment tools are needed, right?
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Old 03-17-2012, 11:13 AM   #2
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Also, I was able to capture the elusive "This Side Out" printed on the seal, haha.
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Old 03-17-2012, 11:17 AM   #3
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Mine just arrived, and it has grease on the ID, too.
You can put it in with the cover on, although the cover is off on mine, and I'll be installing it that way.
Because your rear cover is already on, I would think that alignment wouldn't be an issue.
And because my cover is off, I'll be looking for the recent thread that addressed this.
Not sure if it was a specific thread and title, or a separate topic within a Conversion section build thread.
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Old 03-17-2012, 11:28 AM   #4
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Read this thread and then locate post #9 about alignment.
New Rear Main Seal Leak Already?

I was reading the directions for the seal, looking for "THIS SIDE OUT".
Couldn't find it, at first. But, there it was!
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Old 03-17-2012, 11:40 AM   #5
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OK, 'now we're cooking with grease'...
Rear Main

Did you get the seal with the white disc in the center?
The white disc is a simple alignment tool!
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Old 03-17-2012, 11:51 AM   #6
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Quote:
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Mine just arrived, and it has grease on the ID, too.
So, I guess the grease is OK and should be left on? Surely they wouldn't put it on there if it wasn't OK. But why do many sources, including my GM service manual, say "do not lubricate the oil seal inside diameter (ID) of the crankshaft surface"?

My guess is the reverse lip design uses a different material than the stock seal that doesn't have to be DRY when installing. Just a guess though.
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Old 03-17-2012, 11:57 AM   #7
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And yes, I got that white plastic alignment tool. But, like you said, I don't think I'll need it, but it might be handy during the install of the rear cover/seal assembly?? Not exactly sure how all this works. I haven't removed the seal or anything yet.
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Old 03-17-2012, 12:07 PM   #8
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^^^^ Yes, I was rethinking the last 'alignment tool' thread, and after considering the process of using the white alignment disc, that you'd have to at least loosen the bolts on the rear cover first. The cover would be moved off of the crank far enough, and then the seal with white disc installed.
At this point, the cover would be retightened, and the alignment disc will keep everything centered.
*****Just wanted to add that I haven't done a dry run yet, so this process may be modified!****

From one of the earlier threads posted above (the thread in which one guy says, "the ID must be dry!"), this is the EARLIER design seal which did not require lube.
I'm still gonna put a bit of lube on the OD of seal to help ease it in.
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Old 03-17-2012, 12:28 PM   #9
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Yeah, I think you're right about the earlier seals. They don't require lube; actually, from what I've read, they cannot tolerate it (must be dry). Since our seals came with grease on the ID of the seal, it must be OK with the newer design, so I'll just leave it as is. As for the outside diameter, I plan on putting a little clean motor oil on there.

Also, I've asked this question in another thread, but haven't gotten any responses: After installing the new seal, do you think it's OK to run the engine for a few seconds to check for leaks before installing the clutch and transmission? Basically, is it OK (or even possible) to start the engine with only the flywheel installed, then check for leaks?

Finally, gMAG, I've got the GM service manual for a 2001 Camaro/Firebird sitting in front of me if you've got any questions about the rear cover/seal replacement. Seems a little more complex than a simple seal only replacement.
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Old 03-17-2012, 01:22 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FancyFarmSS View Post
Yeah, I think you're right about the earlier seals. They don't require lube; actually, from what I've read, they cannot tolerate it (must be dry). Since our seals came with grease on the ID of the seal, it must be OK with the newer design, so I'll just leave it as is. As for the outside diameter, I plan on putting a little clean motor oil on there.

Also, I've asked this question in another thread, but haven't gotten any responses: After installing the new seal, do you think it's OK to run the engine for a few seconds to check for leaks before installing the clutch and transmission? Basically, is it OK (or even possible) to start the engine with only the flywheel installed, then check for leaks?

Finally, gMAG, I've got the GM service manual for a 2001 Camaro/Firebird sitting in front of me if you've got any questions about the rear cover/seal replacement. Seems a little more complex than a simple seal only replacement.
Thanks for the GM manual info...I may take you up on that.
Sure, it's ok to run the engine without the tranny...as long as the engine is secured. The tranny, of course, stabilizes the engine and driveline.
Keep in mind that an engine stand (to run the engine separately) keeps the engine secure at all four corners.
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Old 03-17-2012, 02:56 PM   #11
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Thanks gMAG. I assume having the engine still in the car qualifies as being "secured." I'm hoping to get the oil seal and flywheel installed this evening, and also fire her up to check for major leaks. I'll let you know how it goes.

If you decide you want the manual info, I can scan the relevant pages for you.
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Old 03-17-2012, 06:37 PM   #12
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the grease on the seal is fine some of the gm seals come with it some dont. if you cant get ahold of the seal install tool then be careful when installing so you dont distort the seal and cause a oil leak. the tool makes its super easy and fast if you can get one.
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Old 03-17-2012, 06:44 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FancyFarmSS View Post
Thanks gMAG. I assume having the engine still in the car qualifies as being "secured." I'm hoping to get the oil seal and flywheel installed this evening, and also fire her up to check for major leaks. I'll let you know how it goes.

If you decide you want the manual info, I can scan the relevant pages for you.
Not sure if the mounts and stands support the engine weight equally front to back.
If it was me, I might stick something under the rear of the oil pan, with a rubber insulator between the oil pan and whatever support (blocks of wood, etc).
Let us know how you make out.
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Old 03-18-2012, 09:29 PM   #14
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Well, finally got the old seal out today. Took quite a bit of hammering and prying, as you can tell by the picture, haha. I'm sure it comes out real easy if you remove the rear cover, but then I would have been worried about aligning everything. Installed the new one no problem (with grease on the ID and motor oil on the OD). Also started the engine with the flywheel no problem. Probably didn't even need the piece of foam that I put between the jack and the oil pan, it idled very smooth.

After idling for about 2 or 3 minutes, removed flywheel, checked for leaks, everything was dry as a bone. Crossing my fingers that it stays that way even after getting up to normal operating temp. So, I reinstalled the flywheel and clutch components, now I just have to wait for my Level 2 T56 from Tick
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Old 03-19-2012, 12:19 AM   #15
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Sounds good!
I'm next.
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Old 03-19-2012, 12:19 AM
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