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Old 09-18-2008, 12:38 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Ojai, CA
Posts: 49
89 300te rear seal replacement tips

Hello forum group,

I am planning a rear seal replacement job on the 300te, will be borrowing a trannie jack and would like to know a few tips on the job at hand. Is there any other work that should be done while the transmission is off relating to preventative maintenance or good to know ideas.



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Old 09-19-2008, 04:03 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Dallas
Posts: 790
I assume the TE has the M103 engine?

Replacing the rear oil main seal on the engine is relatively easy (once you get the tranny out of the way of course. A couple of things I found helpful:

The factory manual recommends to pry the seal right out of the aluminum seal cover, than use a very expensive press tool to push a new seal in.
Not having this tool, I opted to remove the seal cover to make the job doable (and to get new sealant around the cover).

Unbolt the little aluminum seal cover from the engine, and be very careful when removing it to not damage the oil pan gasket that rides under the seal cover. If you are lucky, the part will just slide back off the pan gasket and leave it reasonably intact. Maybe slip a razor blade carefully between the gasket and the cover if it acts like it's sticking.

Clean up everything very thoroughly - brake cleaner spray is good for this.
Then clean it again.

Remove the old seal from the spotlessly clean cover, and mount the new one.
Coat everything with gasket sealer (Permatex black is good stuff) being sure to get some sealer in the corners of the oil pan gasket.
Then, you must manuever the seal over the end of the crank without damaging it. Be sure the end of the crank lip is very smooth with no burrs to tear the seal. Buff it just a little bit on the corner edge with fine sand paper is you feel any tiny burr.
Oil the seal and the crank, and wiggle the seal on carefully. Be sure it does not fold back on itself. Some guys suggested using a thin plastic drink cup to act as a funnel/guide between the seal and the crank snout, but I really didn't have too much trouble sliding the seal and cover onto the crank.
Again, don't damage the pan gasket, and have it coated well with sealant.
If you do badly damage the pan gasket, you can't just fill the gap with sealant, because then the seal won't align properly when you pull the lower bolts of the cover down. (the pan gasket acts as a spacer).

Torque the cover bolts to 10 NM, tighten the lower, vertical bolts first, so the cover will rest snugly on the pan gasket. (and this will center the seal around the crank snout).

Now is a good time to replace the tranny front seal. Just unbolt the front cover inside the bell housing, and gently pull it out. The gasket should remain
useable. Pop the shaft seal out and pop a new one in. Reinstall the cover, with some sealant on the threads, and it's done.

search around a bit in the archives; more discussion on this subject is available.


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