Cam seals, crank seal: Replacement? How?
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This is a discussion on Cam seals, crank seal: Replacement? How? within the General Maintenance, Troubleshooting & Accidents. forums, part of the Tech & Modifying & General Repairs category; OK I've got the factory manual PDF, I've searched the sites and fora, and I've found little more specific than ...

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    He simply abides. SD_GR's Avatar
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    Cam seals, crank seal: Replacement? How?

    OK I've got the factory manual PDF, I've searched the sites and fora, and I've found little more specific than this:

    http://www.scoobymods.com/timing-bel...light=cam+seal

    So here's my questions:

    1. Should I replace the cam and crank seals if they don't seem to be leaking? I'm at ~105k mi on the motor.

    2. If they are leaking, how do I replace them?

    (a) Are all the bolts conventional, lefty-loosey, or are any of the bolts reverse threaded? How will I know?

    (b) How do I remove the cam sprockets? How do I secure the cams and prevent them from rotating?

    3. What kind of grease do I use on the new seals? Something available at auto parts stores since I can't find the SOA stuff?

    4. Is there an actual how-to thread anywhere with specifics?

    Thanks!

    SD
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    Administrator Trainrex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SD_GR View Post
    1. Should I replace the cam and crank seals if they don't seem to be leaking? I'm at ~105k mi on the motor.
    I have been tried and found guilty of not always doing this. I normally justify it by how much I like the car, how much the car is worth, how long I plan on keeping it, and how much it leaks everywhere else. In your case, I would change them. You're there, and they are staring at you. Considering you want to keep the car for a long time, and the next belt change will be 200k+ miles, I would recommend the whole gamut. Belt, tensioners, seals, water pump, thermostat, etc etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by SD_GR View Post
    2. If they are leaking, how do I replace them?
    Pretty much like any other seal. Pull them out with a seal puller, wood screw, etc..

    Quote Originally Posted by SD_GR View Post
    (a) Are all the bolts conventional, lefty-loosey, or are any of the bolts reverse threaded? How will I know?
    I'll be damned, I can't remember

    Quote Originally Posted by SD_GR View Post
    (b) How do I remove the cam sprockets? How do I secure the cams and prevent them from rotating?
    I use a sprocket buster. You can also use the old belt. Wrap it around the sprocket you want to remove and the crank. Double it back on itself and clamp it together with a vice grip.

    Quote Originally Posted by SD_GR View Post
    3. What kind of grease do I use on the new seals? Something available at auto parts stores since I can't find the SOA stuff?
    I've always used assembly lube or just plain motor oil.

  4. #3
    Moderator Donkey's Avatar
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    1. It's good insurance to do so but not 100% necessary I guess if its not leaking.

    2.You just pull them out. I use a dental pick or small flat head screw driver. The "inner" part of the seal that contacts the cams/crank uses a spring to seal. I usually try to grab that part first and yank. You generally end up destroying them in the process. To put in the new seal I just use a deep well socket. Bolts are normal threaded. I use the old timing belt to help hold the gears from turning like Trainrex mentioned.

    http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/show...m+gear+removal
    http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/show...m+gear+removal


    3. Fresh motor oil.
    http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/show...al+replacement

    4. Have not seen one . It's pretty self explanitory. Pull seal. Lube up new one. Install.
    Last edited by Donkey; 11-24-2010 at 06:23 AM.
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    He simply abides. SD_GR's Avatar
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    Aha, thanks.

    On the driver side there is a specific procedure to rotate the alignment marks on the sprockets in the manual. How about the passenger side? If those sprockeys should rotate relative to one another how do I turn them to get them back in time? Am i just not thinking?

    I have a second person to help. Can they hold the crank sprocket using the brakes and each cam sprocket using their hands and/or the old belt rather than the belt clamped to other sprockets?
    Last edited by SD_GR; 11-24-2010 at 07:15 AM.
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    He simply abides. SD_GR's Avatar
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    Wait a minute...

    Can I loosen the sprocket nuts with the old belt still on and then tighten them back on loosely, enough to rotate the motor etc. if needed? Wouldn't this make things easier once the belt is off -- I can just then fully remove the sprocket bolts and replace the seals one by one?
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    Man is a brute.... If you're cruel to him, he respects and fears you. If you're kind to him, he plucks your eyes out. Alexis Zorbas
    I lied. I cheated. I bribed men to cover the crimes of other men. I am an accessory to murder. But the most damning thing of all... I think I can live with it. And if I had to do it all over again - I would. Benjamin Sisko
    DISCLAIMER: Opinions expressed are the author's alone and are inherently worthless.

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    Administrator Trainrex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SD_GR View Post
    Wait a minute...

    Can I loosen the sprocket nuts with the old belt still on and then tighten them back on loosely, enough to rotate the motor etc. if needed? Wouldn't this make things easier once the belt is off -- I can just then fully remove the sprocket bolts and replace the seals one by one?
    I've had marginal success with this method in the past. Most of the time the bolts are on tight enough to actually skip the pulley in the belt which can possibly bend valves.

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    He simply abides. SD_GR's Avatar
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    I see. So removing the belt would actually be safer from what you say. So, the old-belt-with-vise grips-to-crank-sprocket method is good enough to hold the belt nonetheless? What's to keep the same thing from happening then? I'm not doubting, I'm trying to picture all this. Friday is the big day and I like being prepared.
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    Man is a brute.... If you're cruel to him, he respects and fears you. If you're kind to him, he plucks your eyes out. Alexis Zorbas
    I lied. I cheated. I bribed men to cover the crimes of other men. I am an accessory to murder. But the most damning thing of all... I think I can live with it. And if I had to do it all over again - I would. Benjamin Sisko
    DISCLAIMER: Opinions expressed are the author's alone and are inherently worthless.

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    Administrator Trainrex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SD_GR View Post
    I see. So removing the belt would actually be safer from what you say. So, the old-belt-with-vise grips-to-crank-sprocket method is good enough to hold the belt nonetheless? What's to keep the same thing from happening then? I'm not doubting, I'm trying to picture all this. Friday is the big day and I like being prepared.
    When the belt is installed on the car, you have only approx 40% of the sprocket held by the belt and you are counting on a tensioner to keep the belt tight. When the belt is wrapped around the sprocket like the picture, you are holding approx. 75% of the pulley with the belt. There is little chance for slip. If you have the means, I would suggest picking up a sprocket buster (camshaft sprocket holder) as pictured. (two types)

    Edit: I posted the first picture as a reference. This isn't my pic, and I wouldn't do it like this. I would clamp the to long spans together to eliminate the possibility of the crank spinning.




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    I'm beginning to catch on. I've found a Snap-On 10mm hex and will use a breaker bar. I've found vise grips and will vise grip the long runs of the old belt together so that the belt is held onto the crank sprocket and the specific cam sprocket I'm attacking. I'll then hope for the best.

    I've read those links on Nasioc and one guy had two bodyguards jumping up and down on the breaker bar while a third guy held the crank sprocket. I am hoping it's not that kind of party at my place. In fact, I am going to state right now that if it fights back too hard I'm calling a flatbed, and that will be that, hopefully. I can always have it flatbedded back home with new seals and finish it up or something. They're talking about 900 ft lb air guns, 6 ft breaker bars, drills, MIG welders, and so on. Out of my league.
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    Man is a brute.... If you're cruel to him, he respects and fears you. If you're kind to him, he plucks your eyes out. Alexis Zorbas
    I lied. I cheated. I bribed men to cover the crimes of other men. I am an accessory to murder. But the most damning thing of all... I think I can live with it. And if I had to do it all over again - I would. Benjamin Sisko
    DISCLAIMER: Opinions expressed are the author's alone and are inherently worthless.

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    Moderator Donkey's Avatar
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    By using the method I posted a picture of I was able to remove all 4 cam sprockets, by myself with just a breaker bar, in 15 min.
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  12. #11
    He simply abides. SD_GR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Donkey View Post
    By using the method I posted a picture of I was able to remove all 4 cam sprockets, by myself with just a breaker bar, in 15 min.
    That's what I'm talking about!
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    Man is a brute.... If you're cruel to him, he respects and fears you. If you're kind to him, he plucks your eyes out. Alexis Zorbas
    I lied. I cheated. I bribed men to cover the crimes of other men. I am an accessory to murder. But the most damning thing of all... I think I can live with it. And if I had to do it all over again - I would. Benjamin Sisko
    DISCLAIMER: Opinions expressed are the author's alone and are inherently worthless.

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    Registered User EvoEatr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Donkey View Post
    1. It's good insurance to do so but not 100% necessary I guess if its not leaking.

    2.You just pull them out. I use a dental pick or small flat head screw driver. The "inner" part of the seal that contacts the cams/crank uses a spring to seal. I usually try to grab that part first and yank. You generally end up destroying them in the process. To put in the new seal I just use a deep well socket. Bolts are normal threaded. I use the old timing belt to help hold the gears from turning like Trainrex mentioned.

    http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/show...m+gear+removal
    http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/show...m+gear+removal


    3. Fresh motor oil.
    http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/show...al+replacement

    4. Have not seen one . It's pretty self explanitory. Pull seal. Lube up new one. Install.

    WOW thanks for the tip man after the dozens and dozens of cam seals I have replaced on Subarus I have never tried this method, might have to give it a whirl next time...

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    Moderator T0rque's Avatar
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    Only done timing belts on Hondas but there is a hole in a cam cap and the cam shaft that you slide a cam holding tool in (I use metal dowels) that keeps the camshafts in place when I blast it off with my 3/8s impact


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  15. #14
    He simply abides. SD_GR's Avatar
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    OK update:

    None of the sprockets came loose without a little wiggle while trying to unfasten the bolt, but none was more difficult to get loose than a properly tightened lug nut. This makes sense, since the torque is roughly the same spec as a lug nut.

    The crank sprocket just comes off, except it doesn't. I has to make people wait around for twenty minutes while the solvent and the light tapping loosen it, and then when it seems it's not budging at all, it just slips off.

    Impressively, none of the seals were leaking. The crank seal seemed a bit "dry" but other than that, they all looked great.

    To tap in the new seals, the old seals can be used backwards as guides onto which one taps. This is if a correct seal tool thingy isn't available.

    Thanks again!
    Last edited by SD_GR; 11-26-2010 at 10:37 PM.
    WRX Info Links, Courtesy TheJ
    Man is a brute.... If you're cruel to him, he respects and fears you. If you're kind to him, he plucks your eyes out. Alexis Zorbas
    I lied. I cheated. I bribed men to cover the crimes of other men. I am an accessory to murder. But the most damning thing of all... I think I can live with it. And if I had to do it all over again - I would. Benjamin Sisko
    DISCLAIMER: Opinions expressed are the author's alone and are inherently worthless.

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    Resident meany-rator 06wrx4me's Avatar
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    Ugh. It's timing belt time for me. I replaced a timing belt on a bugeye and we could not get the gears off.

    I think I'm gonna buy the seals and try and replace if necessary. I very well may be in a new car by 150k miles.
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