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Engine front seal replacement - a modification for improved peace of mind.

Original Author: Alan Richer (OVLR)
I recently received a phone call, the gist of which went like this:
"Al, the front seal on my engine's leaking like a sieve. Is there any way I can replace the damned thing without yanking the entire front-end off of the truck?"
It all depends. Is the mud shield held on with screws or rivets? If it's screws, bless the former owner of your Rover, as the seal replacement's a 20-minute job.
If not, then things aren't so easy.
Yes, the second time. Not this time, though.
The first time this needs to be done to an unmodified cover, you need to remove all of the mechanical paraphernalia to get to the back of the cover to replace the seal.
HOWEVER, while you have the cover off, you can make a 10-minute modification that will save your patience forevermore.
After removing the front cover and the worn-out bit of rubber that called itself a seal, drill off the backs of the rivets (8 of them, I think) that hold the mud shield in place. For the uninitiated, that's the metal bit that sits over the seal on the outside. Punch the rivets through with a thin punch and remove the mud shield. Clean the mud shield and paint it if you wish - can't hurt.
Tap the rivet holes in the cover for 4-40 or 6-32 screws (depending on the rivet size and how sloppy you were with the drill) and replace the mud shield with short stainless-steel screws and a coating of Hylomar on the back. Also put sealer on the screw threads, else you'll get some seepage around them.
Install the new seal and reassemble everything. While reassembling, inspect the running surface of the crankshaft pulley for a groove caused by the seal. if it's there, you'll need to install a Speedy-Sleeve over the damaged area to prevent the worn pulley from damaging the new seal. Other than that, just make sure you coat the crankshaft end liberally with Anti-Seize, or the next pulley removal may not be so easy.
It's worth all the extra work, though. The next time the seal goes, you can pop the pulley, undo the screws, replace the seal and reassemble in little time.

Reprinted from the Ottawa Valley Land Rovers newsletter

Copyright Dixon Kenner, 1995-2011. Last modified December 1, 2010.
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