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Rear Main Seal

Anyone had experience with the neoprene rear main seals available for the red six, blue six, and the starfire four? Are they a better option than using the standard rope seals?

Cheers, Mick.

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The rear main seals are not interchangeable as far as I know.
David

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Old is good.

I replaced the rear main seal in my HR 161. It was originally a neoprene so that's what I replaced it with.I'd be inclined to replace like for like..I believe there is a subtle difference between the mounting faces for the two seals but I don't know if it has much practical significance.....

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Andrew

to clarify for those unaware, we are talking of the buick replacement rubber type seal to take the place of a rope seal. lots of people swear by them, all i know is the felpro ones i have seen run right on the knurling on the crank. not sure how a seal is supposed to seal when theres a ten thou deep "nick" in the sealing surface, let alone 30 of them...
i have changed about 3 or 4 back to rope seals for people that dont like oil leaks. stay with rope IMO. i reckon people only go for neo seals as they think the rope is a hp drag. heard a reputable engine builder tell someone once that a rope seal was a 3hp drag on an engine - bloody hell, how would you turn the bastard over!!

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Thanks Ben I will heed your advice.
I had been lead to believe they are interchangeable.
However running on a knurled surface doesn't sound like a good sealing option for a neoprene seal.

Cheers, Mick.

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i've used the replacement seal instead of the rope never had a issue with them
the ones i used were holden brand not felpro
maybe felpro were different in some way

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What engine Holden Owner?

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i've used them on 186 . 179 and early red 138's that originally had a rope seal

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ive not seen any 179's or 186's that has a rope seal. all i have ever dealt with used either the early neoprene seal with the side wings, or the later one as in 202's same seal as a chev. the crank will be knurled if it had a rope seal.

if youre using these seals to replace a rope seal some idiot had fitted to one of these engines, of course it wont leak as the crank will be smooth, not knurled! the main cap will have notches in it for the rubber seals' side wings. proves was never a rope originally.

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all 179 used rope seals
never seen a 179 with a neoprene seal other than when its been placed with the conversion seal
presently have a 179 block that was fitted with rope
also i have a 149 block original never been apart with a rope seal
i have seen 186 and 202 with either seals
early 80's i use to buy gasket kits and they supplied rope and the conversion seal in the kit
acl use to do them as well
i've also fitted the later seals too which i reckon were the better type as you can do them without taking everything out by sliding them around the journal the rope i found is a pain to fit
surprised you haven't seen a early 179 186 with a rope seal ben they were common

all grey motor use rope seals which they carried on to the early reds 149 179 161 186

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Had a closer look at the crank today.
The knurled section actually acts as a slinger to throw the oil away from the seal. The actual seal "land" is smooth where the rope seal runs.

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Image icon SF4 Crankshaft b.JPG870.06 KB
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the 179 crank i have here is the same as your pic mick
the 138 red i have has 1 main journal thats 010 the rest are standard bearing sizes according to the machine shop i had check it this was a common practice with holden engines too i found it odd they would machine just one journal 010 and leave the rest

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Yep, built to a cost so the "working man" could afford them.
Although rare, it wasn't uncommon to find cranks machined like that. It kept the costs down only doing the one that needed a bit more off it. I have heard of similar situations with cylinder sizes too in the early days.

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That looks more like a neoprene crank ...

http://holdenpaedia....

http://holdenpaedia....

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T

My Shed

Holdenpaedia, they're the brakes Mate.

No definitely a "rope" crank as the bearing cap is rope only and I am fairly sure the crank is original in the motor.

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just purely out of interest
today i checked every 3" stroke crank i have
have 7 between my work, and at home plus i have recently rebuilt 2 186's in the past few months. NONE of these cranks have knurling. have never seen a 3" crank with knurling. probably dealt with 5-10 more over my time all were either the winged type or the late neo type. never a rope unless fitted by someone else, and they were weeping/leaking

just my observations.

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here's a pic of mine during replacement - 1967 161 - it had the winged type neoprene - so that's what I replaced it with.

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Image icon rear main removed.jpg364.65 KB
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Andrew

thats what you should do... no leaks??

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it literally poured out when running before...now a minor drop - so although a significant improvement it is not absolutely leak free. I think I'd have to have the crank machined to get to that point....this was an original 50 year old engine that has never had the head off or any internal work...although it runs very well - it's obviously got wear. I did try to tidy up the surface carefully and took a lot of care fitting the seal

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Andrew

and the 2 grey motor cranks i have both have no knurling

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