Rear main seal leak...Need some help! - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


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Old 12-22-2010
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Rear main seal leak...Need some help!

I've tried searching but there isn't much info on here about what is needed and how to go about replacing it. I made the mistake of putting in Synthetic oil for the first time ever atleast since I've had it and I'm pretty sure thats when the leak started getting reall noticeable. I've been adding oil once a week for the last 2 months but its gotten old quick... Could anybody help me out on some info as to how to replace it? And if its either a 2 bolt main or a 4 bolt main? I've been priced $500-600 at 3 shops and there's no way I'm going to spend that much to get a $15 part put on. Any help would be great!

And some pics cause who doesn't like pics:
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Old 12-24-2010
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Wow anybody?? I did some searching outside of R-F but still didn't find much. I did read somewhere that You don't want to buy a seal at advance or autozone or any place like that and that buying one from the dealer is the best bet because you won't have any future problem with leaking like you could with one at one of those stores? So I found the part number for the Main Seal sold at the dealership and picked it up there. Does this look correct?

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Is this all I'm going to need to replace the seal or is there other things that I'm going to need? Also I heard its a smart thing to replace the oil pan gasket while I'm doing this? thoughts?
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Old 12-24-2010
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its a rather involved process.. dropping the transmission.

You can try an oil additive (for high mileage vehicles) that will condition the seal and make it expand, cutting down your oil loss or stopping it. You could also run a heavier oil or a high mileage formula. it will help.
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Old 12-24-2010
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Thanks John. My friend is going to help me and he's pretty good at working on cars/trucks. Do you you really have to drop the transmission? I thought you could just move it back enough to be able to get the old seal off and new one on. I've always used the high mileage oil but never really thought of adding heavier oil to slow the leak. I put in 5w-30 because of winter and it being thinner, would 10w-30 oil be heavy enough to use or is there one that is a little heavier than that that would be more preferred?
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Old 12-24-2010
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Im pretty sure you have to drop it, not positive though. might almost be easier to drop it just to make sure your not causing more work for yourself, if the other way isn't a sure fire thing.. I know there's a few vids floating around on removing the transmission (for slave cylinder replacement). for auto trans you will need a special key tool to remove the torque converter. ($20 I believe)

I think something closer to 50w would be your best shot at slowing the leak that way. but it sounds like your a bit past that stage where something like that will do much for you.

Last edited by RangOH; 12-24-2010 at 04:28 PM.
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Old 12-24-2010
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I looked at your pictures again, kinda looks like the oil might be coming from higher up, like it might be from the valve cover gasket. you might want to verify that if you haven't already.
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Old 12-24-2010
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Dropping the transmission is a must. Those seals fit tightly around the crank output and u can't just pull it off and pop a new one in. You have to drive the new seal on
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Old 12-24-2010
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I have the same drip on mine but I never have to add oil. Mine leaks from the oil filter flange I am pretty sure. Good luck with it.
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Old 12-25-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RangOH View Post
I looked at your pictures again, kinda looks like the oil might be coming from higher up, like it might be from the valve cover gasket. you might want to verify that if you haven't already.
I took it to a shop and had them look at it and they crawled under and looked into the engine bay and he said it was my main seal that went bad. He said since the oil mess is all behind the engine it is an easy sign for it to be the rear main seal.

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Originally Posted by fishy2k8 View Post
Dropping the transmission is a must. Those seals fit tightly around the crank output and u can't just pull it off and pop a new one in. You have to drive the new seal on
ugh, gonna be a wonderful way to spend an afternoon on christmas break lol. Thanks for the tip!

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Originally Posted by vansnxtweek View Post
I have the same drip on mine but I never have to add oil. Mine leaks from the oil filter flange I am pretty sure. Good luck with it.
haha I'm leaking oil out of my oil filter flange to...I was told thats an easier fix than the main seal, we'll see. And thanks!
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  #10  
Old 12-28-2010
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Tranny replacement

Hey all! First post.

Me and a buddy are working on his 94 manual tranny 4x4 Ranger XLT replacing the transmisson. We are halfway through the job and are thinking about replacing the rear main seal while we have it gutted.

I haven't pulled the flywheel yet and I'm wondering how much work it is to change the rear main seal. On my old F150 with a 390 you had to pull the oil pan. Is that the case on the Ranger too?

Another thing...nobody seems to have the gasket that goes between the transmission and the transfer case. There's a paper one there that got destroyed when we pulled out the transfer case and I'm reluctant to put it back together without one.

Sorry...I don't mean to thread-jack. Let me know of I'm out of line and I'll start my own thread.

If I can contribute something to the tranny pulling topic...I had what I thought was a pretty clever idea when I needed to pull the bell housing bolts. You are supposed to put a jack under the transmission but this makes it a lot harder to work because you are trying to reach all the bolts. I came up with the idea of putting a strap (motorcycle tie down, in my case) around the transmission and then feeding it up through the stick shift hole in the floor of the cab. I put a 2x4 over the hole and cinched up the strap. It held just great and I had plenty of room to work. Then it was just a matter of putting the jack under the tranny and releasing the strap.

Anyway...hope that helps someone.
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Old 12-28-2010
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dropping the tranny is a MUST. the process is involved thus the high labor costs, somethings could hold up the job to like stupid snags. i'd replace both seals at the same time the front is pretty basic.
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Old 12-29-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tweezak View Post
Hey all! First post.

Me and a buddy are working on his 94 manual tranny 4x4 Ranger XLT replacing the transmisson. We are halfway through the job and are thinking about replacing the rear main seal while we have it gutted.

I haven't pulled the flywheel yet and I'm wondering how much work it is to change the rear main seal. On my old F150 with a 390 you had to pull the oil pan. Is that the case on the Ranger too?

Another thing...nobody seems to have the gasket that goes between the transmission and the transfer case. There's a paper one there that got destroyed when we pulled out the transfer case and I'm reluctant to put it back together without one.

Sorry...I don't mean to thread-jack. Let me know of I'm out of line and I'll start my own thread.

If I can contribute something to the tranny pulling topic...I had what I thought was a pretty clever idea when I needed to pull the bell housing bolts. You are supposed to put a jack under the transmission but this makes it a lot harder to work because you are trying to reach all the bolts. I came up with the idea of putting a strap (motorcycle tie down, in my case) around the transmission and then feeding it up through the stick shift hole in the floor of the cab. I put a 2x4 over the hole and cinched up the strap. It held just great and I had plenty of room to work. Then it was just a matter of putting the jack under the tranny and releasing the strap.

Anyway...hope that helps someone.
you can always use RTV for the gasket. i dont know about the oil pan thing, i don't think you have to, but i could be wrong.
as for the tranny tie down, that sounds like a neat idea, i usually just curse and complain when i have to have a jack under it. gonna have to give it a try.
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  #13  
Old 12-29-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StxDangerRanger View Post
you can always use RTV for the gasket. i dont know about the oil pan thing, i don't think you have to, but i could be wrong.
as for the tranny tie down, that sounds like a neat idea, i usually just curse and complain when i have to have a jack under it. gonna have to give it a try.
I pulled the flywheel last night and got a look at the rear main seal. There is indeed cast metal fully surrounding it so you were right - the pan does not need to be pulled. Whew!

It looks like the crank is not very well centered in the seal. Is that normal or is it indicative of a bigger problem?

I found another thread where a guy said you have to get the gasket from the Ford dealer. Really bizarre but OK.

One last parts complaint...is it just me or does it seem odd to anyone else that parts for this are hard to come by? This is my buddy's truck so he's been gathering the parts. He had to go to a several different parts houses to find exhaust gaskets, clutch kit, rear main seal (which was only available in a kit with the front seal), slave cylinder, etc. For a rig that is so common and hasn't changed for over 10 years, you'd think there'd be a lot more parts in stock than there are.

As far as the tranny bolts go...ain't it fun reaching those two up on top? I wonder how often designers utter the phrase "I'd hate to be the guy who has to work on this."

Ok...enough whining for today. At least until I'm back under the truck in the 36 degree garage. At least I have a clean dry place to work and can just close the door and go inside when I'm cold.

Have a great day and thanks for the reply.
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Old 01-16-2011
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Most posts will caution you about gouging or nicking the crankshaft. With obvious good reasons.

The best way I found (Thanks to many other posts) was:

1. Remove tranny, clutch (if new keep it...old replace it), fly wheel (resurface or replace).
2. CAUTION! DO NOT SCRATCH OR GOUGE Crank Shaft! On the OUTSIDE hard edge AWAY from the Crank Shaft punch a "small" hole in the old GASKET to screw in a large head metal screw.
3. Use a Claw Hammer and pry the old seal out.
TO INSTALL
1. Clean the area to receive the new Rear Seal.
2. Lightly lube new seal with good oil.
2. GENTLY Tap it in. a 4" PVC Clean out plug (any hardware store) fits perfectly.

Thanks again to all posts...Semper scouting
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  #15  
Old 01-16-2011
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had mine changed a couple months ago 3 times in 2 weeks because the dumb mechanic i took it to didn't know how to put it in right. You have to have a press put it in. It Some tool that puts it in strait all at once. He taped it in a circle and every time within a day i had a puddle of oil under my truck and oil EVERYWHERE underneath the truck. And yes tranny has to be dropped. Just make sure who ever does it does it right because its a hassle not having your truck for a week. Good luck
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  #16  
Old 01-20-2011
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Also make sure you turn the seal the correct way or you will be doing it again. Look real close at the oil filter area to make sure it's not leaking before you proceed or you might cause yourself another headache.
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  #17  
Old 05-06-2012
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I just did the rear main seal on my 93 Ranger 4.0 and read that same posts your were talking about saying

( The rear seal on the 4.0L has always been prone to leakage. It appears that the original factory finish on the seal surface was too slick, so the seal just couldn’t control the oil. Ford offers a repair kit that comes with a sleeve and a seal (p/n F5TZ-6701-A), but it costs about $50 at the dealership. Re-builders should definitely install a sleeve over the factory seal surface )

The part i got was exactly the same part you show in your picture but there was no way the metal sleeve was fitting I had to install with out the sleeve

How did you install yours where you able to install that metal sleeve ?
Any more leak issues since ?



Quote:
Originally Posted by cchsbuzz19 View Post
Wow anybody?? I did some searching outside of R-F but still didn't find much. I did read somewhere that You don't want to buy a seal at advance or autozone or any place like that and that buying one from the dealer is the best bet because you won't have any future problem with leaking like you could with one at one of those stores? So I found the part number for the Main Seal sold at the dealership and picked it up there. Does this look correct?



Is this all I'm going to need to replace the seal or is there other things that I'm going to need? Also I heard its a smart thing to replace the oil pan gasket while I'm doing this? thoughts?
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  #18  
Old 05-08-2012
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I haven't replaced it yet haha. It is still leaking and I'm on the fence if its even worth replacing it now since I'm not going to have the truck much longer.
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