rear oil seal

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rear oil seal

Postby Ottomechanic » Wed Aug 04, 2021 6:32 pm

Sorry if this has been asked before. What actually happens to the rear main seal? is it a catastrophic mechanical failure, does it just harden and seep?
has anyone had any luck with seal conditioners? I had a 1966 low boy with a very tired engine, lots of blow by but not a drop leaked from it, my 1977 184 which appears to be in much better mechanical shape, very little blow by drips from the rear seal. I'm reluctant to pull apart as so many people have struggled with trying to get either the right parts or having a successful repair without trying several attempts. Any thoughts on this are appreciated.

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Dale Finch
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Re: rear oil seal

Postby Dale Finch » Wed Aug 04, 2021 6:36 pm

Tim (tst) machines the retainers for a tighter fitting seal. You send him your old retainer.
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Gary Dotson
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Re: rear oil seal

Postby Gary Dotson » Thu Aug 05, 2021 6:22 am

Original seals fail for various reasons, some of the very early seals were rawhide and just plain worn out. The pot metal seal retainer can change size, with time, often the seal will fall out when removed, a new seal will do the same. The R-2 version retainer was made heavier but I’ve seen the same issue with them. I’ve used seal conditioners with “some” success but if the seal is just flat worn out or is a rawhide seal, it won’t help. The safest bet is to send your retainer to tst and have it re-worked. His success record is very good, in a world of hit and miss solutions.

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Re: rear oil seal

Postby Gabe184 » Sun Apr 24, 2022 6:40 am

I just replaced mine. The job wasn't bad at all, but I would 100% recommend not ordering any parts until you get everything removed you need to get to the seal. Drive shaft u-joint, clutch, pressure plate assembly, pilot bushing/bearing, throw-out bearing. If you've never replaced them, there's a good chance of them needing serviced or replaced. Now would also be the best time to replace the pto belts, if they need it. Anyway, back to the seal....

Mine was leaking, but I saw no visible signs of from where(like torn rubber, residual oil). When I went to remove it, the bolts were barely tight. 99% certain this was my problem, but I already ordered a new seal and housing from Hamilton Bob's. I checked the inner dimensions of the seal housing and outer dimensions of the seal and it was PLENTY for an interference/press fit. Doing the math came out to be near 2 tons of force required to assemble the two. Since my little arbor press is 1 ton, I put the seal in the freezer over night and let the housing bake in my windshield on a sunny day until lunch to make assembly easier. Using some high quality loctite, I pressed the two together with little effort. No issues so far.

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Re: rear oil seal

Postby murph51 » Mon Apr 25, 2022 10:18 am

My 154 seal partially blew out last summer, it was very loose in the bore. I replaced the seal with one from Hamilton Bob's (seal only) and followed the instructions using sealer on the OD, it was definitely a tighter fit than the one I took out. (in my 1973 model 30xxx serial number tractor) So far no leaks.

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Re: rear oil seal

Postby outdoors4evr » Tue Apr 26, 2022 5:53 am

I have replaced the rear seal in my 184 twice.
Knowing it was leaking, I purchased a new retainer and shipped it off to be machined. It came back promptly with a new seal installed. I removed the original which was leaking through the lips of the seal. The newly purchased and machined retainer was installed. This one ran for a year or so and then started leaking when the engine was hot. Found that the seal was spinning in the retainer (shiny metal on the outside of the seal) and the seal had moved forward in the retainer about 3/8".
Sent the original retainer to be machined. When the original retainer was returned with a new seal, I used a punch to stake the new seal into the retainer in three places and haven't had an issue since. It has been at least 7 years with full mowing duties.

I wouldn't bother with the rebuild in a can. TST does a great job on the machining and it really doesn't cost that much considering the effort.
184 w/ Creeper & 3-Point
IH 3160a Mower
IH Model 15 Tiller
IH-54 Blade

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