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I've developed a small leak which I initially thought was coming from my oil pan gasket. Only problem is, today I noticed oil seeping through the bell housing inspection window. Darn..

I already have a removable crossmember and parking brake mechanism, so it shouldn't be a problem accessing the bottom end.

My question is, can I just drop the pan and R&R the seal using a Sneaky Pete? Or do I have to remove the engine?

Has anyone done this chore that can list the steps?

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I've never replaced a rear main seal this way (on my back) but here's my mental picture.

Jack the car up, drain the oil & do the usual stuff involved in removing the oil pan (removal of crossmember & parking brake assembly). remove the #5 cap. Support the rear of the block with a section of 2x4 & a floor jack, loosen the other 4 caps about 1/2 turn on each cap bolt. The crank should drop enough to make it easier to remove the upper half of the seal. Using a punch you'll knock the seal half that remains in the #5 bearing saddle out as much as possible, grab it with a pair of vise grips & yank it the rest of the way out. There may be a small pin in the seal groove of the #5 cap. pull the pin & seal it's hole with a dab of RTV. Clean the grooves in the cap & saddle as much as possible, for instance fish a small piece of solvent soaked rag through the groove in the saddle. Lightly oil the lip & then slip 1/2 of the new seal in the saddle groove, leave about 1/4" of it hanging below the block on one side. Install the other half of the new seal in the cap, leave a corresponding amount of that seal hanging out past the cap on the opposite side. Lightly oil the lip of that seal too. Make sure the ends of the seals where the upper & lower halfs will mate are dry, no oil. Put a dab of RTV on the seal ends, put a dab of oil on the #5 bearing shell thats in the cap. Install the #5 cap. Remove your block support & put a bit of upward pressure on the ZF with a floor jack, hand tighten the cap bolts, retorque the cap bolts.

Do the usual stuff to re-install the pan. Don't forget fresh oil. Rock n Roll.

Okay, you guys who have done this, how did I do?

Kevin, I'll be pulling my motor & trans this winter to perform some maintenance, replacing that seal is on my "to do" list, but I'll be doing it on the engine stand, not in the car.

Your friend on the DTBB, George
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