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FE rear main side seals - best method, help needed

Started by 6s1640, May 16, 2024, 09:23:02 PM

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Hi all,

I am in the process of installing the rear main cap with the crank and side seals.  I have watch several YouTube's and read instructions "how to".  Below is a summary of the suggested methods.  If you have experience installing this side seals, please comment.  Thank you

1)  From "How to Rebuild Big-Block Ford Engines" by Steve Christ, he recommends "Installing the main bearing cap and bolts, but leave the cap about 1/8 inch off its register.  Oil the sides seals and slide down into place...  Be sure the seal bottoms against the block.  Push the cap down all the way down and snug the bolts down by hand."  I have not tried this, but it seams the compression of the side seal might make this difficult.  Thoughts?

2)  Steve goes on to say "Ford recommends torquing the main cap before installing the side seals.  But this might make it difficult to get the side seals to seat onto the block.  Thoughts?

3)  A Youtube video, the technician recommends super gluing the side seals in place with the seal extended beyond the cap to seat against the block and then install the main cap.  Sealant was applied to the side seals, no oil.  The impression I got was the seal would seat against the block and slide the upper end out of the cap slightly.  I had tried this and the seal did not slide up and in fact when after I removed, did not feel right, the seal was bunched up in the seal cavity.  The side nail went in very hard because of the bunching.  Thoughts?  I can see this method working, but just a small extension beyond the cap.

4)  Trying to install the cap with the side seals in place, held only by fingers and hands was going to difficult.  I could not keep them from being pushed out when pushing the cap down.  A YouTube video used this methods excepts with oil on the side seals and the seal well below the cap to get them started.  The video cuts away and comes back with the seals installed.  Is this the best method?  Thoughts.

5)  The instructions on the Fel-Pro packages follow the methods outlined in methods 4 with the seals flush to the top of the cap, with seals extended beyond bottom of cap.  This method and method 4 might work better with two sets of hands.  Thoughts.

Oiling the side seals (methods 1, 2, 4 and 5 seams to be a common method.  Helps keep the seals from pushing up.

Any suggests or comments on the above methods would be useful.  What has worked well for you before I try again.

Thank you