Project rear main seal replacement.
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  1. #1
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    Project rear main seal replacement.

    5K miles ago we rebuilt the engine in my wife's Passat. All new everything. I guess I never looked but the bottom of her car is COVERED in oil. Valvecover gasket and cam plugs are dry. No oil from the headgasket and no oil anywhere else. All PCV parts are new and working. So after banging my head...I finally decided to cave in and go with the rear main. Anyway, everything down between the trans/engine is SATURATED. To make things worse the flex plate has done a great job distributing oil everywhere.

    So with a sigh I decided tonight to spend my New Year's holiday and replace the rear main by means of removing the trans

    It's kinda a good thing though since one diff seal is leaking and there are 3 torn CV boots!

    Wrenching starts tomorrow

    Pics from today:




    Don't expect a how-to...that's what the Bentley's for

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  3. #2
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    Trans is out.

    Wasn't that bad actually. Timely more than anything else but no surprises.

    Any questions...fire away

    Oh yeah...DAMN this SOB is huge



  4. #3
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    you're crazy
    just thought i'd let ya know.

    gj

  5. #4
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    If I was you, I would look into replacing the torque converter while you've got it out. The stock ones are known to fail and trash your tranny (it happened to me already). Check out IPT, they sell performance ones for $695. I have one and I'm quite happy with it.

  6. #5
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    get all those seals and boots replaced now with the tranny out..

    much easier and I do not think you would want to remove it a second time. lol!

  7. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mister T View Post
    If I was you, I would look into replacing the torque converter while you've got it out. The stock ones are known to fail and trash your tranny (it happened to me already). Check out IPT, they sell performance ones for $695. I have one and I'm quite happy with it.
    no way. Not in the budget and this is a bone stock driver.

    Corrado - items to be replaced are mainseal, tranny mounts, CV boots and required stretch bolts.

    After that it's goin back together.

  8. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by vdubspeed View Post
    no way. Not in the budget and this is a bone stock driver.

    Corrado - items to be replaced are mainseal, tranny mounts, CV boots and required stretch bolts.

    After that it's goin back together.
    heads up on the axle flange bolts, they issued a NEW part number and they no longer sell those awesome green already locktited ones...
    the new ones are just plain bolts with the same specs, just dry and no locktite.... they WILL back out unless you use the proper stuff.

    blue sucks and doesn't work, and after a week or so since my last job without hearing back of another noise problem, the green has held up well.

  9. #8
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    Looks fun! I see from the golf tag you are in good old VD, GA! What part?
    Last edited by wadedrow; 01-01-2009 at 07:34 PM. Reason: stupid grammar mistake

  10. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by vdubspeed View Post
    no way. Not in the budget and this is a bone stock driver.
    My blowup happened at 105K while it was a bone stock driver as well. While it may not be in the cards this time. Given that you have the know-how to pull the tranny I would suggest keeping it in mind.

  11. #10
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    went by the dealer today to order a few parts. I talked with the service guy and replacing the rear main seal is a 15.8 hour job. At $85 an hour you're talkin $1360 in labor alone!!!

    This is exactly why I do my own work.

  12. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by vdubspeed View Post
    went by the dealer today to order a few parts. I talked with the service guy and replacing the rear main seal is a 15.8 hour job. At $85 an hour you're talkin $1360 in labor alone!!!

    This is exactly why I do my own work.
    not only cost but some mechs at the dealers are not too smart as well.
    I trust only myself and no one to touch my cars.

  13. #12
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    Oh damn this is not good. I was just under the car the other day and the front of my tranny is even wetter than your was. Lots of oil. I was assuming it was just a VC gasket or the cam chain one behind it. Until now that is... Is that still possible or am I looking at a main seal repair too?
    The oil is all over the front of the tranny pan on the passenger side and on the mounting bar for the belly pan.

  14. #13
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    you should clean it up and see located the oil leaks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wadedrow View Post
    Looks fun! I see from the golf tag you are in good old VD, GA! What part?
    I live on the north side of town but not in the city limits. About 10 minutes south of Moody AFB.

    Quote Originally Posted by UrbanLegend View Post
    Oh damn this is not good. I was just under the car the other day and the front of my tranny is even wetter than your was. Lots of oil. I was assuming it was just a VC gasket or the cam chain one behind it. Until now that is... Is that still possible or am I looking at a main seal repair too?
    The oil is all over the front of the tranny pan on the passenger side and on the mounting bar for the belly pan.
    Yeah...that's what mine was like. I checked EVERYWHERE. I have a small VCG leak but it's minimal. I attribute it to the jammed up PCV system I just repaired. But yeah...headgasket was dry all around. I knew it was engine oil though. I kept telling myself it was something else but then I just finally gave in because I knew it was the rear main. I'll take pics today to show how the rear main failed.

    As for your questions about if it's your rear main. Replace the VCG and all the PCV parts and hope it stops...if it doesn't...pull out the wallet or grab your tools/time.

  16. #15
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    promised pics..

    here you can see the head is completely dry. Still looks great since it was rebuilt:


    here's the culprit:

  17. #16
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    Do you know if they make an upgraded version of the crankseal?
    Thumbs up for being so gungho and taking this task up at home.

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    damn, that flex plate sure does a good job of shooting the oil everywhere.

    x2 on the thumbs up.

  19. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by sipes216 View Post
    heads up on the axle flange bolts, they issued a NEW part number and they no longer sell those awesome green already locktited ones...
    the new ones are just plain bolts with the same specs, just dry and no locktite.... they WILL back out unless you use the proper stuff.

    blue sucks and doesn't work, and after a week or so since my last job without hearing back of another noise problem, the green has held up well.
    So loctite blue didn't hold the axle flange bolts in? I guess I am going to need to check on this. How long have you had them in with the green?

  20. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by corradog60stage4 View Post
    Do you know if they make an upgraded version of the crankseal?
    Found out today it wasn't the crankseal's fault.

    First off...

    If you're car is older, replace your PCV components NOW and clean all hoses (both rubber and metal). I attribute the failure of this seal to extreme crankcase pressure due to a failed PCV system.

    My hardline from the rubber fitting that holds the PCV and connects to the block was completely blocked up. This situation allowed extreme pressures to build in the crankcase and therefore the easiest way out was a rubber seal in which the pressure did this:


    I'm no slack mechanic. A VW mechanic by hobby and an aircraft mechanic by trade I've installed hundreds of seals. I honestly believe the pressure forced the lip to buckle and bam...the leak was born.

    On the bright side, I replaced the valvecover gasket and the inside of the head looked great after 5K miles and 1 oil change.


    So all the parts will be in this week and hopefully the car will be back up and running before church this Sunday

  21. #20
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    Can you give some more info on what parts were plugged or what parts you are replacing? Is this the tube that comes down from the 3way elbow connected to the valve cover?

    I am trying to go through my PCV system but I am not really sure where everything goes.

  22. #21
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    Well I have the three way suction pump valve that is often a culprit so I'll do that and see if it's even clogged up already. There's only 65k on the motor, and it was sludge cleaned somewhere before 39k, and it's had 3k to 5k oil changes ever since then.

    Thanks for the pics!

  23. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by mopower View Post
    Can you give some more info on what parts were plugged or what parts you are replacing? Is this the tube that comes down from the 3way elbow connected to the valve cover?

    I am trying to go through my PCV system but I am not really sure where everything goes.
    Here's a good writeup:
    http://images.google.com/imgres?imgu...NA:en%26sa%3DN


    There might be small variations depending on which engine you have - AEB, AWM etc.


    I hear this one is a common cause for too much crank case pressure.


  24. #23
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    It's funny you show a picture of the suction/jet pump. I just replaced mine with the exact same part number but they function differently.

    My old one would not allow boost to pass through at all. However, the new pump allows boost to pass on to the PCV? Kinda wierd but the PCV does stop the boost.

    Anyway:
    My PCV problem was pretty simple. My number 9 was COMPLETELY clogged up. I spent about an hour cleaning it out. I also had to replace 2, 5 and 6. This motor was a sludge/locked up motor so I had to rebuild it. Unfortunately I overlooked cleaning number 9.

    Under vacuum my PCV system was fine but when boost came along and the PCV closed, the air had no where to go since 9 was clogged and bam...engine oil leak.


  25. #24
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    [quote=vdubspeed;2195103]I live on the north side of town but not in the city limits. About 10 minutes south of Moody AFB.



    Cool. The wife and I both went to VSU. Job paths took us away in '98 but we do miss the place. If we could, we would move back in an instant.

  26. #25
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    Nice write up! Getting ready for the same for my 02 30V

  27. #26
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    According to the writing on the bottle, seafoam is good for cleaning pcv systems. I assume that you would add a can right before an oil change and run the car for a couple miles. Anyone else heard/done this?

  28. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by vdubspeed View Post
    went by the dealer today to order a few parts. I talked with the service guy and replacing the rear main seal is a 15.8 hour job. At $85 an hour you're talkin $1360 in labor alone!!!

    This is exactly why I do my own work.
    How long did it take you? I may be pulling my trans for a torque converter change if the fluid/filter change does not solve my problem.

    How much does the trans weigh roughly? Were you able to pull it solo or did you need help? Did you need the engine hoist and a trans jack?

    My side job is as a mechanic, but I have not pulled a trans in 25 years. Back then I could pull a TH400 solo, I doubt I could lift one now.

  29. #28
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    It took me 7hrs to pull it the first time. 3hrs the second time! I f'd up installed the TC so I had to pull it again.

    Anyway, I have a engine brace(bar that goes across the engine) to hold the engine up and am using a floor jack with a piece of wood to lower/raise the trans.

    Pretty simple job but just timely.

    Oh yeah...you will need ONE special tool. It's a wierd socket for the flexplate/TC bolts. It's the same socked used on the head bolts.

    Hope this helps.

    Jason

  30. #29
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    Good catch Vdubspeed, I hope I don't have to go that far down the line.

    I cant seem to find the check looking valve with the third nipple that goes just above the suction jet on my AWM. I've searched a lot but I don't know the name or number.

    I don't get why your new valve operates differently than the old one though. But I guess if it ain't broke....

  31. #30
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    little update on this situation.

    Last week I installed the transmission, got everything buttoned up and put the car on the ground. I cranked up the engine with no problems and let it sit for a second. Good news was there was no oil leaks. BAD news is that I reinstalled the torque converter incorrectly. What I know now that took me a week to figure out is that I did not seat the torque converter all the way in.

    This in turn destroyed the front pump which the Bentley gives a warning for. All gears selected were neutral because the pump was not making pressure.

    So...today I ordered the ZF manual for 5hp/FL and FLA transmissions. I'm going to pull the pump and broken drive gear and then slap it all back together.

    Let me just say that replacing the main seal is NOT a hard job. It requires time and a little patience. Since I rushed it, I didn't take the time to measure and ensure the torque converter was completely seated.

    Good thing is I'm doing all this and it's still WAY cheaper than having a shop do it.

    More to follow...

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