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Camshaft and Crankshaft Oil Seals

1016 Views 9 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  wisci
Hey guys,

I’m slowly getting my B5.5 1.8T back to life. I replaced the camshaft seals a few weeks ago and I’m currently working on replacing the crankshaft seal. The car hasn’t been turned on yet.

Now, two things:

1 - I’m suffering to take the 17-year old crank seal off of the engine. So tips are more than welcomed haha I saw a DIY post here but the pictures are long gone so it’s hard to follow.

2 - I installed the camshaft seals using grease, because they just wouldn’t go in without it. Today I just read that they’re PTFE and I was not supposed to use anything on them. My question now is: will they work just fine or should I buy new ones and reinstall it without grease?

Thanks guys!
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Hopefully you used a white lithium grease, common for engine rebuilding.
You could get away with wiping off any excess on the outside of the engine (if any) the stuff on the inside will wash away.


The main concern is, did you pay attention to what seal went on what camshaft position.
The PTFE seals are rotational specific.
If the seals are put in the wrong position they will actually pump oil out of the engine.

I learned this the hard way when I rebuilt my wife's V6 engine. Brand new seals and it leaked like a sieve.
A few weeks after the engine was finished I ended up taking out all the brand new PTFE seals and replacing them with original spec Elring seals. Reddish orange in color.

Original spec camshaft seal

The PTFE seals in my personal opinion are not worth the headache.
They are about $15 more per seal than the original spec seal.
Extreme care must be taken when installing the PTFE seals. There is a miniscule lip (around .002") on the PTFE seal. That lip is extremely prone to getting damaged on installation. If that lip gets compromised in any way it will leak. That's why they say an installation tool must be used.

I've replaced numerous camshaft seals using the original spec ($2 - $3 per) seal with no issues what-so-ever.
My wife's V6 engine is now 5 years old since the rebuild, it has ZERO oil leaks
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Just some FYI.
There are some cases where the PTFE seal wears a groove into the camshaft journal.
This is a debatable topic depending on who you talk to. I've seen it with my own eyes so I know it's a potential issue.
A couple of factors will effect if the seal wears a groove in the camshaft journals.
A few reported cases with extreme low (sub zero) temperatures the seals leak oil.
If the crankshaft seal is not leaking, I strongly recommend that you don't touch it.
If you do remove it, make sure to use a new bolt, that bolt must NOT be re-used.
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I really appreciate the good info there guys.

What is the camshaft position you said and how does it apply to the 1.8T? Because both camshafts are almost identical and I can’t think of another way I could put them in.

This was my first time doing oil seals so there is a lot I’m learning. My PTFE seal didn’t come with that plastic tool around the inner ring. How should I have put them on?

The way I did was that I had to force it a little, and pry the inner lip with a screwdriver to force it in. So chances are it probably got damaged in the process. 🤪

Is there a specific technique or homemade tool you can build to put those seals in without hurting them?

My cam gear is still off so it wouldn’t hurt to replace these again before I turn the engine on.
Duh, you've got a 1.8 the rotation issue is not there with that engine. It is with the V6 though. So forget about that part but the rest of what I mentioned still holds true.

If you used a screwdriver to 'help' get it on the shaft it is pretty much guaranteed the seal is damaged.
You have to have that plastic ring or the metal installation tool to prevent damage of the seal. Homemade tool won't cut it, unless your a machinist with mad skills.
I suggest you replace those "damaged?" seals with original type seals.
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Hi AndreasPassat and Tomvw, do you know the maker and part number for the original type seals? Every one I look up seems to be the "improved PTFE" type.

For the AWM engine, from what I can tell, the cam seal is 32x47x10mm.
Reinz 813436700 is a PTFE seal. I can't find a non-PTFE from Reinz.
Elring 129780 is normally what comes up on a lot of sites (FCPEuro, Blauparts, etc.) for this engine, and it is PTFE. Elring lists it as VW OEM part 03810385A and C.
From Eliring's catalog, though, Elring 325155 is the same size and is fluoride rubber (also allows either twist direction). It is listed as VW OEM part 068103085A and E. Would you recommend this? Or something else?

For the crank, 35x48x10mm:
I think all of these are PTFE:
Reinz 813436600
Continental CS9041
Corteco 20026912B
Elring 15560
Again, from Elring's catalog, 475961 and 294357 are Fluoride rubber, not PTFE, and same size. The second one seems to be out of stock everywhere, but the first is available. But they're recommended for older VW models. Would you use this? Or something else?

Or should I just deal with the PTFE thing? Sounds scary from your descriptions.
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This is the one you want for NON PTFE type installation. (as in old style type seal)
Don't let the VIN number info intimidate you, I've converted all of my Passat's to this type seal (including the ones that originally came with the PTFE seals).
I don't have any issues with oil leaks.

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