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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone, I'm posting today to ask for advice about my front main seal.

So recently I did an oil change on the car, like normal. I've always done the same process for my 5 years of ownership, but for some reason this time around it decided to leak and it's not a small leak, it's major. I was thinking maybe I didn't tighten up my oil pan bolt enough, but of course that wasn't the case. I do have a slight dent on my oil pan, but it is not cracked. I then decided to change the front main seal, old seal looked pretty bad, so I replaced it. I know my new seal looks a little damaged, I lightly tapped it with a punch, probably not the greatest idea. Afterwards I put everything back together. And it's still leaking! Someone had told me that my crankshaft is sitting too far in and that the seal is supposed to sit on the crankshaft? Please click my video link to see exactly what's going on.

This is the first time in dealing with this problem so I'm pretty clueless, any type of help would be greatly appreciated.

 

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Master Shit Fixer
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Are you sure that's the correct FMS? The hole on the inside of the seal is supposed to be snug to the snout of your crankshaft. The camera is moving around a lot at the beginning of your video, but I swear it looks like there's 1/4" of gap there around your crank.
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I'm 99% sure this is the correct FMS, it is the felpro one from AutoZone, yes I've been told to get an OEM seal from Toyota, but I've heard these ones work just fine.

And that's exactly what I've been told, the seal sits snug, but the snout sits a little far back. I don't know if this is possible, but a friend told me my crankshaft somehow got pushed inward. So the inside of the seal is supposed to sit snug onto the crankshaft snout?

But that gap can be a cause?

Here's a clearer look
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261421
 

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Are you sure that's the correct FMS? The hole on the inside of the seal is supposed to be snug to the snout of your crankshaft. The camera is moving around a lot at the beginning of your video, but I swear it looks like there's 1/4" of gap there around your crank.
There is a gap but that should be ok. The timing gear has a protrusion that slots into that area so the seal is actually surrounding the timing gear.

I don't know if it's just the lighting, but are all those marks on it from when you were tapping it in? I can't find a picture with the timing gear off but in this one from a few months ago you can see the top of the new seal and it doesn't have any marks on it. I remember it being smooth. Kinda sounds like the seal got damaged during installation :( I picked up a giant wheel nut socket to tap mine in, I brought the seal with me to the parts store and found one that matched, I can post the size later tonight when I get home. I finished it off using the backside of a socket around the edges pressed up against the rear timing cover to get make sure it was flush. For the bottom left I believe I gently tapped it using a socket extension. Light taps, the grease did most of the work, it should go in pretty easy.

261439
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
There is a gap but that should be ok. The timing gear has a protrusion that slots into that area so the seal is actually surrounding the timing gear.

I don't know if it's just the lighting, but are all those marks on it from when you were tapping it in? I can't find a picture with the timing gear off but in this one from a few months ago you can see the top of the new seal and it doesn't have any marks on it. I remember it being smooth. Kinda sounds like the seal got damaged during installation :( I picked up a giant wheel nut socket to tap mine in, I brought the seal with me to the parts store and found one that matched, I can post the size later tonight when I get home. I finished it off using the backside of a socket around the edges pressed up against the rear timing cover to get make sure it was flush. For the bottom left I believe I gently tapped it using a socket extension. Light taps, the grease did most of the work, it should go in pretty easy.

View attachment 261439
Yeah those marks are from me tapping in :/ probably not the smartest idea, I recently removed the seal and ordered another one, so I'll properly install this one correctly without damaging it.

Thank you for clearing up my question about the gap, I've been told that the seal has to sit on the crankshaft, but I also noticed the crank gear has that protrusion that you're talking about. Hopefully I just installed the seal in incorrectly.
 

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Master Shit Fixer
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Ideally, don't tap the new seal in. Press it in, using the crank bolt and a spacer that matches the diameter of the seal. I used a PVC coupler from Lowes as a spacer (on my 2JZ). It'll go in perfectly straight, and you don't risk knocking one of the circumference springs out.
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
The seal rides on the timing belt pulley not the crank. Are you 100% sure the leak is there and not higher up like at the cam pulleys?
Okay thank you for confirming! But I changed my cam seals, they were completely dry, but I changed them anyways. Valve cover gaskets were recently changed so there's no leak there.

To be completely honest, I don't know where exactly the leak is coming from, but as seen in the video, I've just been assuming it's coming from the front main seal.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Ideally, don't tap the new seal in. Press it in, using the crank bolt and a spacer that matches the diameter of the seal. I used a PVC coupler from Lowes as a spacer (on my 2JZ). It'll go in perfectly straight, and you don't risk knocking one of the circumference springs out.
Yes I'll definitely go by Lowes or Home Depot to get myself a PVC pipe that fits the seal
 

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90T
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Also check the gap between the head and the block. One thing I've always wondered is why oil does not weep through the crank to belt pulley gap. You might want to put some uv die in the oil and go hunting if you are not sure of the source.
 

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Also, this is a pain in the ass, but when you put the new-new FMS in, reassemble everything without any of the timing belt covers in place, so if it leaks, you can see where it's coming from. If there's no leak, then you just have to pull the crank pulley one more time and put the covers on.
 

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Also check the gap between the head and the block. One thing I've always wondered is why oil does not weep through the crank to belt pulley gap. You might want to put some uv die in the oil and go hunting if you are not sure of the source.
3p, I know this is a common thing in the machining world with magnaflux and we sell a few different colored fluid dyes at my work, but I've never used this method myself. What sort of light would be needed to detect the source of the leak? I'm guessing a black light, but I honestly have no idea.

Also, would this just show up as a bright colored spot on the engine where it is leaking?

Also, this is a pain in the ass, but when you put the new-new FMS in, reassemble everything without any of the timing belt covers in place, so if it leaks, you can see where it's coming from. If there's no leak, then you just have to pull the crank pulley one more time and put the covers on.
Great advice! I did a timing belt change on a Miata last year and screwed up a minor detail, put the crank sensor trigger wheel on backwards (pretty common mistake it seems), and so the engine wouldn't start. So I had to take it alllll back apart again. Only assemble what has to be assembled in order to test fire an engine. If it works like it's supposed to, THEN do all the cosmetic stuff. ;)
 

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90T
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A standard UV pen as used for HVAC leak detection works fine. This one is $13 on amazon.

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and use it with a multipurpose dye like this

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