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William H

1985 CJ7 Clutch, Flywheel, and Rear Main Seal Replacement

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Moses,

I am starting the Clutch, Flywheel, and Rear Main Oil Seal replacement. Hope some of the following pictures and procedures will be helpful to others.

Crank Sensor Gap

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Bell Housing, Clutch, Flywheel, and Oil Pan removed.

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William

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This should be helpful to many, William...Can't think of any AMC/Jeep 232, 258/4.2L or 4.0L engine that does not eventually develop a rear main seal leak!  Thanks for providing your stellar photos.  The fact that you're doing this "in-chassis" will encourage others...

Moses

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Moses,

Moving forward. Removed the Rear Main Bearing Cap, exposing the ends of the upper half of the Rear Main Oil Seal.

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Rear Main Bearing Cap first removed.

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Bearing Cap cleaned up.

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Careful not to contact any of the metal surfaces, I used a pin punch to drive out the Upper Seal Half.

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At this point, the Seal can be grabbed with Long Nose Pliers and pulled around in a circle around the Crank until free.

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Seal Removed.

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Applied dish soap to the new Seal Upper Half.

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Using the supplied little plastic Shoe Horn work the new seal in, going in the same direction as the old Seal was removed.

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New Seal Installed.

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With the Lower Seal Half placed in the Bearing Cap and a small amount of RTV applied to the ends of the seal, the Bearing Cap is ready for installation.

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The Bearing Cap is torqued to 40 then 60 and finally 80 Ft/Lbs. All other Bearing Caps are checked for at least 80 Ft/Lbs torque.

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Fel-Pro gasket kit came with "snap-ups" which make the task of holding up the gasket and oil pan during bolt installation much easier.

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All the bolts were wire brushed cleaned, all the holes were thread chased. The 1/4" bolts were torqued to 85 In/Lbs and the 5/16" bolts were torqued to 115 In/Lbs with Loctite 242 on the threads.

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William

 

 

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Good info! I did a rear main seal on my very first Jeep, a 1997 XJ Sport that had all of 27,000 miles on it.  I did the same job on the 4.0 in the CJ last fall.  I still have a seeping leak coming from somewhere above the end of the crank shaft.  I think it's time to replace the valve cover gasket, as I think the oil may be running down the back of the block.

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Thanks 60 Bubba,

My first Rear Main Seal. No "engine" expert by any means, my strong suit involves those pesky electrons. Starting to get anxious to feel this rig moving again. "Life" will be take up a lot of time for the next week or so. Hoping to see some project closure in two or three weeks. Thanks for everybody's support, together we are greater than our sum individually.

William

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William...Your photos are great.  I have some comments.  I've quoted your photo set below, you'll see my comments in red...

2 hours ago, William H said:

Moses,

Moving forward. Removed the Rear Main Bearing Cap, exposing the ends of the upper half of the Rear Main Oil Seal.

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Rear Main Bearing Cap first removed.  The crank (main) journal looks good, these are stout cranks with seven main bearing support...

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Bearing Cap cleaned up.  I have built many engines to blueprint standards...From reading the main bearing half-shell, I would bet this journal is round.  The bearing half-shell still has life, there's slight embedded material, not enough to be concerned.  I use Hastings and Wix (Mopar and NAPA Gold) oil filters as a safeguard.

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Careful not to contact any of the metal surfaces, I used a pin punch to drive out the Upper Seal Half.  With care as you demonstrate, this and the next image are sound practice, you grab the exposed main seal half carefully with a pliers and rotate the half-seal out by turning the crankshaft in the direction the seal moves...

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At this point, the Seal can be grabbed with Long Nose Pliers and pulled around in a circle around the Crank until free.

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Seal Removed.  Nice!!!

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Applied dish soap to the new Seal Upper Half.  We both use Dawn, lots of lubricity here!  Ivory Liquid works, too...Wipe away excess soap once in place.

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Using the supplied little plastic Shoe Horn work the new seal in, going in the same direction as the old Seal was removed.  The unseen shoe helps guide the seal into the groove without damaging the edges.  Do not force the seal, as that will scrape rubber from the seal's outer edge or sides.

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New Seal Installed.  Nice...Note that the soap was the only substance that William applied.  Most seal manufacturers state clearly where to use sealant and where not to use sealant.  The groove is completely clean, and the new seal will seat.  Read instructions carefully...To protect the seal lip while sliding the seal half into the block, a film of clean engine oil on the crankshaft journal will help.

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With the Lower Seal Half placed in the Bearing Cap and a small amount of RTV applied to the ends of the seal, the Bearing Cap is ready for installation.  Apply sealant as recommended by the seal manufacturer or a factory service manual that covers your engine.  FelPro and others usually provide instructions and details about whether or not to use sealants...Many seal manufacturers want the seal joining points to mate without sealant.  RTV, if not compressed immediately while still pliant, can create a small gap at the seal joining points...The RTV at the outer steps of the seal is important and will seal the edges and the cap-to-block properly.  (William uses just the right amount of sealant there.)  The only place I would add sealant is at the chamfered edges of the main cap where the cap seats into the block.  A slight fillet bead of RTV would be sufficient.  Appropriately, William avoids putting sealant between the cap and block at the bolt hole flats; sealant on these flats can prevent the cap and block from mating flush...Avoid too much sealant or misplaced sealant...William's main seal replacement will seal properly and last a long, long time!

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The Bearing Cap is torqued to 40 then 60 and finally 80 Ft/Lbs. All other Bearing Caps are checked for at least 80 Ft/Lbs torque.  I like your emphasis on step stages when setting torque.  Uniform tightening and no risk of distorting the cap or bearing shell!

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Fel-Pro gasket kit came with "snap-ups" which make the task of holding up the gasket and oil pan during bolt installation much easier.  So helpful when the engine is in the chassis and upside down!!!  I've been a FelPro gasket fan for decades...This is one reason why.

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All the bolts were wire brushed cleaned, all the holes were thread chased. The 1/4" bolts were torqued to 85 In/Lbs and the 5/16" bolts were torqued to 115 In/Lbs with Loctite 242 on the threads.  What useful tools, these snap ups!  Should inspire some of our Jeep forum members to get rid of nasty main seal leaks.  Great that a Jeep CJ allows room to drop the oil pan with the engine in the chassis.  

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William

This is a textbook main seal installation that solved a nuisance leak.  The crank and bearings look good; this 4.2L will deliver a lot more service.  These oil pumps, if in good shape, put out high volume in stock form.  On a lesser engine, I might install a new pump and screen when replacing the main seal.  If pressure is normal, this 4.2L oil pump can wait until the next engine rebuild.

Thanks for sharing and taking time out to photograph while doing this job.  Very generous, William...

Moses

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Thanks Moses for your kind review of my work.

Back on the job today. Still a little under the weather.

Four Time-Serts  installed in the Bell Housing, repairing the stripped threads.

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The old Pilot Bushing was in pretty fair shape, but the first attempt to remove the Bushing with a slide hammer failed miserably. Not only the Bushing did not budge, the puller insert broke. Now with the old Bushing surface damaged, no question it has to come out.

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The second attempt included the hydraulic grease method. Carefully ground 0.021" off a Brass Drift, allowing it to fit into the Bushing. Packed the Bushing with grease, drove the Drift into the Bushing and it popped right out. 

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William

 

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I had the exact same problem last weekend!  I posted about my somewhat less elegant hammer and cold chisel method, and Moses detailed this grease and driver method.  I know what I will do if I ever have to pull out the current pilot bushing!

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New Flywheel and Pilot Bushing installed. New 12 point bolts progressively torqued to 105 Ft/Lbs with Loctite 242.

Even a blind squirrel finds a acorn occasionally. Had this piece of heavy angle iron in my junk pile. Already had two 5/16" holes that aligned perfectly with the Pressure Plate Holes. The angle iron was the perfect length to rest against the frame in order to keep the Flywheel from turning. Even remembered to install the shield first.

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Cleaned the Flywheel and Pressure Plate friction surfaces with brake cleaner and installed a new Centerforce II clutch system. Tightened the bolts evenly until seated. Then torqued to 40 Ft/Lbs with Loctite 242.

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William

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Moses,

Got the Bell Housing installed. I am using the complete CenterForce clutch system including Release Bearing. The Bell Housing has a new Fork Boot and OE type external spring.

There seems to be enough binding action in the new Fork Boot not allowing the springs to pull the Release Bearing completely away from the Pressure Plate Fingers. The pressure against the fingers is small as I can easily rotate the Release Bearing by hand. Due to the stiffness of the new Boot, it takes quite a bit of force on the outside end of the Fork to get the Release Bearing completely away from the Pressure Plate. Is this something that will work itself out with use or does it need immediate attention?

You can also see the new HyTorque gear drive Starter in the background.

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William

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Hi, William...The new starter motor is way cool, a major improvement over the OEM Motorcraft type that enjoys arc'ing/welding the starter engagement arm in the engaged position and frying the high amp starter cable lead from the solenoid...Had that one happen out of the blue on our 1987 Grand Wagoneer's 360 V-8 years ago;  Fords do it, too.  The solenoids can also stick but that is extremely rare and more often an ignition switch voltage leak to the solenoid's lower amp activation pole.

I'd err on the side of caution with that boot issue and the release arm.  Arguably, the hydraulic clutch linkage systems rely on strictly centrifugal force to push the release bearing away from the clutch cover fingers.  You have mechanical linkage, though, and the release arm's internal and external springs "should" be sufficient to pull the arm back and separate the release bearing from the clutch cover fingers.  

With the clutch pedal and bellcrank linkage disconnected at the release arm end, does the arm still not retract completely?  You do have the inner release arm spring, which begs the question:  Is that spring losing tension and not aiding the arm return?  Odd that the boot would have enough resistance to overcome both release arm springs.  

The rest of your parts appear in order, the release bearing looks good.  Is the release bearing collar the same depth as the OE?  It's not too long?

Is the pedal return spring under the dash pulling the pedal up completely and under tension?  This could impact your release arm's release...

Moses

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Much closer inspection of the release bearing, indicated that everything is normal. Without the transmission retaining collar in place, the self centering springs was forcing the bearing to twist, allowing one side to be in contact with the pressure plate fingers. I can take my hand and rock the bearing back and forth, proving that when centered, it will be clear of the pressure plate. I must be starting to get weary of this project.

In order to minimize any damage to the rear seal, stood up the Transfer Case and lowered the Transmission straight down. Had my better half steady the unit until I could tighten the bolts.

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Before and After Pictures.

Almost ready for install.

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Will be a little tricky procedure to install the shifter linkages for this old man. Due to clearance issues, the shifter main pivot bolt cannot be installed before moving the unit under the Jeep or after the unit is fully seated in the Bell Housing.  Hard enough to assemble the shifters, spacers, and washers on the bench. There has to be a better way!

William

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William...I had the better way with a 9000# Forward asymmetrical hoist and a high lift transmission jack to reach the vehicle on the lift.  That was then...Now I'm in your boat.  So how's the water today?  Oars in the water? 

I like your Pittsburgh/HF transmission jack.  Looks stable with its wide base and 800# capacity.  I'm not concerned about your getting pinned to the floor.  I have a pair of 4K pound Pittsburgh floor jacks and many Pittsburgh fill-in tools.  I like the impact sockets, haven't broken one yet.

Your significant other is a very good sport, willing to balance an iron transfer case?  You must be doing something right...

The assembly looks fantastic, I'm sure it will perform equally well.  The way you've gone about this, it should be the last R&R of the transmission/transfer case.  The Centerforce II clutch will last equally long with good care and a rare, periodic adjustment.  You can actually look forward to a spring/summer of trouble-free, leak free wheeling!

Moses

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Moses,

The Transmission and Transfer Case installed and ready to install the Cross Member.

Thus is a ROBUST Low Profile custom unit by JC Fab.

It has 16 point frame attachment that fits like a glove.

Also provides frame anchor points for the Rear Traction Bar and Clutch Linkage.

Top Side View

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Bottom View

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Custom JC Fab Skid Plate, complete with previous owner "Rock Rash".

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JC Fab Logo.

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William

 

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Moses,

Wednesday was "Shake Down" run. Right off the bat, was a loud noise that turned out to be the Flywheel Bolts rubbing the lower shield plate. A little bending took care of that.

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The first 50 mile highway spin had the Rear Main and Oil Pan high and dry and the clutch system working properly. No other noises or vibrations.

Hope the information and procedures contained here will be of benefit to others.

A special thanks to Moses for looking over my shoulder!

William

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