I I'm doing this job this wekend and just wondering if anybody has any advice?
I had to skip the Paragon trip as I don't know when I get another chance to get to it and it leaks worse everyday. I think that sand in pine barrens from the last trip finally killed it after 132k.
Usually, the front oil seal (which mounts on the crankshaft) starts leaking because a ring has been worn into the shaft material itself. Preventing the rubber of the seal from making contact with the shaft. In order to prevent further leaks, there is a collar you can buy and install on the shaft to increase the OD of the shaft to allow it to seal again. Of course, when you take the seal off in order to install the collar, you have to install a new seal too.
Black 1996 5.2L ZJ Limited
Well, I finally finished this.
I didn't replace a timing chain as I was originally going to. I did some research and decided to leave it for now as it can do more bad than good and does its job perfectly good for now. All I did was the front crankshaft seal replacement.
It leaked pretty bad and my steering and front axle were covered in dusty oil stains.
Below are some pics if anybody needs some info on how to do it.
The good thing about this install is that you don't have to remove radiator as I was told. All you need: 13mm socket, 1 1/4 wrench, bolt-on harmonic balancer puller (AutoZone $15 to rent) 2 flat screw drivers, hammer, new front seal (I got a set, seal+repair sleeve for balancer, at a local auto store for $30. Don't try AutoZone, Advanvceautoparts, etc as they don't even have those parts in their system), rtv sealant and bunch of rags.
First, remove a serpentine belt and using 13mm socket remove 6 crankshaft pulley bolts.
Using 1 ¼ wrench remove the big harmonic balancer bolt. I use large screwdriver in one of the balancer holes to keep it from turning. You can remove the starter and have somebody to jam a screwdriver against the ring gear teeth. I didn’t do it cuz I was by myself. Besides I didn’t feel like taking the starter off. to be continued....
Remove the harmonic balancer with the puller and a ratchet.
Let me tell you, that thing works like a charm.
I used 2 flat screwdrivers to remove old seal. You need to be careful not to nick the crankshaft and the timing chain cover bore. I punched holes in the side of the seal and just pulled it with 2 screwdrivers.
Clean the bore to remove any junk from old seal. Brake cleaner does wonders here. Just spray it on a rag vs. spraying the bore as you don’t wont that stuff on the timing chain. Inspect the surface of the harmonic balancer where seal sits on. If there is a groove from seal touching it install the repair sleeve supplied with the seal kit. Mine didn’t have any groove so I didn’t have to do that. But old seal definitely looked basted (rubber ring was worn down pretty good)
It is a good idea to check the actual balancer itself for cracks damage etc. Here are some issues that can be caused by bad balancer I found on the net:
• A leaking front main seal
• Visible deterioration of the rubber between the balancer hub and outer ring.
• Visible cracking or warping of the balancer hub or outer ring.
• Excessive engine vibration.
• Slipping, squealing drive belts, belt damage, accelerated belt wear or frequent belt replacement.
• A highly polished spot on pulley grooves (warped balancer).
• Elongation of the balancer keyway or wear on the balancer hub/crankshaft.
• Alternator, power steering pump, air conditioner or water pump failure.
• Engines that do not run properly when adjusting the timing, or poor performance and irregular idle
. I didn’t have a seal installer so I found 2” plumbing coupling that worked perfect with balancer’s large bolt.
to be continued...
You probably could use 2 ½” socket to do above but I didn’t have it. I used some rtv on the outer edge of the seal [ Seal goes in about ¼”.
I also put some rtv sealant in the keyway of the balancer just to be on a safe side and prevent oil from seeping in case key is not perfect. Now just install the balancer, pulley, put the belt back and you good to go.
No more oil stains on the steering and the front axle. It took me about 2 hour and I took my time taking pics and inspecting other things under there. If you have any questions let me know.
Zag: great write-up. Thanks for sharing that. It’s the people that take the extra step, that really give others encouragement to tackle something that; on their own. I know for myself it’s sometimes hard to take several breaks to clean your hands and snap a few photos. Especially when you simply just want to get the job done.
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