rear rope seal is torn time after time

ron linnewiel

Gear Grinder
Apr 5, 2021
15
Yavne, Israel
First Name
ron
Willys Model
  1. Jeepster
Willys Year:
  1. 1951
i have a Jeepster with L6-161 motor.
we replaced now the rear rope seal for the 3rd time. after a very short drive the oil leak starts again and when dismenteling the motor we find that the rope is completly torn.
i buy the seals from Kaiser Willys and follow exactly the assembly instructions as per the attached instruction churt by the suppliers and different videos of experts showing how it should be done.
i replaced also the main bearings (to -30) including regrinding of the crank as i suspected that maybe the crank is dancing
any ideas what i am missing.
 

tnestell

Precision Fit
Jun 13, 2010
760
Saginaw, Michigan
First Name
Ted
Willys Model
  1. Pickup
Willys Year:
  1. 1954
Check the seal running surface on the crank. If it is rough at all, it can damage the seal.
I found that out after about 5 years after the machine shop had rebuilt my motor. I had changed the neoprene seal at least 3 times before finding a nick in the crank surface. Even tried a rope seal and that didn't last a couple miles. The shop caused a lot of problems. I saw them trying to put in a neoprene seals in the rope filler block. I provided a used neoprene filler block and when I picked up the engine was told that since it was a used block they would not stand behind the real seal installation.
 

ron linnewiel

Gear Grinder
Apr 5, 2021
15
Yavne, Israel
First Name
ron
Willys Model
  1. Jeepster
Willys Year:
  1. 1951
some more information about the problem: Maybe the following information will help to solve the mystery, it is the second time that only the lower part of the seal is shredded, the upper half (the one in the motor block) is not damaged. I do not remember what happened in the first time I replaced the seal.

and do you think that if i re-grind the relevant area, till it is completly smooth,on the crank, which will obviously reduce the diameter, it will still work?
 

Greaser007

Precision Fit
Mar 1, 2019
814
Anderson, California
First Name
Leonard
Willys Model
  1. CJ
Willys Year:
  1. 1946
What a brain-drain right !!
I have thought about these seal issues.
I remember the old mechs tapping the ends of the rope seal down flush with the bearing cap after trimming excess. Maybe then when the cap is installed and torqued the squish of the rope pushes itself into the slight depression from tapping. I don't think it would hurt a thing to remove the rear cap after install to inspect and make sure some rope isn't where it should not be, and if ok, then lightly bunch the rope seal and re-install.

A co-worker had a heck of a time with rear seals leaking on his Ford M series engine. I had no answers for him.
 

Seabee

Well Oiled
All-Star
Dec 23, 2014
1,347
Mulkeytown, IL
First Name
Joe
Willys Model
  1. Wagon
Willys Year:
  1. 1952
If that seal running surface is smooth, then I'm not sure what is going on. The only other condition that comes to mind is that the seal is not fitted properly, resulting in too much friction with the crank. You do lube the seal before you put the main cap on, right? Vintage Don I think did up a pretty neat little video on properly fitting a rope seal in a 134. Same processes/concept applies to the 226. It has been a while, but I recall soaking the rope in oil before final install?
Good luck Brother
 

Lookout Ranch

Well Oiled
All-Star
May 9, 2015
6,588
Sierra Foothills
First Name
Kurt
Willys Model
  1. Wagon
Willys Year:
  1. 1957
some more information about the problem: Maybe the following information will help to solve the mystery, it is the second time that only the lower part of the seal is shredded, the upper half (the one in the motor block) is not damaged. I do not remember what happened in the first time I replaced the seal.

and do you think that if i re-grind the relevant area, till it is completly smooth,on the crank, which will obviously reduce the diameter, it will still work?
If the portion of the seal in the block remains undamaged, it suggests the problem is probably not a rough crank surface. Theoretically, that would do equal damage to both sides. To me it suggests a problem specific to the portion of the seal being damaged. Wish I could be more help, but I have no experience when rope seals or that motor. Keep us posted.
 

Rastus

Bigger Hammer
May 17, 2015
75
Queensland AU
First Name
John
Willys Model
  1. CJ
Willys Year:
  1. 1946
What others have indicated regarding condition of journal seal runs on & soaking in oil before fitting. The ends need to be not flush with the block or cap but a little bit proud but not enough to stop the cap & block becoming one when torqued down.
Also too much main bearing clearance will cause rear main seals to leak.

Not the same engine but how to fit these type seals properly.
 
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