Rear main seal - oops | Ford Explorer - Ford Ranger Forums - Serious Explorations

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Rear main seal - oops


Active Member
March 26, 2004
Reaction score
City, State
Bloomington, MN
Year, Model & Trim Level
96 XLT 4WD
Looking for any advice I can get on the absolute correct way to install the rear main seal. This will be my second attempt - argh.
Background: I had the engine out for a top end rebuild (4.0 OHV). Replaced the heads, valvetrain, cam, timing set, oil pump and all gaskets. It runs like a top now but I've noticed the dreaded drips at the back of the engine near the starter.
I used the Ford rear main seal with steel sleeve based on what I've read here. I used the OTC installer tool to set it in place.
I think my error was that I used the protector insert on the installer tool which is only supposed to be used for seals without the steel sleeve. So it didn't seat as far in as it should have - does this make sense?
So now I'm faced with pulling the tranny and doing it again and want to be darn sure I do it right this time.
Any advice? And do the Ford rear main seals with the steel sleeve get put in dry or oiled? I oiled mine, maybe another error.
I'm assuming right now that I want to pull the one that's in there and start over with a new one, rather than trying to just push the current one in further.
Thanks in advance - I know this is a simple job, just want to get it right because the price of getting it wrong is so high...