Rear main seal.. - Second Generation Forum

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Rear main seal..
Wednesday, May 30, 2012 9:32 PM
We have a base 89 cavalier with a 2.0L and auto transmission. It appears to have a rear main seal leak, probably from years of driving with a sticking TCC solenoid (made the car buck). How hard of a repair is this? Would the transmission have to be completely removed from the car, and how do-able is this for a backyard mechanic? Thanks.

Re: Rear main seal..
Thursday, May 31, 2012 7:58 PM
The only way to fix a rear main pretty much fwd or rwd rides is to drop out the transmission.It is doable by yourself but suggest having a good jack and if you have a cherry picker ( for lifting engines helps ALOT).You will have to support the engine at a good level point to alleviate the pressure from the trans.The half shafts or cv joints have to come out,disconnect anything mounted to the trans,cables,speedo,harness plugs.Now for pulling out the front hubs they have the star style bolts that requires a extended torx bit not sure on size but like a 40,50 size sold at auto zone for sure,they are like over two inches long and around 15.00 for a four piece set.These are required in order to yank the hub off.plus removing the strut at bottom(maybe on this) and tie rods(pickle fork).I am just trying to think of all the things required to do it.These trans can be man handled out and back in and OH the trans has to drop down from under the car so have it on jackstands ALL around for level factor so you have room.Done with my book and I might snap a pic of my extra 2.0 liter eng and trans extra to show you what it looks like out of a car and where the seal is.The seal part is easy it is just getting to it is the time and work to be done before hand.Ok done and yeah I have removed a engine and trans from a junkyard doing just this process and make sure you get the RIGHT size axle nut for the fronts it is BIG mine is a 30 mm and not cheap and also at auto zone or napa etc.Any more ?s just ask I am writing and just sumd up some things but not every single step.



Re: Rear main seal..
Thursday, May 31, 2012 8:48 PM
You can do it with everything in the car. Just have to pull both axles and slide everything apart enough so you can work. Just a little FYI, save yourself some money and do not remove the front suspension. It makes it easier but you will have to pay for alignment. You can pull the axles without doing it, it is tight but can be done. I have replaced several clutches in jbodies. If you can replace a clutch without pulling and engine. You can replace a rear main seal. These were all on V6s so there is even less room. Just have to take your time. Also get the ring to hit the seal in or find something the same size. It really isn't that hard to do though.




On the inside my car looks like a fighter jet.
Re: Rear main seal..
Thursday, May 31, 2012 9:31 PM
I would pull the engine, but I have access to a full shop.


- Your not-so-local, untrained, uncertified, backyard mechanic. But my @!#$ runs
Re: Rear main seal..
Saturday, June 02, 2012 8:11 PM
Ron Love wrote:

The only way to fix a rear main pretty much fwd or rwd rides is to drop out the transmission.It is doable by yourself but suggest having a good jack and if you have a cherry picker ( for lifting engines helps ALOT).You will have to support the engine at a good level point to alleviate the pressure from the trans.The half shafts or cv joints have to come out,disconnect anything mounted to the trans,cables,speedo,harness plugs.Now for pulling out the front hubs they have the star style bolts that requires a extended torx bit not sure on size but like a 40,50 size sold at auto zone for sure,they are like over two inches long and around 15.00 for a four piece set.These are required in order to yank the hub off.plus removing the strut at bottom(maybe on this) and tie rods(pickle fork).I am just trying to think of all the things required to do it.These trans can be man handled out and back in and OH the trans has to drop down from under the car so have it on jackstands ALL around for level factor so you have room.Done with my book and I might snap a pic of my extra 2.0 liter eng and trans extra to show you what it looks like out of a car and where the seal is.The seal part is easy it is just getting to it is the time and work to be done before hand.Ok done and yeah I have removed a engine and trans from a junkyard doing just this process and make sure you get the RIGHT size axle nut for the fronts it is BIG mine is a 30 mm and not cheap and also at auto zone or napa etc.Any more ?s just ask I am writing and just sumd up some things but not every single step.

I wrote that post late the other night, and should have been more specific... I am not worried about the suspension, hubs, wiring connections, etc. I am concerned about trans moving/removal, and how to support the engine. I've seen the engine supported in the junkyards with a couple of wood studs and chains/straps, but then again, the people doing these probably don't care if they wreck something other than what they are removing.

Forks and hub nuts are rentable from Autozone.

For car support I have two jack stands, and I don't want the car any higher than necessary. How much under-car clearance is necessary to remove the transmission? DO i need a special trans jack, or can I get by with a floor jack? How much weight am I looking at for trans removal?

Thanks
Re: Rear main seal..
Saturday, June 02, 2012 8:21 PM
Rob Dotterer wrote:

You can do it with everything in the car. Just have to pull both axles and slide everything apart enough so you can work. Just a little FYI, save yourself some money and do not remove the front suspension. It makes it easier but you will have to pay for alignment. You can pull the axles without doing it, it is tight but can be done. I have replaced several clutches in jbodies. If you can replace a clutch without pulling and engine. You can replace a rear main seal. These were all on V6s so there is even less room. Just have to take your time. Also get the ring to hit the seal in or find something the same size. It really isn't that hard to do though.

I have yet to remove axles on these, so I will have to look at what this involves. As stated in my reply to Ron Love, I don't know what is involved with moving and supporting the engine and transmission.

Sorry, no experience with clutches.

If I could get this job done, some steering/suspension work might be in order, so an alignment might not be a bad thing at some point.
Re: Rear main seal..
Monday, June 04, 2012 10:15 PM
Ok have some time to explain some simples.Support the engine from the top with a pipe or engine bar (these can be bought) or with car on stands support engine NOT on oil pan but a good area to keep engine steady and weight off on it.As for space I say at least one foot or more,struts DO not have to come loose at A frame or lower arm kind of like just doing a axle cv boot.I recommend removing the crossmember on the driver side going from the front support to the body support under the firewall for room( I did this on my junkyard job for both eng/trans) and easy to do.The engine support is done on the top from fender to fender a single bar with a chain or strap to keep the weight or strain off the engine to remove the trans.Harbor freight sales them low cost and will work.You will need the axle nut socket specific to your model yr not sure on size but MOST auto stores can check it on there computers for that.Get the torx bit set I said extended length like over two inches for bolts to hub as well.If you have access to a air compressor it will help on the axle nut (zips it off with ease) and REPLACE your AXLE NUTS these are considered a one time use and can be bought NEW from any auto store most of the time.The axle nuts are like nylon locking nuts 1 time use for proper tightness and torqued to proper lbs.Dirt cheap and a recommend.No lock tight required!!Running out of go power but hope this helps give you some ideas on what to expect and tools and or items needed.You might even want to replace the trans mount bc of age/wear bc it is rubber and is replaceable!!Ok



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