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TR oil leaks - again

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TR oil leaks - again
#1
  This topic is about my 1956 Morgan Plus 4 (+4)
Malcmog Avatar
Malcmog Malcolm Skirrow
Vienna, Austria, Austria   AUT
To TR-engine owners with oil leaks: Presumably that is all of you.
My TR3 engine used to drip, but now I lose 50 - 100 ml after every journey, on to my garage floor, or wherever I stop. Mainly from the little hole under the bell housing.
And now the clutch is slipping, so its time to take action.
I have read every TR engine web site / forum entry on this matter. The general message seems to be that you just have to learn to live with it.
There doesn't seem to be a 'cure', but the best advice I can find is to fit a Revington TR rear crank oil seal.
There aren't any other recommendations, it seems.

https://www.revingtontr.com/product/rtr1026k/name/seal-kit-rear-crank-gaco-tr2-4a

Has anyone tried this? and if so - does it work?
Its not the crank breather - that seems to work fine.

Any advice would be really appreciated.
Thanks
Malcolm S

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tjw tim w
NorCal, USA   USA
Greetings... I would prefer the MadMarx seal kit which does not require machining the crankshaft. I've heard mixed reviews on all of the ones that do require machining. The original scroll seal, which does an OK job when all is in good nick, is left alone and a lip seal is added. It rides on the part of the crankshaft just back from the scroll seal. I have one on hand for when I do the engine in my 66 +4. Here's a link to the BPNW site that has a good description.


https://www.bpnorthwest.com/triumph/tr3-tr4-tr4a/engine-main-components/rear-seal-conversion-kit-uprated-tr3-to-tr4a.html

Tim(D.Y.M.)

DuncanCharlton Avatar
DuncanCharlton Duncan Charlton
Elgin, TX, USA   USA
1967 Morgan 4/4 "Toly's Car"
1967 Unknown Unknown
1971 Morgan Plus 8 (+8)
If you want to read of some more extensive experience with various rear seals, have a look through the archives of Friends of Triumph (FoT), a team.net discussion group (http://www.team.net/mharc/archives/html/fot/).

Joe Alexander (ARE is on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/alexanderracing97/) sells the Chris Marx viton seal in the USA and I think he rents out a tool to help center it during installation.



Duncan

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tjw tim w
NorCal, USA   USA
Greetings... A month or so ago I bought the last one Joe had. He didn't have any of the alignment tools at that time. Don't know if or when he will restock. Moss has the alignment tool and I think BPNW has the seals.

Tim(D.Y.M.)

Nogera Avatar
Nogera Bob Nogueira
Farmers Branch, TX, USA   USA
1962 Morgan Plus 4 (+4) "The Drophead Coupe"
1964 Morgan Plus 4 (+4) "Duchess"
Greg Solow sells a modified scroll. He machine the stock aluminum scroll to reduce the clearance between the crank scroll and the block scroll. Used one on my last rebuild and it worked better than the original or the one which requires machining off the crank scroll. The Racetoration one leaked so bad I had to frabricate a catch pan which I emptied weekly. I bought one when first introduced and the instructions were in error. The spec for machining the scroll off was greater than it should have been.
Check that you are not building up too much pressure in the crankcase. That’s a sure cause of a rear main oil leak.

SJM1 Jan Morgan
Thousand Oaks, CA, USA   USA
My own experience with accessory rear main seals on cars with the scroll slinger has not been promising.

So far, I have rebuilt 6 BMC A series engines with the scroll seal, which all had extreme oil leakage directly related to the accessory seal installation. One of the engines went back to the rebuilder several times for correction. The end result? "Well, they all leak" he said. "Its British", and this guy was a British engine "specialist".
In each case, the seal temporarily stopped the leakage until the seal area filled with oil, then the real leaking started, again.
These seal kits rely on a seal working on a surface that was never meant to be a sealing surface, in an area where the oil has a difficult time returning to the oil pan.
I don't mind the odd drop of oil on the garage floor, or the mist of oil around the bell housing. Perfectly acceptable on an engine with a 80 year design history. But when someone installs a seal, and the leakage gets worse, well... That's a scam. None of the guys who designed the seal ran the system long enough to verify its results. While I know of several guys who will sell you a kit, none of them that I know actually recommends them. What I heard from the seal guys was "it was a good idea at the time, and we sold a lot of them...".

The precision needed to properly center and create a proper sealing surface is not provided by the crank shaft without a lot of work, and this is work that nobody does. If you were to take the engine apart to fix the problem, well, you could fix the problem properly. Line bore the block and set the clearances. Forget the seal, as you won't need it.

The real fix is to correct the problem, not cover it up with a band-aid.

In each case, the leakage was fixed by blueprinting the engine block. Mainly, line boring the block and setting the rear clearance with the rear main cover and the scroll. Once the engine was rebuilt, there was no further leakage as the clearances were optimized. Note that this is especially important if the crank was turned.

All of the engines that had the seal were rebuilt with a seal installed, or had the seal installed to reduce oil leakage (no, it didn't work), and each leaked quarts of oil per 1000 miles. None had the proper block machine work done (line bore the main bearing caps, milling the deck (or setting the deck height) and truing up all the surfaces. Once these procedures were completed and the engines properly assembled and clearances corrected, there was no leakage problem.

Also, leakage was increased on older engines with excessive blow-by from worn bores or broken rings. Crank case overpressure is a serious problem on the older engines.

Fix the engine. Don't go through any machine work or take the thing out to put a rubber thingie over the crank shaft flange. And if you do, don't loose any of the parts you take off (in the case of the A series, the rear main cover) as you will need it to restore oil retention in your engine.

Maybe I am too harsh, but, well... 6 engines, in a single year. Oh, and none of them leak now, and at least one has more than 20,000 miles on it (and a 7200 RPM redline).

Button Avatar
Button Silver Member Bill B
Seattle, WA, USA   USA
I have the racestoration oil seal and it leaks. I was given the wrong spec for machining the crank. This is a TR4 engine. Removed the casting plug and installed the "dog leg" crankcase breather. It helped but still leaks a bit. If I was going to do anything. I would use the Greg Solow method. He has a lot of experience with TR engines.

Button

tjw tim w
NorCal, USA   USA
Greetings... The Christian Marx seal keeps the scroll seal intact-no machining- so it is reversable. It adds a lip seal on the flange just aft the scroll seal and ahead of the crankshaft flange to which the flywheel attaches. There is also a mandrel for centering the seal housing. It has been around for a while (10+ years) and all reviews have been positive.

Tim(D.Y.M.)

Bill Morris Avatar
Nor Cal, USA   USA
1971 MG MGB
Bill,

Have no experience with the Marx seal, but have used the split seal setup wherein the scroll is ground off. The setup has worked perfectly and has been on the motor for quite some time. Yes, there was an issue with the sizing (it all stemmed from the incorrect sizes from the factory alignment tool). Moss sells the seals for both the first size (smaller) and the second size as well. So, if you cut the crank for the early (smaller) diameter and try to use the later (more common) seal, you will get leaks. Talk to Moss and request the early size and you should be good to go.

Markin my spot in Norcal...
Bill

Button Avatar
Button Silver Member Bill B
Seattle, WA, USA   USA
Thanks I will keep Your suggestion in mind. However, it is not that bad at the moment, so I will ignore it for the moment.

Button

morganfabdemorest Don Simpkins
DEMOREST, GA, USA   USA
I cured this oil leak problem with a simple fix to what causes the problem on several engine rebuilds. The main cause is that the rear main is flooded with excess oil flowing thru a much too large hole in the bearing shells. Back in the 70's Monmouth Clevite bearings were available from NAPA with a much smaller oil hole. I would buy a set of these & use them on 3 engines, rear main only. Not sure where to find these bearings now, but need to find them since I am starting a rebuild on the TR-3 for my 1955 4 seater DHC
Don @ Morgan Fab Ind Demorest Ga.

tjw tim w
NorCal, USA   USA
Greetings... I've also heard of enlarging and/or adding to the drain hole in the bearing cap.

Tim(D.Y.M.)

tjw tim w
NorCal, USA   USA
Greetings... Here is a write up on the additional drains as well as using the modified crank seal. The Christian Marx seal kit doesn't require machining the crank so the scroll "seal" is still in use along with a lip seal.


http://www.macysgarage.com/myweb6/Rear_seals.htm

Tim(D.Y.M.)

DuncanCharlton Avatar
DuncanCharlton Duncan Charlton
Elgin, TX, USA   USA
1967 Morgan 4/4 "Toly's Car"
1967 Unknown Unknown
1971 Morgan Plus 8 (+8)
Don, did you ever happen to have measured that oil hole in the Monmouth Clevite bearings from NAPA? Maybe the oil feed hole in the block could be drilled, tapped and fitted with a threaded plug with the proper size oil feed hole drilled in it.

Duncan

Broadcaster Avatar
Broadcaster Silver Member Bob RA
Glendale, CA, USA   USA
I drive my car about 30 miles a week on average
it leaks oil and the floor is the evidence of that
Compared to my other cars (none British both Japanese) they never leak a drop but where the morgan is parked there is literally a pool every week when I am ready to take the car for a spin
So I clean it
point is no reservoir shows a significant (in most cases any) loss of oil

Engine oil stays the same (almost) in six months I have hardly but 1/2 pint in there
Gearbox oil is exactly where I left it when I replaced the old oil, and same for differential no dripping there. I can understand two spots of oil under front suspension (Oiler) but I have learned to live with this.
There are signs of oil on or around the engine and the bottom of the sump but not dripping ....a morgan mystery

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