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The previous owner of my car ('87) replaced the clutch because he needed to replace the rear main seal. I am getting a good deal of oil dripping from the bell housing. I thought that it was the seal haveing failed or not properly installed. Someone mentioned "cigarette seals" might be a possibility, Where are these located and are they a big project?
 

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Unfortunately replacing the cigarette seals is a big deal. There are 2, one on each side of the rear main bearing cap. And they are the depth of the cap, which is deeply inserted into the block.

There is a special tool for insering these seals into their positions. Without this tool is is close to impossible to install these seals successfully. If you drop the transmission and remove the clutch assembly/flywheel, you can replace the rear main seal and the cigarette seals with difficulty. In the long run Richard's statement of engine out is the best way to go. Unless you can find some thread for installing the cigarette seals without the special tool, I would advise you to try to locate one and rent or borrow it to do your seals replacement job. Especailly if you want some degree of insurance that your repair will be successful in the long run. And it is too much work to attempt to short cut a good result by taking a short cut on installing the cigarette seals. Sorry for the bad news, but the facts are the facts.
 

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The problem might be the circular main seal. You cannot rule it out simply because someone replaced it. But it is also best to replace it with the engine out as it is not easy to push it in without damaging it from underneath the car. Some replacement seals are junk and will soon leak even if they are installed correctly. There have been discussions about this and you should be able to find them using the search function.

You need to have the engine upside down to replace the cigarette seals. There are several ways to do it. I lube them with Permatex ultra grey and push the seals and the main cap down together. You can have the main seal in place as you install the cap then you do not risk damaging it by driving it in. Follow Alfar7's advice to put a blob of ultra grey on the end of the cigarette seal and drive the seal until you see Ultra grey ooze out from the crack between the cap and the block. That tells you that the seal is in all the way and it seals a possible leak path.
 

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I lube them with Permatex ultra grey and push the seals and the main cap down together. You can have the main seal in place as you install the cap then you do not risk damaging it by driving it in. Follow Alfar7's advice to put a blob of ultra grey on the end of the cigarette seal and drive the seal until you see Ultra grey ooze out from the crack between the cap and the block. That tells you that the seal is in all the way and it seals a possible leak path.
That technique has worked for me as well. I'm not sure what the special cigarette seal installation tool looks like.

But whether you use a special tool, or follow alfaparticle's method, replacing the cigarette seals is best done with the engine upside-down on a stand.

The problem is that it's tough to narrow down the source of a leak to the cigarette seals vs the main seal, when you remove the flywheel and find oil everywhere. Do you take the chance that the cigarette seals are working and just install a new main seal, or do both while you're in there?
 

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The previous owner of my car ('87) replaced the clutch because he needed to replace the rear main seal. I am getting a good deal of oil dripping from the bell housing. I thought that it was the seal haveing failed or not properly installed. Someone mentioned "cigarette seals" might be a possibility, Where are these located and are they a big project?
How do you determine if the leak is motor oil or transmission fluid? Aren't they very similar in appearance (if you're only looking at drips)?
 

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How do you determine if the leak is motor oil or transmission fluid? Aren't they very similar in appearance (if you're only looking at drips)?
If Tranny fluid was used, it smells.

By the description, I would also bet on the cigarette seals unfortunately.

Vin
 

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How do you determine if the leak is motor oil or transmission fluid? Aren't they very similar in appearance (if you're only looking at drips)?
The high tech way to do it is to add a UV dye to your engine OR transmission oil and shine a black light on the drips. See products like: http://www.autozone.com/test-scan-and-specialty-tools/uv-light-and-accessories

If Tranny fluid was used, it smells.
True, but I'd have a hard time advising Norseman50 to get down on his hands and knees, and sniff the oil drips on his driveway!
 

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I'd have a hard time advising Norseman50 to get down on his hands and knees, and sniff the oil drips on his driveway!
Ha ha ha. Good one Jay. The getting down on hands and knees is not the problem, I just don't trust my sniffer to tell me the difference between motor oil and tranny fluid, especially if the drips on the garage floor are a combination of both (with a bit of brake fluid and antifreeze tossed in for good measure).

I like your idea of the ultraviolet dye though. Good tip!

Thanks,
 

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Tranny oil does not smell, it stinks. Don't ever spill any in your car!
 

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I just don't trust my sniffer to tell me the difference between motor oil and tranny fluid, especially if the drips on the garage floor are a combination of both (with a bit of brake fluid and antifreeze tossed in for good measure).
Maybe when the DHS gets de-funded and its dogs trained to sniff explosives are put out of work, we can re-purpose them to sniff oil drips. One tail wag for engine oil, two for transmission oil, ...
 

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One thing that is important in regards to oil leaks is the Oil Vapor recovery canister. If it is plugged you will certainly get oil leaks. Make sure you have a free flowing vapor canister. It's like a stopped up PVC valve on American cars.
 

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On the subject of smelling fluids..... one should taste, not smell!
>:)

(just kidding)
 

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:wink2:We are going to get in trouble Robert....
 

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The putting a dab of u grey on the end of the cig seal is the key to them not leaking. I suspect many leaks blamed on the main seal were in fact cig seal end leaks. Redline gearbox oil is a non hypoid (no sulfur) lube so it doesn't smell like diff oil, (more like the old Dentax in the early Giulietta boxes) but it does have a distinctive odor whereas motor oil is not so much.
 

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The cigarette seals can be replaced in the car. But you really don't want to do it unless you have a lift and the factory special tool. The procedure is to remove the distributor and raise the car up. Drain the oil and remove the lower pan. Remove the oil pump. Undo the 2 bolts and 2 nuts that hold the motor mounts. Remove all the upper pan bolts. Keep them in order. Place a jack under the trans and raise it up until the trans hits the tunnel. Then slide and wiggle upper pan out from front. Proceed with the cigarette seal replacement. The one important thing to remember is Do Not Trim the Seals Flush with the block once there installed.

Someone at the alfa factory trim them in the mid to late 80's. There is a tech bulletin on this somewhere. Did I say how much I hated this job after doing a lot of them under warranty.

Also the only good rear seal to use are the corteco {brown ones}. Stay Away from the Orange ones. There guaranteed to pop out.
 

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This is the factory tool. It bolts on using the oil pan bolt holes. Which line the big holes up with the holes in the block. The tool squeezes the seal down smaller letting it go in easy.
 

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Richard Jemison
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Rear leaks

The putting a dab of u grey on the end of the cig seal is the key to them not leaking. I suspect many leaks blamed on the main seal were in fact cig seal end leaks. Redline gearbox oil is a non hypoid (no sulfur) lube so it doesn't smell like diff oil, (more like the old Dentax in the early Giulietta boxes) but it does have a distinctive odor whereas motor oil is not so much.
Exactly. The leaks are not so much a result of the cigarette seals but the area above and especially below!
If you cut them off ar the block a little ultra grey sealant solves that. As well as it says above Ultra grey on the end before driving end solves the leaking area at the bearing end.
I suggest using a big glob then when seal is in place clean out the excess before installing the rear main seal.
 
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