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Crankshaft oil splash guard

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My son started to assemble the 907 engine in his Elite today. One item which has provided us with a query is a missing item. The manual shows a "splash guard" which is located at the rear of the crank. When the engine was pulled down we did not notice that it was missing, only upon assembly did we note the missing item which is shown and mentioned in the manual.

We are not sure what it is meant to do. It does not rotate with the crank so cannot act as an "oil slinger". According to the picture in the manual it just sits there.

So, can somebody please shed some light on its function and whether or not the engine will leak like a sieve if one is not fitted.

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From memory, earlier 907 engines had a "rope" type crankshaft seal and the splash guard was fitted to prevent the seal being overwhelmed and leaking.

Later upgrades to the engine included replacing this seal with a spring loaded lip seal. So if you have the newer type oil seal, this guard is not required. 

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