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FITTING CAMSHAFT SEALS....HELP - Engine/Ancilliaries - The Lotus Forums Jump to content
giorgio67

FITTING CAMSHAFT SEALS....HELP

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Hi gents,

I'm being mad trying to fit the camshaft oil seals....I have just ruined one.

I've tryed everything, socket, tube, mallet, extractor but nothing, my new seals are very tight on the cams, no probs inserting them in the cam housing.

There is a trick to do it?

I have found this: http://www.lotusmarques.com/tool-shop/38-tools-for-hire/345-esprit-camshaft-oil-seal-extractor

any feedback? it could be rent so I'm thinking about.

Please, Andy, John (Molemot) Hilly and all the others expert give me a tip, I'm assembling my engine and I would start to shim my head on the bench so I need to install the cams as soon as possible.

Thanks guys

Giorgio

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I've never had to resort to anything beyond sockets/ tubing. If you have the cam carrier orientated vertically and a long enough piece of tube you can keep that vertical and so you're fine, then when you get closer you can rely on comparing the seal face with the level of the ali face.

 

I'd have thought you could have a piece of steel machined for the £5 + postage each way + VAT.

You can determine the measurements yourself easily, internal diameter has to be at least that of the external diameter of the cam, ideally you not too much larger (1 1/4 inches?)

Externally diameter has to be a fraction smaller than the external diameter of the seal/ internal diameter of the hole in the cam carrier (1 3/4?).

Internal depth is the difference between the end of the cam once fitted and the face of the carrier.

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Smear a bit of oil around the seal then make sure it sits absolutely square on the housing and then place a piece of wood across the top and give it a few bashes with a hammer. It takes a bit of effort but you just need to make the seal does not go in at an angle. 

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No trick - bog standard fitting.   Sounds to me that the seals are wrong.  Have you compared them to the old ones?   

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Thanks for the replies  guys,

I was thinking about wrong seals, compared to the old ones they are really tight inside but.....

problem solved with a socket used as a centering guide and it slip on by fingers....great!!

By the way, any reference for the seal code by Gaco or similar?

I would try to find one here instead of ordering one from SJ or Garry Kemp.

Giorgio

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Hi Giorgio,

Funny I was fitting oil seals to my cam carriers today as part of my S4s engine rebuild. I have a head gasket set from Gary Kemp and fitted the Inlet seal no problem, a bit of oil and a large socket. But when I was fitting the oil seal to the exhaust side, I used a seal which was part of a kit I bought off ebay. Had some trouble in getting the seal over the cam and when installed, it was hard to rotate the cam. I've remove this seal now and will compare sizes with Gary's seal and the one from ebay. The seal from ebay is way too small to fit properly over the cam.

Cheers

DAve

I

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I came to this too late to help!! Glad you have it sorted, Giorgio. Now you can amuse yourself with the box of shims....!!

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Hi Dave,

can you please take the measures of the ebay seal, in-out diameter, as I can compare mine?

I have fitted one, bought on ebay but the cam is very difficoult to rotate with a wrench key, I have no any reference about how much the cam must be free to rotate with a new seal, the old seal is very worn and large about the cam.

Thanks

Giorgio

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Hi Girogio,

The reason I fitted two different types of seals is that I'm rebuilding my engine at my brother in laws garage and this is where I install Gary Kemp's seal to the inlet side. I had the exhaust cam housing back at my house with the ebay seals in my own garage.

The measurements on the ebay seal are: ID = 1.375" OD = 2.250" Width = 0.375".

I will get the "Gary Kemp" seal measurements and post them up here later today.

Cheers

Dave

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Hi Dave,

my ebay seals have the same measure as yours...so I think they came form the same seller....

I have ordered a pair from Garry but I'm interested to know the size of the correct ones.

Thanks

Giorgio

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Thanks Dave,

in fact the Ebay version are too tight and the camshaft does not rotate free.

Giorgio

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I had the same issue with some from eBay, a seller who has a surname closely associated with Lotus history and an ID associated with a band of tobacco that used to sponsor the team (that should be enough to confirm it's the same person). At the time (2 years ago) he said the supplier had mistakenly supplied the incorrect ones, so maybe the same has happened and he still doesn't fully check what he's received.

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Good infos Andy thanks but I would not buy anymore on ebay  non original parts....

Giorgio

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Same here after that, at the time it was for ease, I'd not got anything else to get form SJ or Mike, I had time away form work so it would have meant two trips to a bearing & seal retailer (one to get them to order one to collect and pay) so a simple eBay purchase seemed best. Now I'd either do an SJ/ Lotusbits order or call a bearing & seal place and ask them to order in a few of the specified size.

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Resurrecting this thread for some fitting advice, please.

can the seals be replaced without removing the cam towers? Lump is out awaiting belt fitment ( crank seals and thrust bearing already done), but I don't want to have to muck about with the cam towers, as nothing seems wrong, and the bucket clearances are fine.

thinking about the cam seals as the engine hast run in 20 years...

TIA

dave

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On an Esprit it is going to be very awkward, as you need to tap them in using a suitable drift, you need space to swing whatever hitting device. On the front-engined versions (Elite/ Eclat/ Excel) it's possible but awkward as you have to get a decent line for the hitting device, I fear Esprit is going to be asking for trouble. Perhaps best to leave alone unless there's signs of oil leak.

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Not quite with you Andy,? 

I can remove the cam pulleys too ( obviously) but can't see what would get in the way of any sort of drift once that's done ( engines on a stand currently, belts off)

image.jpeg

I'm presuming they go in from the outside, but may well be wrong..book with the car 300 miles away.

ps, any mods looking in, I couldn't edit the above post for some reason...

Ahh, so it merges automatically...sorted?

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Ah, you have the engine out, I was thinking you planned to work in the 50mm space to the bulkhead. In which case, cam towers in place is fine, they are then just on a nice big engine stand.

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Is it possible to replace the front camshaft seal without removing the engine from the car? i.e by removing the cam housing only?

I'm asking because I have a leak from one of my front camshaft seals and from my rear crankshaft seal. I'll have to remove the gearbox to do the rear crank seal but I'm trying to avoid a full engine out situation to do the cam seal unless it's totally unavoidable!

 

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As per my response of last month (where I'd incorrectly assumed that Dave had the engine in the car), it's really awkward even by Lotus levels of "easy". You could "Just" remove the belt and then the cam tower.

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Hmm... I think my valve clearances probably need adjusting anyway. Do you think this is a 'combo' job that I'd be best to get one of the specialists to do?

Then I can focus on just doing the rear crank seal and save some labour cost there.

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Valve clearances can be a DIY job but if you don't have access to a micrometer, set of shims and feeler gauges, then yes best to get somebody to do those and "while it's off please replace the seal".

 

I find shims a therapeutic job, just zone out from everything else and focus on the torque for the bolts, measuring and a little maths. At the end of it, everything looks the same but you know it's much better. 

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Sounds like fun!

Sorry for the numpty question but are the valve clearances done with the cam housing off the car?

If that's the case I think it definitely makes sense to get a specialist to do it all at the same time. Unless you fancy a day out on Chichester..? :D

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Yes, off the car then on, then off, then......

 

The shims are on top of the valve stems/ springs with the buckets on top of those, so the only access is to remove the cam tower and invert. 

Measure and record current clearance. Remove tower (carefully, with shims ideally held by magnets) then measure and record each shim. Calculate replacement shim required. Refit tower, re-measure and repeat process if not within desired range. Then finally, when all are within range, remove tower, apply sealant and refit.

 

There may well be other owners nearby who can assist and probably several who'd be interested to see it done, or may be just learn new words that are uttered the third time a couple of shims drop and get mixed up. I would offer to help but given my current physical state it's difficult to bear weight only via crutches and achieve anything.

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