GM Grand Am/Achieva/Calais/Skylark/Somerset 1985-98

Rear Main Seal

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REMOVAL & INSTALLATION



2.0L And 2.5L Engines

The rear main seal is a one piece unit which can be replaced without removing the oil pan or crankshaft.

  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
  2.  
  3. Remove the transaxle. For details, please refer to the procedure located in Drive Train of this information.
  4.  
  5. Unfasten the flywheel/flexplate-to-crankshaft bolts, then remove the flywheel.
  6.  
  7. If equipped with a manual transaxle, remove the pressure plate and clutch disc.
  8.  
  9. Using a medium prybar, pry out the old seal; be careful not to scratch the crankshaft surface.
  10.  
  11. Clean the block and crankshaft-to-seal mating surfaces.
  12.  

To install:
  1. Lubricated the outside of the seal to ease installation. Using seal installer tool J 36227 or equivalent, press the seal evenly into place.
  2.  

When installing the flywheel, you MUST use new bolts!

  1. If applicable, using new bolts, install the flywheel. Tighten the bolts to 48 ft. lbs. (65 Nm) plus an additional 30° turn.
  2.  
  3. If applicable, install the flexplate. Tighten the bolts to 48 ft. lbs. (65 Nm).
  4.  
  5. Install the pressure plate and clutch disc, if equipped with a manual transaxle.
  6.  
  7. Install the transaxle assembly as outlined in Drive Trainveyvwfweextfreetxcxtfdvyywevwdryu of this information.
  8.  
  9. Connect the negative battery cable, then start the engine and check for leaks.
  10.  

2.3L and 2.4L Engines

See Figure 1

To perform this procedure, the following tools will be required:



Rear crankshaft seal installer-J 36005 or equivalent
 
Torque angle meter-J 36660 or equivalent
 
Harmonic balancer retainer-J 38122 or equivalent
 

  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
  2.  
  3. Remove the transaxle assembly as outlined in Drive Train of this information.
  4.  
  5. If equipped with a manual transaxle, remove the pressure plate and clutch disc.
  6.  
  7. Unfasten the flywheel-to-crankshaft bolts, then remove the flywheel.
  8.  
  9. Disconnect the oil pan-to-seal housing bolts
  10.  
  11. Unfasten the seal housing-to-block bolts, then remove the seal housing and gasket.
  12.  
  13. To support the seal housing for seal removal, place two blocks of equal thickness on a flat surface, position the seal housing and blocks so the transaxle side of the seal housing is supported across the dowel pin and center bolt holes on both sides of the seal opening.
  14.  

The seal housing could be damaged if not properly supported during seal removal.

  1. Drive the seal evenly out the transaxle side of the seal housing using a small prytool in the relief grooves on the crankshaft side of the seal housing. Discard the seal.
  2.  


CAUTION
Be careful not to damage the seal housing sealing surface. If damaged, it may result in an oil leak.

Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 1: Exploded view of the rear main (crankshaft) seal, housing and related components-2.3L engine


To install:
  1. Press a new seal into the housing using tool J 36005 or equivalent seal installation tool.
  2.  
  3. Inspect the oil pan gasket inner silicone bead for damage and repair using a silicone sealant, if necessary.
  4.  

Use only enough sealant to restore the silicone strip to its original dimension. Excess application of sealant may cause part misalighment and oil leaks.

  1. Position a new seal housing-to-block gasket over the alignment. The gasket is reversible. No sealant is necessary.
  2.  
  3. Lubricate the lip of the seal with clean engine oil.
  4.  
  5. Install the housing assembly, then tighten the housing-to-block bolts to 106 inch lbs. (12 Nm).
  6.  
  7. Install the oil pan-to-seal housing bolts, then tighten to 106 inch lbs. (12 Nm).
  8.  
  9. Install the flywheel as outlined later in this section.
  10.  
  11. For vehicles equipped with a manual transaxle, install the clutch, pressure plate and clutch cover assembly.
  12.  
  13. Install the transaxle assembly as outlined in Drive Train of this information.
  14.  
  15. Connect the negative battery cable, then start the engine and check for leaks. Add oil if required.
  16.  

3.0L Engine

See Figures 2, 3 and 4

  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable. Raise and safely support the vehicle.
  2.  
  3. Drain the engine oil, then remove the oil pan.
  4.  
  5. Unfasten the rear main bearing cap-to-engine bolts, then remove the bearing cap from the engine.
  6.  
  7. Remove the old seal from the bearing cap.
  8.  

To install:
  1. Using seal packing tool J 21526-2 or equivalent, insert it against one end of the seal in the cylinder block. Pack the old seal into the groove until it is packed tightly. Repeat the procedure on the other end of the seal.
  2.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 2: Using the special tool to pack the seal into the block

  1. Measure the amount the seal was driven up into the block one side and add approximately 1 /16 inch (1.6mm). Cut this length from the old seal removed from the lower bearing cap, repeat for the other side.
  2.  

When cutting the seal into short lengths, use a double edged blade and the lower bearing cap as a holding fixture.

  1. Install seal packing guide J 21526-1 or equivalent, onto the cylinder block.
  2.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 3: View of the guide tool installed into the block

  1. Using the packing tool, work the short pieces into the guide tool and pack into the cylinder block until the tool hits the built-in stop.
  2.  

It may help to use a small amount of oil on the short seal pieces when packing into the block.



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 4: Packing the short pieces of the rope seal into the guide tool and cylinder block

  1. Repeat Steps 7 and 8 for the other side.
  2.  
  3. Remove the guide tool.
  4.  
  5. Install a new rope seal into the lower bearing cap.
  6.  
  7. Install the lower main bearing cap and tighten the main bearing cap bolts to 100 ft. lbs. (135 Nm).
  8.  
  9. Install the oil pan.
  10.  
  11. Fill the crankcase with the proper engine oil.
  12.  
  13. Connect the negative battery cable, then start the engine and check for leaks.
  14.  

3.1L Engine

See Figures 5 and 6

The following tools will be required to replace of the rear main seal on most models:



Engine support fixture
 
Engine support fixture adapters
 
Rear main bearing oil seal installer
 
Engine support adapter leg
 

The engine will have to be raised and supported and the transaxle removed to perform this procedure.

  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
  2.  
  3. Support the engine with the appriate fixtures.
  4.  
  5. Remove the transaxle as outlined in Drive Train of this information guide.
  6.  
  7. Unfasten the flywheel mounting bolts, then remove the flywheel and spacer.
  8.  
  9. Using a small pry bar, pry the seal from the block.
  10.  


CAUTION
Be careful not to damage the crankshaft surface when removing the oil seal.

Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 5: Use a suitable prytool to remove the rear main seal


  1. Clean the seal mounting surface.
  2.  

To install:
  1. Coat the inside and outside of the new rear main oil seal with engine oil.
  2.  
  3. Install the new seal on tool J-34686 until the seal bottom is squarely against the collar of J 34686.
  4.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 6: When installing the seal, the correct installation tool must be used

  1. Align the dowel pin of J 34686 with the dowel pin hole in the crankshaft. Tighten the attaching screws to 45 inch lbs. (5 Nm).
  2.  
  3. Turn the handle of the tool until the collar is tight against the case. This will ensure the seal is fully seated.
  4.  
  5. Back the tool off and remove the attaching screws.
  6.  
  7. Install the flywheel and spacer and tighten the flywheel mounting bolts to 53 ft. lbs. (71 Nm).
  8.  
  9. Install the transaxle assembly.
  10.  
  11. Remove the engine support fixtures.
  12.  
  13. Connect the negative battery cable.
  14.  

3.3L Engine
1989-90 MODELS

See Figures 7 and 8

  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
  2.  
  3. Remove the engine from the vehicle.
  4.  
  5. Drain the oil and remove the oil pan.
  6.  
  7. Remove the crankshaft from the engine.
  8.  
  9. Clean the remains of the old sealer and adhesive from the upper and lower bearing groove and the mating surface of the bearing cap.
  10.  

To install:
  1. Install rope seal to the cap.
  2.  
  3. Apply GM adhesive 1052621 or equivalent to the seal groove.
  4.  
  5. Within one minute, install the seal into the groove. Roll it into place using a suitable tool, until the seal projects no more than 1 /16 inch (1.6mm) above the groove.
  6.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 7: Using a suitable tool to roll the seal into place

  1. Seat the seal with a suitable tool.
  2.  
  3. Cut the excess material with a sharp knife at the bearing cap parting line using the seal installer to hold the seal in place.
  4.  
  5. Apply a thin film of chassis grease to the rope seal.
  6.  

Use the sealer sparingly. Keep the sealer out of the bolt threads. Soak sealing strips in light oil or kerosene for 5 minutes before installing.

  1. Apply a thin film of GM sealer 1052942 or equivalent, on the bearing cap mating surface around the seal groove.
  2.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 8: Apply sealer to the location shown

  1. Position the main bearing cap and tighten the bolts to 90 ft. lbs. (122 Nm).
  2.  
  3. Install the crankshaft and the oil pan.
  4.  
  5. Install the engine in the vehicle.
  6.  
  7. Fill the crankcase with the proper engine oil.
  8.  
  9. Connect the negative battery cable and check for leaks.
  10.  

1991-93 MODELS

See Figures 9, 10 and 11

  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
  2.  
  3. Remove the flywheel as outlined later in this section.
  4.  

When prying out the seal, be very careful not to damage the crankshaft surfaces!

  1. Insert a flat bladed tool in through the dust lip at the angle shown in the accompanying figure. Pry the seal out by moving the handle of the tool towards the end of the crankshaft pilot. Repeat as necessary around the seal until it is removed.
  2.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 9: Using a suitable prytool to remove the rear main seal

To install:
  1. Apply clean engine oil to the new seal to ease installation. Slide the seal over the mandrill of the tool until the back of the seal bottom is squarely against the collar of the tool.
  2.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 10: Lubricate the new seal to make installation easier

  1. Attach tool J 38196 or equivalent to the crankshaft by hand or tighten the attaching screws to 44 inch lbs. (5 Nm).
  2.  
  3. Turn the "T" handle of the tool so that the collar pushes the seal into the bore, turn the handle until the collar is tight against the case. This will ensure that the seal is installed correctly.
  4.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 11: Using the proper tool to install a new rear main seal

  1. Loosen the "T" handle until it comes to a stop. This will ensure that the collar will be in the correct position for installing another new seal. Remove the tool attaching screws.
  2.  
  3. Install the flywheel.
  4.  
  5. Connect the negative battery cable, then start the engine and check for leaks.
  6.  

 
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