This write up is for changing the rear main oil seal. As you can see mine was leaking, not all that bad, but I had the time. This is not a project for the faint of heart, mainly because you have to remove the tranny. Mine being an E4OD it was plenty big and heavy. Yes you have to remove the tranny, I tried a trick one of my friends who is a mechanic suggested and it didn’t work, and actually caused me more work. I learned many things and made several bad mistakes, I will go over them and hopefully by reading this you will not make them.
Ah yes, the wonderful oil drip.
This is from sitting about 2 days, maybe a little bit less.
The first thing you have to do is drain all the tranny fluid. I would say you don’t HAVE to do this, but I was changing mine any way. (And the second time I took the tranny out I did NOT drain the fluid and it did not make a differance.) If you didn’t guess everything on the E4OD is metric, which is also and easy was to identify what tranny you have.
This is what the inside of the pan should look like, if you have big particles or pieces get your check book ready.
Make sure you take the magnet out and clean it before you put the pan back on, mine wasn’t too dirty since I change the fluid once a year.
The black thing with the spout is the filter it just pulls off. Be ready for more fluid to come out there is about a quart behind it.
This is one of those parts I always get from Ford. (The tranny filter that is) I also use Royal Purple synthetic tranny fluid; it’s pricy but still cheaper than a rebuild.
This is what is looks like with out the filter, now all you need do is put it back on and bolt up the pan.
Now that she’s empty with the pan back on you can drain the torque converter.
Take off the little plastic cover and rotate the engine until the drain screw is right here. I just stick a big socket on the main pulley on the front of the engine and turn the motor with a breaker bar, just make sure you only turn it the way it turns, clockwise I think.
It holds about 4 quarts and it takes a long time for all of it to drain, so have a beer.
With all the fluid out its time to start disconnecting things, like both of the tranny cooler lines. Make sure you only turn the little fitting, or you will twist the hard line. (I learned this the hard way; you can kinda see where it twisted right after the little fitting.)
They are both on the passenger side this is the one towards the front close to the exhaust.
Now unbolt the starter, you can just set it on the exhaust or something, just as long as it doesn’t hang by the wires.
Now just gently pull the kick down rod off the linkage, no need to un-bolt anything.
You can just let it hang
Next disconnect the front drive shaft. Make sure to be careful with the bearing caps if you are reusing the U-joints, I wasn’t so I didn’t care at all.
Once you take the rear drive shaft off...If your bronco suffers from the notorious “thunk” this is a good time to lube your shaft, if there is a bad time for that?!?
Next peel back your carpet, if you have it to get access to the tranny access panel. Yours prolly wont have the wiring mess mine does, which is all for my center console. If you want to see that you can go to my link on superford, there is also a write up on FSB if you search.
By taking the cover off you get access to these 2 bolts which hold the tranny to the engine. I guess you don’t have to take the cover off, but it would be a royal pain to get these off. You also get easy access to the upper tranny cooler line
Make sure you disconnect this wiring harness on the transfer case, there are 2 other plugs on the tranny, which you can take off if you want, but if you don’t take the all the way out you shouldn’t need to remove the tranny wire. I did just to be careful and because I didn’t know if I needed to or not.
At this point I was taking the tranny out for the first time using a method I DO NOT recommend, I will show it to you guys just for learning sake, and maybe some of you will make it work but this began a long chain of screw ups so watch and learn. At this point I supported the tranny with my floor jack.
A mechanic friend of mine suggested I simply by longer bolts and use them to slide the tranny back instead of removing it, so I tried it. At this point so far so good. Just take out all 6 bolts and replace them with the longer ones. Make sure you also take off the single bolt which holds the cover thingy on. It separates the tranny from the engine and keeps crap from flying up on the fly wheel and torque converter
Now it wasn’t easy to pull the tranny this far back, I ended up using a ratcheting strap, it was a big ordeal. But now you have access to the fly wheel.
Take all the bolts out accept one and then loosen it slowly until it comes off, make sure you have a good hold on the fly wheel before the bolt is all the way out, it would not be fun to have this fall on you, it’s kinda dangerous. Also be careful that the cover plate behind the fly wheel doesn’t fall and cut your head off cause it will not be held on once the fly wheel is off.
Make sure you mark it so you know which way it goes back in, you can see the black marks I made on mine in relation to the ground, you can use what ever system which works for you.
This is what your torque converter looks like, if you wondered.
OK, now you have the rear main in sight, this is where things turned for the worst. I tried to pry if off with a screw driver, couldn’t get enough leverage, so I tried drilling with my 90 degree attachment so I could put the screws in like my Haynes manual suggested. Well the drill slipped like I should have known making a small mark on the crank, BAD.
At this point I knew I needed to remove the tranny. All my friends are loosers and refused to help me so I bought this $200.00 friend, it ended up being well worth the cost, and still cheaper than having a “real” mechanic change the seal.
Ok, so now with the tranny out of the way I pried the rear main out with a screw driver easily. Be careful to not hit the crank (even though I already did.) But you can get it out with out damaging it.
I tried to get a pic of the scratch but the angle and such made it impossible. At this point I called another mechanic friend and asked him what he though I should do, he recommended a repair sleeve, made sense to me.
So I bought this cost me $50.00 I about crapped my pants because it’s basically a little piece of stainless. (got it at NAPA)
It comes with a little cup thing and you place it over the sleeve and the crank and hammer it on. The cup fits on that little lip of the sleeve. Now you notice the sleeve is a bit to long for the crank. Time for grinding, sigh.
Be VERY careful cause one slip and repair sleeve is toast, and I don’t even want to think about taking it off. You should also put a small film of curing silicone on it to sort of set it in place
OK, so now the Teflon sleeve……It said in the directions “not recommended for use with repair sleeve” I called both mechanics this time and they both said it would be fine. It comes with a little plastic thing to slip it on. With the sleeve on it was damn near impossible to get it on but finally I got it.
Now I smacked it pretty darn hard to get it on. I used the old seal turned around so I could smack it with a hammer. At this point I thought to my self it was going on A LOT harder that the original, but I guess I just thought it was because it was new. Found out later it wasn’t supposed to be that hard.
Finally got it on and got all excited to put everything back together. Tanny installation is the same as removal. It takes some time to get the tranny back in, but the easiest way is to line up the 2 stubby shaft things on either side. Once you get those on simply turn the torque converter with one finger to line it up. All that stuff is stuff which is hard to explain, you just have to do it. Once I got it all back together and started the engine, it was leaking worse that before. I was VERY mad. So I tore it down again with a few ideas as to why it was leaking.
Now for a seal comparison. This is the old seal, nasty and leaky.
These are both new seals from NAPA (I discovered the NAPA Teflon and the Felpro one from advance are the same damn seal accept the NAPA one is 4 bucks cheaper. On the left is the rubber one and the right is the Teflon, they look about the same, but they ARE NOT.
Upon a closer examination I found the rubber one is tensioned to the crank by a spring because the rubber is very pliable, good for repair sleeves since they are slightly bigger than the original crank diameter. The Teflon one is tensioned to the crank by the stiffness of the material not good for repair sleeves should have listened to the directions. Basically what happened was that the Teflon one went on so tight it spun with the crank instead of the crank spinning in it. SO….if you use a repair sleeve DO NOT USE TEFLON. I personally would say the Teflon is better just because of the nature of Teflon, but as I discovered it does not work in all cases. If you use the rubber one put a small film of non-curing silicone on it so it doesn’t start up dry.
So I did it all over again and put the rubber one on. Went on much easier. After I put it all back together after this go-round, I started it and NO LEAKS! Finally after what seemed like forever it was all good. Now learn from my mistakes!