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38 State Commander rear main seal


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The "rear main seal" is leaking on the flat head 6 -- I have heard (have not pulled engine yet) that it isa wood seal! Does anyone know if that is true? If so is there a modern replacement that will work better?  The engine was rebuilt before I purchased the car and currently has about 500-600 miles on it.  I also need to find a seal as I've checked

Studebaker International and a couple other sites trying to find one without purchasing a complete overhaul gasket set. Any help will be appreciated.  Any advice about pitfalls of doing this will also be greatly appreciated.

 

Info that may help know me- I've rebuilt a 1960 Austin Healy, MGB's, a 49 Ford F3 truck and a few other cars/engines so have some limited experience. The 38 SC was in a barn for 42 years and I purchased it about 6 months ago. All the mechanicals (engine, trans, clutch, brakes, wiring, radiator, carb, fuel pump-also has elec fuel pump) were rebuilt before I purchased it, so I have just driven and had fun with it.  Thanks again for any info help provided.

I have the shop manual and have orderd a parts manual but it is not here yet.

Edited by SC38DLS (see edit history)
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You seem to have heard correctly. The rear main seal is a specially treated wood. Based on the page from the 1941-42 Shop Manual below, the wood is a press fit in the slot behind the bearing (it is hammered in). I expect the treatment makes it swell when oiled (like wood does when wet).

 

 

41-42Crankshaft_RearSeal.jpg

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Thank you for the help from down under!  I talked with "Studebaker International" to try and get the seal -- this has caused more confusion on my part. They say the 38 -6 cyl flat head did not have a rear seal per say but has an oil slinger that has a rubber cover too it that acts as a seal. Has anyone replaced this gasket/slinger/seal snd csn give me any information regarding what it is and where I may be able to find one?  Thanks   Dave S

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There is no seal on the slinger.  I went to the wood hobby store near me and bought wood that was strong enough to pound in the slot but not too hard as to not absorb the oil and swell.  I forgot what kind of wood I bought but still have some.  Then cut it to size.  About 3/16 by 3/16 and 4 inches long.  when putting on the rear main cap I put a very thin coating of silicone on the cap sides.  I also put some silicone in the slot before tapping in the stick seals. 

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Studerex did you replace the slinger or cap or did you reuse the the ones you had. I assume it is not possible to find original wood  seals. You just took a best guess at the size and the wood was soft enough to bend or did you cat as a  half circle then worked into the slot. 

I assume I have to pull engine to do this. Do I just loosen crank journals or remove crank.  I appreciate any advice.  Dave S

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2 hours ago, Spinneyhill said:

The crank is in place in the manual pictures above. Perhaps just take off the sump and work underneath?

 

The parts book shows the same part number for the wood oil seal for A to 12A, B, 1B, C to 8C. Two numbers are shown for  G to 5G: one for wood and one for a rubber seal.

 

i am not sure what the S to12A thru G to G5 mean 

 

Edited by SC38DLS (see edit history)
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54 minutes ago, studerex said:

You should invest in shop and chassis parts manuals..  

Yes yes yes! Best investment you can make in a restoration or just to keep it going.

 

A to 12A = Studebaker models with that motor (Dictator and then Commander). A = 1934, 7A & 8A = 1938, 9A= 1939, 12A=1942 (which is same as 1946). G & ?G = Champion (G=1939). C and ?C = President models.

Edited by Spinneyhill (see edit history)
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I have a shop manual and have a parts manual on order but the supplier shipped it to someone else in error. He has promised me it will be corrected and I will have it by the middle of next week. Maybe I'm a sucker by believing him but I would like to think it was just an honest error and not just someone trying to rip me off. Time will tell 

thank you for the clarification on the meaning of the codes.  Dave S 

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The Commander six up to a certain date in 1947 used a metal oil slinger.

The worked ok but the drawback was that when the engine stopped it would leak a few drops of oil.

That was not too worrysome when people had driveways that had a grass center strip.

After the war they went to a rubber Brummer seal and offered a kit to convert the earlier engines to Brummer seals and many of the prewar engines were converted and I  suspect that yours is one of those because it keeps leaking

The update kit involved a later crankshaft.

The older engines that used the oil slinger used the two wood blocks as a seal between the block and the rear bearing caps.

There was no rubber involved as seals.

I stock these wood blocks (187106) original N.O.S, if anyone needs them.

Robert Kapteyn

Edited by rbk (see edit history)
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