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Installing felt-lined grease seals?


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Hello AACA technical folk:

I've recently acquired a 1937 Pontiac 2 door touring sedan and am starting off working on brakes and

wheel bearings. Having never had a vehicle with felt-lined grease seals before, I'm unsure as to how to treat

them to get a good, long-life seal. Should they be installed dry? Or pre-wetted with light oil? Or have a thin

layer of grease on the face that will spin on the spindle?

Thanks for your inputs,


p.s. Oops, I forgot to mention this: they are NEW felt-lined grease seals.

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John, First question is are they new seals. If they are not, but merely the old ones cleaned up, you probably will never get a decent seal. I base this on personal experience with a '31 Chevy.

As for the best way to install NEW felt seals, I defer to Rick Hoover.


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When installing new felt or a new neoprene seal as well, I like to give it a light coating of oil. You don't need much. The felt is like a wick and will absorb the inner grease or oils quickly enough. Plus, as a felt seal prevents grease or oils from getting out, a dry felt could allow outside road water to get in. Just be careful with your installation as not to smash the felt. Should you ever use a new leather axle seal, always soak it in a light oil before installing.

I hope this helped, Rick

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