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For Those Who Have Replaced Packing With Modern Lip Seals on Water Pumps, A Question


DB26
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Hello all,

 

A about 2 years ago, I had new bushings/bearings on the water pump for my ‘26 Dodge Brothers made. (By Kyle of sligermachine here on the forums) I had him machine the new bushings to allow me to add lip seals instead of packing. He did a phenomenal job. 
 

But since day one, I’ve gotten a bit of seepage of the coolant through the lip seals. Now, honestly, I didn’t know what to expect and still don’t.


Are lip seals supposed to provide complete sealing? Or is there always going to be a bit of leakage? I understand that these old automobiles have some leaks expected of them, and the coolant is leaking at a pretty slow rate. I can always go back to rope packing if I wanted to. Thoughts? 

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I did this modification to a 30’s car, new stainless shaft, then two seals, each installed in different directions.  One cup toward water to keep water leaking out, one cup to air side so pump doesn’t suck air into pump.  Worked great.....

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I replaced a packed gland seal with a modern lip seal many years ago.  It was reasonably effective but I later replaced it with a modern mechanical seal which is 100% leak proof.  I have since done this conversion on other cars. 

The mechanical seal has two faces that are lightly spring loaded together, one face is fixed to the rotating shaft and the other is stationary and fixed to the housing .

Finding a suitable seal that will fit takes some searching and some machining will be needed.

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20 minutes ago, DavidMc said:

I replaced a packed gland seal with a modern lip seal many years ago.  It was reasonably effective but I later replaced it with a modern mechanical seal which is 100% leak proof.  I have since done this conversion on other cars. 

The mechanical seal has two faces that are lightly spring loaded together, one face is fixed to the rotating shaft and the other is stationary and fixed to the housing .

Finding a suitable seal that will fit takes some searching and some machining will be needed.

That will be my next project then. Thank you for the information. 

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In the meantime. I went out to my Dodge and packed a little water pump grease into the old packing nut. Seems to helped for the moment. Probably won’t last a day though. Here is a video of it running, mind the messy grease:

 

 

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8 hours ago, DB26 said:

Hmmm. Well then I might need to redo my pump. 
 

Here are the seals I put in it:

 

9C0D08F0-B40E-4C94-BE26-5DA9D2C9053C.jpeg.0c3d97ede801f70659037697e227d40d.jpeg


C80509A2-F43C-47A9-B60D-FA5D3A971DEE.jpeg.663edcfbc0265c413bd8838260630118.jpeg

 

 

 

That is a single lip seal.

Get the best double lip seal you can buy.

National was bought out by Timken some years ago but, as far as I know, the numbers still work.

National always made excellent double lip seals.

Of all the sizes of seals I stocked at the shop, for every size for which double lip seals were avaiable, that's what I stocked.

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14 hours ago, trimacar said:

I did this modification to a 30’s car, new stainless shaft, then two seals, each installed in different directions.  One cup toward water to keep water leaking out, one cup to air side so pump doesn’t suck air into pump.  Worked great.....

 

Its best to put the seals back to back, and install them so the grease cup still functions, then just use water pump grease to keep the cavity filled and the seals lubricated. We have done countless pumps this way, and never a failure. My 36 Pierce pump was done in 1991 and has over 20k miles on it with no issues.

 

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FYI - water pump grease cups need to have a check valve built in..........or they WILL leak...........so start looking now.....it can take a while to find them, and then you often need to rebuild them. I buy every one I see at Hershey. They are only 1 in 100 of what you see. Ed

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You also need to install a lip seal that’s supported on the inside with a SS spring ring. This ring keeps the lip tighter on the shaft and is designed to compensate for wear and the normal wicking that can happen with a rotating shaft. Discussed this very same issue recently with a seal manufacturer. Had a simple lip seal, brand new, leaking on an output shaft. Replaced with the spring reinforced seal, leak gone.

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On 4/9/2020 at 2:37 PM, chistech said:

You also need to install a lip seal that’s supported on the inside with a SS spring ring. This ring keeps the lip tighter on the shaft and is designed to compensate for wear and the normal wicking that can happen with a rotating shaft. Discussed this very same issue recently with a seal manufacturer. Had a simple lip seal, brand new, leaking on an output shaft. Replaced with the spring reinforced seal, leak gone.

The lip seal absolutely has to have a stainless spring on it.  The stainless spring keeps constant pressure on the seal face as the seal wears.  I never buy those seals that are just elastomer.  Consider also these seals from McMaster Carr.  A lot more expensive than the ones you are probably looking at.  These are graphite teflon.  Essentiall y made of the same material as the rope packing.  These are what I have in my pump.    

https://www.mcmaster.com/catalog/126/3738

I also received the following note from Kellogg Automotive that should point you in the right direction.  They do a lot of water pump conversions to lip seals.  These numbers may be for a 3/4" shaft, and yours is 5/8, so find the right seal material first, then the right size.

14147445_Sealchoices-KelloggAutomotive.thumb.JPG.e39c9c0244bcbec1d4279271f605f540.JPG

My final note is this procedure that I wrote for converting my 1925 Buick Water pump.  I hope it helps you.  Kyle Sliger also made my water pump shaft.      Hugh

 

https://forums.aaca.org/topic/322398-1925-earlier-buick-water-pump-rebuilding-procedure/?tab=comments#comment-1843255

 

One more note, the grease you use should also be waterproof grease and only use a small amount at a time.     

 

 

Edited by Hubert_25-25 (see edit history)
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I did this on my '15 Buick truck about 7 years ago. New stainless shaft, double lip seals on both sides and no leaks since.  It is so good that I rarely check the coolant because it never goes down. 

 

As noted above, the seals go opposite ways on either side.  The pressure side goes the way a normal seal is installed and the suction side is installed reverse with the lip pointing out.  I put two seals on both sides.

 

For seals, I too went to McMaster-Carr and bought the most expensive seal that is impervious to just about everything and has a high temp rating.  They were about $35.00 each.  I only wanted to do this job once. 

Edited by Larry Schramm (see edit history)
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