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1973 2-Door Nova, 383/th350

I noticed oil leaking from the oil pan timing cover area about a week ago. I cleaned it with brake cleaner and applied a thick coat of ultra black and let it cure for 2 days. After a test drive there was no leak. Started the car again and noticed oil leaking from the timing seal, I turned off the car and the timing seal was almost completely out of the timing cover.

I assembled the engine so I'm trying to avoid making the same mistake twice.

If I remember correctly I used a pulley puller kit to install the timing seal, after the timing cover was installed.

I've read I should apply oil to the seal before it goes around the crank. Regular engine oil or assembly lube?

Should I use any type of gasket maker before pressing in the seal?

Should the balancer be pushed up against the seal or should there be a gap?

Anything else I should know before I start?
 

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Make sure the balancer doesn't have a grove worn in it frolm where the seal rides. If so chunk the balancer or install the sleeve kit on the balancer.
 

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You REALLY need to take the timing cover off to install the seal correctly.
The pressure it should take to press the seal in will distort the cover if it isn't supported from the rear. If it goes in to easily, something is wrong, either the seal is wrong or the seal bore in the cover is enlarged. The seal should press in until it's flush with the front surface of the cover if it's a stock stamped steel type cover. If you don't have the proper tool and a press to install the seal, at least rent or borrow a tool to do it, or get a friend to do it. A vise can even be used to press it it, in a pinch, just use a piece of 2 X4 behind the seal bore in the cover so you don't damage the cover.
I know it's a pain in the behind to have to take the oil pan off to remove the cover, but doing it right will save doing it again sometime soon.
Once you put the cover back on, use a small ruler or the end of a dial caliper to measure the distance from the front surface of the seal and cover to the timing gear on the crank snout. Then you can see where that dimension places the seal on the dampener hub. Make sure that the surface on the dampener where the seal will run is not grooved, or the seal will continue to leak and your work will be for nought.
If the dampener hub is grooved, you might be able to install a Speedi-Sleeve to give the seal a fresh surface to run on.
One other thing, there should be a large thin oil slinger in front of the crank timing chain gear, that the dampener hub seats against. If there isn't on on the crank, get one. It definitely helps control the oil getting to the crank seal area.
 

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front crank seal

running to Daytona I blew the timing chain. A local shop replaced the chain. and pointed out the timing chain cover had been damaged previously,( yea or nea who knows) a new timing chain cover was installed. three weeks later it was leaking again. Took it back. The harmonic was groved. Installer replaced it free and charged me for the balancer. OK.
three weeks later it's leaking again. 3 times a charm? if the balancer is groved again. what next? does the cover have dowell pins to locate it correctly? do we install it then put the balancer THEN put the little bolts in the cover to the block.

What say you all? I know this is a generic question but it is on my Nova
 

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Stamped steel timing cover need to be flipped over and stitch welded all the way across where the pinch welds are, otherwise it will leak and you will never fix it with a new seal, then install your seal.

Carl 66
 

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Check the thrust on the crank for wear, Simple to take a pinch bar and move it back and forth. Could be causing early failure for the seal. Also are you running a cam button and if you are did you set the clearance between the button and cover?
 
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