Welcome to the Corvette Forums at the Corvette Action Center!

Weeping Of The Front Main Seal...What Would You Do?

R

RubyDropTop

Guest
Hi guys -

Wondering how common of a problem is weeping of the front main seal on an LT1 motor?

What is the consensus on the treatment of such a seal....to replace (very labor/time intensive I'm told) or to leave it alone and monitor the situation (looking for a full-blown leak).

What do you guys think? :confused
 
T

TONY TAT2

Guest
IMHO,if its only weeping leave it alone,,,btw are you in NJ? Seen a 40th at Fudruckers friday
 
R

RubyDropTop

Guest
Hi Tony - Thanks for the response. I was advised to leave it alone as well, but it bothers me a bit to do that. That must have been my twin that you saw...I never left the state of New York on Friday. :D
 
L

LarryBible

Guest
Define "weeping." Is it making a mess under the hood, or is it just putting a slight amount of oil around the balancer?

Good luck,
 
R

RubyDropTop

Guest
No, there is no mess (or any indication) under the hood. The only reason that I found the problem was because I had decided to clean up the undercarriage a bit yesterday. I was wiping down the X-brace and happened to look under the motor and noticed that it looked "wet". Thinking that that was odd, I investigated further. I was told that it is probably leaking about 1 tsp. every 3,000 miles. Regardless, it bothers me that this has happened.

I guess some weeps turn into leaks, while others never get that far. It's depressing when you try to take such good care of a car, and it turns around and bites you in the rear. :(
 
L

LarryBible

Guest
Has this engine ever been apart? I'm just curious about that.

With the leak being so slight, I believe I would just wipe everything down occasionally. If it really bothers you it's not a HUGE deal to pull the balancer and replace the seal. If the engine is high mileage, you may need to put a speedy sleeve on the balancer to take care of the groove that the seal wears in the balancer sealing surface.

Good luck,
 
R

RubyDropTop

Guest
Larry -

No, the motor has never been apart before. I guess I should attribute the bad seal to the age of the car (10 years old this Nov.) as it only has 25,000 miles on it. But then again, I just replaced the original water pump because that had seen better days too - when the pump was examined after it had been removed, more than half the bearings were missing. :(

So, you really don't think that it would be that involved to replace that seal? Looks like alot of work. ??
 
B

Black Ice

Guest
Here is what I have been told. I just purchased a 96 vert in Maywith 27K miles. Last month I noticed several tiny dime sized oily spots on my floor, not puddles just spots. Of course I ran the car over to the dealer for an inspection. The dealer tech laughed at me. He said "If I fixed an oil leak in every LT1 I found I would be a rich man". He went on to say LT1s are leakers and unless you find a small puddle every day under the car its not worth fixing.
 
R

RubyDropTop

Guest
Thanks for your response Black Ice. :) At this point I don't even have the tiny drops of oil on the floor yet, just a film of oil under the car. I guess that's why it was referred to as a weep and not a leak.

I knew that the LT1 was known for leaks around the manifold, but this one sort of caught me off guard. I wiped down the underside of the car yesterday, so i am going to monitor it for any more residue. It kills me because the car is babied in general, and only sees the road about twice per month. I was also told that it really is not as much mileage dependant (these problems) but the actual age of the car. It'll turn 10 years old this Nov., so I guess I should expect these things to some degree; it's just frustrating. Thanks for your input, it's nice to know that I'm not alone on this one. :)
 

vettn94

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 9, 2002
Messages
181
Location
Warrenville, IL.USA
Corvette
1994 Polo Green Convertible
Black Ice said:
I noticed several tiny dime sized oily spots on my floor, not puddles just spots.

My 94 has had the same problem since last year.
Just ignore it and it will go away -lol
Seriously, it bothered me at first too but you'll get used to it.
I look at it this way, it's not a problem right now. I'll fix it when it becomes one or something else breaks or needs to be replaced.
I learned the hard way with a similar "weeping" problem I had with my differential last summer.
 
R

RubyDropTop

Guest
Vettn94...

How do you like the 3.54 gear ratio in your car? I find myself unable to decide between going with the 3.54 ratio or the 3.73 ratio. What do you think?
 
V

vettepilot

Guest
The "age of the car" reason is probably why the seal has started to weep. The rubber used in seals all have a "cure date", this means that the sealing material will eventually become "cured". This process causes the rubber to dry and become more brittle with age, thus reducing the ability to seal against another surface. This is also the reason why one should drive the vehicle and enjoy it instead of worrying about putting high mileage on it. The seal will eventually fail whether it is driven or not. Tires, seals, weather stripping, vinyl interior components, and other components made of plastic, or rubber composition will all eventually "cure". As for your original question - Drive it until it begins to leave oil stains where you park it every day. At that point, it would probably be advisable to have it replaced. Remember, if the front seal is failing, then the rear seal is probably not far behind, as well any other seals that are retaining liquid lubricants. Rear half shaft seals, wheel bearing seals, etc. They probably won't give you the pleasure of failing all at once, just one at a time so you have to tear into the components year after year once it begins. But that's the fun of owning a nice vehicle that you wish to keep. I call it routine maintenance, others say it's a pain in the butt. The main thing is: Enjoy your car!
vettepilot
 

vettn94

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 9, 2002
Messages
181
Location
Warrenville, IL.USA
Corvette
1994 Polo Green Convertible
Re: Vettn94...

RubyDropTop said:
How do you like the 3.54 gear ratio in your car? I find myself unable to decide between going with the 3.54 ratio or the 3.73 ratio. What do you think?

So far it was the best mod I have done. My car went from running 13.80's & 90's @ 101 mph to consistent 13.30's & 13.20's @ 105 mph in the 1/4 mi.
Needlees to say it was a huge SOTP difference from the whimpy 2.59.
I had the same problem deciding also. Plug both the
3.54 & 3.73 in a gear selector program and there really isn't all that much difference between them. However, there were several reasons I finally decided to go with the 3.54. To start with I was told by Justin Abott @ Zip products, who builds thier differentials and where I was originally going to buy the rear from, the 3.73 gear in a Dana 36 put alot of stress on the case. He said he had seen quite a few of them come back with cracked cases and never had that problem with the 3.54 geared ones. How true this is I don't know but he went into detail about it and it made sense. I wasen't willing to take any chances.
Second reason was I planned on putting a tq converter in the car from day 1. I have a 2800 stall Precision Industries 9.5" Tq Converter in the garage waiting to go in the car in the next few weeks. Traction is going to be harder to come by even with drag radials but I think it will be ok, I get decent traction now with just the gear. I could be wrong but with the 3.73 I think it would blow the tires off the car and I would probably end up having to go with a wider tire.
Lastly, from past experience, I had a Camaro with a 3.42 gear & 9.5" converter, I knew the mid 3 series gear would work well with that converter.
I also had some good advice from a friend who is extremely knowledgeable in this area.

I have noticed alot more guys going with the 3.54 lately.
I have seen alot of great results with both gears though and I think either choice is going to make you happy. It all comes down to what you plan to do with the car. If you do alot of highway driving the 3.54 would be a little better.
If I had to choose again I would still pick the 3.54
 
R

RubyDropTop

Guest
Thanks for your response. :) The cracked case scenario is a bit scary to think about, I wasn't aware that may be an issue.

I need to make up my mind - these 2.59 gears are awful. :cry
 

vigman

Motor head!!!!
Joined
Feb 13, 2001
Messages
3,471
Location
Valencia, CA,USA
Corvette
88 Convert ( SOLD ) /1973 coupe 4 speed/1964 Vert!
So Ruby

Wait till your OPTI takes a DUMP... change the water pump and the timing cover & the seal.

Dont forget a shaft sleeve on the harmonic balancer.


Vig!
 

Corvette Forums

Not a member of the Corvette Action Center?  Join now!  It's free!

Help support the Corvette Action Center!

Supporting Vendors

Dealers:

MacMulkin Chevrolet - The Second Largest Corvette Dealer in the Country!

Parts/Accessories:

Vetteskins

Advertise with the Corvette Action Center!

Double Your Chances!

Partners

Top Bottom