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Cam and Intermediate Shaft Seals Can Be Pressed In By Hand?!?

Discussion in 'E30 (1984-1993)' started by BMWtyro, May 8, 2011.

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    I am working on our 7/86-built '87 325e. Among many other maintenance/repair tasks, I am replacing all of the seals at the front of the original M20 engine.

    My question is: should my new cam and intermediate shaft oil seals press easily into their casting recesses by hand? I can press both in with my fingers after I dress their O.D. with Permatex Anaerobic Gasket Maker! I had to drive the old ones out, so I wonder if it shouldn't take a bit of effort to install their replacements.

    I have had the same experience with two different brands of seals: Victor-Reinz (P/N 81-24641-10) and Genuine BMW (P/N 11 14 1 285 609). They are both the same size and both are elastic-clad and grooved around their circumference, but otherwise appear different and bear their manufacturer's I.D.s on the face. A new metal-clad Victor-Reinz crankshaft seal had to be driven into its recess as one would expect, so you can see why this concerns me. If I put it all back together and either/both of those loose-fitting seals should pop out, I have to perform the entire job all over again.

    I enquired on another forum. Two said that they had had the same experience, and one said that he had to drive his cam and intermediate seals in . . . but he has not yet got back to me with the brand which he used.


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    The Gospel According to Bentley, The Manual; All rise and turn to Section 4: Engine, page 24, 6-cylinder camshaft remove & install, paragraph 4: "Note - Inspect the camshaft oil seal and the O-ring on the seal housing for signs of leakage. Check for oil leaks around the housing. A faulty seal or O-ring should be replaced. The camshaft oil seal is pressed into the oil seal housing. If the seal requires replacement, a service press or its equivalent should be used to remove the old seal and install the new seal."

    That's what Bentley says, perhaps Moosehead will pipe in with additional insight.

    Although the Bentley Manual devotes a page to crankshaft and intermediate shaft oil seal replacement, it's a bit sparse on some detail, (it has some specific install details), but doesn't say too much about your question other than press the seals out of the front end cover and press the new seals in until they're 1-2mm below the cover surface. It says to protect the seals during re-installation by covering the shafts with plastic tape and coating with engine oil. A number of other install details as well, if you have a Bentley Manual, see page 51-52 of section 4.

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