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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all. Wanted to ask a question about this seal behind my opti-spark on my 96 Firebird LT1 engine. Got it all tore down, and ready for the new optispark cap and rotor. However, I do have some kind of oil leak going on. Its all oily and geasy back there and all over the back of my old optispark unit. Does that seal in the middle of pic, often leak? Is it something that is known to leak from time to time?

Is it something that ever wears out? And what is it called? How hard is it to replace? Any information on it would be greatly appreciated. Oh and I cleaned it off pretty good just so you could see what I was talking about.


 

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Yes they do leak. You can buy a kit that comes with all your seals from jegs or summit. Your local auto parts store may have them too. Its not pricey either. Change it now while you have the opti off. Might be a good idea to change them all since you've got everything off.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Change them all. What other seals are lurking around there? What are they called and what is that one in the pic called?
 

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The big one is the optispark seal and the top one is the water pump drive seal, bottom is the crank hub seal...

A timing cover gasket set has those 3 seals, the timing cover gasket, and water pump gaskets. From NAPA the gasket set is around $10-$13..
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Ok I will change those out today. Got a Napa in my town. Do you guys think there is any possibility that it could be the front main seal? With enough dirt and gunk, oil can travel upwards and soak into the dirt. Where all should I look for the leak? Anywhere else I should check? Its somewhere on the front of the engine.
 

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What you refer to as "front main" is really the crank hub seal. The seal in the front has nothing to do with the main cap like it does in the rear. The water pump seal is known to be the biggest leaker.

Here is a good reference to help you do it right. Don't do the water pump seal without using the special procedure to keep the seal from getting ripped.
 

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Benny

the most likely suspect for leak is the WP drive seal. You have so much oil there it could also be front intake or even valve covers leaking but since you have WP & opti off replace the OPTI & WP drive seals and also the crank seal but you will need a puller to get the crank hub off. If you are sure the crank seal is OK than you could just replace the Opti & WP drive seals

You want to buy FelPro front timing cover gasket/seal kit # TCS 45956

As mentioned the WP drive seal can be tricky to install without folding over the inner lip. A "tool" for this is highly recommended but a home made version using a Sharpie pen cap or socket works. Shoebox has posted 411 link

clean up the motor with some brake clean or something like that and replace the seals. If after you install the seals you still have a leak you either FU the WP seal or the leak was from the front intake manifold or valve covers...but the most likely source is WP drive seal
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Ok thanks ballss. I tried not to screw up the water pump seal as best I could. Used a piece of PVC pipe in order to get it on there without folding the black seal. When it was all on there, all I could see was yellow. Didn't see any black folded so I'm hoping I got it done right.
 
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