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  1. #1
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    Rear Crankshaft Seal Install Depth and Sealant Use

    I removed a leaky 12mm wide seal from my engine (11117584398) and am replacing it with the newer version, 8mm wide seal (11117587168). I notice the old seal has two grooves in it that are supposed to line up with the seam in the two piece block, then be filled with sealant and the new seal does not have these grooves. I also notice there is reference to a bunch of special tools to install the seal to the correct depth, but a simple measurement is not specified.

    So, two questions:

    Should I put a thin coating of sealant on the ID of the block where the two halves meet before I press in the new seal? What should the installed depth of the seal be relative to the face of the block around the seal?
    Eppur si muove.

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    You need to replace the seal with the same thickness seal. They're still available by part number. You also have to use the install tool. I have one that I can loan you. I would just have you PayPal me the amount to purchase it and then upon getting it back I'll PayPal you back the amount minus like $25 and shipping cost.

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    The above information is incorrect, we have done quite a few of these seals. The superceded part # is the skinny seal, and my BMW dealership ships them for any and all N54's rear main part numbers. They no longer use the thick seal, nor do you need to use the sealant. You can use the old seal as the install tool if you are careful, if not, just get the tool, and install it even with the edge of the block. You will not have issues, unless you damage the seal putting it in. We use thinc coat Permatex Brown around the outside edge of the seal as a safety measure when installing, but its not required.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Tony@VargasTurboTech Click here to enlarge
    The above information is incorrect, we have done quite a few of these seals. The superceded part # is the skinny seal, and my BMW dealership ships them for any and all N54's rear main part numbers. They no longer use the thick seal, nor do you need to use the sealant. You can use the old seal as the install tool if you are careful, if not, just get the tool, and install it even with the edge of the block. You will not have issues, unless you damage the seal putting it in. We use thinc coat Permatex Brown around the outside edge of the seal as a safety measure when installing, but its not required.
    This is the procedure I've always used doing rear main seals as well. I've always used RTV grey though. Any reason you use the Permatex brown? I'm always open to stuff if it's better!

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    I was also under the impression the new seal supersedes the old seal.

    Using the old seal as the "install tool" is a pretty good idea. I will install it flush with the block.
    @Tony@VargasTurboTech, why do you use the Permatex brown and not something like a thin film of the black?
    Eppur si muove.

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    1 out of 1 members liked this post. Yes Reputation No
    Don't go flush with the block. It has a spec on depth. I think it might be fully seated, but can't remember what I read when I looked it up.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by ajm8127 Click here to enlarge
    Using the old seal as the "install tool" is a pretty good idea
    Just make sure it goes in straight when you install it. You'll have to hit the old seal over the new seal little by little and in a crisscross pattern. The proper seal driver makes contact with the entire seal so it goes in straight.
    I'll give you rep if you say something smart Click here to enlarge

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    Gone flush to the block on over 10 of these. Not a single leak, if you want to get a caliper, and go the specified depth to keep you warm at night you can. Flush with the block will work flawlessly. We use the permatex brown because its very good aviation sealent, have used it for years. RTV should be fine as well.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by AlexQuattro Click here to enlarge
    Just make sure it goes in straight when you install it. You'll have to hit the old seal over the new seal little by little and in a crisscross pattern. The proper seal driver makes contact with the entire seal so it goes in straight.
    Absolutely, I've installed enough seals and bearing races to know little taps all around work better than big taps.

    From the witness marks on the crankshaft after 110,000 miles it sure looks like the old seal was just about flush with the block.
    Eppur si muove.

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    Cool, just making sure Click here to enlarge
    I'll give you rep if you say something smart Click here to enlarge

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by AlexQuattro Click here to enlarge
    Cool, just making sure Click here to enlarge
    No problem. Thanks for pointing it out. Definitely want to take your time and drive this seal in straight.
    Eppur si muove.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by The Convert Click here to enlarge
    You need to replace the seal with the same thickness seal. They're still available by part number. You also have to use the install tool. I have one that I can loan you. I would just have you PayPal me the amount to purchase it and then upon getting it back I'll PayPal you back the amount minus like $25 and shipping cost.
    Why did they change the seal anyway? Why wouldn't you want the 12mm seal if it was designed for the 12mm seal?

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
    Why did they change the seal anyway? Why wouldn't you want the 12mm seal if it was designed for the 12mm seal?
    I believe the thinner seal is for the Auto trans. So, it'll swap one way, but not the other. Personally, I'd stick with the original seal size, but not my car. I'm a bit more AR about stuff than most people.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by The Convert Click here to enlarge
    I believe the thinner seal is for the Auto trans. So, it'll swap one way, but not the other. Personally, I'd stick with the original seal size, but not my car. I'm a bit more AR about stuff than most people.
    Again you are providing incorrect information. I will say it again as told me directly from BMW. They NO longer even sell the thicker seal, with the sealant. You order any N54 rear main part number, and it crosses to the thin seal, if you get the thick one, its because they had dead stock sitting around and they want to get rid of it. But hey if you guys want to look around until you find the thick seal, then pay another 50 bucks for the sealant go right ahead. We will continue to use the thin seal BMW sends us, for any, and all N54's and have no issues.

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    2 out of 3 members liked this post. Yes Reputation No
    Whatever dude.

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    Thanks for the info. I trust your word as you probably know more about the N54 than most. I do know the old part has been superseded. In my opinion this is great news, no more expensive sealant to buy, just some cheap RTV and the seal. Mines leaking now so this thread couldn't have shown up at a better time.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by The Convert Click here to enlarge
    I believe the thinner seal is for the Auto trans. So, it'll swap one way, but not the other. Personally, I'd stick with the original seal size, but not my car. I'm a bit more AR about stuff than most people.
    My car is an auto and came with the 12 mm seal - 10/06 build.

    It clearly says the 8mm seal supersedes the 12 mm seal in RealOEM.

    You might be able to buy the 12 mm seal due to warehouses selling off their remaining stock. The 8mm seal appears to be a phase in replacement meaning the 12mm seals will still work and should be sold until the stock is exhausted, but the 8mm seal is the replacement.
    Eppur si muove.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by The Convert Click here to enlarge
    Whatever dude.
    Haha. Yeah get upset, because the information you are giving out is incorrect. Yes that is my fault... Ok...Click here to enlarge

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Tony@VargasTurboTech Click here to enlarge
    Haha. Yeah get upset, because the information you are giving out is incorrect. Yes that is my fault... Ok...Click here to enlarge
    the fact that I am sitting here pondering whether or not it's even worth responding to your incorrect assumption that leans towards you being a victim tells me I probably should just keep on keeping on. But then I think, "Even if Tony is right, he's still a moron. So, f*ck it...I'll post anyway just because it'll annoy him."

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    And it works too.
    I'll give you rep if you say something smart Click here to enlarge

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    To install the seal I used four of the crank bolts (I have an eight bolt crank) and four washers with the old seal to draw the new seal into place. I positioned the new seal first then got the old seal (positioned backwards), bolts and washers in place and tightened the bolts incrementally in a cross pattern to draw the seal into the bore. Once done I measured to make sure it was installed evenly.

    High five!
    Click here to enlarge
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    Eppur si muove.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by ajm8127 Click here to enlarge
    To install the seal I used four of the crank bolts (I have an eight bolt crank) and four washers with the old seal to draw the new seal into place. I positioned the new seal first then got the old seal (positioned backwards), bolts and washers in place and tightened the bolts incrementally in a cross pattern to draw the seal into the bore. Once done I measured to make sure it was installed evenly.

    So I'm guessing the 8mm seal fit no issues? Did you use any sealant between the seal and block as a precaution? I'm guessing it's leak free now?

    I did a clutch job 4 months ago and didn't change the rear main like I should have, now it leaves a leak on my driveway the size of a quarter......Lame... I have an xi so it's a ton more work than just the i. I replaced my oil pan because I thought that might be my issue, nope... The oil pan took a day because once again the xi is lame. Now I have to pull the transmission and transfercase again and pull off my brand new clutch to put in a 20$ seal. What a facepalm.

  23. #23
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    The 8mm seal fits no problem. I used thin coat of black RTV on the inside diameter of the bore. I put a small amount of engine oil on the crankshaft before I fit the seal. I did not notice any leaks between when I filled the engine with oil and when I installed the transmission a couple days later.
    Eppur si muove.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by KeepRidingDirty Click here to enlarge
    Thanks for the info. I trust your word as you probably know more about the N54 than most. I do know the old part has been superseded. In my opinion this is great news, no more expensive sealant to buy, just some cheap RTV and the seal. Mines leaking now so this thread couldn't have shown up at a better time.
    Maybe I'm missing and will need to read through this again but why is the newer part better? It often is the case that BMW replaces parts that may be faulty (often quietly) but I still don't understand why the seal changed or why the new seal is better if it is thinner and harder to fit from what I'm reading.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by The Convert Click here to enlarge
    I believe the thinner seal is for the Auto trans. So, it'll swap one way, but not the other. Personally, I'd stick with the original seal size, but not my car. I'm a bit more AR about stuff than most people.
    This makes sense but if you can't get the thicker seal even with a MT don't you then have to run the thinner?

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