The recent discussion is timely for me, as I’m just starting the rebuild of my 62 e-type engine. I have a slightly different question, but with some of the same issues. My engine with a build date of August '62 has a rope seal and a crank scroll. I was disappointed in the lower seal set, which contains the now generic rope seal, each piece a full 1" too long! This will be my 5th xk engine build and all the others have ropes, ran fine without significant leaks. However, all my priors got fitted with the stock Jaguar rope seal which comes cut to proper length, and “just” needs cramming in with the Churchill tool. I’m not comfortable with the sizing of the new seal, which is also a bit different in appearance. Too long or too short, there are problems requiring major revision. I have the same debate as Eric about whether to cut the crank and put in the lip conversion. I had a nice chat with Bill Terry yesterday who tells me that he has only had one fail, and that was from a mis-install by the purchaser. However, I have located an original Jaguar rope seal. So the question is, do I install the rope seal, which will run over a scroll (when did they remove the scroll?) or spend the extra $500 to add a lip seal. I’m leaning towards the lip seal, since it allows me to feel each bearing during the build, but I’ve not had any issues on my past builds. Cut the crank, and there is no going back. Your thoughts? thank you.
Were it me, and I still had/was going to do the fully Monty on Tweety’s engine, there’s NFW I’d do the rope seal.
It’s pure supposition on my part but I don’t think it’s just the length at issue but also the materials used. Original ropes have been gone for a long time. Mine received an after market one 19 years ago and when it finally came out over the summer it was absolutely petrified and shriveled. It was leaking badly.
Enough people have fired up engines with original seals after decades of sitting, and not leaking, that it makes me think the materials were different. If you found an original that’s great but do they expire? The debate hinges solely on your tolerance for another rebuild. Mine got the lip seal.
Don’t forget the competency of the installer.
Case in point: Tweety’s rear seal was OE, 51 years old, and never had been replaced. It leaked precisely as much as you’d reasonably expect a rope seal that old, and that original, to leak, which was…not horribly.
The rope seals were never necessary to cut.
The later ones were impregnated with a grey ( not sure what is was) But think it was a lubricant to prevent the rope burning and therefore becoming hard surfaced during engine test. There are so many versions of the original out there. Many of them are far too long to NOT have to be cut. I’ve seen a few that I would never fit.
Thanks very much to all. The consensus is to fit the lip seal, and that is what I will do. I am looking into the possibility of the alternate kit from David Manners, which is split on one face only. If I get that, I will post back details.