I discussed this issue with a few people on the forum who had
previously noted this problem. They agreed that the outside
diameter of the seal may be just a wee bit larger than the diameter
of the tracks of the sump and timing cover. They suggested the
solution of trimming some material from the outside of the seal. I
did this, although not very neatly. Also, I only removed material
from half the diameter of the seal because I felt that it was the
timing cover where additional clearance was needed. In the
process of removing some material, I put some flat spots on the
outside of the sealing surface so I knew I would have to take some
special measures to make sure the seal fit well into the timing
I applied a liberal amount of silicone sealant to the track of the
timing cover, inserted the seal and fit the timing cover. Now I
found that the timing cover, with the seal installed, slide very
nicely around the distance piece and the upper timing gear shaft
slid quite neatly into the cover.
I put the sump in place with a dummy gasket and installed a couple
of nuts to clamp the sump to the timing cover. It looked as though
the dust guard made a very nice gap around the distance piece so I
left everything in place overnight. The next morning, I removed
the timing cover and trimmed all of the excess silicone that had
squeezed out of the timing cover track (see pic 4).
Now the timing cover slips very cleanly onto the distance piece and
upper timing gear shaft. Pic # 5 shows the gap between the white
dust guard and the distance piece, which I measure at .005 all the
way around the distance piece.
In fact, for reasons I won�t go into, the block I am using is from
an XJ6 S3. However, to be on the safe side (fitting the water
pump) I decided to use the timing cover from my E-type SII. I
measured the diameter of the seal track on the XJ6 S3 timing cover
and it appears that it may be a few thousandth�s larger than the
track on the E-type. Perhaps this is why the XJ6 S3 seals have
not, apparently, experienced this difficulty.
I won�t suggest that my solution to the problem is the best one.
Perhaps people more knowledgeable than I will weigh in on this. I
won�t even know if my solution is a good one until a few months
down the road when I finally run the engine. I do believe,
however, that if I had not taken some sort of corrective measures,
my seal almost certainly would end up leaking.
The point of all this is that if you are using the uprated front
seal in an E-type, pay very close attention to the gap between the
seal and the distance piece. A friend of mine experienced a
problem with front seal leak and trashed several uprated seals in
the process of doing the repair with the engine installed in the