Rear Main Seal - Engine Pull Down

How far do you have to pull the engine down to replace the rear main seal on earlier V12s.

If the engine is out of the car and upside down with the sump off. If all main bearing caps are removed - is the crank then “loose” enough to lift up at the rear to gain enough clearance to install a new rope seal?

Or do you also need to remove conrod caps and timing gear etc at the front.



First, note that the early rope seal almost never needs replacing. If it’s leaking, it’s usually due to a fault in the PCV system.

If it must be replaced, officially the crank must be out of the block, which means the engine needs to be out of the car. Unofficially, there’s a tool called a “sneaky pete” that’ll pull the upper rope seal in from underneath. You’d still have to pull the oil pan and the sandwich plate and the rear main cap, which is no easy trick in the car.

If you must replace the rope seal, many recommend the Ford 460 seal instead of the Jaguar part. It’s a little longer so it needs to be trimmed, but it’s graphite impregnated rather than simply waxy.

Thanks for those comments - yes the seal is leaking and has been for a long time - not a lot but enough to be annoying. Back in 1994 a Etype driving behind me complained of oil drops over his car.

The engine is coming is out for other reasons but will not be pulled down and I figured it would be a good time to fix this issue - but if the bottom end and attached bits have to come out I will not bother.

Thanks for the information you have provided.



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G’day Garry,
I replaced my rear main seal in my XJ-S in Darwin last year, engine in car. We had to drop the crank shaft to replace the rope seal, which was challenging. I did call JagDaim for the replacement seal, and Bryan recommended:
engine removal;
turning the engine upside down;
replacing seal with a Ford substitute.
If you have the engine out I’d recommend the Bryan (jag Daim) solution. You may want to order the replacement seal from them as you will get the kit.

Hi Chris – thanks for that very useful information. I might contact Jag-Daim and get a kit so that it can go in when the engine comes out.

Much appreciated.