Rear Main Seal Ford 5.0 V8

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  • #452996

      I’m pretty sure the rear main seal on my 1990 Lincoln Towncar’s 302 5.0 V8 is blown. I have a pretty decent oil leak that’s sending oil all over the middle and bottom of the bell housing on the transmission as well as all along the trans itself. It doesn’t appear to be leaking on top of the transmission (as if it were an intake manifold gasket leak). I do know the valve cover gaskets are leaking also but nowhere near to the extent of the oil slick on the bottom of the car. I’m going to replace those, first, in hopes that this might slow any leaking I can see. I’ve already tried dumping AT-205 into the oil to see if that would seal it (I did just put it in today though…maybe after a day or two it will do it’s magic). If that doesn’t work I think I’ll have no choice but to replace that seal.

      Anyone here have experience with this particular engine and this job? I know it’s no easy task…but I’d rather do it myself than pay out the whazoo to have it done for me. Thanks for any input =)

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    • #452997

        You my want to try searching online for any ‘How To’ steps (maybe locate a FSM or Haynes manual and there is some repair information too on Autozone’s website that may help), but obviously you are going to need a lift or some heavy duty jack stands and hydraulic jacks to get the vehicle high enough so you can drop the transmission.

        I would also check the PCV and breather system to make sure there operating correctly as excessive blow-by from an malfunctioning crank case system can damage seals causing leaks.

        You may also be better off trying a good quality high mileage oil such as Penzoil High Mileage with seal conditioners in tha any stop leaks as there is no such thing as a ‘mechanic in a can’.

        college mancollege man

          it does sound like your rear main seal.but before you condemn it clean all the suspected areas with brake clean and a rag.
          see if the oil stays in the bell housing.if it is the rear seal than the drive shaft and transmission will need to come out. use a
          seal puller on the seal.careful not to nick the crank shaft. other wise you will always have a leak. use a seal driver or a large socket
          to install the new seal.tap gently here.reinstall all parts in reverse order. good luck and keep us posted. C8-)


            I’m looking at the same thing with my wifes 5.0 Explorer. It’s leaking oil onto the catalytic converter and causing the wonderful smell of scalded oil. The PCV valve is located right in the back there ( hard as a beaver to get at too! ) and I can’t see in that area enough to see if perhaps that was causing the problem. Not a job I really want to do, but I don’t want to risk a car fire either.

            EricTheCarGuy 1EricTheCarGuy

              It’s a pretty straightforward operation I believe, it can be difficult to access the upper bell housing bolts I believe and dealing with the exhaust can be a real pain so make sure you have some heat handy. Be sure to support the transmission with a floor jack and a block of wood, you wont’ need to remove it entirely to access the rear main you may have enough room just sliding it toward the back of the car. Good luck.


                Thanks gang for your replies. I do have a Haynes manual that outlines this particular job what seems to be in good detail. However I think I may also purchase a Chilton’s manual or some other resources because I have found with the last several jobs I have done, Haynes hasn’t always done it right. I replaced the valve cover gaskets yesterday and I want to see how that improves anything (if at all). I’m also going to check on the bottom end to see if the AT 205 did anything.

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