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Old 05-27-2016, 07:12 PM   #1
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Default Rear Main Seal Replacement

1996 eighty eight.

I have the oil pan dropped currently to replace the gasket. I have an oil leak.

How do I get to/check the rear main seal? Is there write up somewhere?

Is it that much more work since I already have the pan off?
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Old 05-28-2016, 08:35 AM   #2
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You either have to pull the engine or pull the trans, either way, you have to separate the engine from the trans so you can take the flexplate off to access the rear main seal.
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Old 05-28-2016, 10:25 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Mike View Post
You either have to pull the engine or pull the trans, either way, you have to separate the engine from the trans so you can take the flexplate off to access the rear main seal.
Thanks Mike. Is there a way to know for sure that the main seal is the cause of my leak before pulling it all apart?
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Old 05-28-2016, 11:05 AM   #4
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Bottom of the transmission bell housing is a small metal cover. Remove it. Shine a flash light up between the flexplate and the back of the engine. Do you see oil?
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Old 05-28-2016, 02:53 PM   #5
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Mike is right, you have to remove the tranny to replace the seal, and you will need a special tool to install......

I would say, 99 out of 100 times, the leak is just the oil pan gasket......if you look at the surface of the oil pan flange, you will see "ripples", that is the source of the leak over time.... a TSB came out, where you put a thin bead of rtv sealer, on the top and bottom of the replacement oil pan gasket.......in some 3.8'* you have to remove/loosen the oil strainer pickup tube to get the gasket back on....if you do, you will have to scrape off the old strainer gasket and replace(if you have to do this ,install the new seal and pickup, but leave the bolts loose....once the gasket is in place, then tighten the pickup tube bolts).....I usually put the rtv on the top of the gasket.......clean the block surface good with Brake Klean in a rag......then with the rtv on the gasket, I put it in place and it sticks up there by itself....I have rtv on the flange of the pan and then put that up, and start a few bolts to hold the pan up......

Remember, with rtv, you don't want it to "skin"........so clean block surface and oil pan flange first....then apply rtv to top of gasket and then to top of pan flange, and then immediately, put into place.....
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1996 oldsmobile 88, oil leak, rear main seal

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