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Driving a seal in instructions

Discussion in 'Mechanic and Repair' started by tacoma200, May 4, 2008.

  1. tacoma200

    tacoma200 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,426

    I have a grease seal that leaked on my Exmark caster. I have an arrow pointed at the seal so you can see what I'm talking about. I bought a seal driver and messed up several trying to get it to go into place. It seems to be very hard to get it started strait. I finally go one in, put it back together and it wants to fall out again. I have searched the web over for instructions on how to properly drive the seal in with no luck. It seem that as soon as I begin to tap on it it start to go in crooked and if I try to straiten it or adjust it it bends. My friend gave me the seals, I'm beginning to wonder if the size is off a little.

    If someone would give me detailed step by step instructions on how to seat this seal properly I would appreciate it. I'm really out of my element on this repair. Thanks, picture follows. The only Exmark dealer here I trust with the repair is pretty backed up with work. I need to learn this myself if possible. Thanks!

    Exmark seal.jpg
  2. GravelyNut

    GravelyNut LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,594

    If it is the correct size seal, use something between the seal and what you are hitting it with. Hit the center of the object to drive it in straight. Make sure there are no burrs on the arm and that there is a small bevel at the start of the housing.
  3. rjxj

    rjxj LawnSite Member
    Messages: 80

    Did you use a plate? They make round plates or disc's that will match the outside diameter of the seal. You want all the pressure to be exerted on the outside diameter of the seal only. It may also help if you use a c clamp to "press" it in rather then pound it in. If its just going in flush with the bottom you can probably just use a flat piece of scrap steel to push against. Use a piece on top and a piece on the bottom and a c clamp to squeeze it in. Using this press effect will line everything up better and hold it true as the pressure is applied. Trying to pound it in will often times distort the shape and then it gets even harder to get it in. You want all the pressure out on the edge. Any pressure inside the wall area will start to cave the center in and also effect the sealing. I know what you're going through, its a real pain sometimes.
  4. tacoma200

    tacoma200 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,426

    Thanks a lot. Yes it's a real pain. I ordered a seal driver kit, with different sizes of disc and a back up washer (disc seem to be a hard plastic). It was recommended over the steel kits. We are going to try again. If we have a c clamp that big we may try that. The other seal is flush so yes that's what we are aiming for. This last one went several hours of mowing before it started to fall out. we probably damaged it putting it in. My friend has a bag of them. Maybe they are not as high quality as OEM and bend easier. More suggestions appreciated. Thanks again. Any tricks to make sure its lined up?

    a seal driver.gif
  5. tacoma200

    tacoma200 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,426

    Well we put another one in today, it fit looser than the previous ones. It wouldn't hold. My friend had a bag of them he bought somewhere off a distributor and they are not OEM. I am starting to think they are not very high quality and the size is not consistent. Some you can't get started and others you can almost push in by hand. I guess I need to call the dealer and get some ordered. I'm getting aggravated enough to weld on in place. Not really but this is ridiculous.
  6. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    Ohhh yeah the fun little grease seal, I found when I used TWO flat crowbars one on each side using the caster fork for leverage if I applied pressure evenly and carefully it takes a few seconds and plop that POS is in there... Likely it is possible a long screwdriver might work, also might have to use a block of wood might work...
    And no I never took mine off the mower, I mean the caster and fork and all was left assembled, just the seal had to go in.

    One thing I did learn from the experience is grease that caster VERY carefully because if you overfill it the seal pops out :cry:
  7. Breezmeister

    Breezmeister LawnSite Bronze Member
    Male, from South Jersey
    Messages: 1,739

    By any chance do you still have the original seal ? If you do there should be some numbers on it. These numbers can be crossed over to after market (Federal/Mogul) seals. If you don't have the old seal, get one from the dealer and then save the numbers off the new one in case you need more later, you can get them at any good auto parts store. Same with the bearings too.

    I've done a few seals in my day, including the one you are trying to get in, but I'm not suggesting you do it my way, it just works for me.
    I hold the seal up against the hole it's going in, and using a very light ball peen hammer, lightly tap on it to get it started all the way around.
    I have a nice set of seal drivers from SnapOn, but alot of times I'll take a socket that is the same diameter as the seal and very carefully tap the seal in until it is seated.
    The important things is, don't get the seal cattywompass when you drive it in
    There were some good suggestions in the other posts too. Just don't let the machine win :)
    Good luck
    ericg likes this.

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