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Old 05-07-2010, 08:03 AM   #1
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Rear main seal leaking

So I noticed a small oil leak on my 2005 wrangler, and took it to get my money's worth for the last few miles of my warranty. It turns out that my rear main seal was leaking. Aside from the usual dealership up-selling, they said that the work would take 7 hours to complete. This puts the billing (had I had to pay for it out of pocket) at about $550.

It can't possibly take this long to do the job can it? Could someone with experience walk me through why they think this should take 7 hours?

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Old 05-07-2010, 09:07 AM   #2
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I believe its because you have a 2 piece seal which means they will have to drop your transmission. On earlier TJ's there was a one piece seal used which made it MUCH easier to change yourself as it only involved dropping the oil pan and bearing cap/brace. But I think your model uses a two piece seal which makes the job a lengthier one by having to drop the tranny. If you do have them drop the tranny now is a good time to swap the clutch since the work is already done....I dont know though, you have a newer jeep so maybe not. The shop is permitted to charge "X" number of hours to any given project by book. This does not mean it will take them that long though and thats how they make their proffit. I swapped mine out but it took me all day because it was my first time....again, a one-piece seal though.

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Old 05-07-2010, 09:11 AM   #3
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BTW...$550 bucks is below average, when I went to have mine done (before I decided to do it myself) I was quoted anywhere between 600 - 700 dollars! In the end it cost me a whopping 70 bucks. I guess you end up getting better rates when the money being spent comes from the dealership and not out of my pocket
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Old 05-07-2010, 09:24 AM   #4
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That seems like a long time to do the work. I replaced my 2 piece seal myself. You only have to drop the oil pan to gain access for it. I will attach a write up I found that assisted me in my experience.

Jeep TJ Wrangler Rubicon 4.0L Oil Pan, Rear Main Bearing Seal Install | SavageSunJeep | SavageSun Engineering

The write up is for a Rubicon model replacing the oil pan and rear main seal. It is the same 4.0 engine that Jeep used for decades.

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Old 05-07-2010, 09:25 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sdbryant View Post
I believe its because you have a 2 piece seal which means they will have to drop your transmission. On earlier TJ's there was a one piece seal used which made it MUCH easier to change yourself as it only involved dropping the oil pan and bearing cap/brace. But I think your model uses a two piece seal which makes the job a lengthier one by having to drop the tranny. If you do have them drop the tranny now is a good time to swap the clutch since the work is already done....I dont know though, you have a newer jeep so maybe not. The shop is permitted to charge "X" number of hours to any given project by book. This does not mean it will take them that long though and thats how they make their proffit. I swapped mine out but it took me all day because it was my first time....again, a one-piece seal though.
I think you have it backwards.
The trans needs to come out for the one piece seal, and the 2 piece is done by dropping the cap.
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Old 05-07-2010, 09:29 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by The Ugly Jeep View Post
I think you have it backwards.
The trans needs to come out for the one piece seal, and the 2 piece is done by dropping the cap.
LOL! Your absolutely correct. I had it backwards, sorry. Just take my whole conversation and apply it to your vehicle where it only requires dropping the oil pan, all for under a hundred bucks.
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Old 05-07-2010, 11:20 AM   #7
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Keep in mind the rear main seals almost always leak a little and it does'nt mean you have to jump in right away and fix it. When I bought my jeep about a year ago I took it to a dealer to give it the once over. Sure enough they said I needed a new RMS and a bunch of other things $2000 worth. I said no thank you, changed all the fluids, plugs etc. myself and the jeep runs like a top. I may get a couple of drops of oil a week dripping, no big deal. Just keep an eye on your oil level.
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Old 05-07-2010, 12:01 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GA_TJ View Post
So I noticed a small oil leak on my 2005 wrangler, and took it to get my money's worth for the last few miles of my warranty. It turns out that my rear main seal was leaking. Aside from the usual dealership up-selling, they said that the work would take 7 hours to complete. This puts the billing (had I had to pay for it out of pocket) at about $550.

It can't possibly take this long to do the job can it? Could someone with experience walk me through why they think this should take 7 hours?
Nicely done . . . glad to hear you were able to cash in on the warranty vs. having to do it yourself. Mine also started leaking a while back and I was still covered . . . I'm all for working on the Jeep myself and doing what I can, but not when I have a warranty and a dealership that will do it for free and will have to warranty the work that they do. Glad to hear it worked out for you!
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Old 05-07-2010, 12:21 PM   #9
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Thanks for the input everyone. I should have asked them about the clutch since they said they had to drop the transmission (their reason for 7 hours of labor), but given that other folks say you don't have to given the 2 piece... I'm not sure if they were just pitching/billing worst-case and doing the easy work. Given this dealership, that wouldn't surprise me.
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Old 05-07-2010, 01:37 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by GA_TJ View Post
Thanks for the input everyone. I should have asked them about the clutch since they said they had to drop the transmission (their reason for 7 hours of labor), but given that other folks say you don't have to given the 2 piece... I'm not sure if they were just pitching/billing worst-case and doing the easy work. Given this dealership, that wouldn't surprise me.
When I was shopping around to have the work done at a shop every single one of them tried the same thing, "gotta drop the transmission on these jeeps" and I argued with all of them telling them that they didnt. Amazingly they all changed their prices once they knew I had a little info on the subject....go figure.
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Old 05-07-2010, 09:28 PM   #11
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The rear main seal leaking is a problem that the 4.0 had since its inception. Think of it like the old Harleys and their oil leaks. It is just a signature statement of what you drive.
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Old 05-07-2010, 09:59 PM   #12
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I disagree that a leaking rear main seal is a signature of the 4.0. Since I fixed mine, I have not had a drop of oil under my Jeep. It is actually not hard to fix. Took me a couple of hours and a couple of beers to accomplish. A well maintained Jeep (or any vehicle for that matter) will not leak fluids. My opinion, but I don't have the so called "problems" that you see on the "You know you own a Jeep when" threads dealing with drivability or service.

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Old 05-07-2010, 11:57 PM   #13
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jeep has a service bulletin for this. sorry this is long
THIS BULLETIN SUPERSEDES TECHNICAL SERVICE BULLETIN 09-010-04, DATED MARCH 16, 2004, WHICH SHOULD BE REMOVED FROM YOUR FILES. ALL REVISIONS ARE HIGHLIGHTED WITH **ASTERISKS** AND INCLUDE THE ADDITION OF THE 2005 MODEL YEAR.

SUBJECT:
4.0L Engine - Dirt And Debris Accumulation At Rear Main Seal

OVERVIEW:
This bulletin involves the application of a small amount of sealer where the top of the transmission bellhousing mates to the engine.

MODELS:

**1997 - 2005** (TJ) Wrangler

NOTE :**This bulletin applies to vehicles equipped with a 4.0L engine (sales code ERH) and a manual transmission (sales code DDQ, DDD, or DEH) that were built prior to September 02, 2004 (MDH 0902XX).**

SYMPTOM/CONDITION:

The customer may experience engine oil seepage from the area of the rear main bearing seal. Closer inspection may reveal that the cause of the engine oil seepage past the rear main bearing seal is due to the accumulation of dirt and debris around the outside of the rear main seal. This condition may occur more frequently if the vehicle is used in off road conditions.

A spacer plate is used to mate the transmission bellhousing to the back of the engine. The spacer plate has a slot machined into it at the 12 o'clock position. A small opening may occur as a result of the spacer slot when the spacer is mated between the engine and transmission bellhousing. The narrow spacer opening at the top of the transmission bellhousing may allow small size debris to enter the bellhousing and accumulate around the outside of the rear main engine seal. If debris accumulation becomes significant, damage to the rear main seal may occur.

DIAGNOSIS:

If a vehicle is in for service perform the Repair Procedure if the repair has not previously performed.

If engine oil seepage from the engine rear main oil seal is present, then diagnosis and repair not addressed by this Bulletin may be required.







PARTS REQUIRED:

REPAIR PROCEDURE:







1. With the ignition switch in the off position, raise the vehicle hood and make sure the engine and exhaust manifold are not hot to the touch (Fig. 1).








2. Locate the narrow opening created by the spacer plate. The spacer opening can be viewed when looking towards the rear of the engine and top of the transmission bellhousing from the drivers side of the engine (Fig. 2).

3. Thoroughly clean the immediate area around the spacer opening with throttle body cleaner, p/n 04897156AA. Allow cleaner to dry.

4. Apply a sufficient amount of RTV over the spacer opening. Verify that the spacer opening is completely sealed off by the RTV.
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Old 05-08-2010, 12:02 AM   #14
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diagram didnt come through.but its easy. copy from all-data.
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Old 06-16-2010, 09:13 PM   #15
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thanks for the great link. It will be super helpful. keep on crawlin'
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Old 08-01-2012, 11:33 AM   #16
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Thanks so much for this info! I just joined the Forum because my 2005 Wrangler is leaking from the rear seal area and I was freaking out because 3 guys have told me they have to drop the tranny and it costs a LOT of money.

This is a GREAT site and I will definitely be using it in the future.

Thank you all for your posts!.

(BTW - my extended warranty ran out 4 months ago, thus the freak out!)
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Old 08-01-2012, 09:01 PM   #17
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Mine leaks, but ill get to it tomorrow... or maybe tomorrows tomorrow.

Its not bad enough to make it worth my while, yet.
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Old 08-02-2012, 04:33 PM   #18
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Mine leaks too not much but it does my mechanic said its common but wait until it leaks ALOT more before dropping the cash to fix it.
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Old 08-02-2012, 05:02 PM   #19
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sooooo dose this bulletin mean if it has been done the deal has to fix it if has not been done? mine is 06/2004 build date and mine drips but no oil loss.
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Old 08-02-2012, 05:05 PM   #20
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yep i have Erh sales code also

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