A Step-by-Step Guide in Installing an Oil Seal

A Step-by-Step Guide in Installing an Oil Seal

Pre-Installation Process

Before proceeding with the oil seal installation, it is crucial to perform a thorough inspection of the seal to prevent potential issues in the future. This inspection involves checking the bore for any signs of abrasions or wear. Additionally, it is essential to lubricate both the seal and shaft to ensure adequate lip protection during the initial operation.

Proper Installation Procedure

To ensure proper engagement and prevent seal cocking, the use of oil seal installation tools is highly recommended, especially for rotary shaft seals. An effective tool for this purpose is a press fitting tool, which should have an outer diameter approximately 0.01 inches (0.25 mm) smaller than the bore size. This tool can be pneumatic or hydraulic for optimal results.

Seal cocking occurs when one side of the sealing lip experiences greater shaft interference, potentially compromising the oil seal's functionality. This can lead to increased heat generation, causing the sealing lip to harden and crack, and in severe cases, dislocating the spring from the sealing lip. Similarly, spring back may occur if there is friction between the rubber outer diameter of the seal and the bore, causing the seal to retract from its intended installation point after being pressed in.

Types of Proper Installation Techniques

  1. Housing Surface Stop Installation: This method involves aligning the bottom of the installation tool with the machined housing face.

  2. Housing Stop Installation: Here, the seal is pressed with the interior shoulder of the bore to ensure proper fitting.

  3. Installation of Seal Over Splines: Lubricating the installation tool is essential to prevent seal lip damage from splines, keyways, and unchamfered shafts.

  4. Strike Plate Installation: During this process, careful alignment of the seal and bore is ensured while the seal is being installed.

  5. Shaft Stop Installation: In this technique, the bottom of the installation tool aligns with the face of the shaft.

Types of Inappropriate Installation Practices

Unfortunately, certain incorrect practices are still prevalent in these processes due to a lack of understanding. These mistakes can lead to oil seals being dented and contorted, ultimately compromising their functionality or, in the worst-case scenario, leading to failure during service.

  1. Incorrect Driving: Failure to use an appropriate driving ring can cause seal deformation and misalignment.

  2. Undersized Installation Tool: Using a driving tool with a diameter too small for the installation can deform the seal.

  3. Inadequately Engineered Installation Tool: Employing an incorrect installation tool during the process can also result in seal deformation.

  4. Misalignment Errors: Incorrect alignment between the tool and bore can deform and cock the seal within the bore.