At Home With Cometic: Installing A Rear Main Seal In Your Garage

Anyone who has ever had that pesky oil drip at the back of their engine knows what a pain in the rear (pun wholly intended) replacing the rear main seal can be. However, with some extra time on his hands, Brendan Chess, technical sales representative at Cometic, walked through the process of replacing the rear main seal on his 6.0L L76 out of his Pontiac G8 GT.

The Cometic kit not only comes with the rear main seal, but with the rear cover gasket as well. For those who aren’t familiar with the LS platform, there is a rear cover, just like the front cover, which is not only held on by a dozen easily-visible bolts, but also by a pair of vertical bolts which route up through the oil pan.

Once removed, Chess walks thought the process of removing and replacing the rear cover gasket as well as the rear main seal from the rear cover. While specialized tools do exist to remove and install the rear main seal, Chess concedes that most folks probably aren’t using those, and are just using what they have laying around the shop, already.

After knocking out the seal from the cover, he reinstalls the empty cover on the engine, making sure everything is aligned before tightening the bolts. A sure sign that the cover is in place is that the seal just slips right into place before seating it. Again, specialized tools exist for this, but instead, Chess uses the back end of a punch, tapped lightly with a hammer around the circumference of the seal until fully seated.

All in all, a pesky problem with a relatively easy fix (largely because the engine is out of the car), without using any special tools.

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About the author

Greg Acosta

Greg has spent fifteen years and counting in automotive publishing, with most of his work having a very technical focus. Always interested in how things work, he enjoys sharing his passion for automotive technology with the reader.
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