Pulling A Seal Without Getting Into The Case

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Originally posted June 5, 2009

If you have a leaky seal, often there's a simple way to get it out without pulling the engine (or splitting the cases!) and less risky than picking and poking at it with screwdrivers, scribes and hooks. Kickstarter, shifter and countershaft seals are the most common candidates for this, but it can be used on some crankcase seals, too. The easy trick is to drill a set of small holes in the seal taking care not to drill too deep and away from the shaft and casing. Then take a wire, bend a U-shaped hook into it and loop it through the holes. Tie the wire and you can usually tug the seal right out. With tough seals it's best to do a wire on each side and pull them together. Just make sure the seal can be removed from the outside of the case!