This LRO reader emailed LRO.firstname.lastname@example.org looking for advice on filling a shallow channel in the edge of the seal housing of his Defender 300Tdi.
I’m in the process of changing the cambelt on my 1996 300Tdi Defender. All had been going well, and I had just removed the crank gear, but I then found I was unable to lever out the crankshaft oil seal as it was too tightly wedged. I then decided to drill a small hole through it to gain better leverage and hook something through it. Unfortunately, the drill bit wandered and has created a shallow channel in the edge of the seal housing. I hadn’t realised that this was made of alloy so had overestimated the hardness of the metal.
What do you recommend I should do in this situation? Is there some way to fill this small gap effectively? I was considering gasket sealant but would very much like your expert advice before proceeding.
If the groove is only small, don’t worry - you won’t have done irreparable damage. You could use a silicone-based gasket sealant in it, but be careful not to be too liberal with it, as you don’t want any of this floating around inside the engine. The other alternative is to use some chemical metal to make a permanent repair and then you would need only the smallest smear or sealant around the seal. Whatever route you take, check it after about 50 or 100 miles to make sure it’s oil-tight because engine oil seriously damages timing belts.
This workshop advice appeared in the March 2015 issue of LRO. Back issues are available to download on digital devices here.