I've damaged the crankshaft bearing seal while removing the crankshaft seal with a pick. See the pic, the worst part is the ~1 mm2 flap near the edge.

What are the consequences of this and how can I repair it, short of replacing the bearing?

enter image description here

  • I can't quite see the extent of the damage ... is it completely through the rubber, or just dug into it? And you're saying there are two seals here? The one you took out and this one? Sep 17, 2018 at 0:49

1 Answer 1


I've removed the seals from bearings to lube a bearing instead of replacing it on multiple occasions, but generally out of the vehicle. For that, I'd probably go out and buy a new bearing and take a good seal out of it, replacing the damaged one in the installed bearing (hoping it's a perfect fit).

To remove the seals, I will start with very thin edge to pick under it on the inside edge - a box cutter works well, just don't cut into the seal itself. Once under it, use a right angle pick tool to gently work around the seal to pull it out gradually to avoid bending the metal core. If the core is bent, but not kinked, it's pretty easy to shape it back to flat.

Installing is using a small blunt tool to press the seal in around the outside edge. I work slowly and gently around the edge to push it into place. It doesn't take much force to install.

I've used this for timing belt pulleys that are getting dry. I didn't see a need to buy new pulleys if the bearing is not damaged. There are two in a Subaru (EJ251 engine) that my son has put about 150K on so far. Had to do one in my Audi (BWT engine) about 15K miles ago and so far so good. I'll pull it apart soon for a camshaft replacement and check it.

Disclaimer - this has worked for my specific applications on sealed bearings, starting with bicycles and moving up to automotive applications. I don't claim this will work for your situation and I suspect it isn't recommended by bearing manufacturers.

Good luck

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .