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Project: Rear Main Seal Leak Repair for a Volvo 760GLE

DeRail wrote more about finding a rear main seal leak:

“I noticed that my 88 760GLE (B280F) has developed an oil leak at the rear main seal. I had changed the oil a few months prior, but that is about it, the car has been running fine and there’s no noticeable drop in oil level. I don’t have the experience, garagespace to do it, or the money to pay someone to do it. I did take it into my mechanic to just take a look and he said it was the rear main seal, and if it’s just a seep more than a leak, keep an eye on it but don’t worry too much about it. I’ve been reading and its been said that the flametrap should be checked whenever there’s an oil change, which I didn’t know when I changed the oil last. Whereabouts is the flametrap located on the B280F? Also, am I on the right track here checking the flametrap first?

Also: When I took it in to the mechanic, he mentioned that he saw loose oil around the oilpan, not sure if it had leaked from there or came out from where it’s leaking above. If the former is true, I would find it odd for multiple seals to go without some external force (i.e. excess pressure)”


“You can eliminate, or otherwise, the centre shaft seal by removing the cap. If there is oil in the distributor then it is most likely that seal that is gone. Next check around the body of the distributor where it sits into the engine. If the large O ring is the problem you will have oil on the outside of the engine at that point and running away from it. The small O ring can’t be checked without removing the distributor but its main purpose is to stop oil going up the shaft and into the distributor. So, no oil in the distributor would indicate that it is OK.

Marking the position of the distributor will help to keep the timing right, however (there’s always one of these), pull the distributor straight out, note the position of the plate, rotor and offset drive cog. Draw a diagram or, in these technological days of digital cameras, take a photograph so you can reinstall everything correctly and not 180 degrees out of alignment. The distributor may be tough to remove as the body is aluminium and may be stuck in place. It will come out, usually in a rush and with battered knuckles on your hand.

When replacing the O rings use a little Vaseline to help get them on. Put antiseize on the bolts and a film of antiseize on the distributor body to make it easier to remove if you need to do this again in the distant future.”


Rear Main Seal Leak 88 760

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