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Front cover crankshaft oil seal - which way round?

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Hi, All,

I'm progressing with "Project Cambelt", following the instructions in the Tech Archive, but the two photos below, copied from there, have me confused.

The first photo appears to be of the old seal still in position:


The second photo appears to be the new seal.


My confusion comes because the old and new seals appear to be fitted different ways around. The old seal appears to have the flat side towards the engine, and to be intended to seal against ingress of water when wading. The new seal appears to be installed to seal against oil from the cambelt area.

Am I interpreting the photos correctly, and which way around should the seal be installed - flat face towards radiator or flat face towards engine?

Many thanks to anyone who can clear this latest fog!


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According to my copy of the LR workshop manual (not RAVE) the second photo is correct with the seal pressed in from the outside of the case. If you're going to do a lot of deep water wading fit a breather vent at the top of the cover while it's off. When wading and the wading plug is fitted the air inside the front cover reduces due to sudden cooling and water can be sucked into the cover past this seal. Very early covers had a blank "boss" at the top of the cover intended for this very fitment.

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The seal can only be pressed in from the inside of the front cover. Am I correct in my thinking that the flat face of the seal should be on the side that is being "protected" from the fluid that is being contained? It appears that the old seal in my front cover was installed to keep water out, not oil in.


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Yes, the outer seal is only there to keep water out, (and it's not very good at it either) there is no oil inside the front cover --- if there is your front crankshaft or camshaft seal(s) needs replacing .

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