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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a badly leaking front seal on my transmission. It has only been driven a couple hundred miles. Since it is a new trans, I called the builder to discuss. He thinks I have a problem with my crackshaft pilot being out of round or not rotating cocentrically.

The crankshaft is a 10 year old Eagle forged 400 SBC model. He stated that these are all made in China and have been known to have problems in that area.

Tranmission is a 200-4r running a Precision Industries stall converter. So far, every 200-4r I have used has leaked from the front seal to some extent, however this one is to the point of unacceptable. All with the same engine/crank, but 2 different converters.

Does anyone have any experience with the Eagle crankshafts or ever seen this to actually be an issue with any crackshaft from anybody? What would the steps be to repair it? Pull the crank and machine the pilot with a bushing?

I have plans to pull the trans soon and check the runout on the pilot, but wanted to get some ideas/feedback before I actually do it.

Thanks.
 

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I could be wrong,but I think its only standard transmissions that have the main shaft going into the end of the crankshaft,so I dont think the pilot bushing has anything to do with your problem.
Guy
 

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It's possible, the converter does ride in the crank. I have seen a ls1 that the 1 piece rear main would always leak because of a Eagle crank that was machined too small in the seal area, I had a Eagle BBC crank that was undersize on the snout, the ballencer would slide on and off with no puller or installer. Anything is possible, especially with Eagle Cranks.
 

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Eagle cranks made in China? that's rather disappointing.....:(
 

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They make 'adapters' to allow use of older transmissions in newer engines and visa-versa. Seeing how I have a clutch, I didn't even know the converter seats into the crank. Guess that explains the knob on the center of the converter.......

Some info from GM - http://www.gmperformancedivision.com/pulse/tips.aspx

The stories I've heard about Eagle are journals ground tapered and too much clearance.
 

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Highly unlikely that it's the crank.

More likely, it's the dowel pins in the block, not being centered on the crank CL.

VERY common in mid to late 70s blocks, including the 400. I would rate that as one of the 3 most common Problems with those blocks; along with starter bolt holes too far from the crank, and lifter bores that don't point at the cam.

Before indulging in vendor bashing and a bunch of futile "China" invective like some on this board (and others) always do, I'd suggest you go take some measurements. ;) All you really need is an old bell housing and a dial indicator you can mount on the crank such as with a magnetic base.
 

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i would pull the trans, set up a dial ind on the snout, see what your reading is-then mic the snout, i found some of those old cheap GER converters to have the snout .006 out of round
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Highly unlikely that it's the crank.

More likely, it's the dowel pins in the block, not being centered on the crank CL.

VERY common in mid to late 70s blocks, including the 400. I would rate that as one of the 3 most common Problems with those blocks; along with starter bolt holes too far from the crank, and lifter bores that don't point at the cam.

Before indulging in vendor bashing and a bunch of futile "China" invective like some on this board (and others) always do, I'd suggest you go take some measurements. ;) All you really need is an old bell housing and a dial indicator you can mount on the crank such as with a magnetic base.
Yeah, I'm not hear to bash anything, I just want a trans that doesn't leak.

This is a 1970 block, just for info's sake.

I do have a bellhousing, how do you suggest I take the measurements?

Obviously the converter rides in a bushing in the trans, so it seems funky that it would take out the seal without damage to the bushing.
 

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......All you really need is an old bell housing and a dial indicator you can mount on the crank such as with a magnetic base.
Let's say he does that and he finds that there are issues. How then will he be able to determine if the problem is the block or the bellhousing? Just saying...

Andrew
 

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Have you been using this crank for 10 years? The way I read it, its an old crank, but new trans, and the Problem started with the new trans. If Im reading that right and you never had a prob using this crank in the past until this trans.....I too would rule out the crank as the primary cause and investigate some of these other areas first.

And I also wouldnt discount the possibility that everything is just fine...but somehow the seal just got boogered up.
 

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I doubt it's the crank. Did you lube the converter snout when you installed it into the trans?

Do you have any vibrations when you rev the engine?

I bet if you wouldn't have told the tranny shop it was an Eagle crank they would have still blamed the crank. I'm not knocking them, but it's just the way things work in many cases, it's always someone elses fault.

Since you have to pull the tranny anyway, I would leave the converter botled to the flex plate, check the run out on the snout of the converter, then remove the converter and check the run out on the crank. It could very well be the converter.
 

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Bolt up the BH. Mount the dial indicator on the crank, with the point on the inside of the big hole. Check the indicator reading. Turn the crank 90°, check the indicator, 90°, check, 90°, check. Ideally you want all 4 readings within about .005" or so.

If they're not, get some offset dowel pins. Last block I had to fix that was like that, seems like I needed .012", and I could find .007" or .014" pins; I put in the .014" ones, and life was suddenly much better. No more pump whine, no more leaks.

If you got a couple of BHs you could use more than one, and cross-check them. Seems to me that for some reason, the machines they drilled BHs on, didn't get near as out of whack as the ones that drilled blocks. BHs (stock ones anyway) are hardly ever very far off.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Have you been using this crank for 10 years? The way I read it, its an old crank, but new trans, and the Problem started with the new trans. If Im reading that right and you never had a prob using this crank in the past until this trans.....I too would rule out the crank as the primary cause and investigate some of these other areas first.

And I also wouldnt discount the possibility that everything is just fine...but somehow the seal just got boogered up.
This is an old crank. I ran it with a TH350 for 8 years, and didn't have any major issues. Then I went to a 200-4r. The first one seemed to leak a little, so when I upgraded converters I changed the seal, shortly after, I had the trans break, so this is the 2nd 200-4r and it leaks really bad. It does have the pump drainback ported out, so that should help.

I'm also hoping I just messed it up when I put the converter in. I don't grease the nose, I just put trans fluid on them when I install.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Bolt up the BH. Mount the dial indicator on the crank, with the point on the inside of the big hole. Check the indicator reading. Turn the crank 90°, check the indicator, 90°, check, 90°, check. Ideally you want all 4 readings within about .005" or so.

If they're not, get some offset dowel pins. Last block I had to fix that was like that, seems like I needed .012", and I could find .007" or .014" pins; I put in the .014" ones, and life was suddenly much better. No more pump whine, no more leaks.

If you got a couple of BHs you could use more than one, and cross-check them. Seems to me that for some reason, the machines they drilled BHs on, didn't get near as out of whack as the ones that drilled blocks. BHs (stock ones anyway) are hardly ever very far off.
I don't get any pump whine and I have zero vibrations. Everything seems normal with regard to that.

When I bolt up the converter, I start all the bolts through the flexplate and then rotate the engine to put the bolts tight on the side of the holes, since they are slightly larger than the bolts themselves. I figured this would be the best method.

I will probably try and get the trans out with the converter still bolted on and measure runout on the converter hub that way first.

I would think for a 1000$ converter they would check concentricity.....

My bellhousing isn't exactly a bellhousing, it's just the one that broke off my last 2004r when the case split. So I can't really do the measurements like you describe with that.
 

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I had a brand name converter one time that had the locating hub on the front out of location. I busted a bunch of pump gears in a th-350. I finally changed to another converter and the problems went away.

Mount an indicator to the block and check the crank run out. I am guessing it will be less then .002". That will answer the question quick.

Keith
 

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Winston,

>> "I ran it with a TH350 for 8 years, and didn't have any major issues."

Think about it, did the new trans somehow cause the hole in the crank to become off center? How could you believe that?

Probably damaged the seal installing the converter. You don't need a any grease, fluid works fine for this. Think about how many million trannies have been installed like this.

Could you edit your post title to remove the reference to Eagle in it?

Your tranny builder, let's see, "blaming third party not present." Duuhhhhh
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Winston,

>> "I ran it with a TH350 for 8 years, and didn't have any major issues."

Think about it, did the new trans somehow cause the hole in the crank to become off center? How could you believe that?

Probably damaged the seal installing the converter. You don't need a any grease, fluid works fine for this. Think about how many million trannies have been installed like this.

Could you edit your post title to remove the reference to Eagle in it?

Your tranny builder, let's see, "blaming third party not present." Duuhhhhh
The only reason I didn't totally dismiss the idea is that they have all leaked. When I referenced the TH350 stating I didn't have any major issues, I was meaning more in the lines of vibrations and major blowouts. But it did indeed leak. Was it show stopper leak, no, but the car was very seldomly driven with that trans. (several times it sat for 1-2+ year stints) All these 200's have leaked, with 3 different cases and 2 different converters.

Trust me, the last thing I want is for the crank to what is causing it. I hope it's just bad luck with the seals, but this current one is unacceptable. I don't have a problem taking "Eagle" out of the title, I don't know how to do that, but a moderator can feel free to. The reason I had it in there is the trans guy asked me who made the crank and brought the whole issue up. Wasn't something I have even considered. Will he send me a new seal if that's the issue, absolutely, and for free no doubt. But if there is a bigger issue, I want to find it if possible.

Does it pay to fix if it is the crank? Probably not. One can buy alot of quarts of tranny fluid for that price.....
 

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I had a problem with an Eagle crank I purchased in ~2002 or 2003. The end where the pilot bearing fits in (I was using a manual) was machined so big that the pilot bearing would fall back out into your hand. We had built a nice motor, installed in the car only to find out we couldn't bolt up the transmission because of the defective crank machining. The engine builder and the parts distributor jumped in to put pressure on Eagle after they totally jerked me around and denied there was any such problem. We found out later that they were aware of a whole batch of defective cranks they had sent out with this problem and were not owning up. I do my best to steer people to SCAT and other vendors due to problems I and other have had with their cranks. Their crank machining is not the best and I have less to say about the way I was treated. It caused a lot of grief. I finally got around this by having a custom roller pilot bearing made which was quite expensive.

It was a SBC forged crank and the time period is about the same so I would look into this.
 

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I assumed like Tom that the same engine/crank was fine with the other converter and transmissions and then "after" switching to the 200-4r the problem started.

I never said "grease" the seal/converter, I said lube.

I would still check the runout of the converter as well as the crank flange. I don't know what you would need a bell housing to do that. Just need a dial indicator and a mag base. Mount the dial indicator and slowly rotate the crank 360 degrees, that will tell you if you have a runout issue. Pretty simple and straight forward.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Just to update.

I checked the runout on the crank pilot. There is none. I had concentricity of < 0.001 all the way around.

The problem is certainly not the crankshaft, or anything to do with the engine.

I believe the converter to be bad (cracked weld, trans seal seems fine) and have since sent it in to be checked out. When it gets back end of next week, I will bolt it to the flywheel and check the runout on the converter snout too.
 
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