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1977 Chrysler New Yorker 440 Big Block Six-Pack Denver Auto Repair Update

Good morning, I’m Saul Reismaniesman here at Saul’s AUTOTEK. Today we’re standing underneath a 1977 Chrysler New Yorker 440 Big Block Six-Pack. This was one of the original fastest rear-wheel drive true boat sedans that still survived.

Read Part One Of Our Chrysler New Yorker Repair Story Here

This was some of the first years of emissions testing and the last years that these vehicles would still be on the road. This is an original owner vehicle and came to use because it’s leaking oil from the rear main seal of the engine.

These engines from the factory had a design flaw where it had a two-piece rear main seal rather than a large single donut seal that pushes on to the back of the engine. There’s no access from the rear half. It can only be accessed from below.

Instead of having one round seal, we used two hemispheres, one that is pushed through and then a second bolted on from below. In this case when we remove that seal we can remove the bottom half.

To get the other crescent out, we must physically push from one side to push it through the other. The design flaw that these had from the factory was that that other half becomes so dry-rotted it physically shatters and shells apart.

In this case, when we went to remove it from the vehicle, it was in pieces inside the engine. As a result, most auto-repair shops will then remove the engine from the vehicle, completely disassemble the engine to make sure they thoroughly and process all of the parts out of it to ensure there’s no contamination on install.

In our case, we’re able to actually shortcut that just a little bit to save our owners a significant amount of time while still being able to guarantee all material and debris are removed from the engine. The way that we do this is rather than removing the block itself, we actually begin to disassemble the engine while it’s still inside the vehicle.

We’ll remove the front timing cover and timing chain so that the crankshaft is completely exposed. We will then unbolt the connecting rod and main caps from the crankshaft and lower the crankshaft out of the engine about three-quarters of an inch, not a lot but just enough that we can use specialty tools to physically remove all the particulate and debris from that seal.

Additionally, rather than replace it with the same technology, we’re replacing it with a custom-made PTFE rubber silicon composite seal. This will give us a guaranteed seal to keep it dry and at the same time make our installation significantly easier.

Our new seal will have a fin on either side like a fish so that as it presses through that crescent shape it will press outward and fill the gaps to make sure there are no air pockets and no air for moisture to come out. In this case, that means a difference between a $500 repair and a $3,000 repair all for one little piece of rubber, just to keep the oil from leaking out all over the place.

If you’ve got a thirty-, forty-, 50-year-old car in Denver that you’re trying to keep on the road and you’re scared of what the repairs might be and are avoiding going to the mechanic, don’t be. Please come and see us.

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About the Author

Saul Reisman

Saul Reisman

Saul Reisman has been helping the residents of the Centennial State with their automotive needs for over ten years now. He finished his Associate Degree in Physics at the Community College of Denver. Saul is an active member of the Specialty Equipment Market Association and a board member of the Young Executives Network. He undergoes constant educational training through GMC, MOPAR, Ford, Snap-On, Borg-Warner, and Ozark Automotive, with an emphasis on diagnosis, repair, and improvement.

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