1996 – 2001 Audi A4 2.8L V6
Vehicle In This Guide:
1998 Audi A4 2.8L V6 / 5 speed manual / 104,000 miles
Besides physical damage, the only time you should have to replace the rear main seal is when the seal has failed and there is oil leaking past it. Unfortunately, replacing the rear main seal requires disassembling half of the car. Kidding, but since the seal is installed around the crankshaft, you will need to either remove the transmission or the engine to get at it. Because of the work involved, its a good idea to replace the seal when you are doing a clutch job since you will have the transmission out of the way.
Replacing The Rear Main Seal
1. Remove the transmission, pressure plate, clutch, and flywheel. Look at the Audi A4 Clutch Replacement Guide for steps on how to remove these items.
2. After the transmission has been removed remember to drain the coolant before proceeding further. If you forget this step, coolant will come gushing out when you start removing the sealing flange.
3. Remove all the 10mm bolts from the sealing flange, should be 15 total + 2 from the bottom of the flange.
Old sealing flange.
3. Here comes the tricky part. The inner lip of the seal will get in the way when you go to install it and will end up curling (this is bad). To prevent this, I got the Felpro PTFE Rear Seal Kit for a 1998 Dodge Neon for $12. This kit comes with a plastic ring that makes installing the seal a breeze. I cut some of the plastic ring off (it was a little too big to begin with) and slipped it on the Audi seal. Look at the pic below and you will understand more clearly. Also, don’t forget to apply RTV gasket sealer to the bottom of the sealing flange.
4. Before installing new parts, remove all the old gasket material and clean all the contact surfaces. Install a new paper gasket first and then install the new flange. Torque all the bolts to 7 lb-ft using a star pattern, starting from the inner bolts and going out.
5. Reinstall the transmission by following the final steps of the Audi A4 Clutch Replacement Guide.