Hey guys, I'm having a local shop try and seal up some of the leaks on Ol Blue, '63 SDV. I've got a couple questions.

Has anyone replaced the tranny shift shaft seal, are they available? Is it doable without a total tear down?

I already have the pan, rear main, valve cover gaskets. I've read all the  war stories about rear main, and various other problems. Anyone ever seen rubber valve cover gaskets? All I can find is cork rubber.

Thanks for any info.

Tom B

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The stock valve cover gaskets were cork

I do not know of any rubber myself 

I read that you should soak cork in water before installing them and it does make sense they would get thicker and be more pliable and flexible which could help them  seal although I have not yet tried that technique  myself 

Do take the time to be sure the valve cover metal  lips are very square and straight by aligning them on a 2x4 

Unlike may others valve covers these will flex if you tighten the bolts down to hard which will cause leaking issues and a bad seal on new gaskets so torque to spec 

These valve covers are a little more of an issue to get  sealed correctly than others 


Do be sure to find Russ Austin’s post  on the rear main crankshaft seal —-that indicates he offset his rear main seal by one inch off the crankshafts rear main bearing joint which is the most successful attempt to get that seal to stop leaking in many attempts to get that done over the years on this site 

All  prior threads on this site are located at the —Search -on the top right of the home page 

A leak free pride and joy is a nice thing to have 


Giving anyone working on your Cadillac your copy of your cars year Service Manual  should  be a good Idea 

—the details he needs are all located there 


I prefer the thick cork valve cover gaskets. I would never use one of those thin rubber valve cover gaskets. With a straight valve cover that has not been overtightened (they can be bent back with boards and a heavy hammer if they have), and the correct thick cork gasket (no sealant needed) and torqued to 28 inch lbs (2 1/3 ft lb), it should never leak. 

Thanks all. Not so concerned about valve covers and will pass along info on pan and rear main seal, contact cement, etc.

Only questions left is on tranny. I assume the dip stick tube is just an O-ring. What supplier has the shift shaft seal? Is it doable in car at same time? Thanks all.

Shifter seal is very straightforward and can be done on-car.

Take off pan, disconnect linkage.  Inside transmission, just loosen a clamp and a set screw and the shaft slides out.
The seals on the hydramatic are o rings, on turbo hydramatic there is a small lip seal.
Fatsco will have all of them.

The trans dip stick tube is an O ring recessed in the hole of the trans.  Taking the pan off and going through the bottom of the trans would be the best way. I did mine with the engine out and through the top. 

Just use the black form a gasket RTV at the base of the dip stick and follow the instructions. 

Thanks for all the info. I feel a little more confident in getting some decent results on this adventure.

Tom B 



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