Oberdorfer Seals Removal Help

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  • JustinAlenScott
    Senior Member
    • Oct 2022
    • 16

    Oberdorfer Seals Removal Help

    Hello All. I pulled my water pump to rebuild it (all impeller vames present and accounted for, sir!) and good thing I did because the shaft is very scored and the shoe is about half the man it used to be. I'm using the MMI rebuild kit for the Oberdorfer pump and it's brilliant. But here's where I'm hung up. I can't get those original old seals out! They're the bronze ones with the springs inside and those suckers are in there. I've tried prying out and I've tried beating out with a hammer and screwdriver tip alternating on either inside edge of the inside of the seal and I'm doing a real good job of chewing it all up (NOT the walls of the pump body) but not such a good job at getting the seal out. And that's the easy outer one.

    Does anybody have a good trick or a tried and true method for getting these old metal seals out?
    Attached Files
  • Dave Neptune
    Afourian MVP, Professor Emeritus
    • Jan 2007
    • 5064

    Seals can be popped out by gently tapping with a flat punch by and moving the punch around the circumference of the seal. At the same time be careful not to "nick" the body of the pump.

    Often you can install using a "socket" and tapping gently while going around the circumference of the socket while tapping gently until seated.

    Dave Neptune


    • edwardc
      Afourian MVP
      • Aug 2009
      • 2511

      You might also try a pilot bearing puller tool.
      @(^.^)@ Ed
      1977 Pearson P-323 "Dolce Vita"
      with rebuilt Atomic-4



      • Easy Rider
        Afourian MVP
        • Feb 2007
        • 140

        I've pressed seals in by using a socket against the seal and then pressing them in gently using a vice. This method distributes the pressure equally around the seal. Just one other way.

        71 Ranger 29


        • tenders
          Afourian MVP
          • May 2007
          • 1452

          Have you tried the bent flathead screwdriver trick? Bending about 1/4” of the tip gives you an edge you can slip around the edges of the seal and tap it out with a hammer. If the edge of the seal bends you can grab it with a needle nose pliers or Vise Grip and yank on it some more. Heating the body of the pump with a propane torch will also give you a thousandth of an inch or so of additional leeway.

          The pilot bearing puller idea is a good one. Harbor Freight sells cheap ones that will be more than adequate for this job.


          • JustinAlenScott
            Senior Member
            • Oct 2022
            • 16

            Thank you all for these ideas. I'll be making a bent screwdriver to use for the next time and a pilot bearing puller tool looks like something I need to have in my toolbox. I finally got the seals out! And when I did I used a spark plug socket to press the new ones in and it worked brilliantly.

            So here's how I got them out. The oil side seal came out with relative ease once I figured out what to to use to transfer force to the inside lip of the seal to tap it out. The head of a bolt worked perfectly for getting in under that lip and it came right out once I found that. Given the space between the seals there was plenty of room to slip that in there.

            Not so lucky with the coolant side seal. That one is pressed all the way down to the 'shelf' of the shaft bearing part of the pump body. There was about a sixteenth inch maybe of clearance to try to fit something in there to hammer the seal out. I tried inserting all manner of things, some of which I'm not proud of, and I was able to widen that gap a little bit, but the top side of the seal just wasn't budging. Even after a couple days sitting with penetrating oil (PB).

            Having long since removed the inner rubber part of the seal with the spring, I finally tried the only thing I hadn't yet - hammering the seal back down. I went around with hammer and screwdriver and folded in the top edge of the remaining brass ring as much as I could, rolling the outer sealed edge away just ever so slightly enough. Finally that loosened the seal up enough to come out. The best tool I used for doing so was a rig I set up with two pieces of angle aluminum cut to the width of the slot on the old (scored) shaft with the short side just the right size to grab around the brass seal (and not score the pump body) and the long sides held together with a steel washer. It turned out to be a nice seal extractor.

            Whew, I'm really glad I got that off my chest. I had a lot more fun with that one than I thought I would. Is that a sign of things to come?
            Attached Files


            • W2ET
              Former Admin
              • Oct 2008
              • 171

              Easy Rider is a new MVP!

              Hi, Chuck!

              A new Afourian MVP, I see!




              • PPin
                Frequent Contributor
                • Aug 2022
                • 9

                Good to see you got the seals out! I just replaced the seals last week and the only way I finally managed to get the coolant side seal out was to use a chisel (a wood chisel I said goodbye to because of the nicks it sustained) and cut right through the outer metal portion of the seal. then I was able to use pliers and pull one end out, easily.

                Had to be careful not to score the rest of the pump..