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Can anyone explain the technical details of how carbon shaft seals work?

94RX-7 on Tue July 19, 2011 10:18 AM User is offline

Year: 1994
Make: Mazda
Model: RX-7

The shaft seal on my TC14C is leaking. This compressor uses a spring loaded carbon seal up against what appears to be a stainless steel lip seal. From what I've gathered, this setup is similar but not identical to the seal used on the 10P series.

My questions are as follows:

How on earth does this actually seal? Does it depend on some sort of fancy machining/polishing of the carbon and stainless?

What is the typical failure mode with seals of this type? Is it the O-ring on the lip seal? Does the carbon seal crack? Do the interface surfaces on the carbon and lip seal just get "boogered up" and just not seal anymore?

I don't think I'm going to be able to find these parts from Denso. Are these super duper high precision components that the aftermarket can't be trusted to produce?

TRB on Tue July 19, 2011 11:27 AM User is offlineView users profile

Quote
Originally posted by: 94RX-7
Are these super duper high precision components that the aftermarket can't be trusted to produce?

That made me chuckle.



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