Race Tech of Yesteryear: Ferrari Craft’s Wool Seals

The team at Restoration & Performance Motorcars has posted a how-to on making wool seals for 1934 Aston-Martin Lagonda M45 Rapide on their blog. Tools required: spoon, ball-peen hammer, scissors and a razor blade. I’ve replaced plenty of cork seals, but I’ve never seen a wool seal before.

I’m sure there’s a long tradition of wool seals that I don’t know about from tractors or something, but this use of natural materials in an application in which we’d never consider using them today fascinates me; and it makes complete sense. Wool is fire resistant, it maintains a lot of its shape and insulative properties when it’s wet—or soaked with bearing grease. It’s this kind of ingenuity that keeps reinvigorating my interest in these machines.

See the complete process on Ferrari Craft. And go put a spoon in your toolbox.

One response to “Race Tech of Yesteryear: Ferrari Craft’s Wool Seals”

  1. Mike Jacobsen says:

    Wool–or as usually termed, felt– seals were commonly employed in the pre-war era. All OHC MGs had one to seal the camshaft drive at the head, which is why they had “oil cooled dynamos.” My Dad had the relevant parts of our MG NAs machined for a modern lip seal in the ’50s. They were also used in the tranny and diffs. MJ

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