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I was taught years ago that for sealing oil the lip was toward the oil (to contain the oil) and for grease the lip faced the opposite way to contain ingress of dirt and water . Is this still valid for today's seals?
 

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I was taught years ago that for sealing oil the lip was toward the oil (to contain the oil) and for grease the lip faced the opposite way to contain ingress of dirt and water . Is this still valid for today's seals?
For general automotive use, I don't think that was ever the case. The open side with the lip (with or without a garter spring) faces the oil/grease while the closed side is on the "dirt" side. Depending on the application there can be an additional dust/water seal at the closed side of the seal, but seal pressure is only about 4 or 5 psi so don't subject the seal to pressurized water.
 
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