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Replacing Axle Seals

Well next in my do-it-yourself series, is rear axle seals. If you notice some diff fluid in your brake drums, you've got a leaky wheel seal. This is for c-clip axles.
To start put a pan under the axle and remove all the bolts in the cover, except the top one. Loosen the top bolt but leave it in. Try pulling up on the cover gently, if it won't come loose use a small flat head screw driver, and use a hammer to tap it in between the cover and the axle.
Removing Diff Cover

Now I'm working on a C-clip axle, the center pin has to be removed. Start by removing the crossshaft bolt.
Removing Cross Shaft Bolt

Removing Cross Shaft Bolt

After the bolt is removed the crossshaft should slide out easily.
Removing Cross Shaft

Now reach over and push the axleshaft inward towards the diff. This will allow the c-clip to come out. It shoudl basically fall out.
Removing C-Clip

If the c-clip doesn't fall out, go ahead and pull it out.
Removing C-Clips

Now the axleshaft is ready to pull out. Now if we weren't replacing the seal, you'd want to pull the shaft out as straight as possible to keep it from rubbing the seal, but, since we are replacing it, just pull it out.
Removing Axleshaft

Using a large pry bar, pry the seal out of the end of the axle tube.
Removing Axle Seals

Once you have the old seal out, wipe the end of the axle tube clean. Then gently tap the edges of the seal in, be careful to only tap on the metal edge of the seal. You are just trying to get it started, not beat it in yet.
Install New Axle Seal

Personally I like to use a block of wood to tap the seal the rest of the way in.
Installing New Axle Seal

After the seal is flush with the end of the axle seal, its time to put everything back together. Rub some oil in the seal with your finger to prevent the axleshaft from damaging it when you re-install it. Try and hold the shaft as level as possible to prevent it from rubbing the seal during re-installation.
Use my Changing Differential Fluid for tips on reinstalling the diff cover.
© Copyright 2006 - 2024 Mike Lee