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  #1  
Old 04-30-2011, 10:28 PM
exceding the limits
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 159
Default how to: replace your rear axle axle shaft oil seals

be sure to have front wheels securely blocked!


Difficulty: 4 out of 10
I guess it depends on your skill set, no need for fancy difficult stuff like you would need for a differential setup, if you can do your own brake work and fluid changes, chances are this will be pretty easy for you to deal with.
Time to install:
id say no more than a couple of hours.




Brief Explanation:
block front tires, remove both rear tires & brake drums, remove diff cover, remove cross pin, remove axle "C" clips, remove axles, pull old seals, clean everything, install new seals, reinstall axle shafts & retaining "C" clips, install cross pin, install rear cover, refill with oil.


Tools Needed:
-blocks for front tires, i used 2x4 scraps
-jack stands
-small floor jack
-tire changing tools
-3/8 drive ratchet/sockets (probably metric sockets)
-1/2 drive torque wrench with 3/8 socket adapter
-5/16 wrench with 6 point box end
-small hammer, i used a dead-blow with a brass head on one end, plastic dead-blow head on other end
-2 cans of brake clean
-drain pan
-2 lids from a gallon ice cream pail (you'll see why later)
-small pocket telescoping magnet or needle nose pliers
-small amount of light grease
-red grade Loctite
-a few clean rags, maybe more than a few.
-seal puller (sears has a basic one for 10-12 bucks)
-gasket scraper or good putty knife

Parts Needed:
-2 axle shaft seals, about 4 bucks each at my local Auto Zone
-80w/90 gear lube, if you have a limited slip, be sure to get the oil or additive for that
-2 cans of brake clean if you don't already keep some on hand
-some loctite i went with red i already had, blue would probably be o.k.
-either rtv or gasket for rear cover

Have you noticed a oil leak when doing a brake job? Don't let it ruin the shoes and affect braking ability, the risk of running the differential low on oil, and the mess you'll have the longer you let this problem go. I started with blocking the front tires, there will be times to have the transmission in neutral and time you will want it in park or 1st (depending on trans type) after blocking the tires, slide a pan under the rear differential and remove cover bolts, crack the cover loose so the oil starts draining out. while its draining, take off both back tires, place jack stands under the axle housing at each side and remove brake drums. place floor jack and blocks under rear bumper (receiver hitch if you have one) jack up body about 2-3 inches to give yourself some working room, but not so much that your off the jack
stands. remove rear cover completely. you will now want the transmission in neutral. rotate the ring gear until you can see the retaining bolt for the cross pin.

when it is directly in the middle, cross pin level, go put the trans in park or 1st gear to hold the drive shaft-ring/pinion in place. the cross pin retaining bolt is a 5/16 hex head, it is in tight and with loctite from the factory, get a 5/16 wrench with a 6-point box end and put on the bolt, tap with a hammer to break it free.

once you remove the retaining pin, go put the transmission back in neutral so the carrier will move, turn the carrier and the cross pin should slide out.

once the cross pin is out, push each axle shaft in one at a time and remove the "C" clip retainers.

i used a magnet, needle nose pliers will work also. once the "C" retainer clips are out, the axle shafts can be removed.

before you pull the axle shafts out, put a shallow tray, like the top off a gallon ice cream tub under each brake assembly this will catch any oil that is still in the axle tube, and when you spray brake clean later it will catch that nasty mess. remove axles and slide them into the back of the bed. the driver side shaft is longer than the passenger side by about 2".

(I didn't measure, but its a noticeable difference) remove the old seals, sure you may only have one leaking, but do both, you're here anyways, its only $4.00 per seal and you shouldn't have to do this again any time soon. I use a seal puller from sears,its kind of like a pry bar with curved sharpened ends, its about 10-12 bucks, a lot easier than trying to use a screwdriver.

once the seals are out, stuff a small rag into each bearing and spray the heck out of your brake assemblies with brake clean.


since you're doing this job probably because you have a bad seal, this is the time to get all the nasty mix of hypoid oil and brake dust removed.

mine was leaking just bad enough to run down the inside of the back plate, wasn't soaking the brake shoes yet. if yours has gotten that bad you may want to put new brakes on.

also clean the axles at the wheel flange end, use a little Scotch brite where the seal/bearing rides.

next compare your seals, I was given the wrong ones and had to go back, even though I gave the correct information, it happens, this is one of those times you're not sure you have the correct part until its time to re-assemble.

when your sure of your seals, gently tap into the bore. I don't have a socket big enough to use as a driver, I've used a small 2x4 block before, but I've done enough seals that I just usually tap back and forth then work my way around the seal until its flush with the housing. this is no place to rush.
once the seal is in, take some light grease and coat the inside lips of the seal.

I also coat the axle shaft where the bearing/seal area is. next slide the axle shafts back in.

there is a small o-ring there where the retaining clip goes, not sure why ford does this, g.m. uses a similar retention design but no o-ring.

push the axle shaft all the way in, slide a clip onto the axle are where it goes, then move the axle shaft back out to seat the clip within the side gears. spray the threads of the cross pin retaining bolt and the threads where it goes in the carrier with brake clean. you may have to move the carrier slightly to line up the carrier with the spider gears, and sometimes the spiders like to move a little when your moving the carrier without the cross pin in place.

once the cross pin is in, slide the retaining bolt in, but don't tighten. put some loctite on the threads before tightening. this is one bolt you do not want coming out! place transmission in park or 1st to hold carrier in place so you can tighten the retaining pin down.

clean up your cover and the mounting face of all silicone or gasket material. wipe down with brake clean. from the factory a lot of these used no cover gasket but just rtv silicone. you can get a gasket if you choose. I have a aftermarket cover and prefer a gasket. after you clean both surfaces, take a break and slide the brake drums back on.

adjust brake shoes if needed (my self adjusters don't work, I'm sure many others have this issue) use whatever method you wish to seal your cover, rtv or gasket. put cover on and start all the bolts.

the torque for the cover bolts I'm uncertain of, Haynes book didn't list it, I went online and found various figures anywhere from 15/20 ft pounds to 25/35 ft pounds. i would think the lower figure is for the composite cover, the higher for a steel cover. I went with 25 ft pounds myself. remember to tighten it down like you would a tire or cylinder head, go back and forth across the cover to torque it down evenly. next fill the differential with oil, remove the plug and put oil in until its running out. will vary with axle type and mine takes more than it used to because of my cover.

I used a gallon jug of 80w 90 std gear oil from Wal-mart. the pump made this very easy to deal with. took a little over half.
it was a little easier with mine due to the design of my rear cover having a rear drain and fill hole. be sure to use limited-slip rated oil if you have a limited slip.

last, put your rear tires back on and tighten accordingly. be sure your in park/first before removing the jack and blocking. with the right parts and tools on hand this isn't too bad a job to tackle.
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  #2  
Old 05-05-2011, 06:21 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 32
Default Re: how to: replace your rear axle axle shaft oil seals

I made a video showing replacement of axle bearings and seals.

It is on youtube here:

http://youtu.be/VIG9Sc4dhYI
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  #3  
Old 09-10-2012, 10:52 AM
Learning to use the forums
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 5
Default Re: how to: replace your rear axle axle shaft oil seals

So if this is the first time re doing the axel seals, how would you suggest to re fill the crank case if the cover does not have a fill hole? Only bolts are on the perimeter sealing the case. These instructions should be about the same whether it be 4x or 2wd? These right up's are awesome keep'em coming.
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  #4  
Old 09-10-2012, 11:57 AM
Buy a Ford
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 182
Default Re: how to: replace your rear axle axle shaft oil seals

You have a fill plug on the front side of the rear end. You need a short 3/8`s extension and ratchet to remove it.
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  #5  
Old 09-10-2012, 09:16 PM
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Posts: 5
Default Re: how to: replace your rear axle axle shaft oil seals

Awesome and found it. Next question is there a way to know our bearings are gone without tearing the axel apart?
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  #6  
Old 09-13-2012, 01:58 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 5
Default Re: how to: replace your rear axle axle shaft oil seals

The only thing I would suggest doing staight away is cleaning up any oil and putting heat to the thread locked cross pin bolt rather than possibly stripping it out. Other than that if you fellahs are ever in Tofino BC I owe you a beer. Cheers
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  #7  
Old 10-01-2012, 03:49 PM
Learning to use the forums
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 1
Default Re: how to: replace your rear axle axle shaft oil seals

Many thanks! I just did this, your post was very helpful. My 2002 FX4 I didn't have a cross pin though. After removing the small bolt, a chunk of metal about 1x2 inches came out, you could then get to the C-clips that held on the axles. After that it was smooth sailing...highly recommend the pump for the gear oil, was a pain to get that oil in without it.
Todd
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  #8  
Old 03-03-2013, 12:03 PM
MAK725
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 21
Default

Thanks for the write up. Very informative.
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  #9  
Old 08-06-2013, 01:48 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 17
Default Re: how to: replace your rear axle axle shaft oil seals

Thank you for the write up. I did this over the weekend and wanted to share a few things that I ran into during the fix. This was done on my 2007 B2300 base.

I did not notice in the write up at first, that it mentions to use a 6 point wrench to remove the cross pin bolt. I used a regular 12 point which stripped the bolt a little bit. I bought the correct wrench at a specialty tool store for $5 and it came out no problem. I bought a new bolt to replace the damaged one from a Ford dealership for $3. It also comes with loctite on the bolt already which is nice.

When I got the bolt out, the cross pin did not slide out completely. It came out about 80% and then wouldn't come out any further. I twisted and turned and poked and pulled but it wouldn't come out. It was out enough for me to take out the c-clips and put the axles in and out so I just left it in.

I couldn't get the c-clips out with pliers or a magnet, so I just used my fingers.

Like the OP, I was given the wrong seals even though I gave them the right vehicle info.

My seals were really really stuck in there. I had to use a large set of pliers and lay on it with a hammer to pry them out.

I have very little auto repair experience, I've only done a few fluid changes before. It took me 3 hours to do the fix which included about 30 minutes of waiting to borrow someone's car to buy the correct seal.
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  #10  
Old 08-06-2013, 04:00 PM
Learning to use the forums
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 1
Default Re: how to: replace your rear axle axle shaft oil seals

Awesome write up, thank you. Saved me a lot of guessing time and frustration! I've got limited slip diff, but the procedure is the same, just slip the C-clips through the preload spring.
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  #11  
Old 01-20-2014, 08:53 AM
Ford Ranger Owner
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 71
Default Re: how to: replace your rear axle axle shaft oil seals

I replaced my right rear seal in my 2004 Ranger 4.0 4x4 last year. Well, the seal didn't last long. It started seeping once again and now it's a leaker. My mechanic noticed my rear axle vent tube was PLUGGED AFTER we had already replaced the seal and it was leaking again. My question is this.......

Could have that plugged vent tube caused the new seal to blow/leak again? Should I be thinking about replacing the rear right axle to correct this problem?

Any advice will be appreciated.
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  #12  
Old 01-20-2014, 02:44 PM
exceding the limits
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 159
Default Re: how to: replace your rear axle axle shaft oil seals

yes, a plugged vent tube will cause a seal to leak, the gearcase (weather its a trans, diff or whatever) will build pressure as it heats up from operation, it has to go somewhere, if no vent tube, then it can cause a seal to leak. correct your vent problem and you should be ok. if the right seal isnt leaking you should be allright as long as the vent line is open. my left seal was the bad one, but i replaced both due to the age/milage on the seals. would be a bitch to go through everything again a short time later, doesnt take much more time/money to do both sides.....but it is better than having to replace a pinion seal. (which is what i have happening on my front diff right now...grrr!
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Last edited by racsan; 01-20-2014 at 02:50 PM.
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  #13  
Old 01-21-2014, 06:35 AM
2001 XLT
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 598
Default Re: how to: replace your rear axle axle shaft oil seals

Can someone post a picture of where the vent tube is located? Also how does one unclog a vent tube? Does a 2.3L rwd diff follow the same process as the above. Really want to check a vent tube if it's currently there or not, since I'll be down there this weekend replacing seals.

Thanks,
-Nigel
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  #14  
Old 01-21-2014, 05:14 PM
exceding the limits
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 159
Default Re: how to: replace your rear axle axle shaft oil seals


on the axle tube itself, left side between that u-bolt thats for the anti-sway bar and the coil helper is the vent line, coming straight off of the axle. the only way i know to test it would be to remove the fill plug, wrap a rag around a air-blow nozzle and lightly/gently put pressure into the diff, air should come out of the vent line. the top end of the vent line is clipped to the frame rail and can be easily removed/reinstalled.
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cardomain link:--> http://www.cardomain.com/ride/321686...er-regular-cab 1993 ranger s/c 4.0 hurst-equipped 5-spd,3.73s ,4x4, milemarker hubs, black grille guard/tube steps,summit rear diff cover with bearing load supports. http://www.myspace.com/small_dog_trucking
http://www.therangerstation.com/foru...d.php?t=148057
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Last edited by racsan; 01-21-2014 at 05:17 PM.
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  #15  
Old 05-05-2014, 11:00 PM
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Default Re: how to: replace your rear axle axle shaft oil seals

Posting for future reference
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