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Old 10-11-2009, 02:16 PM
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Front Axle Oil Seal Replacement

I looked under the truck this morning after driving it and noticed a bit of gear oil on the bottom of the lower ball joint ears on the passenger side. I just replaced all of my ball joints last night. I assume I caused this leak to start when I tested 4WD.

Is there a front axle oil seal replacement write-up? I'm guessing I need to pull the axles once again, open up the diff and take the gears out to get to the oil seal. Is that correct? Would I need to replace all the dust seals again? Is there a special tool needed to get the oil seals out? What torque specs are required to put the gears back in? Do I need to do the whole backlash deal with a dial indicator when putting the gears back in, or can it come out in an assembly and be bolted back in?

Just when I thought the front end work was done.
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Old 10-11-2009, 06:15 PM
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When you pull the axles to do the ball joints, you most likely will leak some differential lube into the tube. Doesn't necessarily you have a leaking seal, although I suppose it is possible to nick the seal when removing or installing the axle.
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Old 10-11-2009, 06:43 PM
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clux, I wish that were the case, but it's a confirmed leak. I've got the front axles out, the pumpkin open and the carrier bearing races removed. The passenger side seal is leaking.

How do I take the carrier out? What is the torque spec on the carrier bolts? Is there a write-up on this anywhere? We're at a stopping point sitting there scratching our heads trying to figure out how to get the carrier setup out of the differential.

Thanks
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Old 10-11-2009, 09:07 PM
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Got it out! It's not that hard after you figure it out. In order to get the carrier out, you have to pry it directly outward. We put a prybar on one of the bolts that hold the carrier gear and on the inside of the casting which holds the spider gears in place. With just a little prying force and a tap of a rubber mallet dead blow, it came out. Not much prying at all. It's key to have someone there with you.

Do you torque the race hold down bolts (bolts that hold the assembly in place) to 85lbs-ft?
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Old 10-11-2009, 09:45 PM
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Got it out! It's not that hard after you figure it out. In order to get the carrier out, you have to pry it directly outward. We put a prybar on one of the bolts that hold the carrier gear and on the inside of the casting which holds the spider gears in place. With just a little prying force and a tap of a rubber mallet dead blow, it came out. Not much prying at all. It's key to have someone there with you.

Do you torque the race hold down bolts (bolts that hold the assembly in place) to 85lbs-ft?
My Ford manual shows 80 ft-lbs on the carrier brg cap bolts.
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Old 10-12-2009, 12:27 AM
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Thanks Roland.

Got the driver's side seal in. On the passenger side, there was a burr on the inside part of the axle tube where you press in those oil seals. Unfortunately I didn't see the burr before my stepfather went to tapping in the seal. It cocked it so only one side went in properly. After trying to straighten it, it destroyed the seal. $74 pissed away.

Round two will be tomorrow w/ a new seal.
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Old 10-12-2009, 06:52 AM
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Roland Mueck
Sorry to hear about the seal. Hope all goes well today.
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Old 10-12-2009, 11:47 AM
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i can't remember on these trucks but i know on a dodge i did, the problem comes when you go to replace the carrier. that "prying" was necessary because of the tight fit.so tight that you have to "spread" the housing apart a couple of hundreths to slip the carrier back in.this requires a special tool you can get or make. look up a differential housing spreader and you'll get it. i made mine out of some 3/8" flat stock. it has to be STOUT. you'll need a welder and access to a punch is nice, or it shouldn't be too much to go by a fab shop, either beats buying one. good luck. i'll try to post a pic of mine.
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Old 10-12-2009, 12:57 PM
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My stepdad said something about putting the carrier in the freezer so it would install easier.

Edit: 1997 Ford F350 Axle Repair - Dana 60 Front Axle - Diesel Power Magazine That guy didn't need to use a spreader when he reinstalled his setup. Hopefully we'll be as lucky.
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Old 10-12-2009, 02:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mechelement View Post
My stepdad said something about putting the carrier in the freezer so it would install easier.

Edit: 1997 Ford F350 Axle Repair - Dana 60 Front Axle - Diesel Power Magazine That guy didn't need to use a spreader when he reinstalled his setup. Hopefully we'll be as lucky.
If I were to do that, I'd also use a heat lamp on the housing. The combination of the two should buy you the clearance you're looking for.
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Old 10-12-2009, 09:56 PM
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It worked w/o the heat lamp. We slipped it in about half way by hand and then used a dead blow mallet and tapped it into place. It found its own way in with the tapping. It's a tight fit and the tapping lets it find its way in straight I suppose.
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Old 10-12-2009, 11:52 PM
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good deal. where did you find a "drink" big enough for that ice cube.
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Old 10-13-2009, 01:23 AM
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Quote:
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good deal. where did you find a "drink" big enough for that ice cube.
I checked out that spreader tool you mentioned. That thing is one hell of a tool. You've got to be super careful not to spread more than 0.020" or else you can permanently distort your differential.

I don't have enough room at my house to wrench on this truck, so I took it out to my folk's house in Notus, ID. I called Art (stepdad) and asked him if he'd put the carrier assembly in the freezer. Gear oil in the freezer did not sound kosher to my mom, so Art ran out and bought a Styrofoam cooler and a bunch of ice. He plastic bagged the carrier assembly and put it on ice. It was damn cold putting that carrier in, but it worked.

Those oil seals go in farther than you expect. I took a real good look at the seal he installed on the driver's side last night and it looked a bit cocked. I used a 1-7/8" socket, a hydraulic jack handle and the dust seal tool w/ the critical face removed to make a slide hammer to push in the seals properly. It worked great and the driver's side straightened right out and went in perfect. We put the new oil seal in the freezer for a good hour before installing it. It definitely helped.

Are those white plastic things inside the tubes guides so the axle doesn't mung up the seals?

I just got home and so far no leaks.
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Old 10-13-2009, 07:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mechelement View Post
I checked out that spreader tool you mentioned. That thing is one hell of a tool. You've got to be super careful not to spread more than 0.020" or else you can permanently distort your differential.

I don't have enough room at my house to wrench on this truck, so I took it out to my folk's house in Notus, ID. I called Art (stepdad) and asked him if he'd put the carrier assembly in the freezer. Gear oil in the freezer did not sound kosher to my mom, so Art ran out and bought a Styrofoam cooler and a bunch of ice. He plastic bagged the carrier assembly and put it on ice. It was damn cold putting that carrier in, but it worked.

Those oil seals go in farther than you expect. I took a real good look at the seal he installed on the driver's side last night and it looked a bit cocked. I used a 1-7/8" socket, a hydraulic jack handle and the dust seal tool w/ the critical face removed to make a slide hammer to push in the seals properly. It worked great and the driver's side straightened right out and went in perfect. We put the new oil seal in the freezer for a good hour before installing it. It definitely helped.

Are those white plastic things inside the tubes guides so the axle doesn't mung up the seals?

I just got home and so far no leaks.
Yes, they are. They help align the axle spline with the center of the seal to "guide" it thru.
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Old 10-13-2009, 02:04 PM
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Jason,
I'm looking at the exact prolem with a leaking seal on my passenger side. Did you perform this with the diff in place? I've been told you should remove the diff.

How did you drive the pass side seal in. It is a long reach to get to it.

Also any pointers or a short step by step would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks
Marc
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Old 10-13-2009, 02:04 PM
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