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Pinion Seals

 
  #1  
Old 05-04-2011, 11:49 PM
Jmartin1108
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Question Pinion Seals

I have a 74 F-100 with a 9 rear end and it needs a new seal. I'm not just real mechanically inclined but want to attempt this on my own.I've been told by some that it is hard and by others its easy. Now I turn to the ones that know. what is involved in changing a pinion seal? Some say take the nut off, replace the seal, replace the nut.others say the torque and some other packing have to be right? Is this something I could do or should I take it to the shop?
 
  #2  
Old 05-05-2011, 12:26 AM
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This is MY way.

It's been together long enough to assume that the bearing preload is about right as is, so we do NOT want to change anything that might "upset" things. We just want to replace a seal, but the yoke has to come off.

I get the vehicle up a little bit, safely, and first mark the driveshaft and rear yoke so I can put the drive shaft back in exact same place, and make sure you do not drop the driveshaft or the bearing cups from the universal. Wrap it with tape even and remove the drive shaft if a 1 piece shaft. If a two piece shaft with center bearing, use a coat hanger and tie it off to one side.

Now the important part .... CLEAN the rear yoke, nut, and threaded end of the pinion. Mark with a punch a dot on each, the pinion shaft end, the nut, and the yoke so that later you can put the yoke back on the shaft exactly as it came off and so that you can tighten that nut to the exact same spot, no more, no less than it is now. When marking with the punch or other method, make sure to NOT screw up the threaded end of the pinion shaft.
Now, count the threads exposed ... or use a combination square to measure the length of the pinion shaft that is sticking out past the face of that nut. Write it down.

Remove the nut, you might need someone to step on the brake if the vehicle is in the air. The yoke should slide off with minumal effort, a few taps with a wooden or brass drift against the back might be needed. Don't be pounding on it with a big hammer.

Prise out the old seal, tap in new one. Grease it's seal surface.

Clean pinion threads good with degreaser.

Clean Yoke good.

Clean the old nut good inside.

Slide yoke back on pinion in exact same position as it came off. That's why you put punch marks on each.

Put LOCK TITE on the threads where the nut goes.

Put a dab of LOCK TITE inside the nut. Reinstall nut and only any washer that came off. Do not put a new nut on, do not add or change washers. Re-use only what came off.

Tighten the nut slowly by hand, and stop tightening when that nut and it's punch mark lines up with the punch marks ofn the yoke and pinion shaft and the correct number of threads are visable or the exact same length of pinion shaft is exposed (you wrote the distance or thread count down earlier).

On police cars, I have afterwards, used the punch and staked a thread next to the nut after reinstalling it.

Put the drive shaft back like you found it. If using nuts on u bolts to hold it, don't overtighten those nuts. Just firm. If the nuts are loose like, get new self locking nuts or clean them and add a dab of LOCK TITE.

That's MY WAY.
 
  #3  
Old 05-05-2011, 12:39 AM
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I agree with the above. Some guys, for one reason or another, try to make it out to be rocket science and it isn't.

No need to change the crush collar, or install a new nut like some say etc.

Just make sure the wheels are chocked so you can remove and re-install the pinion nut and also so the truck won't roll over you in the process.

Josh
 
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Old 05-06-2011, 11:47 PM
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Thanks guys! sounds easy enough!
 
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Old 05-08-2011, 12:17 AM
Riderman
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Originally Posted by Bullitt390 View Post
No need to change the crush collar, or install a new nut like some say etc.
Josh
That is good info! On the Cheb's, very seldom does one get away for long without changing the crush sleeve.
 
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Old 05-08-2011, 12:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Riderman View Post
That is good info! On the Cheb's, very seldom does one get away for long without changing the crush sleeve.
You may on the Fords too if you try to retorque to the original torque. The trick is to reapply the same nut on the same pinion shaft securing the same yoke .... all three in exactly the same position as they were in before removal and lock them there, hence locktite and stakiing threads.

I've done it on Chevy rear ends too.

Change a washer, change a nut, change a pinion bearing, overtorque it .... and you will have to install a new crush sleeve and all that involves. Changing the seal doesn't count because it's not involved in the stackup of [parts that establishes bearing preload for the pinion.
 
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Old 05-08-2011, 12:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Riderman View Post
That is good info! On the Cheb's, very seldom does one get away for long without changing the crush sleeve.
Wanna really blow your mind? Many rebuilders do not even use a crush collar, or a solid spacer. Many just use a metal locking nut with lock-tite and set pre-load.

No need to crank down and crush the collar. No need to take apart the pinion several times trying to set the shim size for a soild spacer.

Not sure I would do that on a daily driver, or a vehicle that will see several thousand miles a year. But I see the logic. Works for wheels bearings and other applications.

Josh
 
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Old 05-08-2011, 01:18 AM
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[QUOTE=Bullitt390;10314445]Wanna really blow your mind? Many rebuilders do not even use a crush collar, or a solid spacer. Many just use a metal locking nut with lock-tite and set pre-load.

I do not understand how that works, But I cannot disagree with you. That's good info from you and Tbear853. When replacing a pinion seal in a diff that has a crush sleeve, I was tought that you allway's replaced the crush sleeve and re-set the pinion brg pre-load. I love this site! One is allway's learning new things or at least another way to skin a cat, so to speak.
 
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Old 05-08-2011, 01:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Riderman View Post
I do not understand how that works, But I cannot disagree with you. That's good info from you and Tbear853. When replacing a pinion seal in a diff that has a crush sleeve, I was tought that you allway's replaced the crush sleeve and re-set the pinion brg pre-load. I love this site! One is allway's learning new things or at least another way to skin a cat, so to speak.
Just think of it like wheel bearings. You have two opposing bearings. An inner race and an outer race. You tighten the outer bearing into the race to set pre-load. Lock the nut down with either locking tabs or a cotter pin and call it a day.

Same deal with the "jobber" 3rd members. Tighten down the nut until you achieve pre-load and call it a day.

If all that is getting replaced is a seal, just remove the nut (noting original orientation), remove yoke and replace seal and then replace yoke and nut tightening it to the original location.

Otherwise to replace the crush sleeve you'll need to remove the outer bearing and race, which may or may not mean you'll also have to replace both of those items. And if you're replace that pair, might as well replace the other pinion bearing and race as well.

A $5.00 seal just became like $50 or more.

Josh
 
  #10  
Old 05-08-2011, 01:53 AM
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I would never try to get away without a crush sleeve or spacer on a rear that came with one. I have in the past and will in future use a crush sleeve to get the proper settings and then install a spacer in place of the crush sleeve as recommended by Ford in their high performance manuals.
 
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Old 05-08-2011, 02:00 AM
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[QUOTE=Bullitt390;10314495]Just think of it like wheel bearings. You have two opposing bearings. An inner race and an outer race. You tighten the outer bearing into the race to set pre-load. Lock the nut down with either locking tabs or a cotter pin and call it a day.

Same deal with the "jobber" 3rd members. Tighten down the nut until you achieve pre-load and call it a day.

OP, sorry for the Hijack, but I think there is some GREAT info to be gleaned by your question. Others, like myself may learn something new.

Bullitt390,Tbear what is the purpose of the crush sleeve then? One could tighten the pinion nut down like a typical front wheel bearing nut and get away with it? I almost agree with the just putting the nut in it's original position. This is not a slam to your knowledge\understanding of this issue!!!! Just provoking thought. With a properly "crushed" crush sleeve, you have a measured rotational torgue of the pinion shaft, usually measured in inch pounds, to determine proper pinion bearing pre-load. Tighnening down, or putting the pinion nut back in the same position set's proper pre-load? Does this take into account normal wear and tear of the pinion bearings\races? This could be why some seal's probably leak anyway, other than the groove in the yolk. So, re-setting the brg pre-load is a good thing in these old rearends? Just provoking thought here. I have no problem with the extra diff gasket\wheel seals and crush sleeve, But if just replacing the pinion seal is just as good, I'm all for it.
 
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Old 05-09-2011, 03:02 AM
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Talking

Originally Posted by Riderman View Post
... etc ...

Bullitt390,Tbear what is the purpose of the crush sleeve then? One could tighten the pinion nut down like a typical front wheel bearing nut and get away with it? I almost agree with the just putting the nut in it's original position. This is not a slam to your knowledge\understanding of this issue!!!! Just provoking thought. With a properly "crushed" crush sleeve, you have a measured rotational torgue of the pinion shaft, usually measured in inch pounds, to determine proper pinion bearing pre-load. Tighnening down, or putting the pinion nut back in the same position set's proper pre-load? Does this take into account normal wear and tear of the pinion bearings\races? This could be why some seal's probably leak anyway, other than the groove in the yolk. So, re-setting the brg pre-load is a good thing in these old rearends? Just provoking thought here. I have no problem with the extra diff gasket\wheel seals and crush sleeve, But if just replacing the pinion seal is just as good, I'm all for it.

What you mean "almost"?


Think about it, the problem addressed is not a burnt bearing or worn gear, it's a leaky sel. You just want to replace a seal that wraps around a pinion yoke polished surface. The housing is not going to stretch or shrink, nor will the yoke, pinion, bearing races, or yoke nut. Only the crush sleeve is subject to havingh it's dimensions changed by your wrenching.

Put the nut on too loose, the bearings are looser and the pinion gear moves forwards and aft and some sideways in relation to the ring gear. These bearings are running in beveled races.

Put the nut on too tight, you will add more crush in the sleeve shortening it and increasing bearing preload causing them to run hotter, maybe cauising them to turn blue before they weld themselves into a molten lump.

If you put the same yoke backl on the same pinion shaft and have not changed the bearing races .... the only things that can change are the crush sleeve and nut adjustment. Put that nut back in the exact same place, same clock positioning, same number of threads exposed .... then regardless of torque used to install, there is nothing adding squeeze to the crush sleeve.

Remember, the sleeve is all that's subject to being crushed by the nut. The sleeve was crushed enough in the original install. You aren't doing the job to change the sleeve, it's just a seal you want to replace.

With a wheel bearing, you tighten the nut until you slightly load the bearing, then back off to a point where the cotter pin can be inserted. You end up wityh a running clearence that is close, but still somewhat imprecise. That's OK though, it doesn't matter if the tire and wheel moves a hair in use. As long as the bear is loose enough to not be galling and excessivelty loaded and as long as it's not so loose that the bearings are allowed to cant a little and not run true on the races all is OK.

With a pinion, you have a furher consideration ..... you have the mesh between the ring gear and pinion gear to consider. These are meticulously machined for a specific fit and if long life is to obtained, that proper mesh myust be assured, both in coasting and under power. It is thus necessary that the bearings be adjusted so there is no excessive clearance, and no overly tight running.

A rather crude method like the front wheel bearings that let a machanic still feel the clearance often times when the wheel is jacked up would never do for a pinion intended to last 100-200K or more. For a pinion bearing a very precise adjustment method is needed.

The crush sleeve is a cheap way of adding some resistance to the tightening torque applied to the nut (to crush the sleeve) so that once tight, it'll better stay tight at that point.

I have had cars that had nuts that were not locking nuts holding pinion yokes on, they were turned pretty freely up until they were against the pinion yoke. Torque applied with a socket and long wrench against a cruse sleeve is what retained them, and they stayed put. You applied torque and tightened and continuously checked for bearing preload by checking the torque needed to turn the pinuion.

If you went too far, you over crushed the sleeve and you had to either remove the nut and front bearing and slip in a shim or replace the crush sleeve with new and do it again.

All this AFTER you had set the pinion depth by the way.

I can see where running a pinion wityh out a sleeve would work, but one has to be extra slow and careful not to over torque the nut and learn to rely on simple lock tite and / or the nut's self locking squeeze threads to retain the nut as you cannot apply tightening force to help.

If it is your desire to check or reset or adjust running clearences of gears or bearings carrying those gears ... that are otherwise in appearant harmony with each other and the task they have been assigned to ... and if you have the knowledge and tools for the job, have at it.
But to do all that just because a seal leaks when if the seal didn't leak you'ld not give it a thought is somewhat akin to ...
... doing a valve job just because you are changing spark plugs ...
 
 
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