differential/axle seal leak - TCCoA Forums
 
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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-01-2008, 08:14 PM Thread Starter
 
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differential/axle seal leak

I have a 91 base with 3.8L and a 7.5 rear with drum brakes, 160K mi. Love the car to death even though it is getting very old for the rust belt.

Anyway, the left axle seal is leaking oil.

My question is, how do I go about replacing this seal or fixing the leak? I am guessing I have to pull the axle? How much trouble is that? How do I deal with the coil/spring (or can I avoid that?) Since I am in the rust belt, how many bolts will I be braking? (I broke 2 when I replace the drive shaft seal a few years ago, the big ones too.) How painful will the axle clip be to get out if I leave the rear in the car? (Is this realistically possible to do without pulling everything?) How many other seals will I have to replace at the same time? I'd like to remove the fewest bolts as possible as breaking bolts is much of what I will otherwise get.

I guess I am looking for advice on this one. I would like to keep her running until the 2010s to buy a new Ford as rumor is the 2 seater birds are what Ford is going to be selling for a while.

Thanks.
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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-02-2008, 12:33 AM
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seal

Hello

2 bolts & 5 lug nuts.

Remove tire(5 lug nuts)
remove the 2 lower knuckle bolts. Raise up & out. I use a jack stand there.
The axle should pop out with a twist of a big screw driver. Drop out of the way.
Pull seal
Replace seal I purchase them at Advance auto parts. the Zone don't list them!

Reassemble

Paul

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1990 Thunderbird Circle Track Street Stock
351W 2bbl.
C-4 Auto
3.90 open rear
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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-02-2008, 07:39 AM Thread Starter
 
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That sounds pretty easy/good to me. And to think, I was thinking about buying a new mustang.

Maybe this will be obvious when I pull it all apart, but what keeps the lower control arm from being sprung down my the coil/spring? (Or is that where the jack stand came in?)
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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-02-2008, 08:33 AM
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Hold up!!

Hello

The lower control arm will be held up by the shock.
You put the jack under the brake drum or rotor, after you unbolt the lower bolts holding it.

I don't have an E-brake on my car so don't know how it will clear on your car.
you might have to remove a clip or bracket.

Federal-Mogul Part number:714569

Paul

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351W 2bbl.
C-4 Auto
3.90 open rear
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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-02-2008, 01:51 PM
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Put a couple dabs of wheel bearing grease in the groove where the spring sits on the back of the seal. This will help keep the spring in place when you are driving the seal into the housing.

-Rob

1994 Thunderbird LX V8

Still in pieces in the garage awaiting body work, paint, and a drivetrain...

Currently driving a 98 Mustang GT convertible:
02 Explorer engine, Comp 262ah cams, Steeda underdrives, aftermarket H-pipe with high flow cats, SLP LM1 exhaust, MGW shifter, RAM clutch
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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-03-2008, 11:17 AM
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I had that loose like that once before I realized that the tiny shock bolt was all that was holding the spring in... One good 'General Lee' moment, and these would come apart!

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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-09-2008, 08:00 AM Thread Starter
 
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I haven't done this repair yet (I like to get a real good look before I leap, and I have been watching the leak all along and like to get started on repairs before they need to be done).

I was reading the "Anyone who installs a non-IRS trac-lok needs to die" thread and they are talking about c-clips.

Is there a clip in the diff that I need to deal with to get the axle out and in? (My brother thought likely so, but he also said he has only done solid axles and doesn't know for sure.)

Thanks.
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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-09-2008, 10:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by runawayabc123 View Post
I haven't done this repair yet (I like to get a real good look before I leap, and I have been watching the leak all along and like to get started on repairs before they need to be done).

I was reading the "Anyone who installs a non-IRS trac-lok needs to die" thread and they are talking about c-clips.

Is there a clip in the diff that I need to deal with to get the axle out and in? (My brother thought likely so, but he also said he has only done solid axles and doesn't know for sure.)

Thanks.
Yes, but they are just circlips. You just take a prybar or big screwdriver and pry the halfshaft out of the diff housing. Easy.

In that thread, someone had installed the solid axle side gears in the IRS housing. The IRS side gears have a bevel on the inside that the circlips hold against, but came be pryed out of easily. The solid axle side gears do not have this bevel, so once you push the halfshaft in and the circlip clips in, it won't come out.

-Rob

1994 Thunderbird LX V8

Still in pieces in the garage awaiting body work, paint, and a drivetrain...

Currently driving a 98 Mustang GT convertible:
02 Explorer engine, Comp 262ah cams, Steeda underdrives, aftermarket H-pipe with high flow cats, SLP LM1 exhaust, MGW shifter, RAM clutch
[email protected], 2.17 60ft(stock 2.73s, worn-out trac-lok)
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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-13-2008, 08:55 AM Thread Starter
 
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Will I need a new circlips too then? I am guessing that prying it out will mangle it up?
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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-13-2008, 06:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by runawayabc123 View Post
Will I need a new circlips too then? I am guessing that prying it out will mangle it up?
Maybe, maybe not. It depends if you mangle it or not. I didn't have to get new ones when I swapped my diff.

-Rob

1994 Thunderbird LX V8

Still in pieces in the garage awaiting body work, paint, and a drivetrain...

Currently driving a 98 Mustang GT convertible:
02 Explorer engine, Comp 262ah cams, Steeda underdrives, aftermarket H-pipe with high flow cats, SLP LM1 exhaust, MGW shifter, RAM clutch
[email protected], 2.17 60ft(stock 2.73s, worn-out trac-lok)
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post #11 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-13-2008, 06:36 PM
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No Way!

Hello

Unless the circle clips are mangled inside they will pop out with a large screw driver easily. I have swapped my pumpkin several times & still have not swap axles.

Last season I swapped my pumpkin 3 times in 3 weeks.

went from 3.90's to 4.10's back to 3.90's
too many r's with 4.10's.

Paul

Paul [email protected]
1990 Thunderbird Circle Track Street Stock
351W 2bbl.
C-4 Auto
3.90 open rear
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post #12 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-16-2008, 09:17 AM Thread Starter
 
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Does this look like the right seal? I know it says front axle seal, but it actually came off of the rear axle seal link. (The parts guy didn't seem to really know which seal I was asking about and kept saying front axle seal. Due to the way it is listed, maybe that is why.)

It also didn't ask if the rear was an 7.5 or an 8.8, but I am guessing the axles are the same with the same seals?

Thanks.

http://www.napaonline.com/MasterPage...al+-+Rear+Axle
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post #13 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-16-2008, 09:51 AM
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That's it!

The seals are the same on either size rear.

Joe

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post #14 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-17-2008, 06:28 PM
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High

Hello

The numbers seem close. But the price is high.

It is $8.68 @ partsamerica.com
Advance auto parts. The place where I get mine.

Paul

Let me know if you need help changing them.

Paul [email protected]
1990 Thunderbird Circle Track Street Stock
351W 2bbl.
C-4 Auto
3.90 open rear
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post #15 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-23-2008, 12:43 PM Thread Starter
 
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It was $11 dollars from a independent parts store. (Local, I like to support them.)

I have the car up and it looks like the bolts will be rusted to the bushings AND I will likely break them taking them off. My dad says he use to cut them off and replace them when he was still in that business.

So, where can I find bolts and bushings and how much trouble is it pressing the new bushings in to the spindle?

Or, do you think I can just rip it all apart, and nothing will break and I will be lucky?

Thanks.
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post #16 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-23-2008, 10:50 PM
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blaster

Hello

Spray blaster on those nuts & bolts. both ends.

You only need the lower bolts, 3 of them.
2 lower control to knuckle & shock. + swaybar link.

Pickup some grade 8 bolts of the same sizes, as back-up.
18mm bolt head & 21mm nut.(don't know the actual bolt size.)

Paul

Paul [email protected]
1990 Thunderbird Circle Track Street Stock
351W 2bbl.
C-4 Auto
3.90 open rear
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post #17 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-25-2008, 05:33 PM Thread Starter
 
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Well, even ford can't get replacement bolts. (But they can get the nuts!)

I am going to see what I can do to match up on the bolts.

Ideas welcome on getting the correct size, ideally before I have one out/broken.

Thanks.
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post #18 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-25-2008, 07:03 PM
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Bolts

Hello

Grade 8+ 1/2" to 9/16" shoulder 3 1/2 + nose. just less than 4" with centering nose.

Any bolts Grade 8 +

Poly lock washered shoulder, Nut to match the bolt.

The stock bolt looks like 13mm X 5 thread.

Good luck!
Paul

Again I wish you guys were closer. I could show you the bolts. i have extras.
Spares for my race car.

Paul

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1990 Thunderbird Circle Track Street Stock
351W 2bbl.
C-4 Auto
3.90 open rear
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post #19 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-25-2008, 07:07 PM
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Bolts

Hello

Grade 8+ 1/2" to 9/16" shoulder 3 1/2 + nose. just less than 4" with centering nose.

Any bolts Grade 8 +

Poly lock washered shoulder, Nut to match the bolt.

The stock bolt looks like 13mm X 5 thread.

Good luck!
Paul

Again I wish you guys were closer. I could show you the bolts. i have extras.
Spares for my race car.

Try this.
Brush off the bolt end,(clean threads) Spray with Blaster(Nut side)
Loosen the nut. Don't remove.
try to turn the bolt head.
If you can turn the bold 1 full turn without any pull back.
You are all set. they should come out no problem.

Paul

Paul [email protected]
1990 Thunderbird Circle Track Street Stock
351W 2bbl.
C-4 Auto
3.90 open rear
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post #20 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-30-2008, 05:14 PM Thread Starter
 
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Good news and questions...

I covered the nuts in pb blaster and let it sit and covered them some more and with the convincing help of mr. hammer, the nuts and bolts came off pretty well. They look almost new still on the inside of everything.

But, I just don't see how pulling the spindle up from the bottom will release the axle from the spindle or the differential. We pulled the nut off the axle and tried pulling it from the bearing, it didn't really want to come out of the bearing in the spindle.

It looks like the parking brake line won't clear either... but I won't miss that if I cut it (I don't think it would work any way).

Could you give me a little more guided instructions on how to pull it out from the differential? Just pull up and out? (The axle gets longer going up with the way the cv joins bend.)

On a different note, the drum brake cylinder seems to be leaking, so that may all come apart anyway.

Thanks!
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post #21 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-30-2008, 05:44 PM Thread Starter
 
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Update, the passenger side parking brake line broke will moving it around (aka it was never going to work), so consider that pulled off.
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post #22 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-30-2008, 09:18 PM Thread Starter
 
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Update again:

The solution to any problem is a bigger hammer. We knocked the axle loose out of the spindle/wheel bearing. Bent the spindle up as far as I could while my dad pulled the loose axle out of the spindle.

As simple as could be the little pry bar poped the axle out of the differential.

The seal was a pain to get out. But it did. The new one was a pain to get on, but mr. hammer fixed that.

Everything went back together pretty well.

I also broke the brake line getting that off (thanks rust belt!). The parking brake line was still loosely attached, so I don't know if the brake lines will interfere with getting the axle out as both were in a non-funtional state when I got the axle out.

So, tomorrow, I am getting a new rear brake cylinder (it was leaking) and a brake line and I will get those back together.

Thanks for everyone's help and advice.

And with any luck, my bird will fly for at least another year and a half.
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