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Help with blown axle seal

6445 Views 54 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  VManganese
Hi friends!

Inspecting tires for an upcoming trip, noticed mucho "oil" had sprayed onto the inner side of one of the rear tires - figured it was a blown brake cylinder, since I had to slam on the brakes for a pickup and horsetrailer that pulled right in front of the 95 Caprice wagon. But upon investigation, and sniffing, realized it was 90weight or whatever the pumpkin oil is, all over everything and the axle seal leaking like crazy.

Never done this job before (have done the distributor remove, clean, replace, heater core flush, spark plugs, water pump, etc.) so would appreciate inside info to help me with this job. What a mess! Brake shoes, drum, everything coated in 90wt. Luckily I have new brake shoes already. Got the new seals, and figure once I do one side, I might as well do the other, before I forget how to do it.


Veronica (and of course this happens as winter approaches in Eastern Oregon, and me without even a concrete slab to work on)
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Small things to add
What ever side you are currently working on, jack that side of the axle up a couple inches.
It will heĺp with the mess because the oil in the axle tube will wander back to the center and not be waiting to pour out as you pull the seal and bearing.
Take a real good look down the tubes.
Often there is some horrible crap in there that should be wiped out
Pack grease around the garter spring on the seal.
This will stop the spring from popping off when you hammer in the seal

When topping up the fluid, jack one side up,wait a couple minutes , lower.
Do the same to the other side.
Then recheck the level

Also, if you have a limited slip and are adding friction modifier, squirt it in the vent, rather than try and get it in the fill hole, way easier.
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What are everyone's thoughts about this solution - should the axle be damaged?

Repair bearing?
No good thoughts.

They put the axle load out into the seal area of the tube, they are more prone the leaking in my experience
Most kits warn you not to use them if the axle has a step worn in it.
Who else would be using them????????

Think that is their "out" for when the shaft snaps at the worn step.

Right from timkens instructions
" Warning: Do not reuse any axles that are distorted or bent, discolored, have surface cracks or have noticeable wear at the original bearing path"
Well fred, the axle bearing is smaller than the axle tube id and the diff side shim inner hole is small than the axle tube id as well.

There is good bit of oil "parked " in the tube, even after pulling the cover.

Once the bearing gets pulled, you are invarably greeted with diff oil drooling out.

Raising the end you are working on makes it a lot easier to clean up the seal area in the tube.

Your recommendation to find a little curved tube to squeeze in the additive, reinforces my recommendation.
Pop the plastic breather out, up end the little bottle, done..


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If you look around youtube, there are many many videos.
Just about every us manufacturer is c locks at one time or another.
These might not be the best, but you get the idea.,5.7l+v8,1037506,drivetrain,axle+shaft,10439

Holy crap, at 60 bucks apiece, kind of a no brainer for a stock car.
Disclamer, never used these myself
If you dont have limited slip and start spinning stuff around, yes the small gears could get out of place.
After you push the axle in, remove c locks, slide axle back, simply put the cross shaft back in place, put the lock screw in a couple threads.
That way it is imposible to get into trouble.

While i am a big synthetic guy, Any quality GL5 lube will be fine for you.
If you have limited slip, you may need additive as well.
That said, at your mileage if you do have, it might work better with none

The gasket, there are as many opinions as cars
I would just put a smear of silicon sealer on two fingers and rub the gasket between them.
Just enough sealer so the gasket is shiny, no more.

30 pounds on a 5/16 regular grade fastener is insane!!

18 max, but 13-15 would be just fine.
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What happened that they failed in 3 years ?

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