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Old 08-30-2010, 08:14 AM   #1
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Front pinion seal

The pinion seals in these Jeeps are crap. Everyone I know has had to change them around 75K miles... anyhow, mine is leaking.

How hard of a job is this? Looks I can do it pretty easily...

Any insight/suggestions/tips would be greatly appreciated.

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Old 08-30-2010, 09:00 AM   #2
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It's a pretty easy job, getting the old seal out is the hardest part if you don't have a seal puller. I just cut into mine using a small screwdriver and hammer and then start pulling it out with visegrips and needle nose pliers. Just make sure you don't scratch the surface area of the axle housing the seal seats against.

My last TJ's front pinion seal never leaked, it was fine up until the day it was stolen when it had 191K miles on it... they all aren't "crap".

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Old 08-30-2010, 09:53 AM   #3
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Well, you are correct. I had a 1997 Wrangler that the seal never leaked. So that's makes two that didn't leak. But I know alot of Jeep owners (it's a Jeep thing) and they ALL have had the problem. And almost everyone of them at 75K.

But compared to my 2002 F150 4x4, the Jeep is a diamond. That truck is crap. More BS has went wrong with that truck...

Compared my 98 4x4 Tacoma though.... I've never seen a better vehicle...
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Old 08-30-2010, 09:57 AM   #4
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Proof that they all make good vehicles, and they all make crap ones too
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Old 08-30-2010, 10:30 AM   #5
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If I can ever afford it, I'm getting a Tundra (or Titan) as my truck. I had 196,000 miles on that Tacoma and I never had a problem with it. Changed the brake pads twice, shoes once, changed the spark plugs once, and the shocks/struts once. NOTHING ELSE. Not a single thing.

The cab was no longer big enough to accomodate the growing family though...
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Old 08-30-2010, 10:32 AM   #6
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I don't think I could ever bring myself to buy foreign....but all the new trucks get crap for mileage too. That's why I started my current project
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Old 08-30-2010, 10:35 AM   #7
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It was tough to go foreign... until I did the research and learned that most of the items to build a car/truck for the Big 3 are made overseas.

The foreign vehicles are more "made in America" than the Big 3. So I gave the Tacoma a shot because I got a GREAT deal on it. And then, still being skeptical, it impressed me. Quite a bit.

So I can't argue with it. But I understand both points of view. I really do.

In the end, I've got to do what I think will stretch my dollar the farthest. Know what I mean?
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Old 08-30-2010, 10:42 AM   #8
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Oh yeah I know that... I currently drive a 06 Dodge cummins, but the mileage sucks, the interior is horrible, and the rear seat room is pretty much non existant. Instead of going for a new one, I decided to make one of my old trucks exactly what I want. In the end I'm prolly gonna have about 15K in it; but everything will be new, exactly what I want, and get alot better mpg
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Old 08-30-2010, 11:31 AM   #9
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Does anyone have a step by step on this?

My manual is rather confusing. And it list the pinion nut as 210 ft-lbs of torque. That seems way high. Is that supposed to be 210 INCH lbs?
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Old 08-30-2010, 11:34 AM   #10
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Nope that's right....doubt it will be that high anymore honestly. I use a cordless impact that is about shot and it takes them right off easily. Just take the driveshaft off, buzz the pinion nut loose, pull the yoke off...pry up and replace the seal, assemble the rest and your ready to go
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Old 08-30-2010, 11:39 AM   #11
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OK. Can you take me through the steps of setting the preload. That's the part my manual is confusing on....
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Old 08-30-2010, 11:39 AM   #12
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Here is the best step by step that I found for doing the pinion seals.

I know that this isn't from the WF forum, but it is really well written with lots of photos.

JeepingSingles.net: Tech Section - Pinion Seal Replacement - TJ/YJ

I wasn't able to get the pinion shaft nut off when I tried to do it. I still need to do it, but need to rent or buy an electric impact driver for that bolt. The shaft tended to bounce as I was applying a lot of torque on it. I'm curious if it wouldn't have done so if I would have thrown it into 4WD. Maybe you can try that if you start having a similar problem. Let me know how it goes!
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Old 08-30-2010, 11:49 AM   #13
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Shouldn't have to worry about preload, that's for pinion/ring gear replacment.
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Old 08-30-2010, 12:14 PM   #14
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Manual says you do...
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Old 08-30-2010, 12:15 PM   #15
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I've never done it on any axle I changed seals on
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Old 08-30-2010, 12:26 PM   #16
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Just reading from the Haynes manual. If I get time I will type it out EXACTLY as it appears.

In a nutshell, you take a torque wrench to see how much torque to spin the pinion.

After you put the nut back on, you want this +5inch lbs. But it also says to go to 210 ft-lbs. It's a confusing paragraph to me.
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Old 08-30-2010, 12:29 PM   #17
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Its not necessary unless you have the ability to crush the crush sleave more than it already is...and that is damn hard to do even with an impact. Just change the seal, tighten the yoke, and go ride
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Old 08-30-2010, 12:30 PM   #18
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So how tight on the pinion nut? 210 ft-lbs?
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Old 08-30-2010, 12:34 PM   #19
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According to specs yes....I just hammer um down as tight as my old shot impact will go and roll on. I've been doing it that way for 15 years with no issues
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Old 08-30-2010, 12:38 PM   #20
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OK, I trust you. Don't take this any other way.

But if you just torque it down to 210. Why in the heck does Haynes Manual go on and on about setting preload in a confusing manner?
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Old 08-30-2010, 12:44 PM   #21
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That I cannot tell ya....basically in a nutshell the crush sleave is there for front and rear pinion bearing preload. Its designed to crush with the correct amount of torque is applied during setup. Since all you are doing is replacing the seal, the sleave is untouched. And as long as you don't have a mammoth impact gun to tighten it back down you won't have a problem. I know mine in my truggy are not 210 tight...but I've yet to have an issue.

On another note about manuals in general....sometimes you have to remember that the manuals aren't very friendly at all. And I have a hard time believing one that the first thing they say to do is disconnect the battery and wear saftey glasses before changing a light bulb
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Old 08-30-2010, 12:48 PM   #22
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Heck, I think my torque wrench only goes to 150 ft-lbs anyhow....
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Old 08-30-2010, 12:49 PM   #23
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Yeah I'd say thats right
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Old 08-30-2010, 01:12 PM   #24
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I suggest first pulling the plugs and checking your diff gear oil levels as the leak may not be as bad as you think.
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Old 08-30-2010, 01:59 PM   #25
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Yeah... but how long before it is finally bad enough to change?

It's been leaking about 2 years now...

For a $40 part and about 2 hours under it, seems like it might be time to change it...
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Old 08-30-2010, 02:30 PM   #26
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No worries man - I agree with you. Rip'em out and change'em. It's a very straight forward process. I understand you can borrow heavier torque wrenches from Auto Zone - as I wasn't going to spend the $$$ on a 3/4inch bad boy to hit the 180+ lbs of torque needed.
I tried changing my seals a few days back and sheered two of 5/16th bolts which hold the u-plates. Penetrant didn't work for me. Others suggested I should have used heat. Live and learn.
Check the gasket as well while yer down there. At first glimpse it looked like my Pinion Seal leak had caused all the staining but upon a closer look I could see it also looks to be leaking out of the bottom of the gasket. $5 part. Just need to lift the frame a little so the front suspension drops down a bit. At stock height the upper cap bolts are tucked pretty far up.
Pinion seals have now been replaced. I cleaned the diffs with engine cleaner (they look brand new) and am keeping an eye on that gasket. Jeep is new to us so no history as to how long the gear stains had been there.
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Old 08-30-2010, 03:01 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wolfgang View Post
OK, I trust you. Don't take this any other way.

But if you just torque it down to 210. Why in the heck does Haynes Manual go on and on about setting preload in a confusing manner?
Don't worry about it, torque it back down to around 180 ft-lbs. after putting a little red Locktite onto the threads and you'll be fine. This is how I do it and that is also how Tom Wood suggests doing it. Books like Haynes, which I wouldn't waste my $$$ on anyway, are always going to give you the long way around doing things if it makes them less liable for the results. Haynes and Chilton's manuals aren't anything I would ever buy personally, the FSM (factory service manual) is the only manual you can really count on.
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Old 08-31-2010, 10:26 AM   #28
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Yeah, no doubt. Where can I get a FSM? Other than the dealer & e-bay?

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