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Old 01-25-2012, 03:59 PM   #1
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Has any one replaced the pinion seal themselves on their Jeep?

My front differential is leaking fluid out where the drive shaft goes in, so I'm almost positive its the pinion seal, idk what else it would be.

Has anyone replaced it themselves? I was talking to the guys at my local auto parts store/garage and they said it wasn't something I would want to do themselves, and then they quoted me about $200 to do it. I am wary of their advice b/c they obviously want to make money off of it, but I'm not going to dismiss it. If anyone has done it, how hard was it?
Here's some pics:





Thanks!

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Old 01-25-2012, 04:39 PM   #2
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I did a few pinion seals on old Fords in the 1990's, when I was a teenager.

I seem to recall needing a new seal, a new crush washer, a torque wrench, a block of wood and a BFH. It was a 1-1.5hr job.

I'd take apart the u-joint, then use a BF breaker bar to unscrew the nut in the middle of the yoke. Actually, I recall using a jack to lift the whole rear of the 1972 F-250 Camper Special off the ground by the breker bar which was on the nut. I had a few friends jump in the bed with me, and it finally broke loose. I pulled out the yoke. I took a chisel and beat in part of the old pinion seal so I could use pliers to pull it out. Then I took the new seal and tried to tap it in place carefully, but it wouldn't go straight. MY pop told me to use a block of wood over the whole seal to help drive it straight, and that did the trick. Then I put a fresh film of oil on the new seals lip and slipped in the yoke. You don't want to stick it in dry, 'cause you'll damage the new seal. At any rate, then I put the new crush washer on and tightened the nut to spec, and reinstalled the driveshaft and u-joint.

I can't imagine anything too much more difficult on a Jeep Wrangler.

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Old 01-25-2012, 04:48 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaisyCutter View Post
I did a few pinion seals on old Fords in the 1990's, when I was a teenager.

I seem to recall needing a new seal, a new crush washer, a torque wrench, a block of wood and a BFH. It was a 1-1.5hr job.

I'd take apart the u-joint, then use a BF breaker bar to unscrew the nut in the middle of the yoke. Actually, I recall using a jack to lift the whole rear of the 1972 F-250 Camper Special off the ground by the breker bar which was on the nut. I had a few friends jump in the bed with me, and it finally broke loose. I pulled out the yoke. I took a chisel and beat in part of the old pinion seal so I could use pliers to pull it out. Then I took the new seal and tried to tap it in place carefully, but it wouldn't go straight. MY pop told me to use a block of wood over the whole seal to help drive it straight, and that did the trick. Then I put a fresh film of oil on the new seals lip and slipped in the yoke. You don't want to stick it in dry, 'cause you'll damage the new seal. At any rate, then I put the new crush washer on and tightened the nut to spec, and reinstalled the driveshaft and u-joint.

I can't imaging anything too much more difficult on a Jeep Wrangler.
Huh... I've been doing some research and reading other threads, but they all have slightly different info... though I don't remember reading any where else about replacing the crush washer...

And about getting that pinion nut off, I have an impact wrench so that should help a lot (i hope!)
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Old 01-25-2012, 05:08 PM   #4
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Jstone, sent you a pm with all the info you'll need to to the pinion seal.
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Old 01-25-2012, 05:10 PM   #5
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I think I had an impact wrench at the time too, and I'm pretty sure the 20 year old full-floater Dana 60 just giggled at it. A Jeep Dana 30 should be no match for a healthy impact wrench.


There might be variations on the design, but I recall doing a few old Fords, and there was always a crush washer. It's the gizzy that sets the gear alignment. The old washer will still function, but the gear alignment depth might not be optimal.

I did a google now, and people report that the Dana 30 just uses shims in leiu of a crush washer. There ya go.

It's not a hard job.

If I were unsure, and only had the one vehicle, then I'd buy 2 pinion seals in case I boogered the first. Then if all goes well you can return the unused second.


I did the job with crude highschooler skills.
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Old 01-25-2012, 05:17 PM   #6
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The crush washer will not need to be replaced, but to do this properly the rolling torque will need to be measured. I've got put in my place suggesting this method, some people tend to just torque to 180lbft or so. Read what I sent you.
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Old 01-25-2012, 05:19 PM   #7
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Oh and daisyucutter, the shims are used to set backlash and the crush sleeve is used to set pinion depth.
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Old 01-25-2012, 07:25 PM   #8
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So I read what it said in my service manual that I downloaded while back... I don't fully understand the rolling torque concept, what am I rotating to establish the torque? I need a full explanation if you would be so kind as to write one up for me... thanks!
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Old 01-25-2012, 07:41 PM   #9
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also, any particular pinion seal that you would recommend? I found this one: Omix-Ada Part 16521.01 - Pinion Oil Seal by Omix-Ada for Jeep
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Old 01-25-2012, 08:45 PM   #10
Knows a couple things...

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Chicago Rawhide seals are about the best/most durable seals I am aware of but they were bought by SKF several years ago so it takes a good parts counter guy to drill down to find the CR seals. I like CR's seals because they are more rugged and less likely to be damaged during the installation process.

My CR website was replaced by this one by SKF so perhaps you can find them here... SKF Online Parts Catalog
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Old 01-25-2012, 09:52 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry Bransford View Post
Chicago Rawhide seals are about the best/most durable seals I am aware of but they were bought by SKF several years ago so it takes a good parts counter guy to drill down to find the CR seals. I like CR's seals because they are more rugged and less likely to be damaged during the installation process.

My CR website was replaced by this one by SKF so perhaps you can find them here... SKF Online Parts Catalog
Thanks for the site Jerry.
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Old 01-25-2012, 10:09 PM   #12
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yeah that seems like a good site..
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Old 01-26-2012, 10:40 AM   #13
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Rolling torque is the torque required to rotate the pinion, when measuring this you would use and inlb torque wrench on the pinion nut.
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Old 01-26-2012, 01:47 PM   #14
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Rolling torque is the torque required to rotate the pinion, when measuring this you would use and inlb torque wrench on the pinion nut.
I gotcha, I think... thanks!
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Old 01-26-2012, 04:15 PM   #15
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Oh and daisyucutter, the shims are used to set backlash and the crush sleeve is used to set pinion depth.
The crush sleeve does NOT set pinion depth, it sets pinion preload.
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Old 01-26-2012, 04:25 PM   #16
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I tried to replace my rear pinion seal. I had a mechanic buddy help me. Well long story short exactly one year later I destroyed a bearing on the pinon gear. Apparently we tightened something to tight. I took it to a jeep mechanic and he fixed it up properly. Moral of the story make sure the pinion preload is done properly
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Old 01-26-2012, 04:45 PM   #17
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I stand corrected on the pinion depth(depth is set by the oil slinger). Preload is what I meant to say. Heed what 402 has to say. If you have the manual and follow it you will be fine changing it yourself.
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Old 01-26-2012, 10:30 PM   #18
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I've changed at least a half dozen on different vehicles. It's not a difficult job, but as Daisycutter described, getting the nut off can be interesting. On my old '80 F250 4x4 I made a 2 foot long strap to bolt to the pinion to keep it from turning and used a jack on the breaker bar. My guess is a jeep axle pinion nut is going to be more forgiving. Torque upon reassembly is important. It wasn't an issue on the old Ford, I don't think you could get it too tight. The jeep won't be as forgiving here. You will need to get the torque right.

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