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James249G 05-05-2012 03:12 PM

Rear Differential Leak - Quick Fix?
Hey, gents. The folks who balanced my tires recently told me that it would cost roughly $250 to fix the seal on my leaking rear dif. I can turn a wrench on a motor but I dont know a whole lot about the underside. $250 sounds a little high. Is this the kind of thing I could do in a parking lot? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks Much.

Plowboy1970 05-05-2012 03:13 PM

Pinion or axle seal? Still pretty high no matter what.

James249G 05-05-2012 03:33 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Not sure. Does the pic tell you anything? Like I said, I'm no genius where it comes to this stuff!

InvertChaos 05-05-2012 03:36 PM

Can you take a picture of the other side where the yoke is?

James249G 05-05-2012 03:46 PM

Just a sec...

James249G 05-05-2012 03:49 PM

2 Attachment(s)
Wasn't easy... In my work clothes!

InvertChaos 05-05-2012 03:52 PM

Looks like a pinion seal leak to me...but I'll let the experts get in here.

Rumdog 05-05-2012 04:24 PM

what leak?

burton160w 05-05-2012 04:27 PM

I can't tell 100% from the pictures, but I'm not seeing anything indicating a terrible pinion seal leak. If it's an axle seal leak, you'd have differential oil on your brakes and inside your wheels. Leave your Jeep out overnight with a pie of cardboard taped underneath it. If there are spots by the wheels, it's an axle seal leak, if it's in the center it's a pinion seal.

Now, did you notice this problem or did they? It's a common high-mile maintenance item that unscrupulous lube shops will point out. But again, if it's really leaking, it's time replace.

Both seals aren't difficult to replace. It's definitely parking-lot doable, but you'll need jackstands for the axle seals.

Here's a great video for replacing your pinion seal. It's a 30 minute job, but you MAY want an impact wrench for that bolt. Use PB Blaster to loosen the rust. Make sure to torque it up to proper specs. I think that's more important then having it sitting in the exact location it was before.

How To Install Replace Rear Axle Differential Pinion Seal - YouTube

James249G 05-05-2012 04:37 PM

Look, the gus at Kaufman Tires... I've got no reason to beleive what they say. But my buddy who helped me install my lift was the first guy who pointed it out to me. He's the kind of gear head who's advice I hold in very high regard and he has no reason to talk me into a shop for no for nothing. Plus when we put the lift on last weel there was a great deal of oil slung around on the inside of the rear driver side wheel. Those first photos I posted, you dont see anything there?

StaffCaptainZ06 05-05-2012 05:04 PM

I would replace the pinion seal and remove the rear cover, clean the cover then reseal that too.

James249G 05-05-2012 05:14 PM


Originally Posted by StaffCaptainZ06 (Post 2338101)
I would replace the pinion seal and remove the rear cover, clean the cover then reseal that too.

I'm listening... what makes you say that?

criungerich 12-23-2014 03:12 PM

I did just that in the rain last night, my first job on the new 02 X. Just be aware that f***ing differential fill hole is in just the right place for a bad day with the gas tank.

Aside of the rust bustin its a pretty straight forward job.

Bossmanx 12-23-2014 03:21 PM


Originally Posted by James249G (Post 2338132)
I'm listening... what makes you say that?

Burton160w just explained. If you found it by your wheel and inside then it's probably the cover seal. If it's just the center then a pinion deal leak. Draining fluid and cleaning the diff cover seal and replacing is super easy. The pinion seal is only a 30 minute job. So you might as well do both to save yourself some trouble down the road.

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