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-   -   Rear Pinion Oil Seal Help (http://www.wranglerforum.com/f210/rear-pinion-oil-seal-help-231945.html)

The_Jode 04-01-2013 07:05 AM

Rear Pinion Oil Seal Help
 
Hey WF,

So yesterday I noticed the great smell of Burning Differential Oil on the way to my buddies house to replace rotors and brake pads. Upon arrival noticed that my Diff oil was leaking from the drive shaft end, and, subsequently being sprayed everywhere underneath; to include my exhaust (hence the burning oil part).

Anyway I'm trying to get ready for a 3 day wheeling trip that is coming up in less than two weeks now.

What do I need to do to replace it? And is it entirely necessary to fix since the pinion seal is above the oil level and only gets sprayed out when on long distance trips on the highway (have to make one LD trip to there and back)

PS. I have a 2004 Rubicon, and have recently changed my diff oil to conventional 85-140. Seems unrelated since it happened 3 weeks after the change, but figured it could be of some use.

Angus Brown 04-01-2013 04:16 PM

Hi,
First, mark a straight line on the end of the driveshaft, across the pinion yoke so you can line it back up when you reconnect the driveshaft to the rear axle. Disconnect the driveshaft at the rear axle, and then you remove the nut and washer holding the pinion yoke to the pinion. Use a puller to remove that yoke. Once that is removed, you can pull the old seal out, lube up a new seal, and then install it with a seal installer. Then you put the nut and washer back on the pinion and torque it to spec. If you want to get fancy, you can use an inch-pound measuring torque wrench to rotate the pinion nut a few times before removing the old seal to record how many in/lbs it takes to turn the pinion, because you want it to be the same after you install the new seal and torque the nut back down.

But before doing all of that, have you checked the rear axle vent tube to make sure it's working? If it's clogged, you'll build up pressure in the axle housing and blow out the seal. Also, did you over-fill the rear differential when you changed to the new fluid? Over-filling can causing it to foam up and create pressure, which you'll need if you're blowing gear oil out of the pinion end of a differential. Hope that helps.

Shark_13 04-01-2013 08:06 PM

If it is leaking bad enough to be spraying, then yes, it is necessary. Especially with a big trip planned.
Be aware, the big yoke nut is supposed to be one time use only. Dealer only from what i could find unless you get one online. Doesn't hurt to put some blue loctite on it as well. Torque to spec.

The_Jode 04-01-2013 11:07 PM

Okay, so update:

First; When I changed the Diff fluid, I put 2 1/2 Quarts in the rear. This was more than "stock" but even less than I was told to put in with aftermarket diff covers. Yesterday was the first time since the change that A: I was above 55MPH and B: Driving for more than 30 minutes at a time. So I don't know if that had something to do with it.

Second; from what I'm understanding about the process of changing the seal it seems I just disconnect the drive shaft and replace everything from the Back side? Whereas I was led to believe earlier that I would have to take out axle shafts, gears, etc... and replace it from the Inside. Am I correct? Also replace the "big yoke nut" as well?

Third; Now that I am driving around at normal speed it seems to only be dripping from the driver side rear (where I believe the breather tube dumps.) But can't tell if its just left over oil that was trapped from the gas tank skid, or actual overflowing.

Angus Brown 04-02-2013 08:30 AM

I wasn't aware that the yoke nut was a one-time use fastener, but good to know Shark.

Ah, ok Jode, I didn't know you had an aftermarket cover. I'm guessing the fill plug is also higher than the stock diff. cover fill plug? It definitely sounds like the gear oil is foaming up and blowing out now. The best solution would be to replace that pinion seal. I would also look at your stock cover, and see about where the fluid would hit the fill plug on it once the differential is topped off, and try to only fill it up to that height using the new cover. Just stick a finger in the fill hole on the new cover and feel the fluid level until it hits the point where it would have been leaking out of the stock diff. cover fill hole.

I've heard you can add about 1/2 cup of automatic transmission fluid to gear oil in the differential to prevent foaming, but I've never tried it personally, so I'm not sure how well it will work. You could always use a suction gun to pull out some of the gear oil you have in there, and try the ATF idea. I think in the very least you need to pull out some gear oil. Let us know how it goes.

bmbillups 04-02-2013 10:36 AM

Also want to check your yoke (once out) surface for any grooves where the old seal has worn into it. If there is grooves in it this will cause a loose fit with the new pinion seal and it will leak again. I had this happen to me. I replaced the pinion seal for a second time EXCEPT this time i took the circular spring out of the new seal. You then find the end where the spring disconnects or conects to itself in a circle. On the female end of the spring clip off a couple centimeters and reconnect the spring and put it back in the seal. This allows the seal to ride just a bit more tightly around the yoke. I did this about 8 months ago and my diff is dry as could be.

dezertdirt 04-02-2013 10:52 AM

Changing a pinion peal is pretty straight forward, just take you time getting things out. There's a few youtubes on it and if you've never done it, id suggest watching one. An impact wrench makes removing the pinion nut short work. Be careful taking out the old seal. On the Rubi I just did, the seal was tight and the RTV used on the original install made its removal tough. I essentially destroyed the thing removing it. As bmbillups says, check the yoke. If its groove badly, it needs to be replaced. Small groove can be worked around as suggested. When installing the new seal, go light on the RTV, you don't need much. Be sure everything goes back the way it came out including the driveshaft u-joint positioning. Torque it up and you're ready to roll. Good luck

The_Jode 04-03-2013 07:28 AM

Thanks guys!

Yea I watched videos on it yesterday morning. My buddy is going to let me use his garage this friday.

Only hiccup I have is I don't have the gear puller that they use in the videos; and when I called autozone to explain what I needed to do, and the tool I would need to rent from them they said since all I know what it was called is a gear puller that I'm pretty much stupid and I would have to pick between things that might work. Lol so does anyone know if there's a specific name for it? Or do I even need it?

dezertdirt 04-03-2013 09:51 AM

I think just about any 2-jaw or 3-jaw puller will work. The on I did was not difficult to get off with a small puller, but I don't know if you could get it off without one. I used something that looked like this:

3 Piece Two-Jaw Puller Set

It just needs to be large enough to get around the yoke.

freeskier 04-03-2013 10:04 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Angus Brown (Post 3583661)
I wasn't aware that the yoke nut was a one-time use fastener, but good to know Shark.

Ah, ok Jode, I didn't know you had an aftermarket cover. I'm guessing the fill plug is also higher than the stock diff. cover fill plug? It definitely sounds like the gear oil is foaming up and blowing out now. The best solution would be to replace that pinion seal. I would also look at your stock cover, and see about where the fluid would hit the fill plug on it once the differential is topped off, and try to only fill it up to that height using the new cover. Just stick a finger in the fill hole on the new cover and feel the fluid level until it hits the point where it would have been leaking out of the stock diff. cover fill hole.

I've heard you can add about 1/2 cup of automatic transmission fluid to gear oil in the differential to prevent foaming, but I've never tried it personally, so I'm not sure how well it will work. You could always use a suction gun to pull out some of the gear oil you have in there, and try the ATF idea. I think in the very least you need to pull out some gear oil. Let us know how it goes.

Assuming the diff vent isn't clogged, overfilling the diff isn't going to do anything except blow oil out the vent.

Everything else has been covered. New nut is very important, torque everything down to spec. I don't know what the spec for the D44 is off the top of my head, but it's going to be in the 200 ft/lb range. USE A TORQUE WRENCH.

bmbillups 04-03-2013 10:16 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by The_Jode (Post 3588230)
Thanks guys!

Yea I watched videos on it yesterday morning. My buddy is going to let me use his garage this friday.

Only hiccup I have is I don't have the gear puller that they use in the videos; and when I called autozone to explain what I needed to do, and the tool I would need to rent from them they said since all I know what it was called is a gear puller that I'm pretty much stupid and I would have to pick between things that might work. Lol so does anyone know if there's a specific name for it? Or do I even need it?

Its called a seal puller, i got mine at autozone, has two curved pics at the top

The_Jode 04-04-2013 07:25 AM

Okay Thanks guys. Picking up the seal today and either a two or three jaw puller today. But no one in town seems to have the pinion nut... So I've heard reusing with some blue or red loctite is okay? Thoughts?

And I think my vent tube was clogged. But I think that it blew the clog and the pinion seal at the same time, because now I'm only dripping from my driverside rear corner (where my breather tube is routed).

Oh well, lesson learned for next time; Check breather tube when changing diff fluid in case you're an idiot and overfill it :rofl:


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