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Replacing differential front oil seal

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ric350 Avatar
ric350 Jim Feeney
Holmdel, NJ, USA   USA
Folks,
Over the summer it became apparent that the differential front oil seal was leaking on my 65 Tr4a (solid axle). So replacing the seal will be one of my winter projects.

Any tips or tricks on removing the old seal or installing the new one? Any special tools required? I have an old seal puller (one of those deals with flat double hooks on the end of a handle), and I have some seal drifts of various sizes, that I've used before for wheel bearings. Will these work for removing/installing the seal?

Also any tips for dropping the driveshaft or removing the drive flange? What is the flange retaining castle nut torque? I couldn't find it in the shop manual. After tightening the castle nut, should it be loosened one slot like with wheel bearings?

Finally, I assume that while I have it apart, the pinion bearing should be replaced as well, is that correct?

Thanks

Jim

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Peter-K Peter K
Central, Maine, USA   USA
Broke a seal puller on mine so instead, I used a screw through the outer seal metal on opposite sides and a slide hammer. Made it easy.

Tommys4 Platinum Member Thomas G
Ojai, Calif., USA   USA
Hello Jim
Using a small slide hammer will work just fine as Peter said. Removing flange nut, Use a big impact or find something to hold the flange and use a breaker bar.
The torque value is 85 to 100 ft.lbs. as far as the brgs. go, the per load is set using shims. You would need to take the diff. apart replace both brgs. than reset the per load.
I would leave well enough alone and just replace the seal.Before you start check how the diff. feels and when your going back together , start at the bottom torque and spin
the diff. If it feels the same,take thing slow and easy..............

Hope this helps Good luck TM German

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TR3driver Randall Y
Confusion, Los Angeles, USA   USA
I'm probably just being paranoid, but I don't like to use an impact wrench on things like this. That impact is being transferred to gear teeth that are not designed to take being slammed back and forth. I didn't really believe that either, until years ago when I owned a FWD Chevy that warned against using an impact on the front axle nuts. Took a few tries to convince me; but using an impact caused the wheel bearings to fail soon afterwards.

A bar for holding is easy to make, and works well. You'll need it to torque the nut anyway. I didn't take a photo of the whole thing, but this is the bar I made up for my TR3A (shown being held in a vise for a flange from a Stag). The overall bar is about 30", sourced from Home Depot IIRC.


When installing the nut, torque to the bottom of the range and then tighten a bit more until one of the slots lines up with the hole. Do not back off afterwards, these bearings are supposed to run with preload rather than clearance (as the front wheel bearings do).

I agree about leaving the bearing alone. If you change it, you must check (and possibly adjust) the pre-load; which is a job best saved for when the axle is out of the car. The head bearing (inside the diff) takes more abuse anyway and so usually wears out first (if at all).

Polish the sealing surface on the flange. If you can't polish away the mark left by the old seal, consider installing a Speedi-sleeve to get a fresh sealing surface.



Randall
56 TR3 TS13571L daily driver
71 Stag LE1473L awaiting engine rebuild
7? Stag awaiting gearbox rebuild

ric350 Avatar
ric350 Jim Feeney
Holmdel, NJ, USA   USA
Thanks everyone for the advice! Especially the heads up on the bearings.

Regarding the use of the slide hammer to remove the seal; did you just drive some sheet metal screws into the seal face?

Jim

TR3driver Randall Y
Confusion, Los Angeles, USA   USA
PS, forgot to mention smear the lips of the seal with grease before you install it, then also grease the sealing surface on the flange. Eventually the gear oil will splash up and lube it, but you want to avoid starting it dry.

Sorry, no help on the slide hammer. I just pried with a big screwdriver after the lever type puller broke.



Randall
56 TR3 TS13571L daily driver
71 Stag LE1473L awaiting engine rebuild
7? Stag awaiting gearbox rebuild

Peter-K Peter K
Central, Maine, USA   USA
Yup, just use a couple of sheet metal screws into the seal face around the perimeter, just deep enough to get a grip.

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ric350 Avatar
ric350 Jim Feeney
Holmdel, NJ, USA   USA
Great, thanks!

Jim

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