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Differential pinion seal

Posted by rbwalter 
rbwalter Avatar
Bryan Walters
Bloomington, Indiana, USA   usa

When I bought my car, the PO was quick to point out that there were no oil puddles under the car. I thought that was pretty impressive given the reputation these cars have. Fast forward to the present (over a year and a 1000 miles later), I decided it was time to check the diff oil level. Much to my dismay, I found that the reason it wasn't presently leaking was because all the oil had leaked out long ago due to a major leak out of the pinion seal. I filled it up with Sta-Lube and it completely almost drained out overnight.

Although I'm not too happy about the leak, I'm pretty amazed that the differential has managed to survive all this time. I have a shop manual and the job looks pretty straightforward, but any tips from those that have tackled this would be appreciated. My car is a 77 Spitfire 1500, so I assume it has the later type seal with a crush washer. Any advice?

Jerry Bryant
Palm Harbor, USA   usa
rbwalter Avatar
Bryan Walters
Bloomington, Indiana, USA   usa

Hmmm... I can't seem to get that link to work for some reason.

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spitlist Avatar
Joe Curry
Sahuarita, AZ, USA   usa

If the diff is the one that came with the car, it would have that crush spacer to load the pinion bearing. So it is VERY important that when you remove the pinion nut, you mark the position where the nut is in ralation to the shaft and count the number of revolutions required to remove it. THen after you replace the seal, you need to position the nut exactly the same number of turns so that the bearing load is properly set. Otherwise, you will have to go through an involved process to crush a new spacer to the correct amount to set the bearing correctly.

Joe

P.S. I really like the older diffs that have shims instead of the crush spacer.

Canuck6 Avatar
Rick K
Bolton, Ontario, Canada   can

I did mine recently following Joe's method and it worked fine. Of course I replaced the rear axle later with the correct one for my car that didn't have the crush spacer so I did it again with that one. I found, with the high nut torque, you really have to lock the pinion flange against rotation. I made a simple bracket that bolted to the flange and butted against the frame rail.

Have you checked the tranny fluid level while you were at it? Replacing the rear seal is similar to the rear axle seal, only you have to remove the driveshaft completely to do it. I had to move the exhaust out of the way first.

Rick

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rbwalter Avatar
Bryan Walters
Bloomington, Indiana, USA   usa

Luckily, both the engine and gearbox seem to be holding just fine. So, you have to remove the driveshaft to replace the pinion seal?

chappy444 Avatar
Bill Chapman
Bel Air, MD, USA   usa
1975 Triumph 1500 "The Little Red Car"

In reply to a post by racer490 This website helps. http://users.ameritech.net/kevba/final_drive.html

dead link for me..... sad smiley

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Canuck6 Avatar
Rick K
Bolton, Ontario, Canada   can

In reply to a post by rbwalter So, you have to remove the driveshaft to replace the pinion seal?

No, just remove the 4 bolts/nuts attaching it to the rear axle flange, and swing it out of the way.

chappy444 Avatar
Bill Chapman
Bel Air, MD, USA   usa
1975 Triumph 1500 "The Little Red Car"

I recently picked up a rust free bonnet for my car and along with the bonnet the guy gave me a buch of parts.
one of them was a diff.
he said it was rebuilt at some point but he couldn't remember when or which of the cars he had it in.

painted in white paint on the nice black finish of the diff was the following:
"last in car"
"slight whine"
"pinion seal leak"

and that is all i know about it, other than there is no slop at all when you turn the drive flange...the axle flanges start turning straight away and the lube that ran out of the fill hole all over the bed of my falther-in-laws truck cause the plug is missing looked good and smelled normal.

my question is... it has the castle nut on the pinion so is this the crush type seal or the non-crush type?

i will scrape the paint off and try to get the SN this weekend...i hope...

thanks for the info
~B

spitlist Avatar
Joe Curry
Sahuarita, AZ, USA   usa

In reply to a post by chappy444 I recently picked up a rust free bonnet for my car and along with the bonnet the guy gave me a buch of parts.
one of them was a diff.
he said it was rebuilt at some point but he couldn't remember when or which of the cars he had it in.

painted in white paint on the nice black finish of the diff was the following:
"last in car"
"slight whine"
"pinion seal leak"

and that is all i know about it, other than there is no slop at all when you turn the drive flange...the axle flanges start turning straight away and the lube that ran out of the fill hole all over the bed of my falther-in-laws truck cause the plug is missing looked good and smelled normal.

my question is... it has the castle nut on the pinion so is this the crush type seal or the non-crush type?

i will scrape the paint off and try to get the SN this weekend...i hope...

thanks for the info
~B


They all have a castle nut to keep it in place. You will have to dig deeper.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2011-10-07 01:48 PM by spitlist.

chappy444 Avatar
Bill Chapman
Bel Air, MD, USA   usa
1975 Triumph 1500 "The Little Red Car"

thanks Joe,
what year did they start using the crush type seals?
once i get the SN i sould be able to noodle it out from there.

thanks again
~B

spitlist Avatar
Joe Curry
Sahuarita, AZ, USA   usa

In reply to a post by chappy444 thanks Joe,
what year did they start using the crush type seals?
once i get the SN i sould be able to noodle it out from there.

thanks again
~B

I tried to find some documentation on that but what I found was sketchy at best. Rimmer brothers lists the non-collapsable type as going up to mid 1977. But they also list the collapsible one as "from 1973 and 1500". So it would appear by that as both were beig shipped simultaneously up until mid-1977 and after that only the collapsible ones were shipped.

confused smiley

chappy444 Avatar
Bill Chapman
Bel Air, MD, USA   usa
1975 Triumph 1500 "The Little Red Car"

thanks again Joe,
from the look of the place i got this from i am going to guess that it is from a 78-80 as he had 3 or 4 78-80s cars in various states of "repair".
i will check the SN to be sure tho.
~B

Andrew Mace
East Nassau, upstate NY, USA   usa

In reply to a post by spitlist I tried to find some documentation on that but what I found was sketchy at best. Rimmer brothers lists the non-collapsable type as going up to mid 1977. But they also list the collapsible one as "from 1973 and 1500". So it would appear by that as both were beig shipped simultaneously up until mid-1977 and after that only the collapsible ones were shipped.
I also can't say with any certainty, but it appears that perhaps FM67065 and later was a change point for a number of internal parts. See page 103 of this section of a "Spitfire Assembly Manual" on the TRF web site. Unfortunately, FM67065 is a commission number (implying a break point sometime in the 1977 model year), since the differentials were usually prefixed with FH.

chappy444 Avatar
Bill Chapman
Bel Air, MD, USA   usa
1975 Triumph 1500 "The Little Red Car"

Well well well looks like it is a GT6 mk2 diff... KC58921
I should have noticed those two extra spring pearch holes that were plugged when i picked it up

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