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  #1  
Old 09-26-2012, 06:11 AM
jftoman jftoman is offline
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Smile Rear Differential Pinion Seal Oil Leak?

Hello all,

Glad to finally be part of this thread.

I have had this particular 2000 Dakota (4.7L) for around 5 years now and it has been a great truck.

Anyways so the story goes:

I helped a friend tow his toyota corolla using a Uhaul car dolly around 120 miles about a week ago and when I finished the tow i noticed that my rear end had been slinging some oil.

After watching the truck for a few days this is what I see. From what I can tell it looks to be a pinion seal leak (FYI: the truck is on a slight grade sloping downward from back to front).

I have read that this leak can be aggravated by the atmospheric vent being clogged, I am assuming this is the vent that comes off of the axle just to the left of the rear diff looking toward the front of the car (marked in red in the picture).

I have yet to check it and was looking for some input from some veterans before messing with it or operating on the rear end.

Thanks for the help,
Josh
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  #2  
Old 09-26-2012, 06:38 PM
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SolidStateS15 SolidStateS15 is offline
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mine looks the same way. i recently had it rebuilt a couple yrs ago and it's already back to leaking so i dunno.
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  #3  
Old 09-26-2012, 09:40 PM
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Originally Posted by SolidStateS15 View Post
mine looks the same way. i recently had it rebuilt a couple yrs ago and it's already back to leaking so i dunno.
I had a 97 5.2 Dak that would also have a little bit of leakage from the area, this one has been the same way, but until now it only had the 'appearance' on the differential housing, no dripping or slinging of oil.

My concern is the amount this time. From the pictures you can see how oil has been dripping onto the ground and has found its way onto the gas tank and axle. I noticed it when the Uhaul trailer was covered in a film of oil after the tow.

I have checked the oil level and it is ok so I am also wondering if I might have added .1-.2L too much to the diff after refilling. I followed the factory repair manual to fill with the correct fluid level to the best of my ability using 75W-90 and a friction modifier.

Josh
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  #4  
Old 10-01-2012, 01:31 AM
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Jack the entire rear axle up by the pumpkin (Make sure to chock the front wheels and be on a flat surface) and see if you can wiggle the rear wheels to check the axle seals. Almost all pinions will weep over time, although that is leaking, not weeping. And yes, the thing you circirled is the vent tube, its to the left of the pumpkin and mounted to the bed.
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Old 10-01-2012, 06:54 AM
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Jack the entire rear axle up by the pumpkin (Make sure to chock the front wheels and be on a flat surface) and see if you can wiggle the rear wheels to check the axle seals. Almost all pinions will weep over time, although that is leaking, not weeping. And yes, the thing you circirled is the vent tube, its to the left of the pumpkin and mounted to the bed.

Thanks for the info, I will certainly do that when I am under it this week. When I am inspecting the seals is there anything in particular I should be looking for? I did not see any leaking oil or areas that seem to be weeping.

I have a good mechanical aptitude but I have little experience with this part of the vehicle.

Josh
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Old 10-01-2012, 07:51 AM
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i did a pinion seal a couple weeks ago... very easy to do... i went ahead and changed the Ujoints as well since i had to drop the driveshaft to get to the seal.

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Old 10-01-2012, 01:37 PM
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Sorry to hijack, but seems mine is slowly getting that way as well, I see in my driveway, and the bottom of the differential is wet, can you post the steps to change the seal,

Quote:
Originally Posted by SH0K0TA View Post
i did a pinion seal a couple weeks ago... very easy to do... i went ahead and changed the Ujoints as well since i had to drop the driveshaft to get to the seal.

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  #8  
Old 10-01-2012, 07:46 PM
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Sorry to hijack, but seems mine is slowly getting that way as well, I see in my driveway, and the bottom of the differential is wet, can you post the steps to change the seal,
Not a problem. I will take some pictures as I perform the Job this week.

As for the U-joints is there a reccomended milage of when those should be changed?

I am at 106000 right now and have no problem changing them, but was just curious.

Thanks for the input.
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Old 10-02-2012, 01:41 AM
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U joints can be done whenever. If you can wiggle your driveshaft when it's in park... then the ujoint(s) are bad. Mine were fine.. but since I was in there... I did them. Make sure ou mark everything to be it back together as it was. This is important as the driveshaft has 3 parts.

All you do is pull the 4 bolts that hold the driveshaft on to the rearend, drop the driveshaft (I backed the truck up on ramps to keep the trans fluid in the trans) then mark the nut that is in there, count how many turns it takes to get the nut completely off. Remember that number.. mine was 9 or 10 and when you pull that nut, use a rubber mallet to help the plate slide out, then the seal is exposed. It might be hard to see where it starts, but I used a flathead screwdriver and a small bfh to kock the sides inwards. Once that happened, I pried the seal out with the screwdriver. Then clean up the area and knock the new seal in place. Put the plate on, put the nut back on, re attach the driveshaft. It's pretty simple. Once I was done, I changed the diff fluid and seal on the rear plate. Just to makke sure it was still at a proper fluid level
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Old 10-02-2012, 01:50 AM
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my joints always wet but never a puddle... I got rear end fluid comeing out the side tho ...

I smell it everytime i go anywhere near my driver side rear wheel, but i check my fluid monthly and it doesnt seem to go down very fast at all, and i hear fixing that seal is a pain
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Old 10-02-2012, 05:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jhoppy16 View Post
my joints always wet but never a puddle... I got rear end fluid comeing out the side tho ...

I smell it everytime i go anywhere near my driver side rear wheel, but i check my fluid monthly and it doesnt seem to go down very fast at all, and i hear fixing that seal is a pain
I would guess that getting to those is a little more difficult especially with the drum brakes on the rear.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SH0K0TA View Post
U joints can be done whenever. If you can wiggle your driveshaft when it's in park... then the ujoint(s) are bad. Mine were fine.. but since I was in there... I did them. Make sure ou mark everything to be it back together as it was. This is important as the driveshaft has 3 parts.

All you do is pull the 4 bolts that hold the driveshaft on to the rearend, drop the driveshaft (I backed the truck up on ramps to keep the trans fluid in the trans) then mark the nut that is in there, count how many turns it takes to get the nut completely off. Remember that number.. mine was 9 or 10 and when you pull that nut, use a rubber mallet to help the plate slide out, then the seal is exposed. It might be hard to see where it starts, but I used a flathead screwdriver and a small bfh to kock the sides inwards. Once that happened, I pried the seal out with the screwdriver. Then clean up the area and knock the new seal in place. Put the plate on, put the nut back on, re attach the driveshaft. It's pretty simple. Once I was done, I changed the diff fluid and seal on the rear plate. Just to makke sure it was still at a proper fluid level
Thanks for the info. I have purchased new u-joints front and back, greasable with lifetime warranty and a new seal. I should be able to get to it wednesday after work. I will take pics/video and post as a tutorial for all the at home mechanics who might want some graphical help.

Josh
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Old 10-02-2012, 05:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jhoppy16 View Post
my joints always wet but never a puddle... I got rear end fluid comeing out the side tho ...

I smell it everytime i go anywhere near my driver side rear wheel, but i check my fluid monthly and it doesnt seem to go down very fast at all, and i hear fixing that seal is a pain
I feel for you, that stuff smells and it likes to put a nice film on everything. At least the leak is small and not mechanically affecting anything.
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Old 10-04-2012, 04:05 PM
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Sorry to hijack, but seems mine is slowly getting that way as well, I see in my driveway, and the bottom of the differential is wet, can you post the steps to change the seal,
Here is a link to pictures of the job start to finish.

Pictures

You will need a 1 1/4 inch socket to remove the pinion nut. I used an electric impact wrench to get all the bolts/nut off and a autozone front end service puller thing to get the companion flange off.

Be sure to mark everything and measure/count the number of rotations it takes to get the pinion nut off.

Easiest way to remove the seal i found was to take a big flat head/pry bar and pop the seal out. I tried a few different things but that had the best results in the shortest amount of time.

Putting the seal back in I added some goo around the outside to help the new seal seat better, I used the compantion flange and the pinion nut to drive the seal back in evenly before tapping it in the rest of the way with a hammer.

Follow some of the instructions the other guys in the thread suggested and it will be even easier.

I will be changing the u-joints today/tomorrow. The rear joint had pretty limited rotation one axis of the joint.

All my other seals were ok (no leakage) and the bearing in the diff looked good (no metal or anything out of the ordinary).

I will be refilling with 75W90 Synthetic gear oil and a few ounces of friction modifier to make up for what I lost. (i just changed the fluid <1000 miles ago)

Let me know what you guys think.

https://www.box.com/shared/sv3n7zwisukkwhvifzn5

Josh
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Old 10-06-2012, 12:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jftoman View Post
I would guess that getting to those is a little more difficult especially with the drum brakes on the rear.
Actually it's easier to do with Drums since you have to disassemble less things. I wouldn't want to do it in my driveway, but its not too bad. A slide hammer helps alot.
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Old 10-06-2012, 06:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jhoppy16 View Post
my joints always wet but never a puddle... I got rear end fluid comeing out the side tho ...

I smell it everytime i go anywhere near my driver side rear wheel, but i check my fluid monthly and it doesnt seem to go down very fast at all, and i hear fixing that seal is a pain
axle seal...

that's a little more of a bitch to do. if you're trying to save fluid... you're not going to lol

but drain the rear, while it's draining, go ahead and get it on jackstands.

pull the wheel

then you gotta remove whatever you gotta remove to get the axle able to slide out.

since you gotta QC, and i do too... i have the 8.25 rear... but you might have the 9.25.

anyway, i believe there is a clip that helps hold the axle in, then it just slides out and the seal is exposed.

i'm honestly not sure about the minor details because i have never needed to swap an axle seal.
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