Front axle seal bad? - Diesel Forum - TheDieselStop.com
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99 & up 7.3L Power Stroke Engine and Drivetrain Discussion of the 99 & up 7.3L Power Stroke diesel engine and drivetrain in the 1999-Up Super Duty trucks and Excursions. No gas engine discussion allowed except on transmissions and drivetrain that pertain to all models. Please confine discussion of topics in this forum to those items that are specific to the 7.3L Power Stroke engine.

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Old 01-06-2013, 10:12 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Front axle seal bad?

Over the summer, i pulled the front end apart and replaced one of the hubs, new brakes, replaced the outer seals and lubed the needle bearings. I should have replaced the ball joints when i was in there but.....

Put it all back together but a few months later it seems to be leaking fluid out of the passenger side. When i pulled the axle on that side some fluid did leak out which i didnt think too much about. Now I am realizing that the interior seal was probably going bad and needed to be replaced too.

How difficult of a job is this? I checked the fluid level in the diff and it hasnt lost a whole lot so I'm not going to mess with it until the spring but I would like to know if its something i can handle in the driveway. Are there any pics, video write ups on the procedure?
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Old 01-06-2013, 07:06 PM   #2 (permalink)
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The differential axle seals are installed from inside the case, so you have to pull the differential out. The seal installers are step plates that push the seals into position at the correct depth (there's a step plate for each side - they have different special tool numbers). A threaded turnbuckle device is used to push against the step plates.

As long as you reinstall the differential with the same shims and bearings, you'll be OK as far as gear mesh setup. The shop manual says to use a case spreader to remove and reinstall the differential assembly with its bearings and cups. I have worked on differentials without a spreader tool however.
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Old 01-07-2013, 02:19 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Pulling that differential is going to be new to me, not that its stopped me before. So just pull it out and as long as I out it back the same way I should be OK?

As far as installing those seals, what I remember when I pulled the axles was that there was a plastic "cone" in there. Does the seal replace that as well? Havent been able to find any pics of this and tech write ups are lacking on the procedure.
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Old 01-07-2013, 03:08 PM   #4 (permalink)
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The service manual says to drive the seals out thru the axle tube from inside, which sounds like it would take out the plastic axle guide bushings as well. I would guess that you could reuse the axle guides. Not sure if they come with the new seals, but it's possible.

Your truck should have a Model 229 axle (D50) with 3.73 gears.

Here's the Dana Parts catalog for Ford axles which has a parts blowup.

X510-2.pdf
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Old 01-13-2013, 09:46 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Old 01-13-2013, 11:19 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Replacing the inner seals will be a substantial project for a first timer. You can do it in the driveway but make sure you don't park behind anything you might need to drive. If the manual says to remove them the way klhansen says, someone needs to rewrite the manual. You drive the seals to the inside to remove them. You do the driving thru the tubes but you don't push the seals thru the tube. Maybe he was reading in the dark. Installing the new ones without the correct tool won't be easy but it can be done.
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Old 01-14-2013, 09:08 AM   #7 (permalink)
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by reading on here it seems like just about everybody that pulls that long axle out ends up having issues with that seal. Maybe its just me but when you put the axle back in are you jacking that seal up somehow? Does it just need to be reseated?

I'll probably wait until the spring (20+ days of below freezing temps here) park it in the back and work on it.
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