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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 09-03-2007, 08:43 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Front axle seal replacement?

I have a '99 F250. Last weekend I replaced my front rotors, pads, and ball joints on each side. Everything is great and it drives awesome but I now have diff fluid leaking out of my axle tubes on both sides. I am assuming there is an inner axle seal on the front axle, in by the diff? Im thinking maybe I cut them with the axle shafts when I was slidding them back in. How hard are these to replace? Anyone have a writeup on how to do it? I also hope this is where this toppic belongs, I guess the front axle is part of the drivetrain so hopefully it is. Thanks in advance for any and all help!
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Old 09-03-2007, 08:47 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Front axle seal replacement?

When you replace ball joints, you should generally replace the axle seal and an axle dust seal.. The axle seals are a bit tricky to replace since they are pressed on. You should also replace the yellow o-ring on the wheel bearing. Here are the part numbers from Ford..

2-F81Z 4A322AA Yellow O-rings between the hub and knuckle

2-F81Z 3254CB Hub seals

2-F81Z 1S175HCA Axle seals
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Old 09-03-2007, 08:52 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Front axle seal replacement?

I think he's talking about the differential seals, which are back by the pumpkin. To replace those, the carrier has to come out. They get pressed in place from the inside. [img]/forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/frown.gif[/img]

There are also axle seals just inboard of the u-joints, but they're really just dust seals to keep the crud out of the axle tubes. If the differential seals are leaking, it will not be stoped by these axle seals.
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Old 09-03-2007, 09:58 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Front axle seal replacement?

Yes, I am talking about the ones in by the diff. I did replace the hub seal, axle dust seal, and the yellow o-ring when I did the ball joints. I was worried the diff would have to come out to do those seals. Do you need a case spreader to get the carrier out of the Dana 50 in my '99? Long as I put it back together the way it was with all the shims and what not in the correct spots and order the gears shouldnt need to be re-setup or patterns checked should they?
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Old 09-03-2007, 10:12 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Front axle seal replacement?

Now is the time to excercise caution and patience.... It can be common to find one of three things....but it must be remembered that the inner driving axle seal is a robust unit and *does not seal in the way many think*. The seal does not spin in the housing and the shaft does not spin in the seal.... the sealing area is within the seal and quite well hidden from view.

Condition one... the most *usual* condition.... the front differential is overfull OR one side of the truck is lifted higher than the other.... (or both). Oil from the diff will run into the axle tube and migrate to the knuckle.... This can take several days and can be embarassing to the repairing tech.

Condition two... the seal is old and brittle... disturbing the seal finally did it in,

Condition three... someone got "rammy" when re-installing the axle....

Whenever a front driving axle is removed from the housing, smart money is on using a drop lamp or flashlight to check the axle tube for debris. A fender washer screwed to the end of a broom stick or a piece of purpose bent and ground flat iron is ideal for cleaning stuff out of the axle tube.... I have even wired a rag to <something> and used it to wipe out the axle tube...

Replacing the inner drive axle seals is not a small job.... I heartily recommend cleaning the area thoroughly... maybe more than once and track the level of the front diff lube before I got carried away....

FWIW, for anyone else reading this.... remember that these axles have been very recently removed and reinstalled.... If oil starts coming "out of the blue" so to speak, all bets are off....
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Old 09-03-2007, 10:16 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Front axle seal replacement?

I did the same replacement last week. I used a flashlight and shined it inside the axle to "see" what was in there. The tube near the diff has a cone looking apparatus that when you slide the axle back in, looks like the axle will slide up the cone and NOT disrupt any seals in the diff. I could be wrong, but that's what it looked like to me.

I also have oil leaking (small drips) out of the axle tube, but I had the truck slightly off level on the jack stands and the oil had already seeped into the axle tube before I put the axles back in.

I'm assuming that most of the oil will drain from the axle tube and eventually just be some minor seepage.

I would almost bet that if we had drained the diff prior to removing the axles, that you would have no leakage from your axle tubes.

Anyone else have a take on this?

Dave
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Old 09-04-2007, 01:58 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Front axle seal replacement?

I dont think I got too "rammy" by any means while re-installing the axle shafts. In fact I was ammazed(sp?) by how easily the slid right back into place!

It is leaking enough to the point that I have some spots up in my inner fender liner and a couple small puddles on my girlfreinds driveway (luckily she hasnt noticed them yet!). It is comming mostly from the driver side, but I suppose that could be due to the much shorter axle tube on that side.

I suppose I will wash it a couple more times and maybe spray the area with some brake cleaner and see if the problem persist before taking any further action, and probably keep and eye on my diff fluid level. And if things keep leaking like they are I will then look into inner seal replacement.
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Old 09-04-2007, 07:56 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Front axle seal replacement?

When I had mine apart I cleaned the inside of the tube using the "washer on a stick" trick and then vacumned out all I could. Those plastic ramps do guide the axle up and through the seal and I'm guessing it is to prevent seal damage. Both of my tubes had "some" oil staining in them, not to the point of dripping but it was obvious that oil had leaked out sometime, I'm guessing when the truck was leaning one way or the other. A check of the diff fluid showed it was filled properly but, get the thing leaned over and theres always a possibility it could leak out, especially if your one of those guys who parks the truck on a side hill for any length of time!! Sherm
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Old 09-07-2007, 07:08 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Front axle seal replacement?

The job is more time consuming than anything, you do not need a case spreader for the d50, however you do need the tools to press the seals back inside the housing. I picked up my kit from http://www.4x4tools.com/Ford%20Super%20Duty%20Tools.htm I got the inner seals, inner seal remover and the installer.
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Old 09-21-2007, 02:36 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Front axle seal replacement?

rlr, how you coming with your oil leak. Mine dried up on my 2000 mile trip only to come back again. I parked my truck leaning bad to the driver's side on a hill and noticed it's leaking from the drivers side again. The diff is still full and fluid trickles out of the fill hole if I remove the fill plug.

How's your truck/leak?

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Old 09-21-2007, 03:46 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Front axle seal replacement?

Have you guys checked the power steering fluid. I've noticed that when I get those leeks when I've had my truck jacked up... it leaks from the drivers side and I will find my power steering fluid is low. The first time I noticed was because it was "whining" afterwards...

Now to my problem I have.. I have to seals that are GONE. The seals are so gone that the U joint is practicly laying on the ball joint. I can see in side the shaft that leads to the pumpkin on one side and the shaft that comes through the other side into the hub is moing around so much that it caused the hubs on that side to go bad. OK so now I'm at the point of tryng to get either the ball joints out to remove the shaft or remove the Ujoints so that the shaft will be in two pieces and I can remove it that way. How do I remove the UJoints? I don't see a snap ring or anything?? also are those seals the only things that hold that shaft in place? any ideas??
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Old 09-21-2007, 04:09 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Front axle seal replacement?

wingsxtreme... you need not disassemble the u-joint or the balljoints to remove the axle. The only thing you need to remove is the hub itself. The axle (u-joint and all ) will slide through the steering knuckle.
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Old 09-21-2007, 04:16 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: Front axle seal replacement?

I can't get it to slide through the u-join seems to be to wide to slide through. unless there is some kind of secret. I have been pulling on it and can't get it to come throught
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Old 09-21-2007, 05:14 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Re: Front axle seal replacement?

take 2 pry bars or LARGE screw drivers. Point one handle to the front of the truck and one to the rear of the truck. One screw driver blade at the top of the U joint between the u-joint and the steering knuckle, and one at the bottom. Pry in short but like you mean it prys and the u-joint and axle will pop out. This is assuming that you do have the hub and bearing/4x4 spindle removed.

Squirt a little pb blaster or lithium grease on the inside of the knuckle may help.

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Old 09-21-2007, 05:34 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Re: Front axle seal replacement?

Also make sure the steering is straight. If you are turned any the u-joint won't come through easy. I have used the prybar with the hub still attached to the axle, (hub unbolted of course) and it came right out.
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