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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
After 370,000 miles it looks like my front axle's pinion seal is leaking and needs to be replaced. I'm just wondering what the general consensus is on replacing these? Any special tricks? I'm kind of out of the way so I need to have stuff on hand before I begin the project.
Thanks!
 

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You may find that the leak is caused by the pinion bearings being worn out. I had a similar issue and when I went to change the seal, rotated the pinion flange by hand and heard/felt "crunch - crunch - crunch". I hope that's not the case for you. I wound up swapping in an 04 Dana 60 axle instead of rebuilding the D50.
If you're lucky and it's just the seal, you'll want to have a new pinion nut, and record the rotating torque first with an inch-pound torque wrench (a dial type or beam type with a needle, not a clicker) so you can get the bearing preload set correctly after you install the seal. With used bearings, rotating torque should be 5 inch-pounds greater than the original reading (and NEVER back off the pinion nut if you go too high - at that point you'll need a new crush sleeve, so check rotating torque often.) You'll also need something to hold the flange while removing/installing the nut, and some sort of puller to remove the pinion flange.
Good Luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Ok, sounds like about what I was anticipating. I'll get my parts ordered and hope for the best :). So, was the 04 axle swap the one that has the coils and not leaf springs? Was that a good upgrade or did it make that much of a difference to matter?
 

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No, the 04 axle still used leaf springs. Just that the D60 is heavier duty than the D50 that my truck came with. Other than that, there was no difference. I guess it made the front end of the truck a little heavier (as if it wasn't heavy enough already with the 7.3L in there. :D)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I disconnected the front driveshaft today from the front differential and really couldn't feel or hear any sort of unusual noises like from bad or worn out bearings. There was quite a bit of free backlash movement but for the miles I think its ok. I'll just order the seal and a new nut and try just replacing the seal and hope for the best.
 
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