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Old 05-18-2013, 01:14 PM   #1
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Default How to- Replace rear pinion seal

How to replace a rear pinon seal.

Why replace:

Obviously if you see your differential oil spilling out it needs replaced. Also, if part of your dust cover(plastic piece) is broken, I recommend replacing both the seal and cover for safety reasons. After alot of off-roading and camping mud can get behind these and cause the seal to dry rot, so check your seals for a good clean look and keep your differentials lubricated. My seal was cracked from mud grinding behind the dust cover, so it was easy to diagnose. Fluid was all down my driver line and spinning everywhere.

This how-to was performed on my 03 FX4 Supercab with 5.4L with 9.75 rear end.

Materials:
12mm wrench (12 point)
13mm socket (6 point)
1-1/8 deep well socket
Reversible Puller
Flat head screw driver
Ratchet strap (to hold up drive line)
Impact wrench
New pinion seal (mine is the 9.75") most are 8.8's
Gear Lubricant - SAE 80W-90 (to replace lost fluid) SOME CALL FOR 5W-140 synthetic so check your axle code!
Brake Cleaner/Fine sand paper for cleaning
Torque wrench
Blocks to keep the vehicle from rolling.
3" PVC pip coupler or 3.5" for 9.75 (Used to push in new seal without hammering edges)* I used the top off an acetylene tank for this.

I wont post a pic of all materials used, just make sure you have the proper seal. I bought both to give you an idea of the difference in the two.



Removing Parts and prepping to install new seal

First: (Materials used: Blocks)
Park the truck in the flattest spot you can find. Now crank the truck if it has electronic 4WD and turn it off.

This will help lock the front tires when you release the drive line later on. Now block up all 4 tires just to be safe.




Second: (Materials used: 12mm wrench(12point) and 13mm socket)
Use a 12mm wrench/socket (MUST BE 12 POINT, NOT 6) to loosen the 4- bolts holding the drive line to the differential. *Where the rear U-joint is, removing the U-joint itself is not necessary*



Once you have those loosened the 4 bolts you can use a 6 point socket to unscrew them the rest of the way off to be a little quicker.



Third: Materials Used (Ratchet strap)
Once all 4 bolts holding the driver line are removed make sure the truck is still secured by the blocks and safe for you to be under it. Now use the ratchet strap to hold up the drive line and get it out of your way, not letting it scrape the ground.


Fourth: Materials used(1-1/8" deep well socket and Impact gun
With the drive line off the back, you should see this:

Now its time to remove the mounting plate for the drive line which is held on by a 1-1/8" nut. I used a 140ft-lb impact gun for this part.
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Old 05-18-2013, 01:14 PM   #2
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Fifth: Materials used(Reversible puller and air gun with 13mm socket)
Once you remove the 1-1/8" nut you will find out the mounting plate is nearly impossible to remove by hand or by using a brass mallet. Thus I recommend using a reversible puller (WORKS AMAZING).


Notice that the pinion head sticking out has a small hole in the center of it, this is made for a reversible puller. Place the center bolt of the puller in that hole and place the other 3 clamps on the back side of the mounting plate. Once secured, use an air gun to tighten the puller bolt to pull the mounting plate off.



Sixth: Materials Used (Flat head screw driver)
Now you have full access to the the seal dust cover. Remove it, and the use a small flat head to help wedge the old pinion seal out. Be careful and dont damage the dust cover, it can be reused. Placing a small flat head on the edges of the seal helps to break it loose. Once the old seal is out, clean off the yoke and make sure no debris is inside or on the gearing itself.
Also make sure there is no slack "IN OR OUT" on the yoke! Up and down slack is apparent from the removal of the mounting plate, this is normal.

Here is my old seal:


*I went ahead and used a drill/grinder with a coarse bristle to clean off some of the debris on the mounting plate for a clean fit.*

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Old 05-18-2013, 01:15 PM   #3
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Installing new parts.

First: Materials used (New pinion/oil and grease seal, PVC coupler for easy mounting)
*This step is much easier if you can find something that perfect fits the edges of the seal so you push it into place(PVC Pipe or the top of an air tank). I don't recommend using a hammer, as the outter part of the seal is pretty fragile. I used the top off my acetylene tank to do this, fits perfect.

Place the seal into the differential and place your coupler or any device with the same circumference as the edge of the seal and slightly hit it with a hammer to wedge it in for a good tight seal. The seal itself has a spring that goes around the yoke and holds after fully secured. Once that is done, use sand paper to touch up the edges on the dust cover as to not let anything harm the new seal. Once it has a clean finish re-install it on the mounting plate.


Second: Materials used (1-1/8" Socket and Impact gun)
With the seal and dust cover in place, reinstall the mounting plate for the drive line.

The plate will go into the groove of the seal once enough pressure is placed on it. This plate has teeth on the inside of it, so make sure you align it with the yoke properly. Use a hammer to make sure you get the teeth biting in the proper place. Don't torque it down until everything is aligned.


Now with the plate on, use the air gun to tighten the nut and force the plate into the seal. Once all the way in, use a torque wrench and set it from 120-140 ft lbs. (Check your manual)


Third: Materials used (12mm tweleve point wrench and a buddy)
With the mounting plate back on and the seal finished its time to bolt up the drive line. So loosen the ratchet strap and place the drive line up on the mounting plate. If may not align perfectly, DONT PANIC! Get a friend to take the truck out of 4WD, with the e-brake and blocks still set. This will give the drive line a little play so you can line the 4- 12mm bolts up perfectly.

Then use your 12point 12mm wrench to torque down the bolts and fasten the drive line securely.



Finally: Materials Used (SAE 80W-90 gear lubricant)

Re-check that everything is torqued to the proper specs and put some gear lubricant into the diff's. Un-block the tires, and go for a slow test drive to make sure everything is in proper working order.
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Old 05-18-2013, 01:25 PM   #4
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Sticky please !
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Old 05-18-2013, 01:28 PM   #5
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I upgraded to 4.10's so I thought I should take care of the new gears.
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Old 05-19-2013, 02:34 AM   #6
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NOTE: Some diffs call for 75w-140 synthetic...
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Old 05-19-2013, 12:53 PM   #7
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You left out a very important step....


You HAVE TO set the preload on the pinion nut after removing it, or you can kiss your pinion bearings goodbye.
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Old 05-19-2013, 01:28 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 03FX4604 View Post
You left out a very important step....


You HAVE TO set the preload on the pinion nut after removing it, or you can kiss your pinion bearings goodbye.

Not it you have a crush sleve. It sets the preload itself.
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Old 05-19-2013, 01:33 PM   #9
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Also, after you take off the drive line mounting plate you should have normal play up and down, just make sure the yoke doesnt have play forward and backward. The mounting plae into the pinion seal sets your preload.
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Old 07-29-2013, 01:03 AM   #10
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Exclamation there is a little more that should be done

I would suggest the following.........

When removing the pinion nut , DO NOT use an impact wrench. you stand a chance of damaging the pinion bearings. Use a 3/4" drive socket and braker bar or a 1/2" with a cheater bar. Same with replacing the pinion nut...in fact you should use a NEW pinion nut or at the very least use blue Loctite on the pinion threads on assembly.

As to preload on replacing the pinion nut. When removing the pinion nut, mark or center punch the face of the nut and the face of the pinion shaft. You have to count the nut revolutions when removing and use the same revos. on replacing, and tightening the nut by looking at the dots and aligning those dots. You can use a Sharpie pen instead of center punching, but it will very hard to see. You will be using the same crush sleeve that is still in the gear housing and you must put that nut back in the same place that was originally.

When installing the seal, before pressing in, clean the bore very clean, no grease or oil. Grease the seal lip of the seal. Use an anerobic sealer on the o.d. of the seal.

Before replacing the companion flange (the front flange) , inspect the sealing area of the flange. ANY rust, dings, scratches, use a ribbon of 500 or 600 wet/dry paper removing any crud and lightly grease the seal area.

Before you remove the jackstands under the axle assembly (you did use jackstands...yes??) and before screwing together the driveshaft, rotate the pinion flange to make sure things feel right.
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