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AWD pass side inner axle seal

Posted: Mon Feb 05, 2018 5:03 am
by WE7X
'98 AWD Astro
I have discovered a small drip of gear oil from the joint between the flange at the front diff housing and the passeger side axle extension tube.
I am assuming there is s seal at the inner face of the differential housing. Does the C/V axle extension housing usually have any oil in it, or will it just a bit of residual that may leak form the axle seal?
Over a period of a month or so, when just sitting, I am getting about a 1/4 cup of drips from this leak. (I do top it up before driving, if needed)
Is the axle extension flange sealed to the differential housing with a gasket, or is it just bolted on?
It appears that I will have to remove the entire C/V axle assembly and extension housing in order to reseal whatever is leaking. Are there any known shortcuts?
Rod Johnson
Issaquah, WA

Re: AWD pass side inner axle seal

Posted: Mon Feb 05, 2018 7:00 pm
by Captn. Crunch
Hi Rod
Ya it’s just a seal. You will need to pull the axle away. This will entail removing the axle nut and at least the lower ball joint. Then you will be able to swing the hub far enough to pull the axle. There is a clip on the axle inside the diff so depending on the state of that clip the axle will pop out with a tug or you will need a large pry bar. A standard hook type seal puller will do the trick. Install new seal make sure it stays square going in. Take care reinstalling the axle as it is a bit hefty and you don’t want to nick the new seal. Once again, depending on the clip, the axle will seat with a good shove or you may need a second person to hold the axle end while you drive it in with a hammer and our choice of pry bar/ drift pin. Just make sure it goes back in to the same depth it was before removal. Reassemble paying attention to torque specs on the ball joint and especially the hub nut. DO NOT OVERTIGHTEN.
Have fun

Re: AWD pass side inner axle seal

Posted: Tue Feb 06, 2018 5:45 am
by WE7X
Thanks Captn Crunch, for the reply and support.
I have replaced several Subaru C/V axles, so I am familiar with the basic operation, but I have never dealt with one of these offset types, with a torque tube on one side.

Rod Johnson
Issaquah, WA