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replacing the rear pinion oil seal

Posted by paddle (My Page) on
Tue, Oct 24, 06 at 21:58

I drive a 1996 chevy express, which has developed a leak in the rear diifferential. I believe the pinion oil seal has to be replaced, is this a big job?

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RE: replacing the rear pinion oil seal

It shouldn't be a "big" job provided:
1. You have the proper tools
2. Can lift the rear up safely to gain good access.
3. If the seal can be installed without disturbing the pinion bearing.
4. If the seal can be intslled from the outside.

If all the above criteria can be met, then the procedure is to disconnect the rear u-joint, remove the u-joint half that is on the pinion shaft, remove the seal, and press in the new seal.

Probably, the pinion shaft needs cleaning before sliding the new seal in place, and the old seal will most likely be wrecked during removal since it may be poked and pried out.

Be sure to mark the u-joint before disassembly so that it can be reassemblied keeping its original orientation.

Before attempting this job, consult a repair manual for your vehicle. The steps above are generic only. Your vehicle may have different parts and requirements.

This job gets much more tedious if you have to disturb the pinion bearing. Most of these are tapered roller bearings and the adjustment is critical on assembly else the pinion will not mesh properly with its gear. Some are adjusted with shims.

A new seal may not stop the leakage if the pinion shaft is pitted or scored under the seal lip.

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