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Front Axle Housing leak

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by Jimmey87, Jul 31, 2002.

  1. Jimmey87

    Jimmey87 Newbie

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    Excellent Forum..
    Does anybody know how to replace the seals in the front Differential on a 87 GMC Jimmy K5? I'm getting a little wetness of gear oil from the front axle passanger side.. What is the procedure in doing that? Does anybody know of a link on how to? I have the hayne's book and it doesn't help me one bit. I will tackle the job myself, just wondering the short cuts and the not to do's besides the do's..
    /forums/images/icons/confused.gif
     
  2. 1979Jimmy

    1979Jimmy 1/2 ton status

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    I say no shortcuts. I just did this last night and have done it a few times before its pretty easy really just unscrew all the bolts on the front differential cover then pry the cover off with a screw driver or something. The oil will all pour out.
    While your in there take a look around make sure everything is cool.
    Clean it up a little bit. then take off the old seal or if it was sealed with rtv scrape off all the old stuff from the pumpkin and the cover throw some fresh rtv on the cover put it all back together let it cure over night ( 10 - 12 hours ) then put some gear lube in and your cool.

    Get back to us if you have any trouble.
     
  3. Blazer1970

    Blazer1970 1/2 ton status

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    I think he is talking about an axle shaft seal. You have to pull the axle shafts (hubs, rotors and outer axle shafts have to come off first), and then pull the carrier. The seals install from inside the housing. Why is it always the passenger side that starts to leak first?
     
  4. 1979Jimmy

    1979Jimmy 1/2 ton status

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    Yeah rereading that i think your right i got confused for a sec. /forums/images/icons/shocked.gif
     
  5. Jimmey87

    Jimmey87 Newbie

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    Yah, Axle housing leak, not the cover.. OK, Thank you guys.. Do you know where I could get some technical. Are you saying this is common problem starting from the Passanger side first? WoW!!
    Can you tell me how difficult is it to remove the axles from the housing? I know I have to remove the steering knuckles from both sides to allow the axles to slide out completely, but is there something in the carrier holding the axles, like a C-clip or something like that? After that removing the bolts holding the carrier will just drop out, right and replacing the seals are from the inside. After all that just reverse the assembly? Do I need to align the front wheels after all this?? This is a big job and I'm doing the brakes at the same time so I want to do all this once.. Thanks guys.. /forums/images/icons/smirk.gif
     
  6. Mudstud

    Mudstud 1/2 ton status

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    I just had my driverside axle out Monday and noticed some leakage in there. You don't need to remove the knuckles to get the axles to slide out. After you tap the spindle with a mallet and take that off the hole will be right in front of you. Grab the axle and slide him out (it's a boy). Just be real careful about how everything goes back together on the gears- which way the bearing caps go on, shims and so forth. Oh and go ahead and do both seals since you're there.
     
  7. Grim-Reaper

    Grim-Reaper 3/4 ton status Author

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    Well this is that once every 10 year job. While your at it I would seriously think about replaceing the ball joints and U-Joints You have to do about the same amount of work because you have to pull the shafts oul to get at the bolts.
    I'm not going to kid you....this is a pain in the butt job. Haynes does have the information about removing the spindles and knuckles. that's a good start. Like was pointed out you will have to remove the differential carrier to get to the seals. Make sure the caps go on the same way they came out. BE VERY CAREFUL when you pull the carrier. there are shims on each side that will come out. they have to go back in the way they came out or you will screw up the back lash and toast the Ring and Pinion. Once the carrier is out take a look at how far in the seals are installed. Inspect tha shafts for grooves. You can insall the sealls a little less if you have a groove to make them seal better. Once you have made a mental note of the seal depth take a broom handle and knock them into the diff housing. Once out you can make a rake by putting a half moon peice of metal on the end of a stick or the broom handle and drag as much dirt out of the tubes as you can. then you can stuff a rag into the tube and use the broom handle or stick to get the tube the rest of the way clean. You want these tubes clean so that you dont shove the dirt into the diff when your reinstalling the shafts.
    Brake cleaner is what to use to clean out the housing and get any dirt you knocked in from tubes. once clean install the new seals. Best way I have found is to get them in place through the housing. then have a friend take a bunch of socket extensions and a big enough socket to drive the seal by the outside edge. one person guid through the diff and the other tap it in at the end of the axle.
    Harbor Friecht sells a Ball joint -U-Jopint tool that is well worth the investment. It does a great job and often on sale for $40. It looks like a big C-Clamp. If you have an impact wrench you can do a u-joint in about 10 minutes and never break a sweat. only hand tools ---about 20.
    THis has been covered a bunch of times. Hit the search button and use key words "Ball Joint(s)" and inner axle seals, axle seals. Should pull a bunch of posts.
    NAPA carries real DANA seals. Open the box and inspect. look for the "MADE IN USA" stamped on the actual parts. Japanese and Chinese seals SUCK! their rubber products are not nearly as durable as the US ones.
    Ball joints...The ones at NAPA are good but I prefure MOOG or TRW. Those two companies I beileve are bot orignail suppliers to GM for the parts. TRW's are available at Advanced auto parts. Sometime NAPA has MOOG. Autozone sells chinese and the metal is not as good.
    As I recall inner axle seals are about $7 each. Ball joints are about $25 each. If you find problems with the seals in the spindles and Hubs NAPA is the place for the same reasons. To replace every seal on the axle your looking about $100.
    Welcome to CK5 Make Checks payable to ColoradoK5. /forums/images/icons/smile.gif
     
  8. Jimmey87

    Jimmey87 Newbie

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    So far thanks guys, everything is going as planned, but this weekend I tried the steps and I reached the part to remove the carrier. That thing is stuck in its place. Any advise to remove the carrier without injury to myself and the ring gear assembly. So far I removed the bolts/endcaps, removed the spider gear assembly, I tried wedging it with a pry bar to remove it and it would not budge. What is the torque on those bolts for later reference? But I first need to remove it.. HELP!!
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  9. Mudstud

    Mudstud 1/2 ton status

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    Good question. This will bring the thread back to the top.
     
  10. HarryH3

    HarryH3 1 ton status Author

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    The best thing I've found for cleaning out the axle tubes is a toilet brush. /forums/images/icons/shocked.gif It's got a straight handle, with bristles on all sides. I just duct tape it to a broom handle or piece of pipe, then soap it up and start scrubbing! /forums/images/icons/cool.gif
     
  11. HarryH3

    HarryH3 1 ton status Author

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    They make a case spreader that makes removing the carrier a whole lot easier. But to keep from launching the whole thing across the garage, leave the bearing caps installed, but with the bolts loose. Now you can pry the carrier out and it won't go flying when it finally breaks free. /forums/images/icons/shocked.gif Then remove the caps and take out the carrier. /forums/images/icons/cool.gif
     

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