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Leaky Front Pinion seal D44... Easy Fix or PITA??

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by Greg72, Mar 4, 2002.

  1. Greg72

    Greg72 "Might As Well..." Staff Member Super Moderator

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    I am starting to leak a lot of fluid out around the rear pinion area of my D44.....I'm guessing that there's a seal in there that's finally gone bad.

    Can I unbolt the yoke, put in the new seal and replace the yoke and be DONE....or is this going to cause me to have to set the "preload" on the pinion bearing and all that junk? Can I do this repair without pulling the diff cover, or is that going to be required also?

    I'm trying not to start too many BIG projects this week because I've got to be driveable for next weekend. /forums/images/icons/smile.gif
     
  2. bigmack

    bigmack 1/2 ton status

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    This should be an easy fix, like you said, take the pinion nut & yoke off, replace the seal & put the yoke & pinion nut back on. You don't have to take the cover off or anything else. As far as the re-installation of the pinion nut, the way I have allways done them & this may not be the proper way was to just tighten the snot out of it with an impact or 1/2" ratchet, & then take a punch and hammer & score the edge of the pinion nut and the pionion shaft. I also like to use a little red lock tite on the pinion nut just for a bit of insurance. Thats the way I have allways done them & never had a problem.
     
  3. arq

    arq 1/2 ton status

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    i have also hear that you count the number of turns to take the nut out. mark the starting position when you put it back on try and end up at the same place. that 'should' give you the same preload and stuff that you started off with. oh yea, use some of that lock tight on it.

    ARQ.
     
  4. RedDwarf

    RedDwarf 1/2 ton status

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    Well, in theory, the gang is right, easy enough.

    However, I found it is in fact a pain in the ass to get the pinion nut off. Then again, if you have a good air compressor, your 1/2" air wrench might take it off easily. I ended up having to use a pipe clamp to hold the yoke while I put a 5' pipe on the breaker bar after having heated the nut and spraying it with WD-40 several times.

    I think you should do it yourself though. It's not "easy" but it can be done and then you'll know how to do it for next time. /forums/images/icons/smile.gif
     
  5. Greg72

    Greg72 "Might As Well..." Staff Member Super Moderator

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    You guys have convinced me......I'm not going to take this project on until later.

    I'll just top off my diff fluid and "park over cardboard" for a while longer. /forums/images/icons/laugh.gif
     
  6. Triaged

    Triaged 1/2 ton status

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    So the pinion seal isn't suposed to leak?
     
  7. Blue85

    Blue85 Troll Premium Member

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    Just get under and see if you can get the pinion nut off. All you have to do to get to it is remove the four bolts that hold the U-joint into the yoke. If it comes off, the job is easy. If you can't get it off, then you'll just need to borrow some tools or have someone help you real quick. If your front driveshaft is off, you can probably get a shop to loosen the nut for you for $5 or $10, just by bringing an air ratchet out the door. After that you're home free. Just make sure it's not too loose when you drive back home. Don't even worry about pinion bearing preload. Torque it to about 100 ft-lbs when you're done with some locktite and it will be right. Just make sure that it's tight, but don't go over 120-150 ft-lbs or you will increase the pinion bearing preload.
     
  8. RedDwarf

    RedDwarf 1/2 ton status

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    Good point.

    Like I said, I wasn't trying to discourage you from tackling the project, just wanted to warn you of the problems I had. That sucker is on there pretty tight, so you need to be prepared.
     
  9. 4X4HIGH

    4X4HIGH 1 ton status Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    Hey Greg, Dana 44's don't use a crush sleeve like 10 and 12 bolts. The pinion preload is set with shims. Just remove the pinion nut then the yoke and pry the seal out and install your new seal and bolt the yoke back on with an impact gun and your off and running again.
     
  10. Greg72

    Greg72 "Might As Well..." Staff Member Super Moderator

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    Scott,

    Hey man.....you've helped me out two nights in a ROW!

    If you are REALLY sure that the preload is done with shims I may try to fix it before the weekend..... /forums/images/icons/smile.gif
     
  11. 4X4HIGH

    4X4HIGH 1 ton status Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    Greg, i am absolutely positive about that. Thats what K5 buddeis good for, helping each other out
     
  12. 4X4HIGH

    4X4HIGH 1 ton status Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    Hey Greg, if you need a hand let me know. Maybe i could help you and look at your disc brackets also
     
  13. Greg72

    Greg72 "Might As Well..." Staff Member Super Moderator

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    How's your schedule for Thursday night.....?

    That would give me time to locate the parts, and finish up on some other stuff I've already got "half-done".....

    I've got the longer brake lines installed, but now I need to powerbleed the system..... I may have resolved my steering issue (turns really sharp right, but not sharp at all to the left).....draglink was about 1.5" too long and steering wheel was NOT centered when the steering box was at the "halfway" point in it's range of motion.....

    I got the swaybar sandblasted and got the bolts off, but haven't located the "new" bushings I'll need (bar ends & pivot bushings)....so I may not get that installed in time for my weekend trip.

    I still need to get my front driveshaft lengthened......but while it's out we're a lot closer to getting at that pinion nut! /forums/images/icons/smile.gif

    Anyway....thanks again. If Thursday's not good we can try for a time the following week.
     
  14. Silver84k5

    Silver84k5 1/2 ton status

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    I heard a trick on removing those things, (even though when i took mine off it didnt seem that hard which might not be good) but anyway,. you take a long breaker bar and put the socket on the nut put the end of tha bar on the ground luck the hubs if your doing the front, and drive your truck either forward or back depending on which way the yoke turns, ive never done it i just read it,
     
  15. 4X4HIGH

    4X4HIGH 1 ton status Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    That will work, that's how I remove stubborn crankshaft bolts. I have a shop though with all kinds of air tools and goodies that we will use to get the job done.
     

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