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  #1  
Old 05-15-2017, 09:12 AM
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Default Leaking rear axle seals

The rear axle seals are leaking a bit on both sides. Can i just replace the seals, or should both wheel bearings be changed as well? There is no play on the bearings.
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Old 05-15-2017, 10:04 AM
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Replace the bearings if the age of them is unknown.
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Old 05-15-2017, 10:16 AM
Deanj Deanj is offline
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Quote:
Dakota Boy: Replace the bearings if the age of them is unknown
You better tell Frank what that entails. I didn't replace mine because these were fine and the new bearings might be inferior.

Dean
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Old 05-15-2017, 10:41 AM
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I never replace bearings unless they show signs of failure. Before a bearing goes, it normally gets loud, then they feel funky as you rotate by hand.

If an inspection shows a smooth bearing 'to the feel' with no lamination or discoloration, why swap it with another that looks the same? Don't get me wrong, at the slightest sign of failure they should be changed.

Certainly, you can change your seals and gaskets without changing your bearings. At the same time, I would use this opportunity to clean out the differential housing and replace two quarts of 90W gear lube. If you want a reason, remove some of the old gear lube into a bucket and look at it in the sunlight. The job will only cost the price of an additional paper gasket and NO shim adjustments will be required. Simply follow your Shop Manual. - Dave
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Old 05-15-2017, 02:03 PM
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Thanks for the answers guys. My wheel bearings seem to be ok, but there is some noise coming from the rear end, what seems to be from the differential itself. When accelerating there is noise, but when coasting there is no noise. I did change the fluid some months ago, since I didn´t knew when it was done before, and it was looking good. Since the pinion seal also has a slight leak, I will be opening up the diff and see how the pinion itself looks. It could be that a pinion or diff bearing is causing the noise.
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Old 05-31-2017, 11:55 AM
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This response might be a little late but; one other consideration is the fact that many an axle bearing failure has actually been the result of a seal failure first.

In the 9 inch Ford unit which uses the sealed ball bearing (not all do), along with keeping the gear lube off the ground, the seal is responsible for keeping the lube from entering the bearing, diluting the grease and causing it to migrate out of the bearing assy.

The gear lube witnessed as a leakage has two routes in its' escape once passed the seal to be visible. Either around the alxe bearing's outer circumference, between the O.D. of the race and the I.D. of the housing, or thru the bearing assy. itself. In the prior instance there is no effect on the bearing assy.; in the latter, the grease is liquified and "washed" out of the bearing causing failure do to lack of lubrication. Note: that although the definition applied to the bearing may be "sealed", this is understood as a grease seal for the retention of the grease for lubrication about the bearing, not as a capable fluid seal for retention or separation of gear oil.

This is another one of those "things", that with experience, and a developed "feel' for how things should be, one is able to decide, "Ya or Nay" to the serviceability of.

Scott.
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Old 05-31-2017, 01:55 PM
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Thanks for your reply Scott. I was also thinking about this and wonder how the bearings will be. The leaking started not long ago, so maybe its not that bad yet, but strangely enough it leaks on both sides and also the pinion seal. I thought about a closed breather, but the cap is loose. Is the breather suppost to be directly on the axle, and not remotely with some hose?
I didn´t start this job yet, since I'm looking for the sledge hammer tool for removing the axle shafts here locally. I had found a kit and even bought it, but after two weeks of waiting they informed me that they can´t supply it anymore, since Stanley doesn´t make the kit here anymore. And so far I couldn´t find any other kit here. Looking on e-bay now for a reasonably priced kit.
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Old 06-01-2017, 08:49 AM
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When you get the half shafts out inspect the area where the seals ride. Mine were corroded so that new seals couldn't do their job. I found a local machine shop that was able to repair the shafts with sleeves. The process involves machining the area to receive the sleeve, heating the sleeve to expand it then pressing it into place.

Here is what a repair sleeve looks like installed.
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Old 06-01-2017, 11:16 AM
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[QUOTE: Is the breather suppost to be directly on the axle, and not remotely with some hose?

On most automotive car applications of this period, the vent often consisted of the "rattle-cap" assy. screwed directly into the axle housing. A hose attached to a nipple screwed into the housing and then extended up to the the frame was used on automotive light truck units, due in part to potential off-road excursions.

Scott.
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Old 06-01-2017, 02:02 PM
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Thanks again Scott. Do you know if a slide hammer really will be necessary to get the shafts out? I was looking at e-bay for a slide hammer, but with the shipping costs almost equaling the tool price, then I even have to pay taxes which equal the sum of the tool and the shipping. So that will be four times the tools price at the end. I do like to have tools, but not for those ridiculous prices. Maybe I will have to construct some tool myself.
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