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Front Differential cover gasket leak

Discussion in 'Modified 1991-1994 Explorers' started by 91Rustbucket, November 17, 2017.

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  1. 91Rustbucket

    91Rustbucket New Member

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    All right I just Installed a 2" lift, no problems. But when I jacked it back up the next day to change the tie rod ends I noticed that I had oil POURING out of my front differential. I used the jack points I've always used and had the jack stands in the same place. I'm trying to figure out

    A: Is there a simpler fix other then pulling the whole front end out?
    B: Did the lift / jacking process cause the leak?

    The Red is where the leak is, the green is a bit of gasket I don't think was showing before, but I'm not sure.
    20171115_122925.jpg
     
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  3. natenkiki2004

    natenkiki2004 Blue Bomb!

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    Could have been RTV that hardened up and jacking there would cause some flex of that sealing surface. I don't think you're getting around pulling the differential housing out. Use some Permatex The Right Stuff and you won't have a problem for a long time. While you're in there though, you might consider doing the c-clip eliminator mod. While you might never break a passenger side axle, the ability to pull the axle shaft to replace the seal (which yours looks wet) without unbolting the housing would be really nice.
     
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  4. 91Rustbucket

    91Rustbucket New Member

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    Do you know of anyone who has pulled the front different on a first gen and has a good walk through? I haven't had any luck finding one.
    And is this something I can drive on until I fix? It's my daily driver.
     
  5. natenkiki2004

    natenkiki2004 Blue Bomb!

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    You're fine to drive it. If it's leaving puddles, I wouldn't use 4x4 but if it's just seeping, you're fine to use 4x4, just top it off and keep an eye on it.

    I can't think of a walkthrough with pictures (perhaps look up the c-clip eliminator mod?) but my thought process would be to pull the driveshaft coming from the transfer case, pull the driver's side brake & spindle off, pull the driver's side axle out of the differential then undo the bolts on the front of the beam and then the front differential should be free. The passenger side axle will slip off, it's 2-piece. There shouldn't be anything else holding it at that point.
     
  6. RangerX

    RangerX Elite Ranger Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    Mines been leaking for years, I just fill the diff whenever I'm going to use 4wd.
    I haven't fixed it because it's such a huge job, at least for me it is.
    The one big key to pulling that diff is that vertical bolt seen in your pic, to the left of the diff. If it wasn't for that, it would be a much simpler job. You have to at least partially remove the drivers side radius arm so it can swing out of the way.
     
  7. 91Rustbucket

    91Rustbucket New Member

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    Thanks for the reply. Knowing that I can drive on it for awhile while I do some more research is a huge stress reliever.
    I'm interested in the c-clip eliminator mod, though skimming through the details it seems kind of sketchy to use lawn mower parts or whatever to do it. Have people had a lot of good luck and long duration use out of this?
     
  8. kbsmith_48

    kbsmith_48 Member

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    I had the diff gasket changed this summer after it leaking for years. The mechanic informed me that it wasn't actually the gasket but the axle seals that were pouring. As long as you keep it topped off you should be fine to drive it.
     

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