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Looking for tips on fixing front differential seal leak

Discussion in 'Stock 1991 - 1994 Explorers' started by BearHug, September 5, 2017.

^^Searches ExplorerForum.com^^
  1. BearHug

    BearHug New Member

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    Hey all,

    My front differential started leaking from the RF seal where the axle meets the differential about 2 months back. I've been keeping it topped off, but it's kind of an annoying issue I'm hoping to tackle before winter comes.

    Tore it down with a buddy the other weekend and got all the way down to the seal only to realize it's held on via a clip inside the differential. This was a frustrating and fruitless day to say the least.

    Anyone else done this job? If so, what's the best way to get the front differential opened up so I can release the clip? What other tools and stuff will I need to tear down to get that far?
     
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  3. RangerX

    RangerX Elite Ranger Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    That's why I've lived with that leak for 10 plus years! You pretty much have to remove the whole front end to get the diff off the beam.
    I bet there's a old how-to thread somewhere here, or get a Haynes/chiltons if you don't already have one.
     
  4. BearHug

    BearHug New Member

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    Eek, not looking forward to that.

    10 years with the leak!? So it's a manageable issue it sounds like.

    Come winter when I have to engage the 4wd (auto hubs) will that exacerbate the leaking? If I can live with it will put it off til spring and keep the diff topped of.
     
  5. Anime

    Anime EF YEAH!! Elite Explorer

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    The driver's side seal leaked on mine well over ten years. Only recently did I tear apart the front end and will be changing the seals out for new ones.

    The gear oil level usually makes it so a minimal amount of fluid seeps out during 2WD use, but being in 4WD is sure to make it leak more, since the fluid will be churning and flying everywhere inside the diff, it will make it's way out of the seals.

    Since you already have it torn down, it's best to just go the rest of the way and take the diff off, or even take both beams off the front end entirely, and take the chance to clean them up, install new bushings in the beams, ball joints in the spindles, etc.

    Besides, taking the diff completely off gives you a chance to clean out all the crud that builds up in the bottom, and doesn't come out with the old fluid when changing it via the fill hole.
     
  6. BearHug

    BearHug New Member

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    Thanks for the input! Haven't had to top off recently but still leaking. I had to reassemble it the day of the initial tear down as it's my daily. Thinking I'll push the next tear down to spring next year as it doesn't seem to be too problematic except for the occasional driveway stain.
     






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