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Rear differential - seal replacement

Discussion in 'Stock 1995 - 2001 Explorers' started by SoNic67, May 25, 2016.

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  1. SoNic67

    SoNic67 Well-Known Member

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    Last edited: May 25, 2016
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  3. Rick

    Rick Pumpkin Pilot Staff Member Admin Elite Explorer

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  4. SoNic67

    SoNic67 Well-Known Member

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  5. koda2000

    koda2000 Explorer Addict

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    The thing with removing the pinion nut is to return it to the precise location it was removed from. To do this you can make a mark on the nut and the housing with a punch and, using your torque wrench, approximate the tightness of the nut while removing.

    Doing this returns the pinion gear teeth to the same depth in relationship to the ring gear teeth, this allows the wear pattern to remain correct. If you install a new crush sleeve, the correct way to measure the correct pinion gear depth and tightness is to use an inch-pound torque wrench and (with the ring gear/spool removed) set the drag on the pinion to something like 12-16 inch pounds. Then you still need to check the pinion/ring gear engagement with a yellow grease-like compound. It's just a lot easier for the DIY'er to just return the pinion nut to the same location.

    You wont need a new flange unless your old seal has worn a grove in your original flange. Plus, unless the new flange is the identical measurement to your original flange, using it and the new nut will not allow you to achieve the same pinion nut tightness.

    I have to do this job on by '00 XLT soon and I plan to just buy a new seal and mark the pinion nut. I've done this this way in the past w/out a problem.
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2016
  6. 1998Exp

    1998Exp Well-Known Member

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    As far as I know, preload and pinion depth are two separate things. The preload is for the bearings, not for the pinion teeth engagement. Your (simplified) procedure is for former. Pinion depth should not be affected when only the seal is replaced.

     
  7. crunchie_frog

    crunchie_frog Active Member

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    I have done 3 of these for these vehicles. All of them had some surface wear on the flange where the seal was. I used the Dorman kit for all of them and have had no leaks. Also, I did try to return the same drag on the pinion and check it however, I really ended up just torquing the pinion nut on to ~130 -140 ft- lbs. I have had no problems with over two years and thousands of towing miles on one of them.
     
  8. SoNic67

    SoNic67 Well-Known Member

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    Thank you guys!
    I did buy the Dorman Kit, it was $24 with online order and a code from retailmenot. I'll see how the original flange looks, make sense that it might have a groove after 15 years and 155k miles.
    I just hope that the bearing doesn't have any play.
    In one the videos the guy said not to use impact - it makes sense not to "beat" the pinion bearing with the impact, not?
     
  9. koda2000

    koda2000 Explorer Addict

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    Your are correct about the pinion depth. I was confusing the crush sleeve with the shims, which are used to set the depth.
     
  10. SoNic67

    SoNic67 Well-Known Member

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    I finished the job. Replaced the flange too with the one in Dorman kit. The original one it had a small scoring mark, not deep to hang my nail into, but still...
    The seal came out very hard, the metallic surround was rusted on the differential body, so I had to go and buy a proper seal remover tool. Basically I almost broke it in pieces before it decided to move out.
    The Dorman provided seal had a small bead of RTV sealant on the outer metallic side, that was nice of them.
    I tighten the nut with about 20 ft-lb while "pushing" back the new flange and at some point, it stopped moving. Raised the torque set to 100 ft-lb and after not even 1/8 turn, it clicked off. I guess now it was set against the existing crush washer, with previous proper preloading.
    Filled with some synthetic 75W140 to compensate for what drained over the pinion side. And what was already missing, from being leaked previously on my driveway.
    Drove it around, it is more silent now (properly filled) and it free-rolls nice in N.
    Hope it will be all right.
    Thank you all.
     
  11. SoNic67

    SoNic67 Well-Known Member

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    Stupid question. I topped off with 75W-140 Super tech from Walmart. Full Synthetic.
    Because I had lost previously fluid, it took more than expected - 1 1/2 qt.
    Well, the online Walmart 75W-140 looks like this (and has listed LS applications on the specs):
    [​IMG]

    Mine has a different color label (violet), still Full Synth but the label says only that "Can be used to top off limited slip differentials". I didn't check fully when I used it. Well... how much means "top off"? My diff is LS and I don't hear any noises in turns. Should I worry?

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2016
  12. koda2000

    koda2000 Explorer Addict

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    If your diff chatters on turns you'll need to put in an LS additive. If not, don't worry about it. Full capacity is approx 3 qts, so you were 1/2 empty (or half full, depending on whether you served in the Peace Corp or not). The LS additive is a friction modifier for the LS clutches.
     
  13. swshawaii

    swshawaii Elite Explorer

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  14. SoNic67

    SoNic67 Well-Known Member

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    No, I meant from the aspect of that synth gear oil that is not listed as fully LS but "top off compatible".
    Should I drain some and add LS additive? I don't hear any suspicious noises in turns, I drove it in circles just to check.

    It was loud before, so yes, probably the level dropped to below the pinion (shaft flange) hole - especially because it was parked on an inclined driveway, the "wrong way" (rear higher).
     
  15. koda2000

    koda2000 Explorer Addict

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    Again, if it's quiet I wouldn't worry about it.
     

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