• Register Today It's free! This box and some ads will disappear once registered!

^^Searches ExplorerForum.com^^

Looking for tips on fixing front differential seal leak

BearHug

Member
Joined
July 4, 2015
Messages
48
Reaction score
10
City, State
Anchorage, AK
Year, Model & Trim Level
1994 Explorer XLT
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?
 


Join the Elite Explorers for $20 per year. Gets rid of the ads! New $5 per month "try out" option.

Elite Explorer members see no advertisements, no banner ads, no double underlined links, can add their own profile photo, upload photo attachments in all forums, and Media Gallery, create and save more private conversations, and more. Join Today. Your support is greatly appreciated.




RangerX

Elite Ranger
Staff member
Moderator
Elite Explorer
Joined
July 14, 1999
Messages
10,176
Reaction score
417
City, State
Omao, Kauai
Year, Model & Trim Level
'93 Ranger XLT 4X4
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.
 




BearHug

Member
Joined
July 4, 2015
Messages
48
Reaction score
10
City, State
Anchorage, AK
Year, Model & Trim Level
1994 Explorer XLT
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.
 




Anime

EF YEAH!!
Elite Explorer
Joined
November 6, 2000
Messages
5,441
Reaction score
36
Year, Model & Trim Level
2018 EX Sport Concept
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.
 




BearHug

Member
Joined
July 4, 2015
Messages
48
Reaction score
10
City, State
Anchorage, AK
Year, Model & Trim Level
1994 Explorer XLT
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.
 




Top