Thread: Axle seals
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Old 04-11-2012, 09:02 AM
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Dana 44 Axle Seal Replacement
Dana 44 Axle Seal Replacement
(Check manual for types, amounts and applicability)
Various combination wrenches
Seal Driver or 1-3/4" socket
Torque Wrench
2 Large pry bars
Deadblow hammer
Broom Handle or Metal Pipe New Seal(s)
Gear Oil
RTV Black
Brake Cleaner 2-3 hours
Follow the instructions in the Differential Service and Dana 44 Hub and U-Joint Replacement for removing the diff cover and axle shafts.
Once the oil has drained out, place something under the diff that can catchthe carrier assebly if you drop it. I used a small sealed cardboard box inside a larger sealed cardboard box. Remove the 4 bearing cap bolts. They are torqued to 70lb-ft. I suggest marking the caps so that you can remember their orientation (left-right and up-down) as they are line honed with the axle tubes. I also kep the bolts in order as well.
Using 2 large pry bars, I pried on the inside of the ring gear and a ring gear bolt on the back side. You do not need a case spreader with the Dana 44 even though the case applies the bearing pre-load. You will pop the carrier out of the main bearing races and drop onto the bottom of the case. You may need to use the pry bars again to get the carrier past the outer edge of the housing. IT IS VERY HEAVY. Also keep the bearing races on their correct sides.

The grey part in the axle tube is the seal surface. The green is the paint off the outer seal surface. Make note of the depth that the seal is set. Mine was set so that inside edge fo the seal was at the corner of the bevel in the axle tube. You will see what I mean when you look.
Using a long pipe or broom handle, knock out the seal from the outside in. I used a 2.5 lb deadblow hammer (plastic, filled with sand). Work the pipe around the seal knocking it out evenly as to avoid binding. When the seal pops out, be careful to not marr the bearing surface in the housing by pushing the pipe in too far.
Here you can see the old seal at the bottom of the housing and the remnants of the seal paint in the tube. Thoroughly clean the seal area of the tube. This is a good time to clean the rest of the axle tube. This will minimize the amount of dirt and grime that will get on the axle splines when reinstalling it.
Install the new seal, ramped portion out. Use a 1-3/4" socket (or whatever you have that will drive the seal in without damaging it). Using the deadblow hammer, drive the seal in as straight as possible. Due to the tight space, my large hands, small socket and big hammer, it took me several tries to get teh seal started correctly. Once it was started, you can work the hammer around the socket to continue seating the seal to the smae depth as the old one.

Here is the final seated seal. Reassemble in reverse order. To get the carrier back in the housing, you can use the deadblow on the bearing races and ring gear edge. The first tight squeeze is the outer housing surface. The second tight spot is the actual bearing seats. You will need to lift the carrier so that the bearing races line up with their spots and tap itinto place. It may take some adjsuting up and down, but it will seat. Then install the bearing caps exactly as you removed them. Torque them to 70lb-ft. Manually spin the carrier and test for binding and pinion mesh. If things seem okay, reassemble shafts, hub and cover. Fill with oil of choice. I prefer Valvoline 80-90W.
For the passenger side seal on a CAD based axle, you will only need to remove the pasenger side shafts and NOT the carrier. You will also need to build a seal driver from some all thread, some washers, nuts and sockets. Once you knock the old seal out (into the CAD area), fisht he all thread in, add the seal, socket, washer and nut. On the outside, add the other socket, washer and nut. This will be used a slide hammer. For non-CAD axles, just follow the above steps for the passenger side. Set the seal.
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