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Old 10-05-2003, 01:27 PM   #1
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2006 ION Red Line
Default Axle seals leaking still -

When I did the clutch/ aluminum flywheel over this summer, I decided to redo the rear main seal, as well as the axle seals. I wasn't able to get the axle seals to seal, so I redid them both with the saturn parts again. Still leaking. So I buy the seals again, and this time use a touch of RTV to help them seal. Still leaking. Can one of the master techs around here or anyone who has done this successfully give any guidance or explain the trick to getting these to seal?
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Old 10-05-2003, 06:17 PM   #2
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The seals need to be put in as straight as possible, as in when they are installed they should not be cocked going in. Also grease them up prior to installing them. On the back of the seal where the coil spring is fill that with grease so that the spring does not pop out when the seal is installed and grease the lip area generously so that it does not run dry on initial running. Do not deforn the roundness of the seal when installing either. Saturn uses a special tool for the install of the seals that fits the outer edges of the seal evenly so that the entire seal takes the install pressure evenly. Next is to make sure that you don't knick the lip of the seal when installing the axles back into the trans. Make sure that the axles are not damaged where the seal rides either.
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Old 10-05-2003, 06:34 PM   #3
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Is this special tool something that can be gotten from a tool dealer or even from saturn?
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Old 10-05-2003, 07:17 PM   #4
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The axle seal installer is a common size that is used by other gm makes as well. You might get lucky and find one at an auto parts supplier.

Another question, are you removing the inpection cover when you install the axle seal? I have seen many DIY axle seals leak due to the seal being installed on top of the inspection cover...

Is your leak coming out between the transmission case and the seal, or the seal and the axle?

Another possibility is that the axle itself is scored. A scored axle sealing surface will continually leak, no matter how many seals are installed, unless polished or if bad enough, replaced.
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Old 10-05-2003, 07:37 PM   #5
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The actual seals on the transmission case on both sides.
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Old 10-05-2003, 07:48 PM   #6
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I replaced the driver's side seal on one of mine. The first try I messed up the seal trying to use an end cap type filter wrench to drive it in place. What worked on the second try was some plumbing fittings. I used fittings for galvanized pipe (Home Depot didn't have black fittings in the required size). A 2 inch by 1.5 inch reducer, a 12 inch long 1.5 inch size nipple, and a 1.5 inch cap. The 2 inch end of the reducer is just smaller than the OD of the seal; the nipple lets you not have to reach too far in/under; the cap receives the taps from a hammer. Three pieces, about $10 total at HD, Lowes or any plumbing supply house.

You're also supposed to use a Loctite sealer around the outside of the seal. I forget the part 3, but it's not the same as the #242 used on a lot of nuts/bolts.
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Old 10-05-2003, 09:00 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by Applefool
The actual seals on the transmission case on both sides.
Sorry Applefool, I'm completely lost by this response...

Is the leak coming between the seal(s) and the case(just the case has fluid running down it) , or between the seal and the axle(both the axle and the case are wet with fluid)?

Is the seal installed over top of the inspection cover? Or have you removed that cover each time you have replaced the seal?

Did you inspect the axle prior to the seal(s) replacement? Even a new seal will leak with a scratched axle sealing surface...
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Old 10-06-2003, 10:50 AM   #8
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Saturn Eh -

Sorry, I didn't get what you were asking. Assuming I now understand correctly, I will answer with;

Though it is hard to tell with the amount of tranny fluid that has leaked, it appears that just the seal itself is leaking via the edges and that the axle itself is sealed. This makes sense as I tapped it in unevenly, and just worked my way around until it was in there nice and flush. I attempted using a very large socket to tap it in evenly, but it didn't work out too well. I'm going to try to find the right tool before I blow another $15 on a pair of seals.

While I have the axles out again though, is there any feasible way to tell if the axle is in decent shape. I'm pretty sure there was some light scoring on it if you looked closely, but it didn't seem very bad.

As for the inspection cover, are you referring to the piece that goes on last and has all the holes in it? If so, I believe I did away with those on the last install.
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Old 10-06-2003, 04:03 PM   #9
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Saturn shop manual calls for you to apply Loctite #515 on the outside of the seal to seal it to the case.

My local dealer's parts dept. said the cover with the holes in it was no longer used with the new type (I believe the change was to double lip) seals. Mine got bent in the removal, so I looked to replace it.
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