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Old 10-15-2011, 11:11 PM   #1
mdevour
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1998 SW2
1993 SC2
Default Driver's side differential axle seal...

While putting the car back together after replacing the front wheel bearings, I managed to damage the driver's side differential to axle seal. The bearings are great now, but it leaves a goodly puddle of ATF on the ground wherever it's parked.

'94 SL2, automatic.

So, I've got that side all apart again and the half-shaft out.

From reading here and in the shop manual and looking at it real closely, it seems like there's a snap ring that holds the seal and the metal cover in place. What's the best tool and technique for getting that sucker out of there, please?

Preferably with the tranny still in the car?

Thanks!

M.

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Old 10-15-2011, 11:27 PM   #2
OldNuc
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1998 SC2
Default Re: Driver's side differential axle seal...

Det cord works well.

A small sharp awl after you find the end of the wire ring in the old RTV. Do not gouge the aluminum though.

This will help. http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...ight=axle+seal

and this: http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...ight=axle+seal

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Old 10-17-2011, 01:22 AM   #3
macbox
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1995 SC2
1997 SC2
Default Re: Driver's side differential axle seal...

I used a thin screwdriver to get the snap ring out. Once the first edge is up the rest is easy, you can go around the circumference and it pops right out. For me getting the seal out was a bear, but you will have better leverage with the seal in the car since the tranny will not want to flop all over the place. Do not let any crud get into the tranny. I used RTV per OldNuc's directions, the seal/tranny mating surfaces get a thin smear before being gently pounded in.

...
#4, 1995 SC2m, 163K, 400 Miles per quart. Garage queen. Currently in 1000 pieces for a rebuild.
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Old 10-17-2011, 08:23 PM   #4
mdevour
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1993 SC2
Thumbs Up Re: Driver's side differential axle seal...

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldNuc View Post
Det cord works well.
It would seem that way!

Quote:
A small sharp awl after you find the end of the wire ring in the old RTV. Do not gouge the aluminum though.

This will help. www . saturnfans . com/forums/showthread.php?t=157946&highlight=axle+seal

and this: www . saturnfans . com/forums/showthread.php?t=157297&highlight=axle+seal
Thanks, those links helped me get my head around the job really well. I searched the forum and the howto section but missed them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by macbox View Post
I used a thin screwdriver to get the snap ring out. Once the first edge is up the rest is easy, you can go around the circumference and it pops right out. For me getting the seal out was a bear, but you will have better leverage with the seal in the car since the tranny will not want to flop all over the place.
Well, the lack of swing room made up for the extra leverage.

Nothing I could get in there with was able to lift the end of the ring, so I got out the dremel tool and notched the boss that surrounds the seal bore at about the 4 o'clock position, just below a cast web. I went in just far enough to be level with the snap ring. This let me get under the darned ring with a small screwdriver. Then it was as easy to get out as you predicted.

If I've fatally weakened the differential housing, so be it!

Cobbled up a scrap wood "handle" for the 3" exhaust coupling I bought, so I could pound on it to drive in the new seal. It went in along with the snap ring with very little grief.

Filled the tranny, drove it around enough to get hot, and let it sit for a couple of hours over a clean patch of driveway. No runs, no drips, no errors!

Hopefully we're ready for the winter now.

Thanks for the help, gents!

M.

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