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Old 12-17-2012, 12:59 PM   #1
abanerus
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2002 L-Series 2.2L Wagon
Default 2004 L300-1 Auto Axle Seal - Drv & Pass sides

Hi Saturn techs,

Need your expert guidance on 2004 L300-1 Auto Axle Seal - Drv & Pass sides last VIN# digits 4Y518758.

ISSUE
Drv side axle shaft seems to be sticking out from the trans side & leaking, also slight leak on Pass side.

PART
OEM part# AC Delco AC24203910

QUESTION
Kit includes oil seal, retaining sleeve & two snap rings; please advise:
1. Is the retaining sleeve used on both Drv & Pass sides?
2. Are C-clips for Drv side only?
3. Are both C-clips for the seal or one for the sleeve?
4. Can the Timken SL260001 be used on the Pass side instead?

Any help will be much appreciated!

PS: Check out carpartswholesale.com & their eBay store by the same name for terrific prices on CV axles with free return shipping included!

Thanks.
AB.

Last edited by abanerus; 12-17-2012 at 01:05 PM..

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Old 12-18-2012, 12:40 AM   #2
PeteB
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2002 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
1994 SC2
Default Re: 2004 L300-1 Auto Axle Seal - Drv & Pass sides

Here's my discussion with a tech at justanswer.com about replacing my left axle seal:

http://www.justanswer.com/saturn/727...l300-left.html

I posted a link to a tech procedure towards the end of the thread that should be very helpful to you. I did not use the proper tool for installing the outer seal, but eyeballed the depth, which worked out OK.

It was one of the more difficult jobs I have done on a car, ever. $160 at a dealer would be well-spent, I think, though now that I have done it, doing it again would be MUCH easier.

If you want to buy the inner seal removal tool from me for $67, send a private message.

...
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Old 12-18-2012, 04:53 PM   #3
abanerus
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Default Re: 2004 L300-1 Auto Axle Seal - Drv & Pass sides

Thanks boss, very exhaustive & useful details on a difficult task. Please confirm:

1. Drv side: Seal with snap ring installed from inside, no inner sleeve.
2. Pass side: Seal w/out snap ring installed from outside, inner sleeve with snap ring (don't remove & try to keep its snap ring).
3. Repair manuals recommend using gasket sealant.
4. Drv side axle shaft sticking out due to auto trans final shaft, not to worry unless heavy play from CV joints in Z-position to compensate.
5. What model of seal puller/installer can you sell me?

Saturn service quotes above $500 labor alone, I will check AAMCO but those crooks will trick me into a costly tranny job after dismantling. I have an independent guy with GM experience quote $165 labor if I bring parts.

PS: The AC Delco & Timken models on my original post are identical, the former kit includes sleeve & 2 snap rings. So if I am lucky I may get away with 2 Timkens or 1 of each although I will keep backups.

Thanks again.
AB.

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Old 12-19-2012, 12:43 AM   #4
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Default Re: 2004 L300-1 Auto Axle Seal - Drv & Pass sides

Quote:
Originally Posted by abanerus View Post
Please confirm:

1. Drv side: Seal with snap ring installed from inside, no inner sleeve.
There is an inner sleeve. I first attempted to replace just the outer seal, and damaged the inner seal (sleeve) in the process, beginning the nightmare.
Quote:
2. Pass side: Seal w/out snap ring installed from outside, inner sleeve with snap ring (don't remove & try to keep its snap ring).
I don't see any problem with putting on new snap rings. I see you are trying to avoid replacing the sleeves. Good luck with that as they become brittle with age and the rubber lips are easily damaged. You can buy the outer seals for just a few bucks on Amazon.com, believe it or not. I went through a few developing my homemade tool and technique for seating them. They want to go in sideways and bend. Tap gently with a heavy hammer is the key.
Quote:
3. Repair manuals recommend using gasket sealant.
Not the ones I've seen. I used GM axle grease (per Haynes) to lube the outer seals.
Quote:
4. Drv side axle shaft sticking out due to auto trans final shaft, not to worry unless heavy play from CV joints in Z-position to compensate.
Can't relate to this issue. My axle shaft was where it belonged.
Quote:
5. What model of seal puller/installer can you sell me?
It is a Kent-Moore J 41227 output shaft sleeve remover. The installer is another simple, even more ridiculously overpriced tool, J 41228. I used a Craftsman socket to install; it fit the bore of the sleeve perfectly. You could try needle-nose visegrips to pull the sleeves. I had no luck with pliers or with a valve spring compressor.

Wow, Saturn has jacked up its price tag. Alldata says $160 including the seal kit, which would be a bargain. I dorked around with mine for hours and hours over several days including doing research, waiting for parts, etc. I am hopeful that my experience (and that tech procedure) will save you some time.

...
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Old 12-26-2012, 03:03 PM   #5
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Default Re: 2004 L300-1 Auto Axle Seal - Drv & Pass sides

Finally got the job done. This time the inner shaft came out with Pass side axle, replaced inner sleeve but old snap rings were fine so left them alone. Changed outer seal on both sides & poured Walmart SuperTech red high-mileage Dexron which is cheaper than regular variety.

So we used 1 each of the AC Delco seat kit & Timken outer seal from rockauto, smearing all surfaces with coat of grease. Luckily my mechanic loaned a GM seal pullers/installer & used sockets/pipes as needed. Replaced a CV axle with very cheap one from carpartswholesale, put a new nut on it but changed both cotter pins weak from bending twice.

Total labor $165 for both sides, I bought parts & ATF. No leak so far but I had recently gotten an alignment including slotting rear struts to correct camber. Talked alignment guy into setting angles once again :-)

Thanks much for your valuable advice, my last question:

My auto trans has a cap but no dipstick to check level, should I just fill slowly to max capacity?

Cheers.
AB.

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Old 12-27-2012, 08:55 AM   #6
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Default Re: 2004 L300-1 Auto Axle Seal - Drv & Pass sides

Way to go! I have to look into slotting rear struts because I have a lot of negative camber, though tire place told me it is within spec.

There is supposedly (because I have not been able to find it) a plug on the passenger side of the transmission for checking level. With car level, fill until oil drips from the plug hole. Lots of GM cars use this system, so your mechanic ought to be familiar. I took my car to a shop for transmission fluid and filter after servicing the axle seal.

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Old 12-30-2012, 08:26 PM   #7
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Default Re: 2004 L300-1 Auto Axle Seal - Drv & Pass sides

Bad news! Driver side seal is fine but Pass side is leaking only slightly where a little bit about 1/2" of CV axle is sticking out. We couldn't make it go in all the way & the old axle was also sticking out a bit.

Now I think that was the root cause of the problem all along since the very slightly tapered shaft needs to go in all the way for a snug fit to prevent leaks. I was not bothered about it from what your Saturn expert said on the other forum:

As for runout, the shaft (once installed) will not have excess runout. If it did then the final drive in the trans would be faulty. It is not a point of concern. I have never checked it nor would I be concerned. If it were excessive there is a lot of play from the CV joints once installed and they usually don't leak with new seals installed.

So I poured a bottle of trans stop leak from Advance Auto since I can't get into a trans repair task. It says pour another in 200mi if needed so I will wait & watch.

Meanwhile getting the alignment guy set the angles again this week since I don't want to take off the Pass side axle for the 4th time. I also have a bent exhaust bracket, rotten hangers & loose heat shields which are relatively easy.

A few more minor fixes before the big keep vs sell decision! Should not be too difficult in North-Central NJ given the NYC market I hope.

AB.

Last edited by abanerus; 12-30-2012 at 08:40 PM..

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Old 01-03-2013, 07:19 AM   #8
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Default Re: 2004 L300-1 Auto Axle Seal - Drv & Pass sides

On the passenger side, the outer seal normally sticks out about 1/2" from the case while the driver side is pretty much flush, if that's possibly what you're observing.

There is a spring around the lip of the outer seal to maintain pressure against the inner sleeve. Could the spring have been knocked out of its groove? This could be causing the leak.

Sounds like you're about as weary of this repair as I was. I hope your stop leak holds until you have a chance to check it out again.

...
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Old 01-11-2013, 06:11 PM   #9
abanerus
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Default Re: 2004 L300-1 Auto Axle Seal - Drv & Pass sides

Okay boss I will do this one more time but make sure I get my mechanic do it right. Now this spring /clip around the lip that holds the outer seal in place, can you please give me a make & part# that I can order preferably at Rockauto? I checked it missing on mine.

Last edited by abanerus; 01-11-2013 at 06:16 PM..

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Old 01-11-2013, 11:23 PM   #10
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Default Re: 2004 L300-1 Auto Axle Seal - Drv & Pass sides

The spring comes installed in the outer seal, and has a coating of a petroleum jelly-like material to help hold it into a groove in the rubber. I think the spring could be knocked out during installation of the seal. My Haynes book cautions being careful about this.

I'm not 100% sure the spring got knocked out, just offering it as a possible cause for the leak. I'd check the leak very carefully to see if it originates on the inside of the seal, where the rubber contacts the inner sleeve, or on the outside of the seal, from the bore in the transmission case. I think you'd have to pull the axle to get a good look, but maybe not.

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Old 04-16-2013, 02:38 PM   #11
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Default Re: 2004 L300-1 Auto Axle Seal - Drv & Pass sides

Sold the car above KBB what a relief! Bought a low miles 2001 Camry LE that's less fun to drive but way easier to fix.

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