Front Diff Blues!!!!
Well, I've been under that radar and not posting so much since i got back from the desert. Here's the deal with that...
I left back in August of 06 to go overseas and finish out my 10th and final tour for the Air Force. Well i knew that i had a small fluid leak on my front diff, but i never had time to troubleshoot and find out exactly where it was coming from before i left. Well my trip over there got cut short and i got back the 21st of Dec.
I didn't get to start working on the truck till after Christmas. But when i finally did get started, MAN!!! what a load of not fun! I mean it wasn't bad or anything, it was just tedious. The first day of work, I had Soccerjohn helping me out! (thanks buddy)
We made it all the way to down to the upper control arms and the pinch bolt came out just fine. The only snag we hit up to this point was breaking the control arm loose from the spindle! this is the point where a 36 inch prybar and a 24oz. deadblow work wonders! Finally we got it broke loose, seperated the control arm and moved forward...
The passenger side, however, was not as easy! Some of you know, that my style ranger is an SLA. Well the passenger side is the short side, as well as the adjustment side, so a little more delicacy had to be used to seperate the control arm. But, we got it seperated nonetheless and began to pull the CV shafts. Driver side came out as smooth as silk.
The passenger side caused me a major headache! Me and John did everything we could think of to get the CV shaft out. Nothing. So i took a break from that and moved on down the line to the driveshaft. It came out no problem. Taped the u-joint up so the cups didn't come loose. After that, we dropped the differential itself. As we were dropping the diff i figured i could use the tilt of the diff to get a new angle on getting the RH CV shaft out. I was right. And as it came out i found out why it was hanging up on me. The intermediate shaft was still connected to the CV shaft. At this point i'm thinking that there is a C-clip in the bottom of the diff.
The diff came out so easy it wasn't funny! So now, i've go the diff in the garage and i'm looking it over real well. 2 things came to mind at first.
1. The pinion seal had gotten some grass or something wrapped around it and blown, or my vent tube was stopped up and the pressure/heat from the differential had blown the seal.
2. That, or my diff cover seal was blown at the lower corner.
I take the easy way out. I pulled the diff cover. I figured this would also give me a good chance to look over everything and check for pre-mature wear as well as find the missing C-clip from the intermediate shaft as well. Good news is, there were no signs of premature wear or anything of the sort. Bad news is, there was no signs of a C-clip. not really that important i guess anyways...once you slide the intermediate shaft back into the carrier and insert the CV shaft there is NO WAY for the shaft to come undone anyways. I'm just a stickler for little details like that though...oh well, moving on.
I'm thinking about replacing the pinion seal at this point for good measure, but nobody had one in stock and it's New Years Eve. So no parts stores will be open for a day or two. I decide against replacing the pinion seal at this point.
I found a couple of other things while i was under the truck removing the differential the day before, so I get back under and do a more thorough inspection and verify all of my findings. I was correct on all counts.
1. RH Tie Rod end boot has 1/4" cut on outboard side of boot.
2. LH/RH CV Shaft excluder seal edges have dry-rotted and broken off.
For the tie rod end boot, i just shot a thin layer of Ultra Grey RTV over the tear and let it set.
For the excluder seals, there really isn't anything you can do short of buying a new CV shaft or a CV shaft rebuild kit so i said to hell with it and pressed on.
I ran another thin layer of RTV over the boot for good measure. After it cured I put the front diff back together and re-installed everything. Went out for a couple of test drives and everything felt great!!!
I get back to the house and look at the pinion seal for fluid leakage and there is nothing!!!! Sweet!!!!
But.....as I'm crawling over to the RH side of the truck, guess what! I tore the axle tube seal. Probably when i was messing with the intermediate shaft!
So hear we go again!
I get bree and we head down to Ford. Larry, my parts guy down there hooks me up with not only my axle seal, but a new tie rod end also! 30 dollars for both! i love employee discounts! I also put some 07 emblems on order while i was there, since i can't find my other set. $9.78 per side. not bad!
I ran the axle seal up until yesterday, since it wasn't leaking that badly and i had alot of things i needed to get done. But yesterday i finally tore back into it.
So i tear everything back out on the RH side and get the truck prepped to remove the axle seal. Fun Fun... I get a gasket scraper, common screwdriver and a few other various tools and begin hammering away at the seal till i get it popped loose and eventually out of the axle tube. This took roughly an hour from the time i slid the jack under the truck until i had the seal in my hand. not too bad.
Putting the seal back in SUCKS!!!! i tried all kinds of various tools and what it ended up coming down to is a 2 3/4" wheel bearing socket, a 20" 1/2" drive extension, and a 24oz. deadblow hammer! Took me roughly 2 1/2 hours!!!
I've never been so frustrated in my life with something...as soon as i would get it started, it would lean one direction and pop back out!
well i got it back in finally and topped of the differential with some 80w90 and ran it for awhile. I've checked it roughly 10 different times now, and i couldnt find any sign of a leak anywhere!!!!
SO YAY TO ME!!!!!!!!!
2002 XLT SUPERCAB 4X4
MY CARDOMAIN *UPDATED*
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