Front diff leaking? Need advice. - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


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  #1  
Old 08-10-2009
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Front diff leaking? Need advice.

For the last several months, I've been leaking gear oil from the front differential. This does not make me happy. I can't tell where it is coming from. There is no oil leading from either side where the axles go in. There is no oil leading from the where the drive shaft goes in. It almost seems like it is leaking from the gasket in the front. It drips from the front and runs back with the wind. Is this something common? It's got 100,000 miles on it if that means anything. I think I've got a rear main seal leak too but thats a topic for another thread....

2003 4.0L automatic.
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Old 08-10-2009
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Probably the pinion seal. That's where mine was leaking from. I see that you have oil on the LCA mount. That's probably from the oil leaking from that seal, hitting the spinning shaft and getting flung off.

Before I had mine replaced it looked like it was leaking from the diff cover, but I figured it was the pinion seal by the fact that there was oil on that mount.
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Old 08-11-2009
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Alright. Whats a pinion seal? There is no electricity or antennas on this thing so I'm lost.
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Old 08-11-2009
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I dont think its the pinion seal, mine looked alot worse then that, that looks more like the diff cover to me.
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Old 08-11-2009
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where the front shaft connects to the diff, theres a seal thats the pinion seal.
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  #6  
Old 08-11-2009
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Ah, ok that thingy. So it could be either I guess. I'm sure I can handle front cover gasket. Unbolt, scrape off, replace, bolt on?

How much of a pain in the *** is the pinion seal to do? Or should I plan to buy some beer for a more mechanically inclined friend to do it? Bear in mind I fixed my transfer case by banging on it with a tire iron once.
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Old 08-11-2009
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Easy to do. Driveshaft off then the pinion nut, flange and seal. Problem is getting everything back on. I'm not sure on the torque spec on the nut. Also if I remember correctly you have to have a certain rotational torque value. I had Ford do since I was being lazy.

Make sure it is that seal. I thought the front cover of the front diff was leaking on my truck but it turns out the front crank seal crapped out early.
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Old 08-11-2009
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Oh no...that's aweful. Time to SAS it...












I've not had a front cover problem like that before...but I have had rear cover problems like that. Unfortunately, the only way to attack it is to remove the axle assy from the truck in order to remove the cover, reseal and refill. Plus...100k, it could use a change anyway(if you've not changed it out before). One thing I would check out, is that front main seal behind the harmonic balancer and crankshaft pulley. I don't think it's pinion seal..but pinion seal is fairly easy if you've got air tools(impact). No way in hell that nut is going to budge without air assist. Shaft off, nut off, flange off, pry old seal out, hammer new seal in, slide on the flange and buzz the nut back on.
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Old 08-11-2009
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Mine is doing this too and i recently rolled 100k also...
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Old 08-11-2009
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i have a pinion seal leak also. I was a retard and had my front diff dropped for superlift yet i did nothing about it. Here's my "ghetto fix" until I can afford to drop it and replace.

Clean off pinion flange with brake cleaner(where im pretty sure oil is coming from)
Caulk around the gap ( i know its ghetto)
refill fluid thru the fluid refiller nut.

I'm only doing this because I'm moving to Anchorage in a week and have no time to get it fixed right now. I'm bringing up a think of 90 weight to refill it occasionally since it leaks relatively slowly.
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  #11  
Old 08-11-2009
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It is definitely gear oil and not motor oil. (the motor oil is all in the back....). Why would I need to take the axle assembly off the truck to remove the cover????
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Old 08-11-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FireRanger View Post
Why would I need to take the axle assembly off the truck to remove the cover????
No room to take it off while its in the truck.
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  #13  
Old 08-11-2009
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Oh you've got to be f'ing kidding me. I thought that would be the easy fix. WTF.
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Old 08-11-2009
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^Yup. (@ Christian).


It is an easy fix.....it's just getting to it to fix it is the difficult part. lol. I honestly couldn't comment on the difficultly on a stock stock, but I know it's pretty easy to remove being superlifted. Pop off the tie rod ends, unbolt the CV nut on the hub, remove shocks, unbolt top balljoint, yank out the shafts, then unbolt the axle(3 bolts I believe). It'll kinda weave out of there.
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Old 08-11-2009
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I thought some one mentioned that the front diff insides are actually conected to the diff cover? Anyways, even with my superlift lowering it 4 inches lower there's absolutely no room to remove the cover.

It's a gay leak but on the good side of things, dont worry about f'in up your front axle. I've had mine leaking for a few thousand miles and its doin great.
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Old 08-11-2009
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FML
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Old 08-11-2009
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LOL Matt. Just leave it. lol.


No....there are no insides built into the cover. It's just like a rear end cover...just that...a cover.
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  #18  
Old 08-11-2009
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Well the problem is that between the front diff and the rear main seal, it is starting to make an aweful mess where I park. Stupid oil.
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Old 08-11-2009
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If you don't want to deal with it yet buy some kitty litter and top off the oil every month or so if its a small leak.
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Old 08-11-2009
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Justin wrote up a How to on replacing the rear pinion seal. Its the same as the rear.

If you do it on your own, its cheap. Personally I would try it before dropping the front axle. The seal is $16 from ford, and less then a quart of diff fluid. When I replaced mine I went with the ford seal instead of the after market ones (napa, autozone, etc).

Talking with a guy at work that used to be a ford tech, he said that its a fairly common problem with fords.
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Old 08-11-2009
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Alright I guess that will end up being the easy way to start. But I'd probably hurt myself and break things. I was on narcotic painkillers for 2 weeks just from doing the front brakes. So beer + friend that's a mechanic = new front pinion seal
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  #22  
Old 08-11-2009
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Just bring it somewhere and get it fixed, problem solved IMO
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Old 08-11-2009
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its not to bad man i just did it yesterday, when i swapped the front diff. like shane said 3 bolts. then all you have to do is take off the tire on the passenger side,caliper,tie rod,and upper ball joint,and the remove the cv shaft. no need to do this to drivers side cause once you unbolt the diff just slide it to the passenger side to remove the other shaft on the drivers side.
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  #24  
Old 08-11-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ford04Ranger4.0 View Post
Just bring it somewhere and get it fixed, problem solved IMO
Yeah....um....have you ever heard a quote for that. I was quoted from $150 up to $225 to get it replaced. Luckly I was refered to a friend of a friend and he did it for $75 as long as I brought him everything.
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Old 08-11-2009
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