Effects of wheeling on seals - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


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  #1  
Old 03-30-2006
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Effects of wheeling on seals

I had to put my truck in the shop because the front diff was leaking(again, 2nd time) and there was a strainge leak from the bellhousing. Turned out the rear main seal was leaking. Thankfully no sand made it in past the seal.

Both had sand packed in them just caked up on the seal. I wash the truck after every wheeling trip at a brushless car wash that includes at "chassis bath".

So Why am I tearing these seals up ?
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  #2  
Old 03-30-2006
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probably the 35's?
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Old 03-30-2006
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Yes, the 35's and I warned you a ways back, lol.

You didn't change your gear ratios. What this means is that when you "hammer down", the pinion trues to climb the ring gear.

Now, generally, the housing tries to twist and you get "axle wrap". However, that' s a "straight axle " phenomena.

In the front, your differential is constrained, so when the pinion tries to climb the ring gear, it actually flexes the entire "extension" out of the diff housing, and bends the pinion shaft slightly. This over time will deteriorate the bearing and seal, and even the pinion and ring gear or housing over time.

However, unless you have a lot of power, you'll probably not distort the housing or break it. But the "flex" in the pinion shaft will probably continue to torture those seals.

This is why regearing is a good idea even when you've got enough "power". Now, if you've got Dana 44 and up axles (particularly something like a Dana 60 or a 14 bolt GM) then they're much heavier and you can run lower gear ratios in them without this problem.

In fact, the 14 bolt has an additional bearing to support the INSIDE of the pinion gear that most axles lack. The pinion shaft actually extends beyond the gear in the housing and has it's own bearing.

Your front is just a Dana 35 and when you are in low range on the transfer case particularly, you can really put a lot of twist on.

I think you're going to have to consider regearing or doing some kind of front end upgrade and there are no bolt-in replacements for the D35 in your independent front end, as far as I know anyway. Maybe there is.

What I thought you'd have more problems with though is u-joints on the driveshaft or something. I didn't even think about the pinon like that in regard to a Ranger though I've heard of it in bigger trucks.
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Old 03-30-2006
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sounds like you got a nice boo boo!
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  #5  
Old 03-30-2006
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The first time I killed the diff seal was prior to the lift and 35's. however i am considering re-gearing anyway.
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Old 03-30-2006
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both of mine have been replaced and you wheel alot more than me, i think its just a common problem, not like it leaks alot that fast anyway, mine leaked for a long time i took it in and he said it was nearly still full.
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Old 03-30-2006
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Dude I really doubt wheeling on seals helps. They prolly don't help traction that much and they're noisy.



Aaron
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  #8  
Old 03-30-2006
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my front diff has been replaced to, and it still leaks every now and them

Now i have to change my U-joints because thoes are bad.
Mud and sand is not good for these things.
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  #9  
Old 03-31-2006
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It seems to be a commen thing with these front ends. either the half shaft seals leak or the diff seal leaks...
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  #10  
Old 03-31-2006
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[QUOTE=n3elz]Yes, the 35's and I warned you a ways back, lol.

I am going to have to disagree with you john his problem is most likely caused by the sand riding on the shafts near the seals. Like sand paper this wears down the rubber making the seal go bad and with out a tight seal it leaks oil past. I have to take my drums apart every time we go wheeling because the sand gets in there and if it is not removed it will tear up my axle seals in no times. I am not saying what you have stated is wrong im saying the more likely culprit is sand and contaminents it comes with the teritory of wheeling in sandy areas.
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  #11  
Old 03-31-2006
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i thought you were gunna drive over the animals
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  #12  
Old 03-31-2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crazzyearl

I am going to have to disagree with you john his problem is most likely caused by the sand riding on the shafts near the seals. Like sand paper this wears down the rubber making the seal go bad and with out a tight seal it leaks oil past. I have to take my drums apart every time we go wheeling because the sand gets in there and if it is not removed it will tear up my axle seals in no times. I am not saying what you have stated is wrong im saying the more likely culprit is sand and contaminents it comes with the teritory of wheeling in sandy areas.
Fair enough. As I said, I've heard of the distortion issue on higher powered 4x4's, but not Rangers -- I just "extrapolated" to include us since it might explain his repeated problems. I haven't been cleaning out my seals and so far so good -- but you know that means NOTHING, lol.

Still a good idea for our drivetrain and relatively weak transmissions to regear though -- that I still say is worth doing when you go from 29" to 35" tires.
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Old 03-31-2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Red_Ak_Ranger
Dude I really doubt wheeling on seals helps. They prolly don't help traction that much and they're noisy.



Aaron
Lol, that's what I thought too by the topic
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  #14  
Old 03-31-2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by n3elz
Fair enough. As I said, I've heard of the distortion issue on higher powered 4x4's, but not Rangers -- I just "extrapolated" to include us since it might explain his repeated problems. I haven't been cleaning out my seals and so far so good -- but you know that means NOTHING, lol..
You dont have a front diff for seals to need cleaning or leak (yet)
Quote:
Originally Posted by n3elz
Still a good idea for our drivetrain and relatively weak transmissions to regear though -- that I still say is worth doing when you go from 29" to 35" tires.
I agree hole heartedly with that statement.


Who loves ya john?
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  #15  
Old 03-31-2006
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How hard is it to change the pinion seal by yourself? I was reading the service manual about this and it looked pretty easy except it required some special tools. My front leaks too but everytime I check it it still says full but that doesn't mean water isn't getting in it.
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  #16  
Old 03-31-2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shadyluke
How hard is it to change the pinion seal by yourself? I was reading the service manual about this and it looked pretty easy except it required some special tools. My front leaks too but everytime I check it it still says full but that doesn't mean water isn't getting in it.
Not so hard, but you need to order a new pinion nut. They are "ovalled" (crushed, if you will) to make them stay tighter, and when you remove them, they don't go back on with quite the same ability to stay put. I know people who've reused them, but it's alleged to be a bad idea.

Quote:
Originally Posted by crazzyearl
You dont have a front diff for seals to need cleaning or leak (yet)
Earl, I have an axle now (79 F-150 D44 high pinion) so EVENTUALLY I'll have one of them there sealy things... I know we talked about your Early Bronco D44 but I found a free one with discs and I'm going to use it. It came with EVERYTHING, lol -- axle, shocks, shockmounts, coil buckets and coils, steering arms, radius arms, steering box -- all of it.

In fact, it's out back of my shop at work totally put together with the springs hanging off it, radius arms on, and coil buckets hanging off the end of the coils still on the axle. It looks funny. They torched all the bolts, then lifted the truck off the axle with a fork lift and I grabbed the radius arms like a "rickshaw" and pulled it away.

It even has 255-75-15 tires on it (though I won't need them) and 15x8.5 or 15x9 steel wheels. I also have the rear tires and wheels. I'm going to clean up and use the wheels (with adaptors on the rear of my truck) when I do it. I THINK, from some half-assed testing, that it has the optional 4.10's in it so I may not need another carrier to go to 4.56 gears -- we'll see. I haven't opened it up yet.

It was all taken off a running but beat truck that was scrapped here for scrap steel. No cost to me at all! Sometimes, one just gets lucky.
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  #17  
Old 04-01-2006
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good deal
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  #18  
Old 04-07-2006
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Hey ben whats the cost on a front seal replacement.. guess who's is leaking for the
... 2nd time also. I was under there changing out the t-case atf and rear diff lube
and the front is seaping again woot.
If its slow enough I might just top it up monthly for awhile.. I dont want to drop
3-400$ on a front seal.. so how much is it if you dont mind.

(anyone else can chime in too if they know)
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  #19  
Old 04-07-2006
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and in my experience.. those "chassis baths" do a realy crappy job.. there not worth it.
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  #20  
Old 04-08-2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by n3elz
Not so hard, but you need to order a new pinion nut. They are "ovalled" (crushed, if you will) to make them stay tighter, and when you remove them, they don't go back on with quite the same ability to stay put. I know people who've reused them, but it's alleged to be a bad idea.


Earl, I have an axle now (79 F-150 D44 high pinion) so EVENTUALLY I'll have one of them there sealy things... I know we talked about your Early Bronco D44 but I found a free one with discs and I'm going to use it. It came with EVERYTHING, lol -- axle, shocks, shockmounts, coil buckets and coils, steering arms, radius arms, steering box -- all of it.

In fact, it's out back of my shop at work totally put together with the springs hanging off it, radius arms on, and coil buckets hanging off the end of the coils still on the axle. It looks funny. They torched all the bolts, then lifted the truck off the axle with a fork lift and I grabbed the radius arms like a "rickshaw" and pulled it away.

It even has 255-75-15 tires on it (though I won't need them) and 15x8.5 or 15x9 steel wheels. I also have the rear tires and wheels. I'm going to clean up and use the wheels (with adaptors on the rear of my truck) when I do it. I THINK, from some half-assed testing, that it has the optional 4.10's in it so I may not need another carrier to go to 4.56 gears -- we'll see. I haven't opened it up yet.

It was all taken off a running but beat truck that was scrapped here for scrap steel. No cost to me at all! Sometimes, one just gets lucky.
That's a nice deal john. I need to figure out how it is to do a fullsize axle swap as compared to an eb axle swap. If it wasn't too much harder i would run fullsize axles, but i don't know too much about.
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  #21  
Old 04-09-2006
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buy a pressure washer.
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  #22  
Old 04-09-2006
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I just replaced the front pinion seal on my truck..
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