Leaking rear pinion seal, play in flange, upgrade DS or use warranty? - JKowners.com : Jeep Wrangler JK Forum
 
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post #1 of 17 Old 12-22-2009, 09:22 AM Thread Starter
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Leaking rear pinion seal, play in flange, upgrade DS or use warranty?



So, while wheeling in Moab after Thanksgiving, I could smell diff fluid.

When I crawled under my rig to investigate, I found what you see above--after using a rag to wipe off the excess.

The rear pinion seal was leaking, with diff fluid splattering all over the place.

I checked the rear diff fluid level with my pinky. There was still quite a bit in there. I periodically checked it, and eventually added some diff fluid.

At the end of the day, I loaded my rig on my trailer.

I spoke with the guy at M4O about it the next day. He told me that I probably got some debris up in there past the dust cover.

I also searched here for posts/threads regarding leaking rear pinion seals.

Anyway, the M4O guy tells me that it is an easy replacement. Simply remove the flange bolts, disconnect the rear driveshaft from the flange, unbolt the pinion nut, extract the old pinion seal, put in the new one using a large socket to slide it in, replace the pinion nut, torque to 160 lbs, put everything back. 45 mins to an hour tops.

I also searched here for posts/threads regarding leaking rear pinion seals. Several posts confirmed the same thing. Some posts sugesting adding a step to measure pre-load.

So, when I get back to Montana, I order a rear pinion seal. I parked my JK, and drove my tow rig until I could get around to the repair. I figured if it was an hour job tops, it wasn't worth my time to take it into the dealer for warranty coverage.

Finally last night, I get around to heating the garage so I can crawl under my JK and fix it.

Well, the head of the second flange bolt I started to remove stripped. No big deal. I have a bolt extracting set. But, before I went to grab it, I decided to check the play in the driveshaft.

There was significant play, more than 1/8" in the rear driveshaft. No wonder the rear pinion seal was leaking.

So, I am thinking that either the pinion nut came loose or the flange is broken, and that that could mean all sorts of other problems--crush sleeve, etc.



So, the questions are:

Take it in for warranty coverage or upgrade driveshaft?



If they don't cover it under warranty because they claim incorrect installation when I regeared, the labor cost to fix things could be more than cost of a driveshaft upgrade.



If I upgrade the driveshaft after having wheeled it all day on Cliffhanger (Moab) with a loose pinion nut or broken flange, what do i look for to see if it caused other damage?



How do I know if the crush sleeve is damaged, etc.? (I've never done a gear install or driveshaft replacement.)


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post #2 of 17 Old 12-22-2009, 10:17 AM
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sounds like upgrading your shafts would be a good idea

but hell if theyll warranty it id save the cash and have Jeeep fix it

Pinion seals are simple to change

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post #3 of 17 Old 12-22-2009, 11:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr.Dirty View Post
sounds like upgrading your shafts would be a good idea

but hell if theyll warranty it id save the cash and have Jeeep fix it

Pinion seals are simple to change
Yeah what he said.
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post #4 of 17 Old 12-22-2009, 11:31 AM
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plus it only takes a very small amount od gear oil will make a huge mess lol

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post #5 of 17 Old 12-22-2009, 11:44 AM
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Do the warranty thing, tell the wife it costs bunch of money, spend money on some other mods. Works for me every time!


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post #6 of 17 Old 12-22-2009, 01:15 PM
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the stealership might try to say it is a result of your rig being lifted. I would try though

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post #7 of 17 Old 12-22-2009, 07:36 PM
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Since you have had the gears changed, the dealership should not cover this under the Jeep warranty. If there is any warranty, it would be where ever you had the gears installed.

I have not done any gear swaps on the JK Dana 44, but the older ones I have worked on do not have a crush sleeve. The pinion bearing pre-load is set with shims. I am sure someone else can chime in if the JK 44 had a crush sleeve or not. If it does, then you should probably not re-use it since it sounds like the pinion nut is loose. Normally you can re-use a crush sleeve if you are changing the seal, by marking the pinion nut position and counting the threads exposed then re-tightening to the same spot after changing the seal.

If it uses shims, then do as you were told before and torque it to 160 ft-lbs. Since the nut loosened up once already, you probably should replace it or at the very least use lock-tite in it.

There is a possibility that you may have damaged the gears or pinion bearings, but not likely if you did not drive much at high speed with it loose. Would not be a bad idea to open up the diff just to make sure though.

Mark
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post #8 of 17 Old 12-22-2009, 08:16 PM
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The correct method is to measure torque to rotate with the calipers off before you remove the pinion nut, this will be measured in in/lbs.

Once you've done that, remove the pinion nut, mark the pinion flange so you put it back in the same place, remove the flange then the seal.

Install the new seal, put the flange back where it was, use a new nut (you can use the old washer), and then set the correct torque to rotate, which is the the original + 5 in/lbs.

If you get to 200 ft/lbs on the torque wrench then the collapsible spacer is shot and needs replacing. Do not back off the pinion nut if you go passed the torque to rotate.
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post #9 of 17 Old 12-23-2009, 07:52 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks Phil


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post #10 of 17 Old 12-23-2009, 07:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilD View Post
The correct method is to measure torque to rotate with the calipers off before you remove the pinion nut, this will be measured in in/lbs.

Once you've done that, remove the pinion nut, mark the pinion flange so you put it back in the same place, remove the flange then the seal.

Install the new seal, put the flange back where it was, use a new nut (you can use the old washer), and then set the correct torque to rotate, which is the the original + 5 in/lbs.

If you get to 200 ft/lbs on the torque wrench then the collapsible spacer is shot and needs replacing. Do not back off the pinion nut if you go passed the torque to rotate.
I just had to watch the extreme 4x4 show when IAN installed a gear set in the scout II. Ian was thorough enough that I could understand what you wrote. lol I've seen another show of his where he repaired a leaking pinion seal. I recall the casing could get scared which can cause some of the leaking. layer of rtv works well.

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post #11 of 17 Old 12-23-2009, 08:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by planman View Post
Thanks Phil
BTW I'm not syaing you can't just tighten the nut real tight or mark like previously suggested, I've done it before with no issues. But it doesn't really take too much longer to do it right and the chances of something prematurely wearing are much less if done the right way.
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post #12 of 17 Old 01-09-2010, 08:28 PM Thread Starter
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I am finally getting around to this.

Do I need to use a pinion flange wrenge C-3281 when I remove or tighten the pinion nut?


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post #13 of 17 Old 01-10-2010, 08:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by planman View Post
Do I need to use a pinion flange wrenge C-3281 when I remove or tighten the pinion nut?
I didn't.
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post #14 of 17 Old 01-10-2010, 02:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mshogren View Post
Since you have had the gears changed, the dealership should not cover this under the Jeep warranty. If there is any warranty, it would be where ever you had the gears installed.

I have not done any gear swaps on the JK Dana 44, but the older ones I have worked on do not have a crush sleeve. The pinion bearing pre-load is set with shims. I am sure someone else can chime in if the JK 44 had a crush sleeve or not. If it does, then you should probably not re-use it since it sounds like the pinion nut is loose. Normally you can re-use a crush sleeve if you are changing the seal, by marking the pinion nut position and counting the threads exposed then re-tightening to the same spot after changing the seal.

If it uses shims, then do as you were told before and torque it to 160 ft-lbs. Since the nut loosened up once already, you probably should replace it or at the very least use lock-tite in it.

There is a possibility that you may have damaged the gears or pinion bearings, but not likely if you did not drive much at high speed with it loose. Would not be a bad idea to open up the diff just to make sure though.

Mark
Changing the gears should not have any effect on the warrenty for the driveshafts.

In fact doing any upgrade other then welding in coilovers or a long arm kit should have no affect on any warranty work (I forget the name of the law case that supports this but I am sure someone here knows it and can refer you to it)


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post #15 of 17 Old 01-10-2010, 05:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by d'sjk View Post
Changing the gears should not have any effect on the warrenty for the driveshafts.

In fact doing any upgrade other then welding in coilovers or a long arm kit should have no affect on any warranty work (I forget the name of the law case that supports this but I am sure someone here knows it and can refer you to it)
I agree with you, but the gears had been changed to 5.13 and therefore would not be covered by the factory warranty.

The OEM factory warranty will never cover a part that was added or changed aftermarket. But the factory warranty should not be voided on another part.

You are referring to the Magnusson-Moss Act if I remember correctly.

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post #16 of 17 Old 01-10-2010, 06:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mshogren View Post
I agree with you, but the gears had been changed to 5.13 and therefore would not be covered by the factory warranty.

The OEM factory warranty will never cover a part that was added or changed aftermarket. But the factory warranty should not be voided on another part.

You are referring to the Magnusson-Moss Act if I remember correctly.

Mark
Ok, but there was no refrence to anything about the gears I only read and saw trouble with the drive shaft. aka the boot on the drive shaft and the seal where the DS attaches to the ax.


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post #17 of 17 Old 01-10-2010, 10:37 PM Thread Starter
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In my sig, I've got 5.13s.


I got the old seal off. It was kind of a pain.


Tomorrow night I'll install the new seal and put everything back together. I picked up a seal driver that should make the install go smoother.


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