Rear Axle Oil Seals R&R...Easy or PITA?

Discussion in '6.9L IH & 7.3L IDI Diesels' started by HammerDown, Aug 10, 2018.

  1. HammerDown

    HammerDown Full Access Member

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    Well, after 30 years of ownership (bought new) and 226,000 miles my driver side rear axle oil seal is starting to weep.
    I've done a LOT of work/maintenance on this Truck myself (health is now bad) but I don't really trust a shop to do it, fear it will come back with damage (differential making noise, sloppy workmanship or whatever)

    Working outside and on a concrete slab...sometimes I wonder if I'm I too old for this bs.

    So, just how difficult is it to R&R the rear oil seals, any tips, shortcuts, suggestions?

    While I'm at it I'll again install new drums, wheel cylinders, rear brakes (done those before) and I'll install a new spring kit on each side.

    *1988 F250 XLT Lariat Super Cab 4x4 7.3

    Can't recall if my rear shoes are 2.50" or 3"
    Not too sure what rear/axle is in the truck but, doorjamb states "Axle 39" is that the front???
    If it helps, Vin 1FTHX26M3JKA60025
     
  2. IDIBRONCO

    IDIBRONCO IDIBRONCO

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    It's not terribly difficult in my opinion, but it'd kind of involved. It takes time. Other than the tire, I think the hub is probably the heaviest part. I have to do this to my 85 soon.
     
  3. nostrokes

    nostrokes Full Access Member

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    Not too terribly bad but there are a few things you have to really pay attention to. Chilton/Haynes and this forum is You're best bet for info.
    You're axle should be a 10.25" full floater. There is a special ratcheting axle nut that takes a certain socket you can get from a part store fairly cheap.
    Lots of rags to clean up the oil spill when you pull the axle shafts. The shafts should have either a gasket or an o-ring, my 88 gasser had o-rings thought the part stores only showed a gasket.
    Hub seals are massive. I used a 4X4 wood block to install them since at the time I didn't have funds to buy a seal driver.
    There is a big debate on weather to grease the bearings or leave them dry and jack both sides to get oil to the hubs. I always grease them, just my preference, so you'd have to decide.
     
  4. IDIoit

    IDIoit MachinistFabricator Supporting Member

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    they are alot easier than the seals on a front dana 60
    i can tell that youre the "while im in there" kinda guy.
    if i were you i would also do rear bearings.
    rear diff flush, and replace the rubber line from the diff to the frame, since youre opening up the brake system.
    its a full day job with my 42 yr old ass drinking and smoking.

    and there lyes the rubb....
    drinking and smoking.
    have a buddy come help, tell him to bring beer.
    and take the day, relaxing, working, and maintaining the soul.
    for this is what life is about.
     
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  5. HammerDown

    HammerDown Full Access Member

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    Thanks for the feedback,
    just crawled under the truck...(pouring rain)...the below numbers are on the Differential Cover Metal Tag...does it help identify what rear-axles I have?
    # V126C
    # 551027L20

    Also, to remove the axles does the differential cover need to come off to access/remove the pinion shaft and also remove the C-Locks to slide the Axles out?

    Will I need a Puller to remove the Wheel Hub?
    What about the special ratcheting axle nut that takes a certain socket...part number?

    Would THIS video be to specific to my 1988 F250 4x4 Differential/Hub Axle situation?
    Trying to line-up all my ducks/required tools etc before digging into this job.
    Thanks for any further help, Ray
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2018
  6. nostrokes

    nostrokes Full Access Member

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    No c- clips so no the cover doesn't need to come off. Pull the 8 bolts on the hub and give a tap and pry on the axle, should slide out pretty easy.
    I never needed a puller to pull the hubs. As long as everything has never been ran dry and kept lubed it should come off with a little resistance but pullable by hand. Grab a puller if it makes you feel better though, I've heard of them being a pain before.
    Socket- Lisle 2810, OTC6601 parts store will most likely have one on the shelf.

    The video is specific to a Ford/Sterling 10.25 axle, not just an 88. Ford used it for 20 plus years..
     
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  7. HammerDown

    HammerDown Full Access Member

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    Thank you for clarifying and that means I can do one said at a time and move my Truck if needed...even my old sick ass can pull this one off.
    My Haynes 1980 thru 1996 book was throwing me off as it was showing pictures of the Pinion Shaft and C-clips being removed to slide-out the axles.
    Also, thank you very much for the tool specs...I found this in stock at my local Advanced Auto oddball size 2-3/5?
    https://shop.advanceautoparts.com/p...kS9y0rsRWnrgaEGcg1F0ehE3e5f7Xt9shBS6gXM4TCrQ=
     
  8. nostrokes

    nostrokes Full Access Member

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    That's probably for a semi floater. I've never had one or worked on one so I don't know.

    The tool is kinda odd.. The one I have isn't actually for the nut but it works.

    Almost forgot.. Make sure to check the vent. My 88 it was plugged at the fitting on the axle. Didn't find it until I put 4 new seals on one side... Almost went bankrupt buying seals...
     
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  9. Thewespaul

    Thewespaul Supporting Vendor Supporting Member

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    Here’s what you need. image.jpg
     
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  10. Vern

    Vern Registered User

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    Heya, 39 code is the 3.55 open. pretty sure. it's what's on my truck. Mine needed a driverside seal not long after I bought it. The vent was very plugged. I just attempted this driver's seal last night. Botched the job by forgetting to put the bearing back in before driving the seal home. doh! I used the national 370047a single piece. I think it spins inside itself so having bent that metal to the point of hitting rubber was proabably the ruination of the seal. Likely a short life anyhow. but I bent it back out and reinstalled it again (which was to use a 2x6 to drive it in and finnished seating it with the old seal. Was all I had to try and seal it to get me home. It's not pissing out, anyway after 100mi of driving. lol. Oh, and I bet yours is the 3" pad. were it reg cab I would say 2.5 since that's what mine was. but nobody seems to know how it works for certain. Just a guess. Hope it goes more smoothly than mine is so far. Also, much easier to do the brakes with the hubs off!
     
  11. IDIBRONCO

    IDIBRONCO IDIBRONCO

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    As for greasing the bearings, a long time ago, I was told that you need to pack the bearings with grease. The last time I did this, it was after work and I had to drive about 200 miles the next morning for a funeral, so I was trying to hurry and didn't feel like packing the bearings. I wiped a good coat of grease on the outside of the bearings and finished the job. I had no issues with the bearings so I guess unless they're dry, you don't need to completely pack the bearings.
     
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  12. nostrokes

    nostrokes Full Access Member

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    Little grease is better than nothing, IMHO.
    Doesn't take long for the oil to get there but better not to take the chance..
     
  13. IDIBRONCO

    IDIBRONCO IDIBRONCO

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    You're right. That's why I said "I guess". I did drive home at 40mph through town about three miles afterward and it sat overnight so it probably have oil to the bearings before I hit the interstate the next morning.
     
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  14. chris142

    chris142 Full Access Member

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    You definatly want to pack the bearings with grease. It may take several miles for the oil to work its way out to the bearings. After a good longvtest drive check and fill the diff.
     
  15. laserjock

    laserjock Almost there... Supporting Member

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    This^^^

    Pack the bearings. Top the axle off. Tip it up with the jack and let it sit for a little while. Then do the other side. Top it off and tip it up. The grease will dissolve into the oil over time so don’t worry about that. The extra moly won’t hurt a thing.

    Tip. Use the socket Wes showed. The nuts are ratcheting and I believe it’s the driver side that is left hand thread. I’ve got the bearing part numbers and Scotseal numbers too if you need them. Just have to dig them up.
     

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