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Old 05-21-2013, 09:02 PM
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Can someone audit my work plan?

The pinion shaft seal is leaking on my 12 bolt. I don't want to rebuild the entire rear end. So I have cobbled together these steps from various locations on the internet. How does it look? Missing anything? Anything incorrect? If there isn't too much grumbling then perhaps this can be made into a wiki.
===


Problem: GM 12-bolt rear end pinion gear leak
Goal: fix leak without removing and rebuilding entire rear end
Criticism: the proper method for this task requires you to rebuild the rear end to you can positively and correctly set the sleeve crush on the pinion.

Leak points:
  1. Seal failure (rubber lips)
  2. Damaged/grooved yoke shaft where seal contacts it
  3. Between splines of shaft
  4. Between seal body and carrier

Steps:
If you jack the vehicle, do so to ensure the rear wheels do not move. Use the parking brake, etc, but the wheels need to be sitting on something.
  1. Remove drive shaft
  2. Use a punch to place an index mark on the pinion nut and pinion gear shaft (to know how tight it previously was torqued to achieve sleeve crush)
    This is critical. Pay attention. Do it right. Be exact. Make the marks very clear to see.
    If you over/under torque this nut during the procedure you will damage the rear end and have to rebuild it anyway.
  3. Remove pinion nut
  4. Remove yoke
    Hopefully it will slide right off.
    People do use hammers to persuade it, but you can mess up the bearing if you are not careful
    The proper tool is a pinion flange puller (or steering wheel puller can work in a pinch)
  5. Oil now leaks from carrier, have catch can handy
    Pro tip: Perhaps now is a good time to have drained all the oil out before hand for a complete fluid change.
  6. Pry out old seal
  7. Clean pinion nut threads
  8. Cean pinion shaft threads
  9. Cean old sealant out of carrier where new seal will go
  10. Clean yoke and inspect for grooving damage around sealing surface
  11. Remove any old sealant in splines (on the yoke and/or pinion shaft in carrier)
  12. Apply grease to rubber seal
    1967 GM service manual states: lithium-based extreme pressure lubricant
  13. Apply a THIN amount of sealant around outside body of new seal
    1967 GM service manual states: nonhardening sealer (such as Permatex Type A)
  14. Dive in the new seal.
    Note: The new 8460 seal is too deep and will will contact the bearing inside the carrier, which is bad, so pay attention. Leave 1/16-1/8" space between the seal and the bearing. The end of the seal will stick out 1/16-1/8" of the carrier and this is OK. The old factory seals (currently unavailable anywhere), were meant to be driven all the way in the carrier.
  15. Apply sealant to splines of yoke
  16. Apply grease to yoke shaft
    1967 GM service manual states: lithium-based extreme pressure lubricant
  17. Insert yoke
  18. Apply red loctite to pintion shaft threads
    Some mechanics like to stake the nut
  19. Torque pinion nut to the index mark
    People who do not use the index mark technique will say to torque to 100-125 ft/lbs.
    This is based on the fact that is takes around 300 ft/lbs to set the crush sleeve
  20. Tighten a little more to overcome any wear in the bearings and bolt/nut stretch
    Use the force to determine how much extra torque to apply
  21. Install drive shaft
  22. Drive vehicle
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Old 05-22-2013, 06:50 AM
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Don't forget to refill the unit with the proper lubricant
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Old 05-22-2013, 07:11 AM
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Get your new pinion seal from Ratech.
The seal they seal is a dimensionally identical to the original, unlike the 8460N.
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Old 05-22-2013, 08:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AutoGear View Post
Don't forget to refill the unit with the proper lubricant
5A drain lube and inspect
5B place big piece of masking tape on axle and a note on steering wheel that both read "no oil in rear diff"
20A Reload with spec lubricant
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Old 05-22-2013, 09:16 AM
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Mine seemed to be leaking due to a poor finish in the yoke casting, looked kind of like damage from rust but was not rust damage. I installed a Redi-Sleeve National 88170 $37.86 for Camaro Yoke. Rear is a Strange 12-bolt. A couple years after the repair, about 6K miles annual use, it's leaking again.
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Old 05-22-2013, 10:33 AM
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Do not put anything under the tires. If the tires are sitting on anything and you torque the nut this is going to cause the tires to turn and could cause the car to fall on you.

Do not put grease on the pinion shaft. Do not put anything on the pinion shaft. Put sealant in the splines of the yoke, but do not put anything on the pinion shaft.

If you use a punch to mark the threads on the pinion shaft it is going to make it hard to remove the nut and could damage the nut when you remove it.

I don't recommend trying to take up extra space to make up for wear on the pinion bearings. The bearings need to run exactly where they were before.

Just be aware that many times the cause of a pinion seal leak is bad pinion bearings or a loose pinion nut. Installing a new seal may not fix your problem. You need to inspect everything before you start taking it apart and find out why the seal is leaking or you may be wasting your time.
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