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Replacing Drive Flange Oil Seals: Automatic Transmission
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PRND2L
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 03, 2015 2:10 pm    Post subject: Replacing Drive Flange Oil Seals: Automatic Transmission Reply with quote

I wanted to share my procedure for replacing the final drive seals on the differential for an automatic transmission 1990 Vanagon.
I've seen a few other procedures out there but only for manual transmissions which are very different than the A/T differential.

You can use the Bentley procedure on page 37.10. But I found it almost no help at all Sad

You can easily do this procedure with the transmission and differential in place.
There's lots of space around the diff to work.
I did the whole procedure with the back of the van up on steel ramps in about 2 hours.

Tools Needed:

- 6mm Hex bit (to remove drive flange)
- long flat head screw driver
- torque wrench
- 17mm Hex bit or "nut jam tool"
- 17mm socket

Parts Needed:

- 2 new final drive oil seals (original VW part # 018-409-399) I used the same part from a Quantum (part # 016-409-399B)
- 1.25L SAE 80W, SAE 80W/90 hyphoid gear oil.
- moly grease


Procedure:

Here is a picture to orient you.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.



This is the passenger side of the differential where the axle is mounted to the drive flange. The torque converter is to the left and the automatic transmission is on the right. The black differential pan is on the bottom. The large hex socket is the diff fill hole.

1) First remove the drive axles Smile

I won't go over the procedure to remove the drive axles. But it is simple enough.
There is a detailed description on how to remove both rear drive axles here
<<http://www.van-cafe.com/home/van/page_16_9/cv_joint_maintenence.html>>
Go down to the section "CV Joint Removal and Replacement"
(I recommend you read the entire article and inspect/replace/repair your CV joints while they are out.)


Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


When the axles are removed all you will be left with are the drive flanges sticking out of the side of the differential.
Before removing the drive flange take some time now to clean as much of the crud as you can off of the differential as possible.
Especially everything directly above the drive flange.
When you remove the drive flange you don't want any dirt getting in to the differential!


2) Remove Drive Flange

The drive flange is held into the differential by a single bolt that has a 6mm hex socket.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Use a 6mm hex bit (circled in green) to remove the centre bolt holding the drive flange to the diff.
(The other bit is a 12mm 12point bit (T40) that is used to remove the drive axle bolts.)

Use 2 axle bolts as shown below to help you get the drive flange centre bolt out.


Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.



The drive flange should now pull straight out.

3) Remove old seal

My seals were so worn that they came out with the drive flange Sad
You will most likely have to pry them out.
Wrap some tape on the end of the long flat screw driver to avoid scratching anything. Then insert the end behind the seal and pry away!
It should normally take quite a bit of force.


Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.



4) Clean everything!

Here is picture of both of the drive flanges cleaned up and ready to go back in
A bit of kerosene and a brass brush got them almost looking new!


Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.



Notice that they are different heights.
The one on the right (tall one) is the Passenger side drive flange.
The left one (shorter one) is the Driver side drive flange.


5) Prepare and install new seals

I noticed that Bentley says "fill space between seal lips with multi-purpose grease"
I couldn't find any reference to having to do this with oil seals anywhere else. I ended up packing them with some moly grease I had.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Insert the oil seal into the opening with the 'greased' side facing inside. The outside of the oil seal will be flat.


Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.



It will only go part of the way in by hand! Don't just leave it here!
You will have to drive it in the rest of the way. It should eventually be well seated in the opening.
I used a mallet and a piece of hardwood that was about as wide as the seal diameter (55mm - 2 1/4")


Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.



Make sure the wood is touching opposite sides of the seal when you are driving it in so it goes in straight.
Here's how it looked when the seal was driven as far in as it would go.


Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.



6) Install the drive flange

You remember which drive flange goes on which side right?

Insert the drive flange slowly until it bottoms out, then twist it slightly to make sure the splines are engaged properly before pushing it all the way in.

Insert the correct bolt and use the 6mm hex bit to torque it down to 25 Nm ( 18 ft.lb)
You may have to install 2 drive bolts and use a screw driver like in the bolt removal in order to get enough leverage.


Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


7.) Do the removal and installation for the other side.


8.) Fill Differential with gear oil

Remove the diff oil plug with either a 17mm Hex bit or you can make a "nut jam tool" out of a 17mm 1" bolt and 2 17mm nuts like this.


Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.



I just filled the diff with 80W/90 gear oil until it started to run out of the fill hole.
My diff pan does not have a leak so I decided to not take off the pan and drain the oil.
One because there is no local replacement gasket and I didn't want to fiddle with silicone.
Two because the seals have been bad for a few months now and I have refilled it several times this summer Smile

Then replace and tighten the fill plug.

9.) Re-install the Drive Axles.


10.) Go for a drive!


-Zander
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kamzcab86
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 03, 2015 3:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice! Added to the FAQ.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

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Merian
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 03, 2015 4:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

xlnt, detailed instructions

- just to clarify, this is not the same as the oil seals between the A/T and the diff., which is often required to prevent destruction of the differential R&P, and about which GoWesty says requires removal of the A/T section

http://www.gowesty.com/library_article.php?id=305
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Wildthings
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 03, 2015 9:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You want to smear grease on the contact area of the seal between the two lips. Where you put the grease is not where it is needed. Always lube the lips of a seal when you are putting it in. A lot of people have opinions here but some lube is better than nothing, be it oil or grease.

Since your old seals fell out I would also probably have glued the new ones in with Permatex or some other slow drying sticky sealer.
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gacrawford
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 12, 2015 8:35 pm    Post subject: Re: Replacing Final Drive Oil Seal: Automatic Transmission Reply with quote

Thanks for posting a great article. The fact that you specified the part# has ended a 3 day headache for me- why does Cip1, along with many other suppliers,( apart from "Airhead Parts), quote part# 091-301-189 when it obviously doesn't fit and your does? Thanks again. PS Anyone know a supplier for the correct part# in Canada? Thanks.
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skelly
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2019 9:40 am    Post subject: Re: Replacing Final Drive Oil Seal: Automatic Transmission Reply with quote

awesome write up and pics... just blew an hour trying to find out this info! Here's a link to the supplier I found with the correct seals for 5 bucks each


https://www.hansautoparts.com/016409399BSeal.aspx
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?Waldo?
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2019 1:49 pm    Post subject: Re: Replacing Final Drive Oil Seal: Automatic Transmission Reply with quote

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


The only thing the grease is doing where you put it is diluting/contaminating your transmission fluid. Your seal lips are not even lubricated which is the whole reason for the grease. It is not unlikely that the un-lubricated seal lips will burn and leak or cause the seal to spin and self-destruct like the old ones.


skelly wrote:
awesome write up and pics... just blew an hour trying to find out this info! Here's a link to the supplier I found with the correct seals for 5 bucks each


https://www.hansautoparts.com/016409399BSeal.aspx


Hans Auto Parts sells low quality knockoff parts made in China. I would not use one of their oil seals on one of my vehicles.

The seals are readily available from the major Vanagon vendors and I would trust those far more than Hans. E.g. https://www.vancafe.com/018409399-p/018409399.htm
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