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2000 OB Auto
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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,

for 4EAT, how to replace the oil seal on the front differential? Do I have to remove the retainer?

The manual says to remove the retainer but it is for a complete reassemble, so I don't know if it is simpler for just the oil seal.

On a different note: the oil seal just has the some part of the center rubber lip bent outwards, does this require replacement? This transmission is not on the car so I cannot be sure if it is leaking or not.

Thanks!
 

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2000 OB Auto
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Discussion Starter #2
Bump.

Anyone knows if changing the axle oil-seal on front differential can be done without removing the retainer?
 

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'01 Base OBW w/5MT & AWP, Wintergreen
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I believe you do need to remove the retainer to get at the seal. Not exactly your issue, but this might be helpful to see where the seal is located in relation to the retainer on the diff housing:
 

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OBW H6 VDC, Tribeca, XT6
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for 4EAT, how to replace the oil seal on the front differential? Do I have to remove the retainer?
Yes.
The seals are also directional - there's a right and a left
If you don't retain the precise placement of the retainer you'll loose your front diff in a few thousand miles. Be very meticulously - otherwise it's easy.
The tabs often break off if using a chisel so proceed cautiously.

On a different note: the oil seal just has the some part of the center rubber lip bent outwards, does this require replacement?
doesn't sound good but i don't think we can be sure without seeing it, this is a not a description I'd expect.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Yes.
The seals are also directional - there's a right and a left
If you don't retain the precise placement of the retainer you'll loose your front diff in a few thousand miles. Be very meticulously - otherwise it's easy.
The tabs often break off if using a chisel so proceed cautiously.
Thank you for confirmation. Exactly same reasons I was hesitant to remove the retainer. Maybe I should check if there is DIY tool for the removing part.

doesn't sound good but i don't think we can be sure without seeing it, this is a not a description I'd expect.
Sorry I cannot seem to get a picture of it. It is not the spring part, it is the "flappy" part.
 

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OBW H6 VDC, Tribeca, XT6
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Sounds like you mean the inner ID which would be awfully close to the mating surface of the shaft, Id replace it.

There are no readily available tools I’m aware of. It’s a Subaru only tool $$$, most people do the chisel or home made method. If you’re creative just look at what those tools look like and make one relatively similar. Anything that grabs more than one tooth would be nice.

If it’s a nice clean JDM or low mileage unit then it might come out without much fuss compared to a quarter million mile dinosaur.

Also it should be far easier to work on since it’s not installed, so you e got an advantage.

I would see if it will budge first with a chisel, then get/make a tool if you chip one tab off.
 

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2000 OB Auto
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Discussion Starter #7
I believe you do need to remove the retainer to get at the seal. Not exactly your issue, but this might be helpful to see where the seal is located in relation to the retainer on the diff housing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KXGRMqHJJ4U
Than you inthepink for the confirmation. In this video, Eric broken one tab, which what scares me :smile2: But I guess I have to go through this very carefully.
 

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2000 OB Auto
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Discussion Starter #8
Sounds like you mean the inner ID which would be awfully close to the mating surface of the shaft, Id replace it.

There are no readily available tools I’m aware of. It’s a Subaru only tool $$$, most people do the chisel or home made method. If you’re creative just look at what those tools look like and make one relatively similar. Anything that grabs more than one tooth would be nice.

If it’s a nice clean JDM or low mileage unit then it might come out without much fuss compared to a quarter million mile dinosaur.

Also it should be far easier to work on since it’s not installed, so you e got an advantage.

I would see if it will budge first with a chisel, then get/make a tool if you chip one tab off.
Sadly, I already put transmission back. I was thinking to keep monitoring oil leak. If have to do it, then use as much care as I can to do it.
 

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I replaced both front drive shaft axle seals on our 87 Brat @3 years ago. Besides the seals, you most likely have O-rings that should also be replaced as well. The retainers are similar to the picture included in post # 3 above. I used a 3/8" extension bar and gently tapped one end with a 16 oz hammer and a rubber mallet and gently backed each retainer off, after removing the retaining bolts. Do this procedure one complete side at a time to maintain preloads. You mark points with paint (retainer and housing), measure the number of turns to remove the retainer; replace the o-ring and seals and install the retainer the same number of turns back, matching the marks and secure the position with the retaining bolt. I did this with the transmission/motor in the car, and found the process quite simple. Of course, I drained the gear oil prior to the procedure. Separately, I bought a couple of different size tools, similar to one in the link (from ADAP), but the tools were not correct and were returned. You may get lucky with some digging on the web.

https://www.amazon.com/Lisle-27400-Wheel-Bearing-Lock-Nut/dp/B000COA10S/ref=sr_1_9?ie=UTF8&qid=1514462693&sr=8-9&keywords=4WD+socket
 

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2005 OBXT Limited, VF37, STI intake, 5MT
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I cannot remember if the "newer" 4EAT have the updated sundials like the 5MT. The 5MT can be done without removing the sundials, but I know the phase 1 4EAT cannot.

But if you must remove the sundial, the chisel method is most likely going to break teeth off and you will not be a happy camper.

You can buy the Kent-Moore tool, or make one yourself (as I did).

3/16" steel bar stock (longer the better for initial removal, but buy for the space you have to work with)
(2) M8 x 1.25 bolts (does not need to be metric, but I had these laying around and they fit perfectly in the slots)
Appropriate tap

1. Measure diameter of slots on sundial

2. Transfer measurement to bar stock

3. Drill and Tap

4. tighten down bolts

5. Get to work.

Before removing sundial, mark the position of the sundial with reference to the hold-down claw. Reinstall to original mark.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
@aba4430 Good call on the O-ring. I need to order from dealer.
@RoughDiamond this is the idea I was looking for! Because I did not want to hit the tabs. Just to clarify, the bolt head will sit between the slots relatively tight, with 2 opposite edges parallel to the slots, right?
 

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@aba4430 Good call on the O-ring. I need to order from dealer.
@RoughDiamond this is the idea I was looking for! Because I did not want to hit the tabs. Just to clarify, the bolt head will sit between the slots relatively tight, with 2 opposite edges parallel to the slots, right?
Actually, it's the threaded section that does the work. (I should've said so in the post above). You could use bolts with heads small enough to fit into the slots, but the seal opening is raised so the very shallow heads won't fit into the grooves. You'll need some "legs" to get into the meat of the slot.

20-25mm bolts should work well. Don't go too long, otherwise you can bend the bolts and the tool gets sloppy.
 
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