Front Differential seal keeps leaking even after replacing - Chevy TrailBlazer, TrailBlazer SS and GMC Envoy Forum



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Go Back   Chevy TrailBlazer, TrailBlazer SS and GMC Envoy Forum > 2002 - 2009 TrailBlazer/Envoy Tech > 02-09 Vortec 4.2L I-6 Engine and Drivetrain > 4x4 Drivetrain

4x4 Drivetrain 4x4 Repairs & Problems

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  #1  
Old 09-07-2010, 08:41 AM
MidwestSpecial MidwestSpecial is offline
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2005 Chevy TrailBlazer LS
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Front Differential seal keeps leaking even after replacing

Hey everyone. I just had my front drivers side pinion seal replaced because it was leaking. About a week later the new one started leaking so I went in and had it replaced again. It has now been another week and it is starting to leak again. Does anyone know what would be the cause of a pinion seal to keep leaking even after it is replaced?

The shop I'm getting this done at told me the first one they put in was a faulty part but this second one they put in is still leaking. I took the TB over to a different mechanic and here is what he said:

" When they replace the pinion seal, they have to remove the drive shaft, then remove that nut & then the yoke, in order to get to the seal. Most shops simply pop out the old seal and install a new one, never taking the time to measure how much force it took in order to turn the wheels and then torquing it back to the same specs afterwards. When they finish, they simply grab the air impact wrench and zap on the nut. If you look at the image below, the cut away shows the yoke and the pinion at the top. Anyways, what happens is this pulls the pinion forward and more often than not this changes the internal geometry and soon damages the new seal. From where you stand, you are in a tough predicament."


What can you guys make of my situation? Anything I can do besides rebuilding the entire differential? TIA.
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Old 09-20-2010, 11:50 AM
MidwestSpecial MidwestSpecial is offline
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nobody has any input?

I've talked to some other mechanics and they told me this whole "messing up the geometry of the differential by replacing the pinion seal wrong" is a bunch of BS.

The Chevy dealer in town (actually is a garage owned by a chevy dealer but they do not sell cars, just work on them. they actually are somewhat more honest then other dealers and have a little better pricing) told me that they have seen differentials get screwed up by people installing pinion seals wrong.
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  #3  
Old 09-20-2010, 03:55 PM
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Kristis Dad Kristis Dad is offline
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I haven't had to ever replace one yet but I would think the repair shop doing the warrantable work would want to get it right since they're the ones eatin it now! might need a new yoke and/or pinion bearing.
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Old 09-21-2010, 12:18 AM
Fishsticks Fishsticks is offline
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You made reference to the "driver's side pinion seal". There is only one pinion seal on your front diff. Were you maybe referring to the driver's side axle seal?
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Old 09-21-2010, 09:25 AM
MidwestSpecial MidwestSpecial is offline
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yep it is the front pinion seal. I was goign to have someone else put in a new seal but I need to go back to the same shop. I'm hoping they are just installing it incorrectly rather than there being some kind of extensive damage.

It may not be until next Saturday that I can get back in the shop. I'm goign to go in for an oil change tomorrow and have them check the diff fluid level so I can at least get a better idea of how fast it is leaking out.
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  #6  
Old 01-28-2011, 06:35 PM
Brian K Brian K is offline
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I had my second Front Diff Pinion seal changed today. First one at 7K miles and now at 30K miles. I'm hoping the first 2 just weren't installed correctly and that I don't have a warped shaft or something horrible like that. Mine are still under warrranty so free for now.
Anyone have any issues more than poor installation?
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Old 02-06-2011, 09:23 AM
mcewans mcewans is offline
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I had a similar issue with a 1998 S10. Every 2-3 years the rear pinion seal went bad. After the fourth time, I replaced the Yoke. The problem went away after that.
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Old 02-06-2011, 10:42 AM
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Front pinion is set up similar to a Rear pinion on a TB correct?

If so, when they over torqued the nut it may have caused some deflection in the shims. Not common I don't think, but possible.

Other possible issue, and I would have thought the second mechanic would have caught it had it been a problem. Your yolk could have a grove worn where the seal sits. If this was the case, no matter how many seals were changed it would still leak. This requires either a new/used replacement yolk or a speedi sleeve.

Third option. The repair was never done the first time. They cleaned up the area and sprayed the seal with a product to swell the seal. I have seen this done at a dealer ship before so I know it has been done. Then when the customer brings it back still leaking later, they do a "warranty" against the old "new" part and get paid to do the work twice. Lets hope this wasn't the case.

Check your U-joints, if they are worn and causing a vibration, this could contribute to the problem. Again I would think the second mechanic would have mentioned this if he had found anything.

Just a few ideas, perhaps others will jump in with some additional.
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