How to: Replace rear pinion seal

Old 11-03-2008, 07:42 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 12
Year: 1994
Model: Cherokee
Engine: 4.0
Default How to: Replace rear pinion seal

I didnt see a "how to" thread for this, and I'm not sure it even needs one but here it is anyway. Feel free to boot this if its useless, or correct anything if I am wrong. Sorry for the bad pics, I couldnt find my camera so I used my cell phone.

Your suppose to use a few fancy expensive tools for this but we just made do and did it the "garage tools" way

First off if your xj isnt lifted, chalk the front wheels to keep it from going anywhere you dont want it to. Then raise the rear end and place the frame on jack stands to let your rear suspension fully flex and make room for you to get underneath.

Second detatch your rear drive shaft from the rear yoke. Before removing the bolts and clamps, mark it is so that you can re-instal it exactly where it was before. I just shot each side with a quick spary from a rattle can so that I could line everything back up just as it was. Remove the 4 bolts holding down the 2 clamps, I beleive they are 5/16. You dont need to pull the drive shaft from the transfer case, just gently let it hang. Once the clamps are removed you might need to pry it loose from the years of gunk and grime still holding it in place, I just used a screwdriver and it popped right off.

Next you are going to need to remove the main nut holding the rear yoke. You are going to need a 1 1/8 socket. The easiest way to remove this would be to pull up the E brake to keep the rear end from trying to spin while you are taking the nut off. Then using an impact gun break it loose. However if yours is anything like mine, a standard impact gun with a 1/2" drive with a smaller air compressor isnt going to do it. Also a note, simply lowering the wheels to the ground and pulling up the ebrake will not sufficently hold the rear yoke from spining if you are going to try a rachet and big breaker bar. Atleast in my case, everything will flex just enough to not let the nut break loose before you run out of room(hitting the ground, or floorpan with the breaker bar). You are suppose to use a toold that bolts to the yoke to hold it in place. Obviously not owning one I improvised by picking up a big pipe wrench from home depot for $14 bucks. With this I was able grab ahold of the yoke and kept it from spining, while my brother used the breaker bar to bust it loose. (sorry I forgot to take a picture of us doing this)

Once the nut is removed you need to pull out the yoke. You should use a puller in this case, but after searching for 2 hours mine came up missing, so I used a hammer and gave it a few good taps on the back side and it came out fairly easily. (this picture is with the seal already removed)


You now need to remove the old seal. Again you are suppose to use a puller for this but seeing as I dont own a seal puller, we used a 3 pound hammer and a flathead screw driver. Be careful when you do this to only hit the seal, you dont want to start taking peices out of your rear end and have it leak worse than before. The idea is to bend the seal in towards that shaft and then pry it loose. It took a while but eventually I was able to pry it out. The end result should look something like this.

You might want to check your bearing at this point aswell.






You should probably clean out any gunk and grime that might have fallen in. Next instal the new seal, for this seat the seal as best you can, and then use either a rubber mallet, or hammer and block of wood to gently tap in the new seal working your way around it to seat it evenly. Make sure that the lip is completely flush, if its not you dont have it in all the way.


Then re-install your yoke. Again use a rubber mallet or hammer and block off wood working your way around to seat it evenly. The yoke will take a bit more force than the seal to get it seated good. You are then suppose to bolt the nut down to 210 ft pnds. Seeing as my impact gun is close to that I just used that to bolt it back down.

Then reinstal the drive shaft exactly like you remove it. and your done!



Again this isnt even close to a professional job. This was a do it your self with garage tools job. This is how it worked for me, so it will probably work for you too .

And again admin if this is a useless thread by all means boot it

Last edited by xjYATES; 11-04-2008 at 08:11 AM.
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