Front axle seal leaks.

Discussion in 'GM Powertrain' started by cactus13, Sep 29, 2009.

  1. cactus13

    cactus13 New Member

    Hello GMT forum folks. I am new here but not new to Tahoes, I have owned several Tahoes and Blazers. My current truck is a 2002 Tahoe Z71. It has 170,00 miles and is holding together pretty well.
    I need some advice on repairing the leak at the front axle seal. This has finally gotten to the point of annoyance due to oil being sprayed around. My question, is this a straight forward repair? Any special tools needed beyond a puller for the spider flange thing?
    I was planning to pull the entire diff. unit out in case i needed to remove the axle and replace the bearing.
    Any advice would be greatly appreciated. I plan to check the Haynes book to see if this procedure is covered.
    Thanks in advance. Here's a picture of what I'm talking about.

    Attached Files:

  2. Jimmiee

    Jimmiee Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    You need to remove the axle housing from the differential. Then take it apart on the bench to change the seal. There is a snap ring inside that retains the axle stub to the housing.
  3. silveradotrailblazer

    silveradotrailblazer Epic Member 5+ Years ROTM Winner 5000 Posts

    Front axle seal leaks

    Hey Jimmiee, Ive seen alot of these front axle seals leaking. Do you know if theres a up graded seal to cure this?
  4. Jimmiee

    Jimmiee Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    I think GM has updated the seal because there have been a lot of issues but I have seen no documentation to support it. Sometimes seals are updated without any fanfare. Also the seals you buy from the dealer are usually a better quality than the ones you get from the parts store. Sometimes they are the same part but you never know until you compare them.
  5. cactus13

    cactus13 New Member

    Thanks for the quick response. Jim, once I have it apart, if the outer bearing is bad what do I need to have on hand to replace it? I'm going to get on this next week and if anyone would like I can take pictures and post the procedure. Also what are the torque specs for these components? Can you recommend a differential oil? I plan to change both front and rear to keep things even.

  6. Jimmiee

    Jimmiee Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    Here's the torque specs. Use a Synthetic 75-90 oil.

    Attached Files:

  7. royriccomini

    royriccomini New Member

    I have the same leak on my 2003 Suburban. It would great if you can post picks of your step by step process. The pics will help me when i do mine.

    Jimmiee- when you say "remove the axle housing from the differential" are you refereing to removing the axle tube?

    How is the axle (output shaft) held in? If its held in by a snap ring can you just pull on the axle shaft to remove it from the housing?
  8. Jimmiee

    Jimmiee Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    Here's a picture. Once you remove the tube you will see the snap ring.

    Attached Files:

    • axle.jpg
      File size:
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  9. surfcityz71

    surfcityz71 New Member

    That's not a pic of a 2004. Does anyone have an image of a 2004 Tahoe Z71 assembly? I took mine apart today and there were a couple of damaged washers in there that I need to replace and install correctly in the right direction and sequence. Here's what fell out when I removed the extension housing on the right side of my Z71:

    DSCF7074 by rzgkane, on Flickr

    I am most concerned about the thick washer on the left of the photo. It's bent and needs replacement for sure, but I also don't know where it goes. Does it go underneath the tabbed washer? It seems concaved, too. What direction does it go in?
  10. PapalVisit

    PapalVisit New Member

    Thrust washer sequence

    Don't know where you are at on this. I'm currently in the middle of same situation.

    With the axle flange on the floor, you assembly in sequence, thrust washer w/ tabs (should be flat) then the other thrust washer(The one w/o tabs and is bent in your photo) then slide NEW snap ring down over splined end as snap ring holds the thrust washers in place. Big flat washer goes on last at very end of axle on top of gerrs and shift fork.

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