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Thread: Pesky tranny axle seals leaking

  1. #1
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    Pesky tranny axle seals leaking

    I know this subject has already been addressed in several other posts over the last couple of years, but I don't seem to be getting the results I need.
    I have a 2004 wrx, 5 spd tranny with male axle shafts. I ordered and received the correct axles from FFR when I ordered my kit. My car is virtually finished expect for the seals leaking.
    I am aware of the difference between left and right seals, left being drivers side, right being passenger side.
    I have replaced both axle seals twice and they leak. I thought I may have knicked the first ones when I installed the axles, so went and ordered and used Colonel Reds installers to replace the other ones. They worked well and I thought I had it fixed, but after a drive around the block I have oil dripping off the bottom of the tranny. I am considering pulling the axles again and checking their diameter with the originals, thinking that maybe they are different size? Any thoughts from you pros????

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    Do you have female axles or male axles on the transmission side? If you have the female axles from earlier-year WRXs then the seal can be tricky to put on the transmission axle stubs correctly. I messed up the inner portion of one of these seals when I was replacing mine the first time and ended up having to redo that side.

  3. #3
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    Are you *positive* the fluid is leaking from the axle shaft seals and not somewhere else?

    Is the fluid level correct?

    I had a leaking seal as well, on the right side I think it was. The first seals I bought didn't have the suction-cup looking outward facing lip on them; they were after market seals. So I got new ones from Subaru, installed them with the tool (I think I used the same one you did from Col Red), and no more leaks.

    Make sure you use OEM seals from Subaru, and to ensure you didn't get anything backwards (I know you mentioned you know left vs right - but just humor me here), look at the groove pattern on the seal, now envision the axle turning in the forward direction (for whatever side you are examining), and you should be able to envision the grooves working to pump fluid back INTO the transmission. This is just a handy double-check to ensure you don't have anything backwards.

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    The axles have the male end going into the tranny. Mine is a late 2004.

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    I bought Subaru OEM seals, and installed one side at a time using the part number 806735290 on the left side, driver side, and 806735300 for the right side, passenger side. I had also put grease on the backside to keep the spring from possibly falling out, and grease around the outer lip. I have to admit that I had a senior moment, not paying attention, and installed one backwards so had to run down to the local Suby dealer and get another, but that was pretty obvious.

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    I had the same issue and found that the housing that the seal fits into had a scratch in it big enough to permit the fluid to leak out on the back side of the seal. Think it is called the Sun Dial? Anyway, replaced it and now no leak.

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    Thanks for the feedback. I think I am going to try that.

  8. #8
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    You know what, that rings a bell - I think I might have also scratched mine with a metal seal-puller when removing the old one. I didn't know if that was the cause of the leak or not but I put some hondabond gasketmaker into the little gouge in the aluminum before tapping the new seal into place. So could have been that or the new seal I installed at the same time that fixed the leak.

    If I recall correctly, the sundial is one large piece and if you replace it, you'll need to follow a procedure to tighten it when you re-install it because it sets the preload on the differential bearings. The procedure is in my limited slip differential installation write-up here: https://thefactoryfiveforum.com/show...ions-with-pics

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    Thanks for your response. I have kept track and marked the case and sundial to keep track of the number of revolutions it takes to snug up the bearings properly. I have 4 turns on the right side and 5 turns on the left side.

  10. #10
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    Ok just be very careful - new sundials are likely not going to be exactly the same in thickness so you won't be able to go by markings of previous sundials. Also remember the left side sundial sets the differential height (which controls backlash) and the right side controls pre-load. If you have loosened any of the sundials up before (which it sounds like you have), I would go through the whole procedure from scratch to set the backlash and preload. All of it is captured in my post linked above.

  11. #11
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    Thanks, Really don't want to pull the tranny and go through that, but sounds like a requirement to be safe rather than sorry.

  12. #12
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    Yeah, I'm sorry but trust me it will be worth it to avoid blowing the transmission up down the road. If you need any help with the instructions when you get into it, just PM me.

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    I love this place. You guys are so considerate and helpful. Can't wait to get to the point where I'm building and NEED this kind of help.

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