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Old December 30th, 2007, 09:55
GrimmJeeper's Avatar
GrimmJeeper GrimmJeeper is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Gardena, CA
Posts: 25,125
[Tech Writeup] Replacing the seals on your Dana 30

This is my first writeup. I am posting it here, in the local chapter forum because i am tired of good writeups getting lost in the massive amount of new posts in the OEM and Mod-Tech sections. I would like to see a socal tech section, written up by us local guys. i know most of you guys know quite a bit about our XJs, and it would be great to have a place to keep track of it all.

Now, with that said, feel free to move this to the national tech forums if someone feels it doesnt belong here, im just trying to be a Rebel let me step off my soapbox and get to the writeup.

This is why i decided to tear into this job:

i noticed this leak about a year ago, just seeping a little bit. i never really thought much of it, just kept the fluid topped off. all of a sudden one day it started leaking heavily, so i know it was time i had to do something about it. the hardest part about this job was the fact that the seals are located inside the axle housing... so the whole front end needed to come apart. (hooray).

here is what i started with:

a tube of silicone to make the gasket for the diff cover, a couple quarts of gear oil (it takes just under 2 quarts to fill the D30), some brake cleaner to clean out the housing once it was all apart, and the carrier bearings (just in case they were bad. Napa part number BR72.) also, not pictured, the seals, Napa part #11899 (both sides take the same seal.

First, get the front axle up on jackstands, and remove the front driveshaft.

then remove the brake calipers, and support them somehow so they arent hanging fornt the brake hoses. i set mine on the lower control arms, but sometimes you need to use a coathanger or bailing wire to hang them up. pull off the rotors and set them aside. now is a good time to check your brakes and see if they need replacing. mine were fine.

now remove the bolts holding the diff cover on:

be sure to look extra cool by smoking while you do this:

use a screwdriver to pry the bottom edge of the cover away from the housing and drain the oil, or whats left of it. my leak was bad, less than half a quart came out. its helpful to leave the top cover bolt in just a few threads so the whole thing doesnt fall off and spill your oil drip pan when you pry it loose.

now that you have the cover off the easiest way to check your carrier bearings is to place a large prybar under the ring gear and try to move the carrier.

mine had no play at all. thats a good sign, i get to take the bearings back and save some money

the next step is to remove the axleshafts so we can get the carrier out. sounds easy right? this was the hardest part of the job and took us the better part of 2 hours. my jeep is 13 years old and it spent most of its life in ohio. thats right, you guessed it, the rust monster had a long time to work on my unitbearings.

start off by spraying all the bolts with PB Blaster. if you are a smart guy like me you will forget to do this the night before to make it easier on yourself. remove the 3 bolts holding the unit bearing on and give it a few good whacks with a deadblow hammer (the kind with the lead shot inside, NOT a solid hammer). if you are exremely lucky, or if your unit bearings have been off before, they will pop right out and this point and you can skip ahead. i was very much not lucky.

we even had a hard time turning the bolts loose.

sometimes tapping the ratchet with a hammer helps when pure buffness fails.

once all the bolts were out the unitbearings still would not move at all. ok, on to plan B. plan B consists of putting all the bolts back in about half way, and putting a cheapo socket on the head of the bolt that you dont want anymore. hit the socket with the hammer a few times good and hard and see of the unitbearing breaks loose at all. if not keep going from bolt to bolt, hitting the socket with the hammer until it starts to move.

this takes awhile but it works. make sure you hit the socket NOT the bolt itself. if you try to cheat and just tap the bolts you are going to ruin the threads on the bolts and possibly the threads inside the knuckle.

make sure your friends stand around and play air guitar and talk about how bad the cheap beer you brought is:

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