Originally Posted by F350Powerstroker
It doesn't take a special tool to install the seals. You have to start by putting the truck on jack stands, tires off , disconnecting your tie rods (need to be off to get carrier out you will see in later steps), brake calipers, rotors,locking hubs and removing the diff cover. Behind the locking hubs (no matter factory or aftermarket) there will be a split ring that is around the stub outter axle shaft. Remove split ring and washers. Now that all the basics are out of the way you need to remove the wheel bearing hubs (4 studs but sometime the nut seizes on the stud so it comes out no big deal) Then you can use a puller or just some muscle and tapping in a circular motion with a good hammer or small sledge to get the hub loose. I never had to use a puller but if its old and rusty with some miles on them they can be a bear. You need to remove the wheel bearing hub because you need to pull the axle shafts. Even if you have only one side to replace you need to do the same steps to both sides because to get to the seals you need to pull the carrier out of the axle this requires both shaft to get out of the carrier. Once your hubs are loose and out simply pull the axle shafts out. Now it is time to remove the carrier assembly (what your ring gear is bolted too) It is held on by 4 bolts and 2 carrier bearing caps. Remember to put the caps back on exactly as removed. Use a punch and puch a mark on the top of each carrier bearing cap so you know what was on the top and what side! Now pull the carrier assembly out it will take a pry bar and some hit with a dead blow hammer it will come directly out careful though it got weight to it. DO NOT use a regular hammer and hit the ring gear just be smart on what you pry on and it will come. TIP: you can try putting a thick rag under the ring gear as you are prying almost pulling the rag towards the pinion-this stops it from spinning and help it "pop out". Once the carrier is out will see the seals. I usually punch the bad one out from the outter end of the axle tube with a long pipe. To install the new seal it does not take a special tool just take your time. Center the seal in the axle tube and slowly tap in making sure it stays center. I have a Bearing race and seal installer kit. The handle is to long to work in the housing but you can use the the flat circular end to put on the front of the seal to hit on so you hit it instead of the seal and helps drive it in straight. But you can just take your time and use a hammer hitting in a circular motion. Once it is in just reassemble opposite or removal and thats that! Some other notes when reinstalling the carrier a dead blow hammer is key (Plastic coated hammer filled with weight usually bright orange) cause it isn't gonna just slide back in you have to work it back in. When you get it back in tighten the caps back down to make sure it is seated correctly and then pull the caps back off and just make sure it is seated correctly. Once that is done torque to specs. At least torque the carrier bearing cap bolts and wheel bearing hub studs. I know some people just like to tighten things but don't mess around with this stuff and hulk them on lol. Also you will notice there are dust shields on the end of each axle tube those do not need to be removed there are also plastic cups "floating" around inside the axle tube those are in there to guide the axle shaft to the center of the seal if they are not in there for some reason buy them especially for the passenger side with the long axle shaft. Good luck and if you have any questions let me know!
Excellent Response! It looks like I'm going to be tackling this bear as well early next week and I have a few questions:
- What's the torque spec on the carrier bearing Cap Bolts?
- Do we need to replace the "seals" on the end of the axle tube at the axle shaft interface as a result of removing the shafts (you post seems to indicate no)?
- Do you have any pictures of this being done ( a picture is worth a thousand words)?