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Guys, have an 06 F250 and my front axle is leaking diff fluid at the knuckle at a rate I need to fix it soon.

So a buddy and I tore into it today and got stuck trying to get the snap ring out of the hub. Tried AutoZone, Sears, Napa, Advance auto and o'rilieys and no one has pliers that reach in the hub far enough, are skinny enough to fit between the axle shaft and the hub housing.

Any thoughts on the exact pliers needed to get the snap ring out and back in?

Thanks!

Eric
 

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Here is a link to a rather long thread on Ford Truck Enthusiasts forum about doing your ball joints. One user, DJR96, added to the thread about his '06 Superduty hubs. He show's a picture of the snap ring pliers he used, and he describes them, but he doesn't give a model or manufacturer. He does have a ruler lying beside the pliers and the snap ring lying on the ruler. The closest I could find to these pliers online is a set of Knipex 12.75" External Ring Pliers on Amazon. Whether they would do it or not ... sorry, wish I could be more definitive, but I haven't done this yet myself.

Third post down on the thread page, or post #93 of the thread - DJR96 - '06 Superduty hubs

Knipex 4611A4 External Straight Retaining Ring Pliers 12.75-Inch
 

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I just went through this on my truck and used a set of snap-on pliers. They weren't very long, but they were thin, and that's what seemed to make the difference. Those snap rings are also very tight... so use a good set of pliers, or they'll likely bend.

Also, if it's leaking dif fluid at the knuckle it's likely the inner seals near the carrier. The outter seals do absolutely nothing (at least the stock ones) in terms of actually keeping the fluid in. Take a look at this thread and associated links for more info:

http://www.powerstroke.org/forum/6-0-drivetrain-problems/207383-front-axle-shaft-inner-oil-seals.html
 

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For that very pesky internal snap ring on the front drive axle shaft get the Gearwrench 82032 Double X internal snap ring pliers. Very stout and the Double X design works great. The Snap On man wants way too much, over 135.00. I just paid 23.15 plus 8 dollars shipping over the net and had it the next day. The warehouse was in Dallas and UPS had it here in 1 day, not bad for 8 dollars.

Another tool that is very helpful when working on these 4X4 front axles is the axle shaft seal installer. The lets you seat the vacuum seal correctly the 1st time around and sure pays for itself. Folks do home brew up these tools, but for around a 100.00 I just bought 1 from Freedom Racing in Iowa. These folks have lots of specialty tools for Superduty trucks, which is sometimes needed to work on these beasts. The number for the axle shaft seal installer is OTC - 6697. These tools sure do make your Life a lot easier if working on 05 and up 4X4 front axle setups. :ford:
 
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