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Old 05-27-2010, 09:36 AM   #1
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Default Need to replace leaking transmission oil seal for driver-side axle

Car: Bone stock 97 Civic DX, manual transmission

My Civic recently developed a transmission oil leak from the hole where the driver-side axle inserts into the clutch housing, so I plan to replace the oil seal (see diagrams below). I already ordered the seal from Majestic Honda ($6.83), but I have some questions about the job. I obviously don't want to drop the transmission to replace this seal. Any helpful pointers or mention of common mistakes to avoid would be appreciated.

From anyone familiar with this job:

1) What's the best tool for removing the old oil seal? I have read about people using various tools, such as a screw driver, cork screw, or oil seal puller.

2) Is limited access/space in this area an issue? I plan to remove the axle, exhaust pipe A , and the engine stiffener. Will this suffice or must additional parts be removed?

3) I suspect that draining the transmission fluid is a must for this job. Is this correct?

4) What's the best tool for installing the new oil seal? I have read about people using a hammer with a socket having a size that matches the outer diameter of the oil seal. Or is there a better tool? What type of oil or grease should I coat the seal with prior to tapping it into place? How will I know when the oil seal is fully/properly seated?

Also, if anyone knows of a good DIY for this job, please post a link.


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Old 05-27-2010, 10:00 AM   #2
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Default Re: Need to replace leaking transmission oil seal for driver-side axle

I just did the drivers side on my 92 Si, although it's got a B swap, it should be the same concept.

No need to remove anything more than the axle. I jacked up and supported the driverside on a jack stand, leave it there for 15 minutes prior to pulling axle and you shouldn't need to drain trans fluid. I found there to be plenty of room to work under there after the axle was removed.

I used screwdriver to remove old seal.

I have used an old 4x4 hub socket wrench, anything the same O.D. as the seal will work. But this time I got lucky and was able to slide the seal in place by hand this time.

As long as the seal sits just below the outer machined surface of the trans housing, thats as far as you need to go in with it. Don't sink it too far or you will have problems and make sure that the new seal is not cocked to one side or the other.

I just gave it a little rub down of trans fluid on all surfaces of the seal before installation, doesn't need to be dripping oil, just enough to get it to slide into the trans opening.

Hope this helps, I am sure you will get lot's more replies as everyone does it a little different, took me all of 25 minutes start to finish.
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Old 05-27-2010, 10:09 AM   #3
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Default Re: Need to replace leaking transmission oil seal for driver-side axle

yeah i'ld drain the fluid so to not have a surprise leaking on you while under the car.

A screwdriver or a tiny pry bar is what i used to get the seal out.

As for putting the new one in i had no socket as large as the seal so i used my small "bob the builder" hammer and gently tapped around the seal till it was in and make sure its not crooked as tlarimer said and that its even with the outer casing otherwise you'll have a not so fun leak if its pushed all the way in
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Old 05-27-2010, 10:14 AM   #4
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Default Re: Need to replace leaking transmission oil seal for driver-side axle

Quote:
Originally Posted by tlarimer View Post
I just did the drivers side on my 92 Si, although it's got a B swap, it should be the same concept.

No need to remove anything more than the axle. I jacked up and supported the driverside on a jack stand, leave it there for 15 minutes prior to pulling axle and you shouldn't need to drain trans fluid. I found there to be plenty of room to work under there after the axle was removed.

I used screwdriver to remove old seal.

I have used an old 4x4 hub socket wrench, anything the same O.D. as the seal will work. But this time I got lucky and was able to slide the seal in place by hand this time.

As long as the seal sits just below the outer machined surface of the trans housing, thats as far as you need to go in with it. Don't sink it too far or you will have problems and make sure that the new seal is not cocked to one side or the other.

I just gave it a little rub down of trans fluid on all surfaces of the seal before installation, doesn't need to be dripping oil, just enough to get it to slide into the trans opening.

Hope this helps, I am sure you will get lot's more replies as everyone does it a little different, took me all of 25 minutes start to finish.
Very nice. I never would of thought to jack up the car on the driver's side to minimize MTF loss. Good tip.

More good pointers from others?
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Old 05-27-2010, 10:17 AM   #5
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Default Re: Need to replace leaking transmission oil seal for driver-side axle

Quote:
Originally Posted by deadazleep View Post
yeah i'ld drain the fluid so to not have a surprise leaking on you while under the car.

A screwdriver or a tiny pry bar is what i used to get the seal out.

As for putting the new one in i had no socket as large as the seal so i used my small "bob the builder" hammer and gently tapped around the seal till it was in and make sure its not crooked as tlarimer said and that its even with the outer casing otherwise you'll have a not so fun leak if its pushed all the way in
Thanks for the input.

That's one vote for and against an MTF drain. Anyone wish to cast the tie-breaking vote?

More good pointers and advice would be nice. Any good DIY out there?
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Old 05-27-2010, 10:52 AM   #6
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Default Re: Need to replace leaking transmission oil seal for driver-side axle

You don't need to drain the tranny. If you jack the car up high enough.

Use a small punch to bend the neck of the axle nut out of the grove in the axle while the car is on the ground. Then break the torque on the axle nut.

Then jack up the car. After you remove the cotter pin from the lower ball joint, lossen the nut (do not remove it all the way) and hit the LCA with a 5lb hammer until the ball joint pop's out. You can only tell if it breaks loose by testing with your hand to see if it's free. Slide the axle out of the hub.

Then remove the nut and bolt from the bottom of the Shock fork.

Pop the axle out of the tranny by prying outward on the tranny.

I think you can figure the rest out.

Hint, PB Blaster and Anti-sieze compund are your friends. USE THEM.

Other hint, a impact works great on the lower ball joint nut.
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