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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I replaced my axle seals on a 2004 Nissan Titan 4wd w/ TruTrac.

Parts:

Timken Set 10 axle bearings (the Timken catalog lists Set 80 for the bigger axles on the newer trucks) The Timken Set 10 bearing includes the bearing, race and retainer all in one package. I bought these for about $28 each, free shipping from Amazon.

Nissan Axle Seals Part No. 43252-7S200 I bought two of these for $22.71 each + $12.50 total shipping

NOTE: Although one forum member advises that he used rear axle seal NATIONAL Part # 100712V and online sources indicate that this is the correct part, other members report that this seal will not work. I recommend getting the axle seal from Nissan.

UPDATE: Nissan 2004-2007 OEM seal: largest OD = about 2.9 inches ------ ID = about 1.9 inches ------ height from bottom of cylinder to top most edge of seal = about 0.6 inch There is a little annular coil spring around the periphery of the ID. The seal is made from a combination of metal and rubber.

The Nissan OEM seal has the number 52765 which I suspect might be a Dana part number. See page 107 of this pdf: http://www2.dana.com/pdf/X510-6.pdf

I found another potential aftermarket seal for cheap at Randy's Ring and Pinion, this seal is not verified as working, AFAIK.

http://www.ringpinion.com/ProductDetails.aspx?ProdID=8760&Product=YMS9912&Brand=Yukon_Mighty_Seal

Another possibility, unverified seal, check with vendor before purchase:

http://www.justdifferentials.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=2556

UPDATE: The justdifferentials seal has now been confirmed as working.

http://www.titantalk.com/forums/titan-engine-transmission-drivetrain/42837-rear-axle-seals-leaks-please-report-43.html#post2746461
http://www.titantalk.com/forums/titan-engine-transmission-drivetrain/42837-rear-axle-seals-leaks-please-report-43.html#post2757993

http://www.titantalk.com/forums/titan-engine-transmission-drivetrain/117436-front-pinion-seal-how-fix.htmlROCK AUTO HAS THE BEST PRICES

The cheapest place I have found to get parts is www.rockauto.com

the bearing/race/spacer for $26.79 National A10 (need one per side)



the brake shoes for $39.79 for both sides Beck/Arnley 0813204 (they show 4 shoes in the pic and there are two on each side)

the parking brake springs & clips for about $15 for both sides

Check the Rock Auto section of the forum for the current discount code. 5% discount running at the time of this post.

Chemicals (etc.)

Brake Cleaner - 2 cans from Walmart
Permatex Ultra Black RTV
Permatex thread sealant for the diff drain plug
Alcohol - to clean the ABS sensor
75/140 Synthetic Gear Oil

Hand Cleaner
Paper Towels and/or Rags
Wire (or something else to temporarily attach brake calipers to leaf springs)

Reference Materials:

Sections PB and RAX from the manual.

D44 Axle Shaft Removal and Overhaul - 1

Local Shop to press new bearings on axle shafts.

DISCLAIMER:

I DO NOT RECOMMEND THAT YOU ATTEMPT TO REPLACE YOUR OWN AXLE SEALS AND BEARINGS, THIS IS JUST A JOURNAL OF WHAT I DID.

SAFETY NOTES:

1. Working on a vehicle that is jacked up is dangerous. The truck weighs around 5,500 lbs and can fall off the jack stands, the jack stands can fail, the jack can fail. I am careful to use good quality heavy duty jack stands and a heavy duty jack that is in good working order. I carefully inspect the jack and jack stands to make sure that the vehicle is adequately supported.

2. Eye protection. I used safety glasses at all times and a full face shield while drilling and operating a cutoff tool.

3. Hazardous chemicals. Gear oil and brake cleaner is hazardous by skin contact and inhalation. I wore chemical resistant gloves when working in contact with brake cleaner. I worked outside for good ventilation. I probably should have worn a respirator.

4. Hand protection. Working on vehicles can lead to cuts and abrasion of your hands. I wore gloves.

Video of Frontier axle seal/bearing replacement using 12 ton Harbor Freight press:

 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
Tools:

Face Shield
Safety Glasses
Mechanics Gloves
Chemical Resistant Gloves - for cleaning parts with brake cleaner

Floor Jack & at least two heavy duty jack stands (I used four jack stands because I rotated the tires)
Compressor
1/2 drive high torque pneumatic ratchet
1/2 drive pneumatic impact wrench
short impact extension
3/8 drive ratchet handle - for removing differential drain plug
1/4 hex key socket - for removing PML differential cover bolts
adapter for connecting 1/4 hex key socket to 1/2 drive pneumatic ratchet
21 mm impact socket - for lug nuts
wheel lock key
8 mm gear wrench - for brake dust shield bolts
10 mm gear wrench - for brake caliper bolts
12 mm gear wrench - for ABS sensor bolt
18 mm gear wrench - for bearing cage nuts
diagonal cutters - for cutting wire to wire brake calipers to leaf springs
needle nose Vice Grips - for parking brake springs
Channel Lock pliers - for parking brake clips
slide hammer - for pulling axle shaft
dead blow hammer - I used it for tapping the wheel bearing race and pushing the brake caliper retaining spring
center punch - for making dimple in bearing retainer to keep drill bit from skittering
drill - for removing bearing retainer from axle shaft
drill bits - for, er, duh
chisel - for removing bearing retainer from axle shaft
hammer - for hitting center punch and chisel
snap ring pliers - for removing snap ring from axle shaft
cutoff tool - for removing bearing retainer and bearing from axle shaft
pliers - for removing bearing from axle shaft
torque wrench - for tightening fasteners to proper torque spec
at least one oil drain pan (two is better)
cleaning brushes
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
You need one Timken Set 10 and one axle seal per side. I used two of each because I did both sides.

A leaking axle seal is typically readily apparent because of a quantity of gear oil appearing on the wheel and on the back of the brake rotor mount.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
I opted to drain the differential and pull the differential cover because I wanted to inspect the internal condition of the differential (ring gear and truetrac)

You do not need to drain the differential or pull the differential cover to remove the axle shafts. There is nothing inside the differential holding the shafts. The ends of the shafts are splined and engage mating splines on the side gears in the differential carrier.

I placed a drain pan under the differential drain and used a 3/8 drive ratchet handle to remove the plug. It was a little stiff, probably because of the thread sealant, and the ratchet handle was short, so I slipped a piece of copper pipe over the ratchet handle for a little more leverage.

I did this outside in the driveway and it was cold, so the oil was viscous and took quite awhile to drain thoroughly. I should have probably started to drain it the night before, preferably when the diff was warm from having been driven.

After it had drained for awhile, I removed the diff cover bolts using a high torque pneumatic ratchet and a 1/4 hex key socket w/ adapter for 1/2 drive. Note that I have the PML diff cover, the OEM diff cover may use different bolts, I don't remember. Obviously you can use hand tools, it just takes longer. The air ratchet that I have is made by Chicago Pneumatic and is rated at 90 ft-lbs.
Lack of clearance between the spare tire and the diff cover precluded the use of a regular impact gun.

There was a little bendable clip holding the brake line on one side that I had to unbend. This is easy to do by hand, w/o any tool.

A note on pneumatic impact and ratchets: The tools in the 58 piece sets at the big box stores are typically light duty and unsuited to automotive work. I have a Husky impact rated at 600 ft-lbs that is adequate and an IR Q-Ti Max that is a beast.

I tossed the drain plug and diff cover bolts inside the PML diff cover and added some brake cleaner and left them to soak.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
I had previously replaced the OEM check valve vent with a hose vent, yet my axle seal was leaking once again.

http://www.titantalk.com/forums/titan-faq-howto-area/28334-axle-vent-issue-solution.html

Having now removed the diff cover, I inspected the inside of the diff and was happy to see that the ring gear looked good and the TrueTrac bolts appeared tight. The photo shows the bearing caps and the adjacent carrier bearing threaded adjusters (the rings with the spaced holes). The Titan diff does not use shims, but rather threaded adjusters for the carrier bearings.

http://www.titantalk.com/forums/titan-performance-modifications/98388-trutrac-lsd-problem.html

The TrueTrac has a rather enclosed structure so you can't see the internal mechanism. I also took a couple of pics of the original OEM open differential (non-elocker) carrier which was replaced with the TrueTrac. You can see the splines in the side gear which engage the splines on the end of the axle shaft. The metal ring on the ground is one of the races for the carrier bearings. Note that this is the 2004 diff carrier which has a two-spider design which was apparently replaced at some later time with a stronger four-spider design.

Next, I jacked up the truck with a floor jack, placed a jack stand at the ends of the axle tubes, lowered and removed the floor jack. I was very careful to make sure that the truck was on a level surface, the jack stands were locked at the proper height and properly placed on the axle tubes.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
I then used an impact gun, short impact extension, and 21 mm impact socket to remove the lug nuts. I could have used a breaker bar instead of the impact gun, but that takes longer. I was fortunate enough to have my wheel lock key on hand. As always, I wore my safety glasses when using the impact gun.

I then removed the wheel by pulling if off the studs, and set it aside for cleaning, as it was coated in gear oil and dirt. Having removed the wheel, I turned my attention to removing the brake caliper. I removed the two bolts that hold the caliper with a 10 mm gear wrench.

Then I pushed up on the brake caliper retaining spring with the handle of an orange handled dead blow hammer, and pulled the caliper radially outwardly away from the brake rotor, and wired it to the leaf springs so as not to damage the brake line.

I removed the brake rotor (slotted Frozen) and inspected the inner surface of the "hat" portion of the rotor that serves as the drum for the parking brake shoes. Note that you must release the parking brake to remove the rear brake rotors, otherwise the parking brake shoes clamp the rotor on.

Now is also a good time to inspect your brake shoes and replace if necessary.

http://www.titantalk.com/forums/titan-faq-howto-area/84176-installation-frozen-rotors-hawk-pads.html
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Next, I used a 12 mm gear wrench to remove the single bolt securing the wheel speed sensor.

Upon inspection, I noted that it was coated in gear oil.

I used a paper towel and rubbing alcohol to wipe off the sensor and clean then hole in which it resides. I moved it out of the way and made firm resolve not to destroy the sensor or sever its cable.

Then I removed the 4 bearing cage nuts with the pneumatic ratchet and an 18 mm impact socket. I could have also used an 18 mm gear wrench.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
I collected the brake caliper bolts, the sensor bolt, and the bearing cage nuts and lock washers and set them aside.

I positioned an oil drain pan under the end of the axle tube to collect any gear oil that might drain out the end of the axle tube when the axle is pulled, and turned my attention to pulling the axle shaft. I inspected the toothed wheel speed sensor wheel and the parking brake spring and decided that the shaft could be pulled out a little ways without obstruction, or with the spring moving slightly to the side to clear the sensor wheel, to make it easier to remove the parking brake shoes.

I then screwed the hook attachment on the end of my Harbor Freight slide hammer (bought on sale w/ coupon for cheap), engaged the hook with the flange on the axle shaft, and gave it a small tap.

The axle shaft pulled out slightly, and oil poured out the end of the axle tube. This provided additional clearance for removal of the parking brake shoes, clips, and springs.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Having previously replaced my parking brake shoes, I had figured out how to do it quite expeditiously, w/o using a special brake spring tool.

First, I latched on to the smaller, weaker spring with my needle nosed Vice Grips and pulled it free. I then pulled the now free ends of the brake shoes apart a little bit and removed the star adjuster.

Next, I removed the upper and lower clips with Channel Lock pliers. These clips hold the brake shoes against the backing plate/dust shield.

After removing the weak spring and the clips, the tension on the strong spring is substantially reduced. This makes it fairly easy to latch unto the end of the strong spring with the needle nose Vice Grips and pull it free from engagement with the brake shoe. Note that I wore my gloves to protect my hands in case the Vice Grips slipped off.

I then removed the shoes and the parking brake cable anchor/pivot and collected them for later reassembly.

I then carefully pulled the shaft out a little and took a picture. This shows the bearing retainer, the tapered roller bearing, the seal, the bearing cage plate, and the toothed ABS sensor wheel. Note the small notch in the top edge of the bearing cage plate. This notch goes up, as shown, when things go back together. Correction: The notch is actually from the dealer's prior replacement of the axle seal and bearing, the tech apparently slipped and cut the bearing cage a bit.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Next, I pulled the shaft out while wiping off the gear oil.

I placed the shaft on a small piece of mdf I happened to have on hand to keep it from getting beat up on the concrete driveway.

I pulled the axle shaft bearing race out of the axle housing tube end. I found that the best way to do this was to grab the race with both hands at diametrically opposed locations and pull. I tried to pull it out with one hand at first, but it became ****eyed and stuck, so I tapped it back in with a dead blow hammer and started over. It came out easily once I realized I needed to keep it square as I pulled.

The thinner annular end face of the race faces out and the thicker annular end face goes in. I noted that the race was marked Timken, and was the part previously installed by the dealer under warranty.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I inspected the stepped bore on the tube end that receives the seal and bearing, and it looked fine, w/o roughness or scoring.

Next, I removed the 4 bolts holding the backing plate with an 8 mm gear wrench. I set the plate aside for cleaning, carefully preserving the bolts and the clip pins.

I paused to admire the naked beauty of the axle tube end.

Then I center punched the bearing retaining ring, in preparation to drilling.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
At this point, I have two options. Take the shaft with the retainer/bearing/seal on the shaft and have the shop take them off (the shop can press the bearing off) or remove them myself.

Option 1: They may charge a little more, but there is less risk of damage to the shaft because they press the bearing off.

Option 2: Cut/chisel them off myself - it's cheap!!


So I proceeded to carefully drill the bearing retainer, starting with a small bit, and working up to larger bits.

I soon had a decent hole, which I scored across with a cutoff tool. At this point I noticed the snap ring, and decided to remove it before I cut it in half.

I was using the cheapo red snap ring pliers that you see at Harbor Freight and AutoZone that come with a set of interchangeable jaws. The maximum jaw spread on these pliers was not sufficient to allow convenient removal of the snap ring. Channel Lock makes a nicer snap ring plier which has a greater jaw spread which would probably work better.

After I had a good size hole and a decent slot cut across the hole, I whacked the bearing retainer with a chisel placed in the slot and it cracked and expanded enough to be easily pulled off the shaft.

I then cut the roller bearing cage and ripped it off with a pair of pliers. This left the bearing mounting ring, which was press fit on the shaft. I went to work on this with a Dremel tool and a small cutoff wheel. Within a couple of minutes, I had a decent size slot cut in the bearing mounting ring.

I whacked this with the chisel again, and the bearing mounting ring cracked and expanded sufficiently to be pulled easily off the shaft. This left the bare axle shaft, ready for the new seal and bearing.

Youtube video of somebody doing identical work on a Jeep axle: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FQdb5it7eJQ

The shaft looked in good condition, without pits, scoring, or grooves which might form a path for oil to sneak past the seal. In the event an axle shaft does have a damaged surface, it can in some instances be repaired by using a Speedi-Sleeve. http://www.kutzendoerfer.at/files/speedisleeve.pdf

The next step was off to the local shop with the shafts, seals, bearings, snap rings. In my case it was Castle Rock Auto Repair in Castle Rock, CO. They charge $20 ("cash is king") per shaft. They were happy to do this work and let me take a pic of their press.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
I also picked up some better snap ring pliers for next time, some Permatex Ultra Black RTV, a gasket scraper, and a brake spring tool.

I cleaned and reinstalled the dust shield using the four 8 mm bolts, inserted the new race in the axle housing tube end, put a thin coating of the RTV on the axle seal, and inserted the shaft back into the axle housing tube. It is a relatively common practice to use TRV on Dana 44 axle seals, and I was motivated by a post that the axle seal problem might be caused by roughness or too great of a tolerance between the housing bore and the seal.

I found it very easy to engage the splined end of the axle shaft with the TrueTrac by tilting the shaft so that the inner end was up, then slowly tilting it down until it engaged. I did also rotate the shaft very slightly to align the splines. Then the shaft slid right in easily.

I also took a photo showing how the wheel speed sensor sits above the toothed sensor wheel.

After this, as they say, "assembly is in reverse order of removal".

After cleaning and assembling the parking brake components, brake rotor, brake caliper, I cleaned up the diff cover with the gasket scraper, brake solvent, and a brush. Then I put on a fresh bead of RTV and reinstalled the cover, installed the diff drain plug with Permatex thread sealant, and refilled the diff with 75/140 synthetic gear oil.

THE END

Footnote: I noted a little axial play in both shafts, both before and after the new seals/bearings. To demonstrate this, all you have to do is jack up the back of the truck and push-pull on the wheel.

Later, I found this article of interest:

http://www.betterscoutparts.com/Page_3.php
 

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Great write up that will help a lot of people! I've done mine once at my cousin's shop and after doing it and seeing everything, its really not very hard. Oh, and his shop had the exact same press. You can actually buy this press for $130 from Harbor Freight if one wants to add the tool to their garage. Thanks for the Timken set number and seals, much cheaper than the $85 a side I paid. Great work man.
 

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This needs to be a sticky! Awesome write up
 

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Hopefully the crew @ the Nissan dealer do just as good a job, if (when) I ever need this done. You make it look easy, yet I wouldn't attempt it..at least I know my limitations.:teethmast

Awesome write up and thanks for helping some of us non-mechanics know what's going on.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Hopefully the crew @ the Nissan dealer do just as good a job, if (when) I ever need this done. You make it look easy, yet I wouldn't attempt it..at least I know my limitations.:teethmast

Awesome write up and thanks for helping some of us non-mechanics know what's going on.
You are very welcome. Hoping to let people know it ain't exactly the $800 rocket surgery some dealers might want you to think.
 

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Yep .. Make it a Sticky!
 
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