Diesel Place banner
1 - 20 of 145 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
176 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Several posters have asked if anyone has posted the procedure for changing the rear axle/hub seal on a 2500HD. I never found any with pictures.

I did mine, a 2002, and took the time to document the entire process. I just passed 100K miles and this is the second seal replacement. I had posted this earlier with a link to another website. The moderators asked that it be reposted in this format, so here we go:









This is what you'll need: Seal, wheel bearing locknut socket ($10.00), and brake cleaner (multiple cans, I used 3). I got the stuff at O'Reilly's.




Here is a close up of the locknut wrench.






Here is the seal that is listed on the O'Reilly's computer, it is not the right one.





Here is what the wrong seal looks like.






Remove the 8 bolts that hold the axle with a 3/4 socket, then carefully remove the axle. It has a gasket on it that you don't want to tear.





Here is the axle after removal.




Here is the hub after the removal of the axle.





Remove the caliper. It took an 18mm socket. Leave the brake line attached.










Remove the rotor. It just pulls off.






You are now down to the hub, and you can see the parking brake shoes which are likely to be covered with gearlube.




Here is another shot of the parking brake.






Remove the snap ring. No special tools are required.







The snap ring keeps the key for the axle nut in place.







Remove the key. It just slides out.







Here is the axle nut after removal with the special socket.







Here is the spindle with the emergency brake after the removal of the hub. The hub just pulls off.







I used a brake adjustment tool to pry out the seal. Seal pullers can be purchased.





Remove the seal with very small and careful prying, turning frequently.



Here is the hub with the seal ready to come out.





Here is the hub with the seal removed.






As mentioned earlier, O'Reilly's lists the wrong seal. On the right is the one they list, and the on the left is the removed seal. The correct seal is 3 and 15/16 inches in diameter.







Here is a good thing to have available when you have to go back to O'Reilly's.






Here is the correct seal from O'Reilly's. It was listed for a 2000 2500HD.



This is the brand of the seal.


I used a piece of wood to protect the seal as I tap it in place carfully with a hammer.





Here is the new seal installed in the hub.




The rotors are vented. It is likely that you will have gear lube on the rotor, inside the emergency brake surface, and inside the vents of the rotor.







It took a lot of work to get the rotor clean. The key to cleaning a heavy build up of gearlube is to have scraping tools, several cans of brake cleaner, and lots of paper towels. Wet with brake cleaner, wipe, and get a clean towel. If you don't change paper towels often, you'll just smear gearlube over the same areas, over and over.





I keep hand cleaner handy, especially during re-installation. Keep your hands clean and you'll keep the rotor, shoes, and pads clean.






Slide the hub back on the spindle.



Start screwing the hub locknut back on.



You'll use a torque wrench and the special axle nut socket. (Yeah, I know, it's one of those old beam type torque wrenches, but I'm an old guy.) Torque to approximately 50 ft lbs while rotating the hub counter-clockwise. This seats the hub.





After seating the hub. Loosen the axle nut, adjust it finger tight and align it so you can slip in the locking key that keeps the nut from moving.






Re-install the snap ring to hold the key.




Slide the cleaned rotor back on making sure it is seated as pictured.





You are now ready to re-install the caliper.



Re-install the caliper. I used thread lock on these bolts.



Slide the axle back in after you clean it off. (just a wipe down will do) Re-install and tighten the 8 bolts. I used thread sealer on these too.










 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,556 Posts
Good job. I can't believe there wasn't a can of beer in one of those picks!!!!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
14,360 Posts
Very nicely done!

Too bad you left off your address and when we can drop ours off when needed.):h
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
281 Posts
Great write up. I would also mention the bearings should be prelubed with gear lube or asy. grease before the hub is put back on. I actually jack up the open side of the housing and add a little gear lube while spinning the hub before reinserting the axle. This will prevent the bearings from scoring while the gear lube is traveling down the housing.

Also be sure and top off the diff with fresh lube and recheck after a few hundred miles. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
341 Posts
Very nice - thanks for taking the time to document the process with pics, I know that really slows the whole deal down a bit.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,645 Posts
Good job and very detailed!

I do have only one concern. I looked in the pictures and didnt see you mention of it, but if removing an OEM axle seal, there will be an inner seal race that will stick to the spindle that must be removed. The aftermarket seal apparently rides on the spindle, while the OEM rides on that inner race. I have seen many of these leak again after replacement because that inner race was not removed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
176 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for the additional information/recommendations/comments.

As I mentioned, this was my second seal, so the one in the pictures is an after-market product. It would be a good addition to the post if someone had a picture of the factory seal.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
158 Posts
Now if you could post the pics replacment for a 99 K2500 Suburban!!!!!!!!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
89 Posts
Use The Factory Seal

ERIC MERCHANT IS CORRECT. YOU WILL NEED TO USE THE FACTORY AXLE SHAFT SEAL FROM THE STEALER. I RUN A HYDRAULIC REPAIR SHOP HERE IN DAYTON, OH. I WORK WITH OIL SEALS ON A DAILY BASIS IN HYD. PUMPS WHERE OIL SEALS LEAVE A GROOVE IN THE SHAFT. ALSO THE SURFACE FINISH OF THE AXLE IS NOT FINE ENOUGH FOR AN AFTERMARKET SEAL. THE SEAL LIP WILL WEAR OUT PREMATURELY. YOU DONT WANT THIS TO HAPPEN OR OTHERWISE YOU WILL HAVE TO SPEEDI-SLEEVE THE AXLE OR REPLACE THE WHOLE AXLE AND NONE OF US WANT TO HAVE TO DO THAT. THE FACTORY SEAL IS ONLY $20.00 per side. P/N IS 15007008. THE FACTORY AXLE ALSO HAS A SHARP EDGE WHERE THE INNER SEAL SURFACE SLIDE ON TO THE AXLE, SAND PAPER WILL WORK OR IF YOU HAVE REMOVED THE PARKING BRAKE TO CLEAN IT THEN USE A DIE GRINDER WITH A SANDING ROLL. LIGHTLY GREASE THE INSIDE SURFACE OF THE SEAL WITH GREASE, JUST A THIN COAT ONLY. INSTALL HUB. YOU WILL HAVE TO DRAW IN THE HUB WITH THE SOCKET AND RATCHET TO FULLY SEAT THE SEAL. THEN PROCEED WITH TORQUEING THE NUT. THIS ENGINEERED DESIGN SAVES GM COST ON AXLES DURING MANUFACTURE. WE ALL HATE IT I KNOW, BUT YOU REALY NEED TO USE THE FACTORY SEAL.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
176 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
ERIC MERCHANT IS CORRECT. YOU WILL NEED TO USE THE FACTORY AXLE SHAFT SEAL FROM THE STEALER. I RUN A HYDRAULIC REPAIR SHOP HERE IN DAYTON, OH. I WORK WITH OIL SEALS ON A DAILY BASIS IN HYD. PUMPS WHERE OIL SEALS LEAVE A GROOVE IN THE SHAFT. ALSO THE SURFACE FINISH OF THE AXLE IS NOT FINE ENOUGH FOR AN AFTERMARKET SEAL. THE SEAL LIP WILL WEAR OUT PREMATURELY. YOU DONT WANT THIS TO HAPPEN OR OTHERWISE YOU WILL HAVE TO SPEEDI-SLEEVE THE AXLE OR REPLACE THE WHOLE AXLE AND NONE OF US WANT TO HAVE TO DO THAT. THE FACTORY SEAL IS ONLY $20.00 per side. P/N IS 15007008. THE FACTORY AXLE ALSO HAS A SHARP EDGE WHERE THE INNER SEAL SURFACE SLIDE ON TO THE AXLE, SAND PAPER WILL WORK OR IF YOU HAVE REMOVED THE PARKING BRAKE TO CLEAN IT THEN USE A DIE GRINDER WITH A SANDING ROLL. LIGHTLY GREASE THE INSIDE SURFACE OF THE SEAL WITH GREASE, JUST A THIN COAT ONLY. INSTALL HUB. YOU WILL HAVE TO DRAW IN THE HUB WITH THE SOCKET AND RATCHET TO FULLY SEAT THE SEAL. THEN PROCEED WITH TORQUEING THE NUT. THIS ENGINEERED DESIGN SAVES GM COST ON AXLES DURING MANUFACTURE. WE ALL HATE IT I KNOW, BUT YOU REALY NEED TO USE THE FACTORY SEAL.
Eric didn't say you had to use a factory seal, just that you need to take extra care when removing the factory seal.

If the factory seal was so great, we wouldn't be replacing them, would we?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,989 Posts
Great write up! Thanks for taking the time to do this, I'm sure it's in my future sometime. Can you edit and include the torque specs for the caliper bolts and axle?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
157 Posts
Does anyone know if there is a similar post with pics for the 3500 Dually? I've tried a number of different thread searches with no luck.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,036 Posts
Thank you! :ro)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
304 Posts
oem seal

if we use oem replacement seal can we just change outer seal & not inner race? I all ready have oem seal & getting ready to change it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
89 Posts
Difference Between Oem And Factory Seal

You Are Correct, Eric Did Not Say That You Had To Use The Factory, He Just Highly Recomends It. I Called And Talked To Him Personally. And My Five Years As An Sae Mechanic Before I Got Into Hydraulics And Now As A Hydraulics Technician Would Agree With Him. The Difference Between The Two Is Longevity. Do You Want 30,000 Miles Or 150,000 Miles That I Got Out Of Truck. The Factory Seal Surface Is Just To Coarse For A Standard Type Radial Oil Seal. Iam Just Trying To Help You Get More Life Out Of You Truck, That's All. You Can Not Use An Oem Seal With The Factory Inner Seal Because They Are Two Different Diameters. The Factory Inner Seal Is Approxiametly .125 Thick Each Side And It Might Move On You Also. The Factory Seal Inner Race Has A Tripple Lip Seal That Is Stationary On The Axle, On The O.d. It Has A Polished Metal Surface That Is Very Smooth For The Outer Seal To Ride And Seal On. For This Application You Will Get More Life Out Of The Factory Seal
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
176 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Torque Specs

Great write up! Thanks for taking the time to do this, I'm sure it's in my future sometime. Can you edit and include the torque specs for the caliper bolts and axle?
According to the Factory Service Manual Volume 1 of 5, page 4-139, the axle flange bolts should be tightened to 115 lb ft for the 10.5" axle and 148 lb ft for the 11.5" axle.

Page 5-67 of the same manual calls for 80 lb ft for the rear caliper mounting bolts for the 25/35 series (2500/3500).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,362 Posts
Thanks for the great post. My left seal is shot after only 50,000 miles.

How much gear oil did you loose with this job? And how long would it have taken if you did not take all those great pictures?

I was pulling our boatr yesturday and noticed my brake smoking and we are also leaving for vacation on Friday. I think this job needs to be done before we hit the road.

Thanks for your help!
Rick
 
1 - 20 of 145 Posts
Top