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Rear Hub / Axle seal - instructions please?!

3899 Views 7 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Nothin but a Cummins
I'm pretty handy in the garage, but I only have one set of wheels right now, so I have to get all the parts I need before I start...

1998 2500 4wd. I have been wondering why my ABS never kicks in and/or I can't lock up my rear wheels. I decided to check the brakes today. With the truck on jack stands I pushed the brake pedal and tried to turn the wheels. The one on the Pass side was locked right up (good) the one on the dr side would turn, not freely, but not too hard either.

Removed brake drum and it looked just like this one:


So It looks like I have a rear hub seal or axle seal problem. Also, the hub has about 1/8" of play (forward and back, not side to side) which the other side doesn't have.

Okay, so now the questions. What parts and tools do I need to fix this? A step by step would be awesome.

I was looking at the photos here:Replacing Axle Seals pictures from trucks photos on webshots

THey look pretty easy. Is that all I need to replace? Is it all lubricated by the diff fluid or is this packed with axle grease?

Sorry - last axle job was a manual locking hub on a chevy 1/2 ton. Had to repack bearings, etc. Never done a rear. Want to make sure I get it right - going to be putting some miles on in the next couple days.
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Obviously new shoes are a must = yes? Check your wheel cylinders since you're there. I've been there and done everything you are getting ready to do on yours to mine - rear brake wise it's been trouble free for about 80k

A tip - before you install the seal into the hub, a light coat of blue goo (form-a-gasket) in the hub/seal area will help prevent oil from working between the hub and the metal ring of the seal. Also, get the new "wedge" that holds the big nut in place after you torque it. Proper bearing pre-load is key - while turning the hub torque nut to 120# and back off 1/8th turn. I'm pretty sure its 120# - check the shop manual to be sure. Or, if someone else doesn't chime in to confirm/correct let me know (PM so I get an email) and I'll check for you.
 

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Yea your going to need new shoes, and like Joe Mc said I'd just get new wheel cylinders for how cheap they are, and be done with it. No sense in getting new brake shoes soaked in brake fluid. 120 ft lbs. sounds a bit high, but like Joe Mc said check to be sure...

The axle nut is intended to be a one time use thing, so I would look into getting new axle nuts. Quad 4x4 has a nice kit that includes everything you'll need from bearings, seals, axle nuts, and axle flange gaskets. They also have the "upgraded" axle nut lock washers instead of using those "wedges" that our trucks are equipped with now. I'll leave the link below...

Dodge Rear Axle

hope this helps...
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
My manual said 120-140 and back of 1/3 turn or 120 degrees. I torqued to 130 and backed off 1/3 like it said - so far no issues. No slop in the hub and didn't seem to overheat or anything, even with my buddies 32' TT behind it yesterday.

Thanks very much!
 

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Glad it worked out for you.

JZ - I know 120 sounded high to me too, when I first saw it in the shop manual I had to read twice to be sure.
 

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so did you end up getinng everything all back together fine? Did you need any special tools? Im having the same problem but my truck is an 06 and I can't find any info on the rear sela or axel hub period
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Nothing But A Cummins, it wasn't all that easy... okay, actually it was easy to do, but here's the thing.

I did it, The hub seal was easy, the drum brakes suck. You won't have that problem. I bought the hub seal for about $15 at my local auto parts store. 6000 miles later it started leaking again. I brought it to my mechanic. He changed it again, thinking it was a fluke. 500 miles it was leaking again. He replaced it again, but this time with a MOPAR seal which he said looked and felt different (better). It's been about 5,000 miles again maybe and so far no problems.

You could diy on this - it's not hard to do, but spend the money on the mopar seal.
 
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