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How to Replace Front Axle Seal 2007-17 Ford Expedition

Created on: 2020-12-04

This video shows you how to install a new front axle seal on your 2007-2017 Ford Expedition.

Tools needed

  • Razor Blade / Gasket Scraper


    Socket Extensions

    Pry Bar

    Jack Stands

    Trim Tool Set

    Wheel Chocks

    Bungee Cord

    Straight Cutters

    Drain Pan

    Brass Punch


    Floor Jack


    Torque Wrench

    Channel-Lock Pliers

    Brake Parts Cleaner


    21mm Socket

    Petroleum Jelly

    Bearing Race and Seal Driver

    Flat Blade Screwdriver

    Socket Driver

    Paper Towels

    Center Punch

    8mm Socket

    Wire Brush

    1/2 Inch Air Impact Gun

Okay, friends. One of the first things we need to do to get started on this job is to safely raise and support the truck. After you've done that, remove your center cover here, and then remove all six of your 21-millimeter lug nuts, and get the wheel off. Now that the wheel is off, let's go ahead and get this ABS wire disconnected. I'm just gonna come right along here, and then remove this 8-millimeter bolt. Now let's go ahead and remove our anchor bolt for our flex hose for the brakes. The next thing we need to do is remove our two caliper bracket bolts. I'm just gonna start that in a couple threads.

Now we're gonna remove our caliper and we're gonna hang it so puts no pressure on the flex hose. Let's remove the rotor. Let's go ahead and remove our vacuum lines here. Let's go ahead and remove this little center cover. Now let's remove our axle nut. Now we're just gonna push on this axle stub here. If it doesn't move, just go ahead and put the knob back on a few good threads, and then give it a couple loving bonks with a hammer. Now let's go ahead and get this off of here. Let's go ahead and follow that ABS wire. Just continue disconnecting it up along the way here, comes up to this area, come in from the back. You're gonna see you have a little push button. Go ahead and push on that, and then separate the two.

Now let's go ahead and get our cotter pin out for our tie rod. Set that aside for recycling. Let's remove the nut. Now we're gonna use a hammer and we're gonna hit right on the knuckle right here to try to break this free. Now let's remove our upper ball joint nut. Now we're just gonna separate these two. So now we're just gonna go ahead and put that nut on just a couple small threads here. That's gonna help prevent this knuckle from falling down when we relieve the lower ball joint. The next thing I wanna do is pull down on the upper control arm, and we're gonna put it just like this so it leaves a nice gap between the knuckle and the nut itself, so we can move down to the lower ball joint. Let's just leave this on a couple threads.

Now, the next thing that we need to do is carefully bonk on the knuckle and try to separate the ball joint from it. Let's remove that nut. Hold up on your knuckle, remove the lower ball joint nut, bring it down and slide it out and away from the vehicle. The next thing we wanna do is spray down your sway bar bushing mounting nuts. Go ahead and remove both those nuts. I'm just gonna lift up on this piece right here. Get that out of there. Do the same to the other side of the vehicle. Let's go ahead and hold that up. Remove that last nut. Now we can set this down. Let's go ahead and put a nice collection bucket under here for recycling our contaminants. Now, the next thing we need to do is clean down the area on the differential where the axle goes in. Let's go ahead and put this cable on here for safety.

Now for underneath the vehicle, we're gonna use a pry bar and a hammer, try to bonk this axle out of here. There we are. All right. Now let's go ahead and pull this out of here. There it is, friends. The next thing that we're gonna do is go ahead and remove this seal. You can use a seal remover that looks like this, or, of course, you could try to use a pry bar and come down through the bottom. I'm just gonna put this so it comes along the inner portion of that seal. And I'm trying to come up, but I definitely don't wanna try to damage this differential any. I can see that's pulling apart the inner aspect of the seal, but we wanna get towards that outer part that's going into the actual differential.

Now it's gonna be time to clean up the differential. Just go ahead and use a flat razor blade and get off all this crud. Now it's gonna be time to get ready to install our seal. Before we can do that, you wanna look at the backside. Go ahead and use a little bit of petroleum jelly, and go right along this lip right here. It's gonna be super important because there's a very small spring in there and you don't want it to break free during the installation process. You can also take a small coating and just go along this inner aspect right here. And you'll notice that it already has a sealant right there. We're gonna go ahead and set this up so it's lined up with the hole inside the differential. We want it to be as flush as possible. Now I'm just gonna go ahead and use a nice flat plate, so it's gonna press up against that seal for me and then I'll use a driver to bonk this in there. When you're installing this, you wanna make sure it's going as parallel as possible to the differential. If it looks like it's going off at a little kilter, go ahead and punch in the other side a tiny bit so it's flat as possible.

It's super important when you do this, that you're not bonking on this area right here or even on this lip. Try to get along that outer edge, the area that's gonna be pressing up against directly to the differential. So, at this point, it's time to start preparing our axle for installation. To do that, let's go ahead and clean down all this dirt, so we can make sure we have a nice, clean seal.

Okay, friends. Now it's gonna be time to install the axle. Let's go ahead and carefully slide it in so it goes past that seal. Once it looks like it's going in, just go ahead and give it a little bonk. There we are. I can tell that it's completely situated. I'll give it a nice tug down at the end here near the differential. Just make sure it doesn't pop back out. All right, let's go ahead and clean down this area. All right, let's go ahead and get this axle back inside the bearing there. We're gonna slide the knuckle up so we can get the ball joint started on the lower aspect here. There we are. Go ahead and give that axle a nice wiggle, and it should wanna set right in, and then it's gonna be coming out the other side here.

Let's snug this up. Now we're gonna torque this to 85-foot pounds, and then we'll continue on to putting on the cotter pin. Now, the next thing you wanna do is line up the slots on the nut to the hole in the stud for the ball joint. If for some reason after you torque it, it doesn't line up, continue tightening until the very next slot does. The next thing we need to do is get our axle inside the knuckle as we push the knuckle up. You wanna be very careful not to damage your internal seal. Now I'm just gonna take a pry bar, come in and under here, and then I'm gonna try to put the ball joint through the knuckle. Go ahead and start that nut, snug it up, torque it to 85-foot pounds. What you wanna do next is make sure that you have your slot lined up with the hole on your ball joint stud. If for some reason it isn't, you need to continue tightening until it is. Next, take your cotter pin, go ahead and put it through the slot and the hole, and then, of course, lock it down.

Let's get our sway bar back up on here. Start on both of the nuts, snug them up, and torque them to 41-foot pounds. Do the same to the side of the vehicle. Now, before we can continue on to putting the brakes together, we wanna make sure that the hub mating surface and the back of the rotor mating surface is nice and clean. After you've done that, apply a little bit of copper never-seize. Let's go ahead and get our rotor back on here. I'm gonna start a lug nut on so it holds the rotor for me. Let's get our caliper reattached. We're gonna use some thread locker, of course, on the bolts. Start them both in, and then we're gonna torque them to 185-foot pounds.

Let's get our vacuum lines reattached. Now we're gonna reconnect in our bracket. ABS wire. Let's snug them up. Let's start re-securing our ABS wire. Make sure you go up and in between the brake line here, just like that. This looks good for now. Make my way down here. Got a little push clip. It's gonna go into your hole right there. The rest of it should just line up continue on. Making our way up here, let's make sure we reconnect in our ABS wire, listen for a click. And then, of course, give it a nice tug. After that, you wanna make sure that you secure it back in up here. Make sure everything's nice and secured, and it's definitely not rubbing up against anything, and there's no way it can get caught. Let's get the outer tie rod end on here. Snug this up, torque it to 85-foot pounds. The next thing we wanna do is make sure that our slots line up with the hole in the stud for the tie rod. If for some reason it doesn't, you need to continue tightening until the next one does. Install your locking cotter pin and then lock it down. Let's get the wheel back up on here. Start all of your lug nuts, snug them up, and torque them to 150-foot pounds.

Torqued. Okay, friends. So, that's pretty much it, aside from making sure you pump up that brake pedal, and then get yourself safely down to an alignment shop.

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