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How to Replace Rear Wheel Seal 1999-13 Chevy Silverado

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How to Replace Rear Wheel Seal 1999-13 Chevy Silverado

Created on: 2020-06-17

This video shows you how to install a new axle seal on your 1999-07 Chevy Silverado.

Installation Video
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Okay, friends, one of the first things we have to do is safely raise and support the vehicle. Once you have your wheels off the ground in the rear, we're going to go ahead and remove all six of these lug nuts. Remove your wheel. One of the next things that we need to do is take a nice small pry bar like this, we're going to come in between the caliper and the pad, and we're just gonna apply a little bit of leverage. What we want to do is just push in that caliper piston just a teeny bit to take the pressure off of the brakes. The next thing we need to do is remove our two 18-millimeter mounting bolts for our caliper. Just take a wrench, you can use a socket with a ratchet if you'd like. There's one bolt. I'm just going to start that in just a couple of threads to hold the caliper for me while I remove the second. There it is. Let's get that other one out of there. Next, we're going to take the caliper and we'll just set it up here where it's going to be nice and safe. Just make sure you put it somewhere that it's not going to potentially fall down and hopefully, not hurt you in any way. Now, it's going to be time to remove your rotor. You might need to give it a couple of light bonks.

The next thing we're going to want to do is make sure that the vehicle is in neutral. You want to be able to spin your driveshaft. With that said, come right over here to your fill plug on your rear differential. You're going to remove that next using a 3/8 ratchet. All right. Let's grab a collection bucket for the next step. The next thing we're going to do is come right here for your e-brake cable, just get that right out of its securing bracket. Okay. After that, go ahead and grab something and just kind of come along the side of your differential, approximately where the pan is. You just want to try to get out as much of that crud as possible so nothing will fall down inside of the differential once we get this cover off.

Now, the next thing we're going to want to do is make sure that we keep in mind that this is where the bracket's going to go, right in the center, because it needs to go back there once we take this all apart. Use your 13-millimeter socket and a nice light hammer, you can use a rubber mallet if you're worried about it, just go over these bolts and tap it on there. All we're trying to do right now is just kind of break free all the rust, rot, or any type of obstacle that's going to make an issue to get these bolts out. We also want to make sure you have a nice collection bucket because after you remove these bolts, there's going to be fluid behind here that needs to go somewhere and it needs to be recycled.

Now, let's just start that bolt back in a little bit here. Now, we're going to continue by removing all the rest of the bolts. Remove the pan. If for some reason your pan is stuck on the rear differential, you could use something as simple as a nice rubber mallet, give it a couple of light bonks, or even try to get in between the pan and the differential itself with something as simple as a screwdriver or pry bar. Now, if you were to look at the inside of this pan, you're going to see a whole bunch of debris, especially in this area right here where the magnet is. This is all small metal shavings, and it's no good for the inside of your differential. Speaking of no good, if you were to look all along the side where the gasket is supposed to ride between the pan and the differential, you're going to see a lot of debris. You need to make sure you clean all that up. So, go ahead and clean it up. Clean up all this area. Make sure you get off all the debris. If you have a nice parts washer, that'll work great. Or, of course, you can use some parts cleaner. Just make sure you're using safety protection and do it over a recycling unit.

The next thing we need to do is cover this whole area with something. Because when we peel this up, we don't want very much dirt or debris getting inside this area, obviously. Do whatever you can to try to protect it. That looks pretty decent. It's going to keep the majority of everything out. The next thing we need to do is clean up the surface on the rear differential where the gasket/pan is going to be. Now, to clean this up, there's a couple of things that you could use. You could use a nice scraper that looks like this. You could also use a razor blade if you were so inclined because maybe you don't have a scraper. Something that I do recommend that you do not use would be something that looks like this. The reason for that is because, of course, it's coarse, it's gonna, of course, tear into the metal of the rear differential and all that metal dust that you're going to be shooting all around inside the air can accumulate on anything that's moist, which, well, everything is moist in there.

And that can, of course, potentially cause damage with your bearings and other stuff inside the differential. So, now let's go ahead and get this out of here. What you're going to notice is that the areas that had a lot of rust and everything are still going to be discolored. And that's okay. We're not necessarily worried about coloration. We're more or less worried about making sure everything is nice and smooth so we have a great mounting surface or mating surface for when the gasket and the pan go on the differential. Don't worry so much about the dripping. We'll deal with that later.

But to continue, the next thing we're going to do is grab onto that rear driveshaft, and we're going to spin it. And we're going to pay attention right inside of here because we're looking for this pin and we're also looking for this bolt right there. Now, when we go to take out this bolt, it's going to be a long bolt and it's going to come right straight through this pin and then in through a little bit further. Once you take out the bolt, there's a potential and a probability that this bolt or this pin right here is just going to want to slide out. That's hardened steel, if it slips and hits the ground, especially if you're on pavement, you could chip it or damage it in some way. So, take out the bolt carefully, grab your pin, and slide it out.

Now, to remove this bolt, you can use a socket with a ratchet if you want to, but you're probably not going to have very much space. I prefer to go with an 8-millimeter wrench. And if you have a 6 point, it's going to do good. Go ahead and put it right on there. Use a nice rubber mallet, I'm just going to break that free. Work it back and forth because there should be a teeny bit of Loctite on there or threadlocker. Now, we're just going to remove that bolt. So, that bolts nice and loose. It can move around. Like I said, it's going to come straight through this pin. Make sure you hold up that pin, remove your bolt, and then slowly let this pin down and set it aside.

Now, if you spin that driveshaft around, you're going to see an area that looks like this. You don't want to mess with any of this stuff. We're not going to mess with that. I just go ahead and use my finger inside this hole. Be careful because if you don't, what you might notice is that the gears on the inside are going to kind of get spun. So, I'm just kind of keeping my finger in there. Be careful for any pinch points. Nobody should get hurt doing this. I'm going to try to spin this all the way around so this hole right here is facing down. The reason why I want that is because inside here, the axle is going to come through the whole differential tube and it's going to come out into here. And you can see where these little gears are right there. There's going to be a little clip. So, what's going to happen next is I'm going to go over to the outer portion of the differential on the axle that I'm working on. I'm going to press it in. The little U-clip, it's going to look something like this, is going to go, fall out, and then fall inside here, hopefully, or even inside my collection bucket. Give it a nice little wiggle around. We want to see if we can get that clip to fall out of there. If you can't, we're going to try using a pick or a magnet.

I have a small pocket screwdriver that has a tiny magnet on it. You don't necessarily need the screwdriver portion, but you do need the small magnet. I'm going to come right in here along where that gear is, and I'm going to try to find right where that clip is going to be, the one that I told you about, it looks like a little U. I'm gonna just stick it on there. And now I'm going to go back over to the outer portion of the axle and just try to move it around and see if we can get this clip to break free/come out. There it is, friends. Now, for the next step, we want to have it back at a working height so we can easily get to our axle. Keep in mind that axles aren't super light. So, it will be heavy. Also, something that you need to keep in mind is as we draw this away, there's going to be fluid that's inside this differential tube and some of it's going to want to come out. So, also, make sure you have a collection bucket underneath this axle portion here. I like to just wipe it as I pull it out. Awesome.

Now, just before we continue, I just want to make sure you understand that yeah, the e-brake shoe is missing and the backing plate looks like it's pretty much missing. It's just rotted away. That's not necessarily part of this video and/or this instruction. Just don't pay any attention to that. The next thing that I always like to do is just take a rag. I'm going to shove it right inside this hole right there. And then I'm gonna take something like this and I'm just gonna clean up as much of this rust/rot that might be around this area. Okay. So, this looks nice. Let's go ahead and get our rag out of there. We'll make sure that we dispose of that properly in a minute. The next thing we're going to have to do is remove this seal. You're going to notice that the seal actually has a little bit of a ridge. It's not really something that you can probably grab onto your fingernail, especially if it's rotted like this one is. But if you were to take something that looks like this or even a small punch or chisel, you can usually grab that edge and bonk it away and it'll come away from the differential. Other ways that you can do it if this way wasn't working for you, you can use something like this, a nice long pry bar, come right in between like this, and then you would just keep prying and it will eventually lift this up and then draw it away. Just be careful because once again, like I said before, fluid is behind this and it will want to come out. Make sure you have a collection bucket.

So, let's try this with the first way here. We're going to use this little scraper. Just try to kind of pry out on that edge. And even if this way doesn't necessarily work, it will actually help with the second method that we could use by using the leverage because it's going to pull away. Okay. So, as you could tell, it's starting to pull away from the differential there. I'm just going to use this pry bar and I'm going to use a little bit of leverage and see if this works. Now it's gonna be time to install our new seal. There are going to be a couple of things we need to think about before we do this. Using the original seal driver or bearing driver that we used, just isn't going to be large enough. It can go up against on the inside portion and damage your seal. You need to get the next size up or the corresponding size that goes up against this rim. So, this one fits right over. Perfect.

The next thing we need to think about is the backside of the seal. If you were to look along it, you're going to see a nice spring. That needs to be on the rubber area. The problem is it tends to break free unless you put some form of lubricant along here. I like to use a little bit of Vaseline or petroleum jelly. Call it what you want. Just grab a little finger full here, and then I'm going to go right along that spring.

I like to make it a little bit thick. It doesn't cost too much, a lot cheaper than a brand new seal because I ruined the spring. And, of course, you could probably put it back on if it did fall off. But just put that right on there. This looks great. I'll just coat all the rubber because why not? And the great thing about the petroleum jelly is that it'll just dissipate and it won't cause any damage to the inside of the differential. The next thing we need to think about is along the edge of the seal. This is metal and the differential tube is metal. Well, we need some sort of seal in between there. So, what I'm going to do is I'm gonna clean off that petroleum jelly from my finger. I'm going to grab a little bit of a gasket maker. You can use just basic black RTV. Just pretty much any kind of gasket maker. We'll make a nice line right down it like this. It doesn't have to be pretty. It's going to be hidden. But you do want to make sure that you make a seal going all the way around to keep moisture and debris out of there. Super important. That looks great. We'll put that aside.

Now, we're going to go ahead and grab our driver and our hammer. We'll set this right up on here. Oh, before we do that, just take a peek, make sure you don't have any debris or any type of gear oil in here. It needs to be completely dry. If you have any gear oil, the RTV or gasket maker isn't going to work properly. Put it right up on there. I got my driver. We're gonna do the same thing. Bonk, bonk, bonk, and then when you hear an audible change in sound, more than likely it's completely bottomed out. There it is. Well, we made a nice mess, so we'll just clean that up and then we'll move along. It's time to install the axle. If you were to take a peek right down along this area, you're going to see the area where the bearing/seal is going to ride. Clean that down completely and inspect it. If you can see any wear or grooves, especially where the seal is supposed to ride, which would be pretty close to right there, you know you have an issue.

Just carefully go over along the top of that seal. Be careful not to drag the axle along it very much though because you could potentially ruin it. Go right in here. At this point, I can feel that it stopped. Is it all the way in? Well, you can tell that it isn't. The reason why it stopped is because down at the other end, there's the gears with the little notches that are going to have to line up with the splines on the axle. At this point, you can just kind of grab this and wiggle it around. If you push down over here, it's going to lift up on the pumpkin side and hopefully, you'll be able to align it. Okay. That just slid right in perfectly. Let's move along.

Now, our next step is kind of going to be a twofer. What we need to do is we need to get this clip back up and around that axle. And then once we do, we need to keep it there and grab the outer portion of the axle and draw it back away so it holds it in this clip. Slide this right up in there. I'm going to grab the axle, carefully slide it, watch for any pinch points. Okay. So, now you want to take a peek up inside there. You want to make sure that that horseshoe or the clip that is shaped like a horseshoe is all the way up inside and you want to barely be able to see it. If you can see a whole bunch of it, more than likely, it's not completely in. Now, let's step away from the pumpkin for a second and get right over to the axle. The reason why I want to do that is because I want us to grab onto it and give it a nice tug. You need to make sure that this axle is not able to pull out of your differential. If it can at this point, you need to stop, get back over there, and fix that clip.

The next thing we need to do, we need to be super careful for because we're going to be taking our finger, putting it back inside this hole right here, and being super careful for any pinch points because we're going to need to spin that differential, bring this back around so we can get the pin up through and, of course, the mounting screw back in. There we go.

Okay. So, I can see where the pin is going to have to come through. I can see where the bolt is going to go through. I have plenty of clearance to be able to swing my wrench. Put your finger in there and just make sure that the hole lines up. If it doesn't, you can go ahead and just try to line it up just simply by spinning it a little bit. And then that should be perfect. Now, talking about reinstalling the screw, you want to make sure you pay special attention to the threads. If you see any threadlocker on there or if it looks as though the pin is damaged in any way, it's probably a great idea to either clean it up or replace it if need be. Now, I used a little bit of blue threadlocker on this. I would definitely not recommend using no threadlocker and I would also definitely not recommend using red threadlocker. Red threadlocker is going to be super hard to get this out someday.

With that said, we'll set it aside for one second. And although I don't recommend using parts cleaner inside of your differential because of the clutch gears and everything, I do actually recommend using it only inside of this little hole where the threads for the screw is going to be. So, I'm just going to grab my rag. I'm going to direct it in specifically with my hose and only use what needs be to clean out any of the gear oil that might be inside there. Make sure you clean that up as well. Great. Inspect it real quick for any imperfections, such as a crack going down it or any sort of damage that looks apparent. This looks good.

Next, what I'm going to do is continue on by installing this. I want to make sure that the hole on the pin is facing down where the hole for the screw is going to go through. If it doesn't seem like it wants to go through, you just need to align the gears on the inside. Just keep working at, it should want to go. Don't go too far because then you have to, of course, get in there and push it back down. Keep your finger over this so it can't fall down. Grab that bolt with the threadlocker on it. Go ahead and put it right on through there. Now, we're going to snug this up. Just to say, it's always a great idea to go ahead and replace this pinion shaft locking bolt. Either way, whether you're replacing it or not, for torquing it, the 8.6-inch axle or rear differential, you want to torque that bolt to 27 foot-pounds. For the larger rear differential or axle, the 9.5-inch, you're going to want to torque that to 37 foot-pounds. So, now it's time to take a look at our differential pan cover. This looks great. We cleaned it up. I did both sides. I made sure that there's nothing on the magnet or at least as little as possible, especially in terms of large chunks of metal. This looks good.

Let's take some gasket maker or unless you, of course, bought a specific gasket that goes to this. If you have a specific gasket that's made of cork or paper or anything like that, do not use any gasket maker with it. Assuming you're not using one of those specific gaskets, go with this RTV. I'm just going to go right along, go around the hole. This is going to make a nice watertight seal. Make sure you don't have any debris or anything like that on any of these gears. And then just take a nice clean rag with maybe some solvent on it, and just clean up any of this gear oil that might be on here because this is going to affect the gasket. We've got our plate or rear diff cover. We've got a lot of silicone on there, that looks great, our RTV. We're just going to put it so the bump or the bump-out area is facing towards where the pinion gear is. Go ahead and line it up there. We'll take our bolts. You do not need to use any threadlocker on these. Start them all in. Now it's going to be time to snug all these up. Do it in a criss-cross manner. Now, we're going to go ahead and torque these down to 30 foot-pounds.

Let's go ahead and grab this cable, get it right into that bracket. Make sure that it's secured, it can not flap around. If you used RTV, you're going to need to let it set and even dry because if you use gear oil inside of it right now, it's going to potentially mess up the effect of the sealing agent of this RTV and you might end up having leaks. If, of course, you did use an original gasket or paper gasket or cork or whatever you might've used and it was not a chemical such as RTV, you can, of course, go ahead and fill it now. The next thing that we need to do is clean up the mating surface where the rotor is going to match up against the axle. If it's all bumped up like this or rough in any way, just go ahead and sand it down with something. Now that the majority of the area is nice and clean and sanded down, we need to continue on by getting in between the lug studs and the rest of the hub area here. Right in there. If you notice there's large buildup, you can use something like this, maybe a scraper or even a flat-head screwdriver. Just kind of get the majority of it up. And then you can take a nice brush, just work at the rest. Now, we're going to spray down the mating areas with some copper Never-Seez.

Before you go ahead and put your rotor back on there, look at the backside. This is the area that's going to meet up against the axle. You need to make sure that's nice and clean as well. Now that we've cleaned up the backside of the rotor, we're just going to place it over the axle like this, push it all the way in, and it should go over the emergency brake shoes. If it doesn't go over the emergency brake shoes, de-adjust your adjuster. If it does go over but you feel as though there's no drag at all, you're probably going to want to adjust it up a little bit. What you're actually going to want to do right now is get it so it's semi-close. So, you can hear the shoes just barely dragging in there. Okay. That's the sound of the shoes hitting up against the inside drum portion of this rotor. If it's too tight and you try to turn it and it just doesn't want to turn, then you know that it's overadjusted. If your brakes are overadjusted, they're going to overheat and you're going to have major braking issues.

Now, it's going to be time to get the caliper back on the vehicle. Before you go ahead and do that, you need to make sure that you clean all the existing threadlocker off of these bolts. And I always like to replace it with some new threadlocker of my own. Get the caliper around here. Make sure that your pads are situated inside the brackets as they need to be. They might keep wanting to fall out if they're like mine. Go ahead and grab those caliper mounting bolts. Start them both in. Now we'll snug them up and we'll torque them to 148 foot-pounds. Get our torque wrench.

The next thing I always like to do at this point is to make sure I pump up the brake. Now, it's going to be time to fill your rear differential. You need to make sure you go with the manufacturer-specified fluid. For this particular application, the manufacturer recommends full synthetic 75-90 with limited-slip additive. If you look right here, you're going to see 75W-90, right? If you saw something that went along, the next couple of letters would say LS, that would stand for limited-slip. This one doesn't have an LS. So, you need to go out and get yourself an additive that says limited-slip supplement or additive. Once you put in your additive completely, you're going to continue topping it off until it comes up just below this fill plug right here. So, you can go ahead and put your finger in, take a peek, and if it seems like your finger is getting really wet, then more than likely you're at the level you need to be.

Okay. So, at this point, I've just put in my limited-slip additive and I've put in one full bottle and a little bit under another full bottle. It just barely started trickling out the top so I stopped there. Now, what I'm gonna do is I'm just gonna wait for this to continue trickling out as much as possible. Optimally, the level that you want your fluid to be at when your differential is sitting on a nice level surface, such as the ground would be just about one-eighth of an inch below that fill hole. Doing that on the lift is a little bit different, of course, because the suspension is hanging and if you're doing it on jacks or jack stands in the yard, depending on if you have the jack stands under the differential tube, that could work. But if you have it underneath the frame to try to lift the vehicle, it's going to be kind of slanted like ours is here. With that said, if you can get your level approximately one-eighth of an inch down below this fill hole, that's exactly where you want it.

Next, it's going to be time to put our rear differential plug back in there. Just take a quick look at it and make sure it's in good condition. If you look at the threads and it looks like they're rotted or maybe they're not going to make a good connection on the differential, you probably want to replace it. If you have any sealant around here, you probably want to get it off of there. If it looks as though the inside of this area is getting stripped out and it's not in very good condition, and you don't think that you'll be able to either tighten it up or even remove it further on down the line, it's probably a great idea to just go ahead and replace that plug. This one looks decent, so I'm just gonna wipe it down and put it in there. Now, we'll just snug it up until it bottoms out. That's it right there. Clean up your mess.

Now, it's going to be time to get the wheel up on here. Let's start on those lug nuts and then we'll bottom them out and we'll torque them to 140 foot-pounds. Let's torque them. Double-check them if you want. And if you have a center cover, put that on as well. Let's make sure we double-check that brake fluid. Give it a wiggle. It looks as though this is low. There's the maximum line. Open this up. We're going to add some DOT 3 brake fluid. Bring it right up to that maximum line. Make sure you close it back up. Down the road you go.

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88-10 GM, Hummer, Isuzu; 05-09 Saab 9-7X Rear Wheel Axle Shaft Bearing & Seal PAIR

Rear 4 Piece Wheel Bearing & Seal Kit TRQ BHA53236

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