1981 CJ7 Restoration - 2020.01.03

Moving on to the front axle...

The Dana 30 front axle holds gear oil in the housing very close to the differential. The exposed axle shafts from the "pumpkin" out are exposed to the air. The unfortunate thing with this design is that in order to replace the inner axle seals, one has to remove the differential in order to knock out the old seals and press in the new ones. The fit of the differential into the case is very tight and it was recommended to borrow/rent or buy a differential case spreader. I decided to get one to work on my own timeline, but this thing came in very handy. Even using this spreader, the differential was quite difficult to remove, but I got it out.

Differential case spreader attached.

Once the differential was out I had access to the inner axle seals. I used a long steel pipe to knock out the old seals. To install the new seals, I used the same pipe, but put a 36mm socket on the end of a socket extension, then placed that extension inside the steel pipe. A 36mm socket fits the new seals almost perfectly. This isn't the correct way to do this, but it works. I tapped the new seals in place and checked the position all the way around to be sure things were even. So far so good.

New inner axle seals in place.

I didn't take photos of the process, but I reversed the differential removal to place the differential back into the case. This took some work and finagling, but I got it back in and everything seemed to line up fine.

I go several weeks to several months between Jeep restoration sessions, so I often forget how things go together. I also don't take enough photos to record how things go together, so sometimes I have to spend a lot of time doing research to figure out how things go back together. I found this large washer with the new Dana 30 pinion seal. Luckily I had photos that showed where this goes, and there are wear marks on it that match up with the pinion shaft yoke. This goes in, then the pinion seal, then the yoke.

Differential back together and new pinion seal installed.

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