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  #1  
Old 05-27-2010, 09:32 AM
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Default Need to replace leaking transmission oil seal for driver-side axle

Car: Bone stock 97 Civic DX, manual transmission

My Civic recently developed a transmission oil leak from the hole where the driver-side axle inserts into the clutch housing, so I plan to replace the oil seal (see diagrams below). I already ordered the seal from Majestic Honda ($6.83), but I have some questions about the job. I obviously don't want to drop the transmission to replace this seal. Any helpful pointers or mention of common mistakes to avoid would be appreciated.

From anyone familiar with this job:

1) What's the best tool for removing the old oil seal? I have read about people using various tools, such as a screw driver, cork screw, or oil seal puller.

2) Is limited access/space in this area an issue? I plan to remove the axle, exhaust pipe A , and the engine stiffener. Will this suffice or must additional parts be removed?

3) I suspect that draining the transmission fluid is a must for this job. Is this correct?

4) What's the best tool for installing the new oil seal? I have read about people using a hammer with a socket having a size that matches the outer diameter of the oil seal. Or is there a better tool? What type of oil or grease should I coat the seal with prior to tapping it into place? How will I know when the oil seal is fully/properly seated?

Also, if anyone knows of a good DIY for this job, please post a link.

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Last edited by RonJ; 05-27-2010 at 09:37 AM.
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Old 05-27-2010, 10:03 AM
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real simple job, just jack it up remove wheel and axle, then lay under car and use a screw driver and pop seal out, then rub some oil on the new seal and i use a small block of wood or something and tap it with a hammer to pop it and make make it flush, dont pop it all the way in, just til its flush with trans casing.
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Old 05-27-2010, 10:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 94civichatchback View Post
real simple job, just jack it up remove wheel and axle, then lay under car and use a screw driver and pop seal out, then rub some oil on the new seal and i use a small block of wood or something and tap it with a hammer to pop it and make make it flush, dont pop it all the way in, just til its flush with trans casing.
Thanks. I was hoping you'd chime in. Is draining the tranny fluid needed? I was told on another site that jacking up the car on the driver's side to tilt fluid away from the hole would help prevent fluid loss. Truth or fiction?

How's the area for access and visibility? Will I be working blindly?
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Old 05-27-2010, 10:23 AM
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This probably can be done with the exhaust pipe in place, also shouldn't need to take the axle all the way out of the car, leave the nut on the hub end and pull it out of the transmission. Of course it will be easier the more parts you remove. You don't have to drain all the fluid, some will run out when you pull the seal then just top it off with new fluid after reassembly.

It's important to push only on the outside edge of the seal and to push it in straight. Like 94 said, it should end up with the rubber flush with the metal on the outside. Apply transmission fluid to the part of the seal the axle touches before installing the axle, no one wants a "dry lip."

Edit and yes you could jack the car up unevenly so all the fluid will run to the other side, but it is dangerous to work under a car that is supported in that manner. Put jackstands under both sides and expect a few oz of fluid to run out.
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Old 05-27-2010, 10:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mk378 View Post
This probably can be done with the exhaust pipe in place, also shouldn't need to take the axle all the way out of the car, leave the nut on the hub end and pull it out of the transmission. Of course it will be easier the more parts you remove. You don't have to drain all the fluid, some will run out when you pull the seal then just top it off with new fluid after reassembly.

It's important to push only on the outside edge of the seal and to push it in straight. Like 94 said, it should end up with the rubber flush with the metal on the outside. Apply transmission fluid to the part of the seal the axle touches before installing the axle, no one wants a "dry lip."

Edit and yes you could jack the car up unevenly so all the fluid will run to the other side, but it is dangerous to work under a car that is supported in that manner. Put jackstands under both sides and expect a few oz of fluid to run out.
It's always comforting to hear from the HCF go-to man. Thanks mk. Haha...The "dry lip' you mention is likely what brought me to this situation. And the tip on not removing the axle nut is darn smart! I would not have thought of that.

Last edited by RonJ; 05-27-2010 at 12:41 PM.
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Old 06-15-2010, 01:39 PM
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All fixed. Leak gone. Very easy job. Only removed axle, though you'd have more space to work if you also remove exhaust pipe A and the stiffener. Seal popped right out with a screwdriver with very little effort. Tapping the new seal flush with the transmission took about 15 minutes. I used a piece of wood to tap it in. Lost about 1/2 quart of fluid during the job, and I replaced it with fresh Honda MTF when done.

Noticed the axle boot was ripped, so also replaced it (free lifetime warranty). Total cost of job was about $12 (seal + MTF).

Thanks for the input.

Last edited by RonJ; 06-15-2010 at 01:43 PM.
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Old 06-15-2010, 01:39 PM
 
 
 
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94, axle, civic, clutch, driver, driverside, fluid, honda, leaking, oil, rear, replace, seal, side, top, transmission

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Need to replace leaking transmission oil seal for driver-side axle - Honda-Tech Post #0 Refback 06-19-2011 02:46 PM
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