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02 Impala axle seal replacement

 
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plano-doug
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2007 Chevrolet Impala
2002 Chevrolet Impala
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 08, 2011 12:09 am    Post subject:  02 Impala axle seal replacement Reply with quote

I'm fixing a leaking axle seal on my daughter's 02 Impala. I'm at a crossroads and need some advice. I need to swing the steering knuckle out of the way to get the axle out. That means I need to disconnect it from the strut or the lower control arm.

I'd prefer to do it at the control arm, but, according to the manual I bought (electronic factory manual from eBay), I need to drill out the three rivets on the control arm. I'd rather not have to do that and then have to replace them.

My other choice is to pull the two bolts from the strut. I've done this before, to replace the strut, so I'm comfortable with the procedure, but, if I do that, will I potentially lose the camber? Or is that somehow controlled elsewhere. That is, if I separate the strut from the knuckle, will I need to later get an alignment? I don't think so, but I want to be sure.

Thanks for your help.

Doug

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MISHNAH
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2002 Chevrolet Impala
2006 Mercedes-Benz E Class
2006 Nissan Murano
2003 BMW 5 Series


PostPosted: Fri Jul 08, 2011 12:57 am    Post subject:   Reply with quote

As long as you mark the strut where it meets the knuckle, and also mark the heads of the two bolts and how they are turned, you should be able to get away without needing an alignment.

If you want to pop the ball joint, you'll need a special tool for it. While you can use a pickle fork, you'll tear the boot and shorten the life of the joint.

The instructions to drill out the rivets is for replacing the ball joint, not for undoing it.

My opinion, undo the strut bolts. But if the car has high miles, spending $100-150 more on new ball joints or new control arms will restore the original handling and ride.

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2002 Galaxy Silver Sedan - LS cluster - Debadged - Intrigue compass/autodim mirror - DIC - Regal graphite leather seats - LS console with floor shift conversion - Monte Carlo black leather steering wheel - LS springs - KYB GR-2 Struts - GMPP sway bars and rear STB - Fog light frontend harness - LS Bumper with fog lights - Painted trim and side skirts

2006 Nissan Murano - Autodim/compass mirror
2006 Mercedez-Benz E350 - Stock for stock, its faster than an SS, woot!
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plano-doug
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2007 Chevrolet Impala
2002 Chevrolet Impala
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 08, 2011 5:02 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote

MISHNAH wrote:
As long as you mark the strut where it meets the knuckle, and also mark the heads of the two bolts and how they are turned, you should be able to get away without needing an alignment.

Thanks, Mishnah. That's how I did it. Neither of the bolts is a cam bolt, so I'm not sure it mattered, but I marked and replaced them as directed just the same.
...
As for the axle seal, it was a mother! I bought one of these widgets, hoping it would make the job easy. But it wasn't to be.

Lisle LIS58430 Shaft In Seal Puller

It was nearly useless. About all it did was tear the rubber out of the seal, but the press fit metal portion didn't budge.

I ended up using a sharpened screwdriver to pry up the lip and slowly worked it off the side of the transmission. And still chewed up the backing plate a little bit despite trying hard not to.

But the new seal is in and everything's back together. Keep your fingers crossed it doesn't leak.

To get the new seal in, I had bought a 1.5" steel pipe cap to use as a seating tool, but couldn't swing my hammer to get to it. So I lengthened it with more pipe (a nipple and a collar) to effect an extension and was able to hammer the seal flush without problem.

BTW, this is the patient, with my 07SS in the background.


I had hoped to reclaim it from my daughter next year when she gets out of college thinking she'd likely get a new car then. She's been working at a camp this summer for handicapped kids, and they had a hail storm come thru the other day that turned the car into a frickin' moon scape. There's not a body panel that doesn't have dimples on it.

Nevertheless, if I can keep it running, I'll start driving it (again) next year in hopes of keeping the miles down on the SS.

[Edit]Looks like the new seal is working. I took it down to the corner gas station, and the area below the seal was wet, but I expected that. They seem to squeeze out a little fluid at first. I cleaned it off, then took it for a 3 mile drive. It was dry as a bone after that. Hooray!

Doug

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MISHNAH
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Location: Baton Rouge, LA/Houston, TX GEAUX TIGERS!!!

2002 Chevrolet Impala
2006 Mercedes-Benz E Class
2006 Nissan Murano
2003 BMW 5 Series


PostPosted: Fri Jul 08, 2011 11:35 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote

I take it you had to replace the driver's side seal? Mine has been leaking forever, changed the axle once, wanted to replace the seal but said screw it when I saw how hard it would be to get out. Laughing

I just dump in some fluid here and there to keep it topped off. I might upgrade the differential soon, so while the output shaft is out it'll be MUCH easier to replace this seal.

_________________
2002 Galaxy Silver Sedan - LS cluster - Debadged - Intrigue compass/autodim mirror - DIC - Regal graphite leather seats - LS console with floor shift conversion - Monte Carlo black leather steering wheel - LS springs - KYB GR-2 Struts - GMPP sway bars and rear STB - Fog light frontend harness - LS Bumper with fog lights - Painted trim and side skirts

2006 Nissan Murano - Autodim/compass mirror
2006 Mercedez-Benz E350 - Stock for stock, its faster than an SS, woot!
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plano-doug
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2007 Chevrolet Impala
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 09, 2011 12:05 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote

MISHNAH wrote:
I take it you had to replace the driver's side seal? Mine has been leaking forever, changed the axle once, wanted to replace the seal but said screw it when I saw how hard it would be to get out. Laughing

Smile

Yes, driver's side.

In hindsight, the one thing I shoulda done was try another seal removal tool. I had seen this one when I began investigating the task, but selected the other one instead.


Alas, when the going got tough, it never occurred to me to try this one. I went straight to the screwdriver.

Only after I got the dang thing out did I consider picking up the other tool. For 15 bucks, it woulda been a no brainer versus all the anguish I was dealing with.

Doug

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