I’m trying to change the rear axle seals in my 1970 Mustang, and I cannot get them to come out. I bought a seal puller, but it does nothing. Help! Seth N. Via the Internet
If your tool is one of those seal pullers that looks like a handlebar moustache on the pulling end, throw it in the trash. I have never been able to successfully pull 50-year-old axle seals with one of those. You need a slide hammer with the correct pulling end to do the job properly. If the axle-housing is still in the car, you shouldn’t have any problems with the seal coming out.
If you did like I do and tore the axle all the way out and down to the housing and had no help holding the axle while you pulled (or if you couldn’t find the right slide hammer adapter), you could use a long piece of pipe and drive them out from the back side. I have had to do this myself when working alone! Just remember when installing the new bearing to put a little grease or oil on the new seal to avoid tearing the seal during axle installation and your first drive.
If you take the axle out of the car, are alone, and are stuck, a long pipe against the lip of the seal will work to drive the seal out from the back.
Some auto parts tool rentals carry a slide hammer with the correct adapter to pull the seal. It slides in at an angle and then lies flat against the back side of the seal. This setup works great if the axle is still in the car.
This type of puller is not up to the task of pulling an axle seal frozen in place after 50 years. Time to move from “please come out” to “I wasn’t asking.”