SEAL TROU­BLES

Mustang Monthly - - TEXT BEYONDTHEBASICS -

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.”

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