Focus Fanatics Forum banner

1 - 20 of 33 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
48 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi All,

I was under my car recently, replacing the flex pipe (thank god that's over) and noticed some leaking coming out of the differential seals, where the axle meets the differential on the passenger side.

Upon noticing that, I gave a quick tug on the axle to see if there was any movement, and the axle started to move out a lot. I also started to get some serious dripping from the axle seal. I stopped when I saw the fluid, as I didn't want to get totally covered in the stuff if the axle popped out.

I was wondering, is this normal? The car was lifted up with the front wheels off, so the CV axle was lower than normal (suspension without any load on it). I wasn't sure if this might pull the half shaft out of the differential, at least more than in normal operation.

I'll post a pic or something if need be, but maybe you guys can diagnose without it.

Basically, how much end play should I expect out of the passenger side half shaft on my MTX75?
 

·
Registered
2006 ZX5 2.0, 2004 ZX3 SVT EE. 2004 ZX3 SVT
Joined
·
1,382 Posts
Shouldn't be very much. Look to see how loose the carrier bearing is.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16,311 Posts
Bearing may be walking on the axle...............
 

·
Registered
2006 ZX5 2.0, 2004 ZX3 SVT EE. 2004 ZX3 SVT
Joined
·
1,382 Posts
Pretty easy to replace the whole axle. Take the old axle with you and make sure the new one has the same length and the carrier bearing is pressed onto the correct location. Seal is easy to replace. Don't forget to put a little grease on the seal before installing the axle.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
48 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
So you think it's more than just replacing the seal? I'll take another look underneath tomorrow and try to get a better view of what's going on. I was preoccupied with the flex pipe replacement when I noticed it.

Side note - I'm very envious of you guys in Texas. I noticed that my rear sway end links rusted to the point where the driver side is no longer connected to the LCA. This rustbucket is just awful.

My Miata is a CA car and that thing stays in the garage all winter...
 

·
Registered
2006 ZX5 2.0, 2004 ZX3 SVT EE. 2004 ZX3 SVT
Joined
·
1,382 Posts
So you think it's more than just replacing the seal? I'll take another look underneath tomorrow and try to get a better view of what's going on. I was preoccupied with the flex pipe replacement when I noticed it.

Side note - I'm very envious of you guys in Texas. I noticed that my rear sway end links rusted to the point where the driver side is no longer connected to the LCA. This rustbucket is just awful.

My Miata is a CA car and that thing stays in the garage all winter...
The axle shouldn't be able to come out of the transaxle as it is supposed to be trapped by the carrier bearing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,372 Posts
Side note - I'm very envious of you guys in Texas. I noticed that my rear sway end links rusted to the point where the driver side is no longer connected to the LCA. This rustbucket is just awful.
Im not far from you (Marlborough/Hudson) and my 02 wagon is also a total rustbucket. My 05 ZX4 isnt as bad even though it has more miles.

I also replaced the flexpipe on my 05 along with the rest of the exhaust and it was a PITA. Did you see my posts here (posts 3, 4, 5):
https://www.focusfanatics.com/forum/mk1-focus/816207-06-ses-2-0l-flex-pipe-replacement-confusion.html

Paul
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
48 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Hi Paul,

I actually just moved to Marlborough!

No, didn't see your post about the flex pipe, as I'd done this before on another car and knew what was involved (cutting, etc.) so I didn't search on here. Those are good pics though for anyone doing it in the future. I used a battery-powered angle grinder, but effectively the same method.

They really make those mani-cat to flex pipe nuts completely inaccessible.
 

·
w/ my magic bag
Joined
·
29,455 Posts
So you think it's more than just replacing the seal? I'll take another look underneath tomorrow and try to get a better view of what's going on. I was preoccupied with the flex pipe replacement when I noticed it.

Side note - I'm very envious of you guys in Texas. I noticed that my rear sway end links rusted to the point where the driver side is no longer connected to the LCA. This rustbucket is just awful.

My Miata is a CA car and that thing stays in the garage all winter...
Your there replacing the seal, do the axle also, shouldn't have a lot of movement. What side is it?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,372 Posts
So you think it's more than just replacing the seal? I'll take another look underneath tomorrow and try to get a better view of what's going on. I was preoccupied with the flex pipe replacement when I noticed it.

Side note - I'm very envious of you guys in Texas. I noticed that my rear sway end links rusted to the point where the driver side is no longer connected to the LCA. This rustbucket is just awful.

My Miata is a CA car and that thing stays in the garage all winter...
The seal in the trans is a radial seal design which allows for some end play on the axle journal, however that end play should be very small. As others have stated the carrier bearing inner race should be a press fit to the axle shaft and my guess is either the press fit has failed or the bearing itself has failed.

Is the rear bar end link itself (bolt) rusted away or is the rear LCA rotted out where it connects to the link which is fairly common in rust belt? I had an entire rear LCA failure due to rust at the outer bushing on my rustbucket 02 wagon. Luckily it failed right in my driveway but it was still a total PITA to get the old LCA out as I had to use a saw to cut all the fasteners as they were all seized. I installed new sway bar end links at that time.

Paul
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
48 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Alright so I'm going to replace the passenger side axle. Looking at parts on Rockauto, the Motorcraft is significantly more expensive than other brands.

Should I spring for the OEM at ~$150 or go for aftermarket at ~$60? Not sure if there are quality concerns with these rotating parts. For that price difference, it's hard to justify the Motorcraft, but maybe you guys have bad experiences with the aftermarket stuff.

As far as the rear bar, I'm not sure. I think it was the bolt itself, but the LCA is super rusty too. I'll look at it a bit more when I put the car up on stands again.
 

·
Registered
2006 ZX5 2.0, 2004 ZX3 SVT EE. 2004 ZX3 SVT
Joined
·
1,382 Posts
Alright so I'm going to replace the passenger side axle. Looking at parts on Rockauto, the Motorcraft is significantly more expensive than other brands.

Should I spring for the OEM at ~$150 or go for aftermarket at ~$60? Not sure if there are quality concerns with these rotating parts. For that price difference, it's hard to justify the Motorcraft, but maybe you guys have bad experiences with the aftermarket stuff.

As far as the rear bar, I'm not sure. I think it was the bolt itself, but the LCA is super rusty too. I'll look at it a bit more when I put the car up on stands again.
I've had very good luck with aftermarket axles. Main thing to look for is if the carrier bearing is pressed onto the right position. Why I prefer to use O'Reilly auto parts locally so I can lay the axles out side by side and compare.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
48 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Hmm, ok. As far as the shaft seal/diff seal, Rockauto only lists one for an automatic transmission. It isn't the same part, is it?

Looks like I may end up going to a local store, but their prices are often 2-3x what you can find online.
 

·
Registered
2006 ZX5 2.0, 2004 ZX3 SVT EE. 2004 ZX3 SVT
Joined
·
1,382 Posts
Hmm, ok. As far as the shaft seal/diff seal, Rockauto only lists one for an automatic transmission. It isn't the same part, is it?

Looks like I may end up going to a local store, but their prices are often 2-3x what you can find online.
I don't think the seals are the same. Look at Tasca parts for the seal. You should be fine ordering an axle from Rockauto. Just compare to your old one before installing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
48 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
Alright, looks like I found it, part number 710443, for anyone looking in the future. They have it on Rockauto, just not listed under the 2005 Focus section. I just searched the part number and found it. Has the focus listed as the fitment, weirdly enough. Not sure why it didn't show up under the 2005 focus parts list.

Anything else you guys recommend for doing this job?
 

·
Registered
2006 ZX5 2.0, 2004 ZX3 SVT EE. 2004 ZX3 SVT
Joined
·
1,382 Posts
Alright, looks like I found it, part number 710443, for anyone looking in the future. They have it on Rockauto, just not listed under the 2005 Focus section. I just searched the part number and found it. Has the focus listed as the fitment, weirdly enough. Not sure why it didn't show up under the 2005 focus parts list.

Anything else you guys recommend for doing this job?
Be careful prying on the case to pull the axle. Best to use a tool specifically made for it. L attachment for a slide hammer. Put some grease on the seal before installing the axle.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16,311 Posts
When you undo the outer axle bearing fitment to let the outer axle come loose it will easily slip right out of the differential in trans. It's not built on the pass side anything like the driver side is, where the axle is really in there.

It is EASY to accidentally cut the seal with axle going back in to leak, the axle splines will do it in a second if you do not carefully center the axle and its' weight as you put the end back in trans. The mistake most mechanics make there being in a hurry.

The seals come with a shield pressed into the face or not, the shielded ones are much more expensive, I use the regular non-armored seal with no trouble. I've even removed the shield from one seal and re-installed it in the new one.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,372 Posts
Be careful prying on the case to pull the axle. Best to use a tool specifically made for it. L attachment for a slide hammer. Put some grease on the seal before installing the axle.
If you are only replacing the passenger side axle there will be no 'prying' as the axle is axially retained by the carrier bearing. Once you remove the bearing cap and free it from the lower half and free the outer part of the axle from the hub it should simply slide out of the trans. I hope your outer axle is not seized in the hub like mine were.

When I replaced both axles on my 2002 wagon in 2018 I purchased my axles from NAPA and so far so good. Basically all the aftermarket axles are m.i.c. I would lubricate the seals/mating surfaces with trans fluid.

Good luck
Paul
 

·
w/ my magic bag
Joined
·
29,455 Posts
I replaced the passenger side axle a few yrs ago...thanx to a rattling carrier bearing. Couldn't figure it out till I had the car on the rack for a oil change & had a buddy run it thru a few gears & heard & saw the carrier bearing rattling around & yes that was the oem one about 70k. Just hold the yoke when removing & installing the axle into the trans case. I didn't have a seal leak, so I just left it & to my finger & rubbed some trans fluid to the inside of the seal......Take your time & you'll get it.
 
  • Like
Reactions: charlesthemonkey

·
Registered
Joined
·
16,311 Posts
It's when you let the axle end sit of its' own weight on the seal edge while installing it that you cut the seal; the sharp edged splines do it...........not much difference there, just enough to be all the difference in the world.
 
1 - 20 of 33 Posts
Top