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Can anyone give me advice as to whether I should change my pinion seal myself or not. I do not have a lift so I would just be using jack stands. I don't have any of the specialty tools for it but I can buy them if I need to. I can't decide if it is worth the trouble or not. I have a chilton so I am kind of familar with what the process is but they always make it look easier than it is. It looks like it could be kind of difficult to do only 1' off the ground.

Thanks for the help in advance.
 

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I rebuilt a whole rear end on jackstands once. It sucked.
The right answer is to replace the seal and then use a new crushwasher/ properly set the pinion bearing preload. Which means tearing the whole diff apart.
 

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I've done a number of these on different Ford platforms, on my back, and its not a lot of fun.

You will need a 2 or 3 jaw puller and something to hold the pinion flange while you crank on the pinion flange nut. The nut may require a couple of hundred foot pounds to break loose. That's not always that easy to generate while you are lying on your back. You will probably need a pipe on a breaker bar. But you also need to be holding the pinion flange still to prevent it from rotating at the same time.

Once the nut is off you can use the puller to remove the flange. The seal prys out with some effort and the new seal can be installed with a mallet and/or a bored out block of wood.

The next round of fun comes with reinstalling the pinion flange. Rotunda / OTC makes a special tool for this. Its number 205-002. If you don't have this tool then your only option is to bang the flange back on the pinion shaft. That banging force will be transferd through the pinion shaft to the pinion and ring gear. This is not good.

The final round of fun is figuring out his much to torque down the pinion nut to set the proper preload. There is a crush sleave in between the two pinion shaft bearings that is used to maintain the proper preload. There is a whole long proceedure in the factory service manual where you determine the preload before you break this down using an inch pound torque wrench. You have to remove the tires, brakes, and rotors to take the measurment. Then you try to get the preload back to that value upon reassembly. I find it easier to just mark the pinion nut and reinstall it to the same position, or maybe a schooch more.

If you can find someone with the right tools and understands the importance of setting the preload correctly and how to accomplish that, then that's the way to go. When I talked to local mechanics about doing this, none of than had the special OTC pinion flange installation tool and they all said they just bang the flange back on. I like my ring and pinion gears in one piece, so that's why I bought the correct tool and did it myself, but its not fun.

Maybe try your local Ford dealer and see if they have the tool and know what they are doing...
 
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