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Old 10-07-2012, 10:26 AM   #1
SpeedIsLife
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Default Persistently Leaking Axle Seal!!!!!!!!

Hey everyone, I'm new to the site.
I have an issue I'm hoping someone here knows the solution to.
I have a 2005 WRX Wagon with a manual transmission and about 110K on the clock.
The problem is that a pretty significant amount of transmission fluid is leaking past the oil seal on the right front C/V shaft.
About a month or so ago, I had noticed that my inner front C/V boots had partially torn open and were splattering the underside of the car with grease. Then an outer one let go. Since money was tight, I purchased a set of Cardone Select C/V shafts from Rock Auto. Once I actually procured the correct axle nuts (the ones supplied were too large for my hubs), they did fit the car, but then I noticed that the right front oil seal appeared to be leaking. Not thrilled with the Cardones anyway, which were already leaking C/V grease from improperly secured band clamps, I ditched them for a set of Genuine Subaru Rebuilt axles.
But the oil leak persisted.
So, at the advice of the dealer, I changed both C/V oil seals. I am aware they are side specific and was careful to install them on the correct side. Results:
The driver side had never leaked anyway and was still dry as a bone. The passenger side was still leaking.
My contact at the dealer suggested that maybe I had inadvertently torn the seal during installation, so he gave me a another one at no cost to try. I installed it with no improvement.
We are both scratching our heads now, because
1) Apparently these seals rarely fail and,
2)There really isn't anything else in the transmission that would cause this kind of leak.

Anybody have a similar experience or any ideas? Any suggestions would be HUGELY appreciated. Thanks guys!
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Old 10-07-2012, 10:41 AM   #2
lavid2002
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Pix are very helpful.

How is the mating surface that the seal touches (On the axle) if it has a score in it as it rotates it will eat up that seal.
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Old 10-07-2012, 12:28 PM   #3
SpeedIsLife
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Hi Lavid,

Thank you for your reply.

No, the surface of the shaft which rotates against the seal is clean and free of any imperfections. The first seal that I installed (and later replaced to see if that would stop the leak) was not visibly damaged by the axle rotating against it.
Any other thoughts?
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Old 10-07-2012, 12:55 PM   #4
Aaron'z 2.5RS
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There's a spring on the back side if the seals, are they in proper position?

Thats whats going to keep the seal and typically why a "new" one would leak...

Did you find/notice the failure point on the old one?
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Old 10-07-2012, 01:18 PM   #5
SpeedIsLife
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Hi Aaron,

No, the "new" one that I removed had it's spring in the proper position.
There was no discernible failure point with the seal that I could see.
The guys at my local Subaru dealer say they rarely see axle seals fail and suspect it might be something else.

I wonder how tight the diameter tolerance of the axle is? In other words, if the bearing surface has been refinished during the remanufacturing process, could it's diameter be just a hair too small to seal correctly? When I test fit the seal before installation, it seemed to fit over the axle snugly.

The other variable in this equation is that the wheel bearing on the affected axle was also recently changed, right around the time when the leak began. I used a Timken bearing from Rock Auto and not a Subaru part, and gave it to the dealer to install as I don't have a shop press. The tech at the Subaru dealer said it fit correctly, but I wonder if somehow this has an effect on the oil leak. Just throwing that out there.
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Old 10-07-2012, 01:43 PM   #6
EROCS04SBRUSTI
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pics could help,like posted earlier,as it's hard to see if were not there,maybe the axle bar is a hair to small on the inner side,who knows
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Old 10-07-2012, 02:14 PM   #7
Aaron'z 2.5RS
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Tell me, what you find leaking, does it SMELL like gear oil or not?

Ive had CV shafts leak internally through the splines on the axle stubs sticking out of thr trans..

If it doesnt smell likr gear oil, i wonder if thats your issue?
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Old 10-07-2012, 02:18 PM   #8
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Old 10-10-2012, 03:50 PM   #9
EROCS04SBRUSTI
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That is not gear oil,it's cv axle grease there for some reason,pics tell alot and maybe cause you tranny's pink it hates you. But Op pics please.
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Old 10-11-2012, 09:10 AM   #10
Aaron'z 2.5RS
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EROCS04SBRUSTI
That is not gear oil,it's cv axle grease there for some reason,pics tell alot and maybe cause you tranny's pink it hates you. But Op pics please.
No **** Shirlock... Read the post above that dick...


And its not PINK, its Cherryblossom Red mother'effer
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Old 10-11-2012, 01:31 PM   #11
Heater Guy
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A big problem is having to install the seal over the installed axle stub.
the seal therefore must be installed backward from the way seals are normally installed on shafts. This is also the case with installing the camshaft seals.

To avoid a potential leak, we carefully install the seal over the shaft, then take a feeler gauge and run it around between the seal lip and the shaft to be certain that the lip is not folded over on itself. If the feeler gauge does not go easily all around, the lip is most likely folded and the seal will not seal properly.
It is very easy to have a folded lip. This method insures the seal is installed correctly. We have had cases where some seals will seal even with a folded lip and some will not.
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Old 10-11-2012, 03:54 PM   #12
EROCS04SBRUSTI
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lol pink!I said op pics please numbnuts.

Last edited by EROCS04SBRUSTI; 10-11-2012 at 05:09 PM.
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Old 10-13-2012, 08:11 AM   #13
SpeedIsLife
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Hi guys,
Thanks for the pics. I will take some of my own and post them shortly.
And a couple of things:
-It's definitely transmission oil that's leaking. There is a thin line of it that runs down the side of the transmission and collects near the drain plug.
-My car has the one piece style CV shafts. I guess the ones with the modular stub shafts and roll pin were fitted to later model years? Earlier?
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Old 10-13-2012, 08:56 AM   #14
Aaron'z 2.5RS
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EROCS04SBRUSTI View Post
lol pink!I said op pics please numbnuts.

Nice edit there jackhole...

Quote:
Originally Posted by SpeedIsLife View Post
Hi guys,
Thanks for the pics. I will take some of my own and post them shortly.
And a couple of things:
-It's definitely transmission oil that's leaking. There is a thin line of it that runs down the side of the transmission and collects near the drain plug.
-My car has the one piece style CV shafts. I guess the ones with the modular stub shafts and roll pin were fitted to later model years? Earlier?
Early CV's with roll pin yes...

Wasn't sure if it'd help, but it was a shot.. That was CV falure #3 in the past year or so.. lol.. (out of 5, one going 20mi)
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Old 10-13-2012, 07:44 PM   #15
avk
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On some other transmissions, such leaks happen because a diff. bearing is worn and allows the shaft to wobble. But I am sure that condition would have been noticed by now.
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Old 10-13-2012, 08:50 PM   #16
EROCS04SBRUSTI
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[quote=Aaron'z 2.5RS;38261926]Nice edit there jackhole...


there is no edit on post 10 your a real dick!Some people are slow and don't read the full post and get flaired up with what gets their attention.
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Old 10-14-2012, 08:31 AM   #17
Aaron'z 2.5RS
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aaron'z 2.5RS View Post
Nice edit there jackhole...


there is no edit on post 10 your a real dick!Some people are slow and don't read the full post and get flaired up with what gets their attention.
Quote:
Originally Posted by EROCS04SBRUSTI View Post
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

lol pink!I said op pics please numbnuts.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Last edited by EROCS04SBRUSTI; 10-12-2012 at 06:09 AM.
If I'm a real dick, you are REALLY dumb...


IF you read the entire post, it doesn't say anything, besides bashing my Cherryblossom Red Transmission...

So **** off... .
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Old 10-14-2012, 09:01 AM   #18
EROCS04SBRUSTI
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are you done whining^^^^
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Old 10-15-2012, 08:38 AM   #19
Aaron'z 2.5RS
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EROCS04SBRUSTI View Post
are you done whining^^^^
Are you done being a TOOL?

Someone here is actually trying to help, someone ELSE is just talking/writing words..

What is a PIC of a leaking axle seal going to help ANYONE..
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Old 10-15-2012, 09:05 PM   #20
EROCS04SBRUSTI
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thanks your so smart,continue with your internet ego^^^as your just playing the guessing game.Pics tell alot!Also seals can be worn from wrong parts/fitment,placement,install.but not going to guess til pics are up,that's all.
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Old 10-15-2012, 11:28 PM   #21
spoolandpull01
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aaron'z 2.5RS
There's a spring on the back side if the seals, are they in proper position?

Thats whats going to keep the seal and typically why a "new" one would leak...

Did you find/notice the failure point on the old one?
+1. I was going to say almost these exact words ,but it seems like u have canceled this out. When I was at the beach one day, I hit a pothole very hard and woke up the next day to find out I could hardly pop the gears in. Checked my tranny fluid and all of it was drained! So I did some researched and found out that it was the the "tension spring" on the backside of the axle seal. The broken Spring is the first thing that popped out then I opened the retainer plate. So I bought a whole new one at gilman subaru for ibbelieve 9 bucks total, and replaced it and have not looked back. And if yours is leaking like mines was...... as soon as u would put gear oil inside, and it was started it would literally ALL LEAK OUT! so maybe double checked that?, another possibility could be inputshaft seal, which is inside the transmission? Goodluck my friend I hope I gave u a little insight on my experience.
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