How do you replace the rear diff pinion seal on the Quadradrive (Dana 44a) - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 12 Old 02-18-2020, 05:37 AM Thread Starter
caliskier
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How do you replace the rear diff pinion seal on the Quadradrive (Dana 44a)

Hi All,

I have a leak from my rear differential pinion seal. I have the 1999 Quadradrive Dana 44a rear differential. I have watched several videos (but not for the 44a) and it looks pretty simple. In the 44 video for removing the nun, they talked about marking the nut, yolk, and counting threads. Looked easy, but for the 44a is it the same procedure, are there other parts? I have seen where you have to measure torque before removing the nut... Questions:

1. Is there anything special about the 44a that is different from the 44 that I should know about?
2. Where can i find a seal for the 44a, i have searched amazon and they all say they don't fit my jeep?
3. I found this post here: https://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f310...a-44a-3824537/ I am looking at post 8 that says it involves a crush sleeve, what is that? what do you do there?
4. Same thread, post 9 shows the shop manual which looks like something way more involved than just pulling off the pinion yolk and then prying out the seal. They talk about removing the rotors and calipers, I plan to just drive my car on ramps to get it off the ground. Is this not a typical 44 type replacement?

Thanks guys, obviously I do not want to screw this up and may just take it to the dealer.

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post #2 of 12 Old 02-18-2020, 11:42 AM
GmanWJ
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I replaced mine a long while back. I watched the vids, marked the nut/yoke, counted the threads, did NOT measure the torque because I did not have the tools.
  1. No relevant differences between D44 and D44a that I know of when changing the seal.
  2. Pretty sure this is the seal you want: https://www.rockauto.com/en/moreinfo...386794&jsn=451
  3. Crush sleeve is a softish bit of metal that maintains the proper drive torque. Didn't replace mine.
  4. You don't need to follow the FSM procedure unless you want to replace the crush sleeve and get the whole driveline dialed in perfectly.
Recommend getting a seal puller (https://www.harborfreight.com/Seal-P...ips-63039.html), cheap and works way better than a screwdriver in my very limited experience.

When I replaced mine, I tried the nut marking, thread counting business, and when I put the nut back on where it belonged, it simply wasn't tight. So I consulted my 40+ year auto mechanic experience mentor what to do.

With a fresh crush sleeve in there, you have to apply 300 ft-lb of torque to smash it down where it needs to be ... that's a lot of torque, and more than you are probably going to be able to apply with a regular 1/2-inch ratchet (no cheater bar), lying on your back on the garage floor. SO if you can't actually apply a crushing amount of torque, then you aren't likely to crush that sleeve any more than it already is, so just grab your ratchet and give it two full grunts. Make it good and tight, I don't care where the paint marks are, although they are a good place to start.

So that's what I did, and it all seems good now for the last couple years. However it's just a band-aid and it won't last as long as the original. What really needs to happen is a full differential rebuild with carrier bearings, pinion bearings, seals, shims, and sleeves. But until you are ready to spring for that, replacing just the seal will do fine.
It isn't terribly difficult to do. Tips I would give are:
  • Careful with the driveshaft ujoint fasteners, they are small and you don't want to round them.
  • Avoid the chisels and screwdrivers that some youtubers recommend. You don't want to mar the sealing surface. Try the seal puller first.
  • Work your way around with the seal puller. If you just pull hard on one spot, you will probably rip right through it which could make it more difficult to get out. Plus, it's a bit unnerving when you realize you are flat out destroying this seal and there's no going back now.
  • Seat the new seal with gentle taps, working your way around until it is flush with the mounting surface
  • Blue Locktite when replacing pinion nut and ujoint bolts.
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ok mostly just repairs, but we are closing in on a lift
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post #3 of 12 Old 02-18-2020, 01:38 PM Thread Starter
caliskier
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GmanWJ View Post
I replaced mine a long while back. I watched the vids, marked the nut/yoke, counted the threads, did NOT measure the torque because I did not have the tools.
  1. No relevant differences between D44 and D44a that I know of when changing the seal.
  2. Pretty sure this is the seal you want: https://www.rockauto.com/en/moreinfo...386794&jsn=451
  3. Crush sleeve is a softish bit of metal that maintains the proper drive torque. Didn't replace mine.
  4. You don't need to follow the FSM procedure unless you want to replace the crush sleeve and get the whole driveline dialed in perfectly.
Recommend getting a seal puller (https://www.harborfreight.com/Seal-P...ips-63039.html), cheap and works way better than a screwdriver in my very limited experience.

When I replaced mine, I tried the nut marking, thread counting business, and when I put the nut back on where it belonged, it simply wasn't tight. So I consulted my 40+ year auto mechanic experience mentor what to do.

With a fresh crush sleeve in there, you have to apply 300 ft-lb of torque to smash it down where it needs to be ... that's a lot of torque, and more than you are probably going to be able to apply with a regular 1/2-inch ratchet (no cheater bar), lying on your back on the garage floor. SO if you can't actually apply a crushing amount of torque, then you aren't likely to crush that sleeve any more than it already is, so just grab your ratchet and give it two full grunts. Make it good and tight, I don't care where the paint marks are, although they are a good place to start.

So that's what I did, and it all seems good now for the last couple years. However it's just a band-aid and it won't last as long as the original. What really needs to happen is a full differential rebuild with carrier bearings, pinion bearings, seals, shims, and sleeves. But until you are ready to spring for that, replacing just the seal will do fine.
It isn't terribly difficult to do. Tips I would give are:
  • Careful with the driveshaft ujoint fasteners, they are small and you don't want to round them.
  • Avoid the chisels and screwdrivers that some youtubers recommend. You don't want to mar the sealing surface. Try the seal puller first.
  • Work your way around with the seal puller. If you just pull hard on one spot, you will probably rip right through it which could make it more difficult to get out. Plus, it's a bit unnerving when you realize you are flat out destroying this seal and there's no going back now.
  • Seat the new seal with gentle taps, working your way around until it is flush with the mounting surface
  • Blue Locktite when replacing pinion nut and ujoint bolts.
Thanks again GMANWJ you are awesome! I did see one video where they did the seal puller, I was concerned about using a chisel and screwdriver to get the old seal off. I called the dealership, they want $35 for the seal and told me $200 to replace it. That price to me is not too bad, but I am on the fence on having them do it, probably the wrong attitude but I am concerned about them "finding" something else wrong to get me to pay for. Low price to get me in the shop and then the problems come. This dealership is one of those who runs a lot of gimmicks in their commercials to get people in to buy cars. "Police seized vehicle sell off" "Hail Sale" when there has not been any bad weather.


I cant remember, did you have the Dana 44a like mine? Limited version with Quadradrive?
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post #4 of 12 Old 02-18-2020, 01:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caliskier View Post
I cant remember, did you have the Dana 44a like mine? Limited version with Quadradrive?

Mine is a Laredo SelecTrac, but it has the 4.7L with a D44a. If you are viewing the full (non-mobile) site, you can see most of this by clicking the "2002 WJ" drop-down under my picture on the left side.


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ok mostly just repairs, but we are closing in on a lift
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post #5 of 12 Old 02-18-2020, 05:08 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by GmanWJ View Post
Mine is a Laredo SelecTrac, but it has the 4.7L with a D44a. If you are viewing the full (non-mobile) site, you can see most of this by clicking the "2002 WJ" drop-down under my picture on the left side.
Awesome, thanks for your help Gman as always.
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post #6 of 12 Old 02-18-2020, 10:55 PM
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X2 on Gman's procedure, i did both my front and rear pinion seals this way. So far, so good! Dont forget to put a little dab of grease on the rubber part of the sealing surface before you install it. Just for that brief startup period before the oil gets up there.

'00LMTD-4.7l,242hd,D30,D44A,3.73's,True-trac front,Spartan rear,3"BBfront,2"BBrear,JK'sW/32's
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post #7 of 12 Old 02-20-2020, 06:49 PM Thread Starter
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I chickened out, I am going to the mountains again and I don't have the time to do it before my trip. I am having it done at the dealer $250 ish.
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post #8 of 12 Old 02-21-2020, 09:08 AM
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Originally Posted by caliskier View Post
I chickened out, I am going to the mountains again and I don't have the time to do it before my trip. I am having it done at the dealer $250 ish.
Hello caliskier,
Please keep us updated with your dealer appointment. If you need any assistance throughout this process, please know our team is available.
Laura
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post #9 of 12 Old 02-21-2020, 09:38 PM Thread Starter
caliskier
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$217 and its fixed, no BS. David Stanley in OKC did a good job.
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post #10 of 12 Old 02-21-2020, 11:13 PM
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Peace of mind is Valuable. Sometimes it's just better to let the pros take care it, while you work to pay the bill. Now you dont have to worry about it.

'00LMTD-4.7l,242hd,D30,D44A,3.73's,True-trac front,Spartan rear,3"BBfront,2"BBrear,JK'sW/32's
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post #11 of 12 Old 02-22-2020, 02:11 PM Thread Starter
caliskier
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Peace of mind is Valuable. Sometimes it's just better to let the pros take care it, while you work to pay the bill. Now you dont have to worry about it.
Yeah exactly. For me, at that price it was worth it. I am going up to the mountains again and don't want to have to think about it.
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post #12 of 12 Old 02-24-2020, 10:20 AM
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Wouldn't hurt to disconnect the vent hose from the diff and lightly blow air up through the hose. Just to be sure there is no restriction that could cause the diff to pressurize when it heats up
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