How to Replace Axle Shaft Seals in a Chevy Tahoe

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The axle housing on a Chevrolet Tahoe is filled with fluid to lubricate the gears that turn the axle shafts. A pair of axle seals holds the fluid in the axle, and if they start to fail, your Tahoe will leak grease out of the axle, which could cause the axle to run dry. To deal with this problem, you have to replace the axle seals, which should take you two to three hours to perform.

Things You'll Need

  • Jack
  • Jack stands
  • Wheel chocks
  • Tire iron
  • 3/8-inch ratchet and socket set
  • Drain pan
  • Gear oil
  • Seal puller
  • Mechanic's wire
  • Mallet
  • Needle-nose pliers
  • Put the wheel chocks around the Tahoe's front wheels. Lift the axle off the ground with the jack and put the jack stands under the axle. Take off the rear tires using the tire iron. Put the drain pan under the axle. Unbolt the differential cover from the back of the axle with the 3/8-inch ratchet and socket and let the oil drain into the pan.

  • Unbolt the brake caliper from the axle with the 3/8-inch ratchet and socket. Hang the caliper from the fenderwell with the mechanic's wire so that the brake line doesn't get twisted and kinked. Slide the brake rotor off the axle shaft with your hands.

  • Unbolt the pinion shaft from the center of the pinion with the 3/8-inch ratchet and socket. Slide the pinion shaft out of the axle. Push the axle in toward the center of the axle using your hands. Remove the C-clip at the center of the axle with the needle-nose pliers. Pull the axle shaft out of the housing.

  • Remove the axle seal from the housing with the seal puller. Tap the replacement seal into the axle housing with the mallet. Reinstall the axle shaft into the axle housing by hand. Reinstall the C-clip on the axle shaft with the needle-nose pliers. Reinstall the pinion shaft and pinion shaft lock bolt with the 3/8-inch ratchet and socket. Reinstall the differential cover with the 3/8-inch ratchet and socket.

  • Slide the brakes onto the axle shafts by hand, then bolt the calipers onto the axle with the 3/8-inch ratchet and socket. Reinstall the rear wheels with the tire iron. Unbolt the fill plug on the top of the axle with the 3/8-inch ratchet and socket. Fill the axle with gear oil, then reinstall the fill plug. Lower the Tahoe off of the jack stands with the jack.

References

  • "Chilton General Motors Full-Size Trucks, 1999-2006 Repair Manual"; Jeff Kibler; 2007
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