View Full Version : half shaft seal leak?

11-20-2001, 11:28 AM
I have recently purchased an 86 itc civic with an 5 speed si tranny w/ lsd. The previous owner had just installed a new clutch before i purchsed the car. While towing the car home I realized that tranny oil was leaking pretty bad on the trailer. Last night was the first time I could jack the car up and take a look. I cleaned the excess oil up and waited to see if I could locate the spring. After about 15min. I could see some oil starting to ooze out of the bottom of the drivers side (long) half shaft axle.

I also noticed that some sort of engine tranny cover near the oil pan and connected to the tranny (possibly a flywheel cover) was a bit bent up and was not secured to the tranny all the way. I don't know what that cover is called. I tried to look in the manual and could not find the name. I would like to replace this part asap.

But my question is what kind of job is replacing a half shaft seal. Can I leave the tranny in the car or do I need to remove it.
The manual shows the replacement of this seal with the tranny out, but I would like to be able to do it without removal. What is all involved. I am new to fwd hondas and would greatly appreciate any advice on completing this job and the name of that bent part that connects to the tranny and motor. Thanks for all you help!! This is most likely the first of many questions that I will post for advice. Thanks Again!!!

Tom Blaney
11-20-2001, 01:39 PM
It is a whole lot easier to leave the gearbox in the car, drain the oil, loosen the suspension (lower ball, tierod, front control arm. Use a screwdriver and "pop" the inner cv joint from the gearbox, than pull/push the half shaft out (the suspension will swing with the shaft (it helps to have somebody's help here) of the gearbox.

The seals can be pried out with the scredriver, and carefully align and tap in the new seals. Reverse order assemble it, and make sure you use Redline MTL instead of standard gearoil.

This job is a whole lot easier if you can get it on a lift. I am fortunate to have Village Auto Works (a cheap plug) nearby where I can get access to a lift.

11-20-2001, 02:00 PM
Do you need a special tool to remove the ball joints, tie rods, etc.


Tom Blaney
11-20-2001, 07:36 PM
A balljoint fork (any auto parts store) is almost necessary to separate the ball joint from the hub. On the tierod, a good hit on the side of the tierod where the joint fits in with a brass or dead blow hammer will usually work.

Don't use heat, or beat on the balljoint stud, it will only lead to replacement $$$.

11-21-2001, 08:41 AM
All good points. However, are you certain it is the seal??

I have seen these transaxles leak when the inner CV was not fully seated. This can happen just putting it on a trailer in certain situations.

Check that closely.


Dom Pirinchinci
11-21-2001, 09:39 PM
Don't remove the driveshaft from the hub- getting that nut off can be a bear of a job the first time, and there's enough play once you get the spindle loose that you can pull the shaft out by swinging the two parts, still connected, out of the way. And be careful with the picklefork (or, as careful as you can be with a hammer)! On anything else, I just plan on replacing the boots, but they're hard to find separately from the balljoint for this car. And some of those parts are made right into the control arm etc and you have to buy them as an assembly ($100+), so it's worth being careful. And give that driveshaft a good shove in before you go through all this- the post above is right- it doesn't take much to push them out (or in).

And what's the deal with the Redline? Is is really better? Do you have to be careful about draining the whole trans to swap over? I'm not a huge fan of Redline engine oil (I know, I know, everybody uses it, and it claims to reduce friction and improve durability and cure cancer in small children and create world peace, but I've seen some data that says it ain't that great, and we're happy with Syntec) but does somebody out there have a great testimonial for Redline trans fluid? I don't really like changing transmissions, so anything that helps me avoid that is good.....

Tom Blaney
11-22-2001, 10:36 AM
I will swear by MTL, but I agree with you about the motor oil it's very pricy and doesn't seem worth the hype. I have used Mobil 1 for years in a number of different cars, and it has never failed even when I have overheated badly.

The MTL makes the gearbox shift much smoother, and less notchy I even use it in all of our street cars. I just drain the gearbox, and refill with MTL, after a 2nd change (once a race season), it's pretty much pure MTL.

bill f
11-22-2001, 02:10 PM
I have used Syntec in my street car for years and have found that it leaves a "residue", although light, on the surface of the engine parts. It is not a "sludge" accumulation, just a very thin stain which wipes off. Originally, I used it also in the race motor and noticed the same. Changed to Valvoline for that reason. No failure/heating/complaints with the Syntec...just the appearance which left me not pleased. Anal, I know.

Good racing. Bill

Tom Blaney
11-24-2001, 11:06 AM

If I'm not mistaken, isn't Syntec a blend of Synthetic and dinosour remains(regular oil). The others like Mobil, Valvoline, Redline are all pure... (whatever that means). Perhaps the residue is from that.

I may be dating myself, but just for kicks do you remember Castrol R, it was based on caster oil beans. We use to use it as a top oil in dirt bikes, just for the smell ;->..

Tom Blaney

Dom Pirinchinci
11-25-2001, 10:20 PM
Maybe there's an IT tribologist out there that will refute me, but there's no such thing as a "pure" synthetic in the dictionary sense of the word pure- they all have a little bit of dinosaur in them to carry the synthetic particles. They use the word "pure" when the dinosaur is below a legally-defined limit (kinda like fat-free corn chips that have something like 0.05% fat and the government set a limit on what "fat-free" meant). When you get above that limit of dino, they call it a blend, like Syntec does.