Hello and thank you for your post. I am a master certified GM tech. If I can help you solve this today then I will, lets begin
installing that seal is really difficult if you don't have a few special tools
Saturn makes that seal so that it is installed from the back of the cover
what this means is that they want that cover removed to replace that seal
this of course is crazy
so we usually pop the old one out with a seal remover tool, either the claw type or the slide hammer type
be careful not to cut a groove for oil to leak out with the claw type
once the seal is removed you really need the special tool to install it
it is a perfectly made seal installer.
the GM tool # XXXXX XXXXX
the handle is a separate tool but instead of using the correct handle, you need to use the handle from a universal bearing race installer
it will just fit in the tool opening and will sit just deep enough to allow the seal to get driven into the case
don't put the bolt in the end of the handle, just hold it all in place
you have to put the seal in the area to be installed first, using a small pick to slip the seal around the stub shaft sitting in teh opening. otherwise it will tear the seal
as you sort of work the seal over the stub shaft, you then sit it as straight and flush as possible in the hole and then place the tool and tool driver handle in place and with one heavy stroke, hammer it in place
it will go in as long as you have everything lined up right.
if its not lined up right the seal will fish eye and bend
the snap ring is useless. its used in case the stub shaft snap ring comes off
throw it away do NOT change that snap ring unless the old one comes off. Otherwise you will have a heck of a time getting the axle back in.
you can buy the tool you need here...
I would have an extra seal on hand in case this one gets damaged
without these tools, you need to use a small hammer and screwdriver and sort of tap the seal past the case into it's bore a little at a time.
trust me, this is not easy and using the special tool makes this an easier job
as to gain easy access, take the lower control arm bolts out and swing the entire assembly out of the way
hope this helps
All of the above is very good and helpful. I have bent a few outer seals already, and am going to order J41102-1A and drop the wishbone as you recommend.
Sorry about the CRs.
Now, about the inner sleeve. J41228 would be nice but is very expensive. I have a 1-1/8 socket that fits the bore of the sleeve perfectly for seating it, but am concerned about correct depth and the 0.0001 runout spec. What are your thoughts on this?
I am a little confused, you are replacing the drivers side or the passenger side?
the drivers side doesn't have the inner sleeve
the passenger side does
if you remove the pass side and you removed the sleeve from the stub shaft then you must replace it but if you have not removed the sleeve from the shaft then I would highly recommend NOT removing it from the stub shaft
the snap rings are the issue
once you remove a snap ring they are very difficult to reinstall the stub shaft with the new rings as they will be over sized
I have never replaced that inner sleeve without that j41228 so I don't have any advice for setting the correct depth
as for runout, the shaft (once installed) will not have excess runout
if it did then the final drive in the trans would be faulty
it is not a point of concern
I have never checked it nor would I be concerned if it were excessive
there is a lot of play from the cv joints once installed and they usually don't leak with new seals installed
If replacing the pass side seal...the inner sleeve goes on the stub shaft (set to the same depth as the original), then install the stub shaft in the trans, then install the axle in the stub shaft
if the drivers side then there is no inner sleeve so just install the seal
the special tool is not needed to install the seal on the passenger side because the is made to be installed from the outside whereas the drivers side is made to be installed from the inside
if doing the pass side, just try and use a universal seal installer if you can
otherwise that special tool I mentioned will work nicely on either side. (it just isn't essential on the p/s like it is on the drivers side)
I am doing the driver's side for sure, and it has an inner sleeve which I have removed due to damage of the rubber. I had wondered a bit at your earlier comment about working the center over the stub shaft, because without the inner seal there is no center clearance issue.
I'm going to try one more time with cheap tools (plumbing cap for outer and 1-1/8 socket for inner). It's looking likely, however, that I need the GM tools.
Greatly appreciate your answers. Thank you. I will post a followup if I can, once I muddle through, but I see how this thing goes together now.
Found this after asking my initial question yesterday, shows the sleeve on the left side: http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/heavychevy396/2010-11-14_142959_04_grand_am_transmission_seal.doc
Have to go now, thanks for your input.
I wound up using a 2" square-headed steel plumbing plug with a hose clamp around the bottom to help locate the outer seal, and tapped it in. Then, I used a 1-1/8" 12 point Craftsman deep socket (as read about elsewhere online) to install the sleeve.
Not entirely confident of the repair as I'm hearing some rubbing at that corner at low speeds, which could still be rust being worn off the brake rotor, or possibly bearing noise.
The transmission seal replacement was something of an emergency as I also had issues with the engine, which I was not about to run without an axle seal in place. To others who find this thread I say, "Let a GM mechanic do it."
Thanks for your help, 15yearsaturnguy, you got me pointed in the right direction.