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15yearsaturnguy
15yearsaturnguy, Saturn master tech
Category: Saturn
Satisfied Customers: 1918
Experience:  25 years automotive experience, 15 years with Saturn
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Saturn L300: Need help with replacing 2002 Saturn L300 left

Customer Question

Need help with replacing 2002 Saturn L300 left axle seal. Replacement part is National 5693 consisting of inner sleeve, outer seal and 2 snap rings.

When I pulled the old inner sleeve I was surprised that there was no snap ring holding it in, so apparently one provided with the kit was a spare. Please confirm this.

Also, what is the correct sequence for reassembly, inner or outer seal first. Would appreciate any other installation tips you may have.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Saturn
Expert:  15yearsaturnguy replied 2 years ago.

15yearsaturnguy :

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

15yearsaturnguy :

installing that seal is really difficult if you don't have a few special tools


 

15yearsaturnguy :

Saturn makes that seal so that it is installed from the back of the cover


 

15yearsaturnguy :

what this means is that they want that cover removed to replace that seal


this of course is crazy

15yearsaturnguy :

so we usually pop the old one out with a seal remover tool, either the claw type or the slide hammer type

15yearsaturnguy :

be careful not to cut a groove for oil to leak out with the claw type

15yearsaturnguy :

once the seal is removed you really need the special tool to install it


it is a perfectly made seal installer.


 

15yearsaturnguy :

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

15yearsaturnguy :

don't put the bolt in the end of the handle, just hold it all in place


 

15yearsaturnguy :

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.


 

15yearsaturnguy :

if its not lined up right the seal will fish eye and bend

15yearsaturnguy :

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.


 

15yearsaturnguy :

you can buy the tool you need here...


 

15yearsaturnguy :

I would have an extra seal on hand in case this one gets damaged

15yearsaturnguy :

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

15yearsaturnguy :

hope this helps


good luck

Customer:

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.


 

Customer:

 


 

Customer:

Sorry about the CRs.


 

Customer:

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?

15yearsaturnguy :

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

15yearsaturnguy :

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

15yearsaturnguy :

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


 

15yearsaturnguy :

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

15yearsaturnguy :

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)

Customer:

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.


 

Customer:

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.


 

Customer:

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.

15yearsaturnguy, Saturn master tech
Category: Saturn
Satisfied Customers: 1918
Experience: 25 years automotive experience, 15 years with Saturn
15yearsaturnguy and 3 other Saturn Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  15yearsaturnguy replied 2 years ago.
I have replaced many of these seals and do not remember thee being an inner seal sleeve on that side. Sorry for the confusion. If you an post a photo that would help me be 100% sure we are on the same page here
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

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.

Expert:  15yearsaturnguy replied 2 years ago.
Gotcha. That shaft goes all the way through the trans if I'm not mistaken. We never remove those. That's why I didn't know the sleeve was there. In that case if you removed the seal you need to be sure it's on the right depth. The tool will assure of that. Otherwise it may not be exactly right.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

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.

Expert:  15yearsaturnguy replied 2 years ago.
well I'm glad you got it running. I hope the noise clears up
good luck and let me know if you need add'l help

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