The Lotus Cars Community banner

Axle seals

2747 Views 12 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  Exira
I know this thread has been overdone but I'm out of ideas. I have a 1995 s4s with leaky axle seals. I have the tech bulletins, I have the shop manual, I have online videos, I have tricks people have tried. I feel like I have read it all. I have replaced both sides seals and o rings twice in a month and they last about 70 miles before they start leaking again WTH?!?!? I'm getting my parts from Dave bean and I'm using redline mt90. I JUST DONT KNOW WHST IM DOING WRONG IM GOING Insane.
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Check the surface of the axle where the seals ride , any pit marks, scratches , imperfections etc will just tear up new seals. Good luck has to suck to keep doing the same job over and over again.
If the special nut was ever disturbed you may have too much play (looseness) in the carrier bearings allowing the output shafts to move too much ruining the seals. The only proper way to readjust that nut is to take the transaxle out and apart. You also did not mention if you were using sealer on the roll pins.
David Teitelbaum
My personal experience leads me to ask if you are using the special seal setting tool or not. I haven't had much luck with those seals without it. Every one I did with it worked perfectly every time. Could be just me but I never had much luck with those seals without it.
  • Like
Reactions: 1
I'm not using the seal setting tool. I am sealing the roll pins.

Maybe I shouldn't drink so much while I'm working on it...
If you drove the seals into the transmission without a tool to press them to the correct depth and hold them level... Then that could be your problem.

You need to be more descriptive in what you have done.

Do you have the standard open differential or a Quaife LSD?

Did you offset the 2 roll pins by 180 deg?
Are the roll pin slits perpendicular to the axis of the stub axle?

Are the seals pressed to the correct depth?

Did you use o-rings?

Did you coat the outside of the seals before driving them in?

Did you oil or lube the lips of the seals?

Are your axles worn or corroded or rough?

Did you clean the axles and splines before applying sealant?

What sealant did you try on the roll pins?
See less See more
I was replacing the passenger side axle shaft seal on my V8 every 12 months and after two replacements found out why. There was a little piece of raised metal on the surface where the seal rides that was tearing into the seal. Getting rid of that imperfection solved the problem although Jeff at JAE told me that another common failure problem is installing the seal too deep.
People claim to successfully set these seals without the "special tool". I myself would not try to do that and would suggest that you can spend about $120 and buy the tool from SJ or borrow one from a friend or other Lotus buddy. I also like to use Gask-a-Cinch to coat the outside diameter of the seals (a JAE Jeff suggestion) and I have always had good luck. All the other things suggested (setting the pins properly, etc.) should also be heeded. But I think that your chances of success will be greatly enhanced if you use the proper tool. The seals have different depth requirements on each side and getting them right by eyeball has got to be VERY tough.
Just did my axle seals last weekend, but I did it with the special tool that I found available from SJ Sportcars in England. The seals were previously done 2 years ago by a local shop and the left side was pouring gear oil out so bad that it would make a 6" puddle in just a few days. What I found when I removed the old ones and put the new ones in, was that the left one was installed too far in and went past the sealing area, also no sealant was used between the outer edge of the seal and the tranny. I read instructions and watched videos too but I didn't want to use the old seals for any sort of measurements. So far both seals are bone dry. I also used some aviation liquid sealing that I found from NAPA.
I recently run into this issue. Can someone post online video links and tips here? Where can I get a shop manual for a 93 Esprit?
My S4s also had leaky seals but I had scored the case when removing a seal so I bought a used replacement case and adjustable nut after having had the score filled in with weld then honed.

Replaced axle bearings, axle seals, o-rings, rollpins, MT-90 and also bought seal tool. Used HondaBond on splines and 180 degree offsetted rollpins. After filling trans and it sitting all night I noticed a puddle from a right side leak and I followed manual precisely. The problem was that with new fluid it hard to distinguish leak being from axle or threads. Think the axle is the likely culprit.

Face of axle where it touches differential has no burrs.

I don't think my adjustment nut was from the case I got but that should not of mattered.

I did install seals dry and maybe I should of coated outside with HondaBond. I will next time even though left side is not leaking at this time.

Since I replaced bearing I did the spring scale check on differential backlash. My nut is roughly eight full turns when I remove it and the new leak discovered. I wonder if that is normal amount.

Due to broken hip in January (now walking on it without assistance) have not been able to get back to it. Hoping to learn from these 2 threads.

Rich F

P.S. This entry repeated on other thread of same subject.
See less See more
Where can I get a shop manual for a 93 Esprit?
Check this link. I think the latest version covers 1993 ROW but not USA, curiously. Still might be some help.

Font Material property Parallel Screenshot Paper
See less See more
Thank you 71type65, this is exactly what I'm looking for
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.