Drive shaft seals
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    Default Drive shaft seals

    R15 driveshaft seals are there generic seals that can be fitted to r15 driveshafts at the gearbox/diff end? Mine have sprung a leak and looking for a speedy fix. Looking for suggestions. Some days I would gladly swap for a Peugeot.

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    Yes stock standard seals at your local bearing shop. Seal size will be marked on the seal. Make sure you change the "O" ring inside the drive splines as well. DO NOT forget to count the turns of the ring nut so it can go back at exactly the same place, as these put the pre load on the diff bearings. And put a bit of silastic on the ends of the roll pins as they can also leak.
    COL and driven like this.

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    Thanks Sunroof, just another one of the list of jobs to do on my 15. it seems more like one step forward and three steps back of late.

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    ...and don't forget the correct oil level is above the seals.
    So you may need to drain some oil out first unless you have already lost a lot.
    Another tip is to make sure the fill plug is loosened before removing the drain plug
    for obvious reasons.
    Yes, silastic on the roll pin ends, but i also silastic the splines.
    If the roll pins are fractured, fit new ones.- inner and outer.
    And.. the drive shafts only fit back on one way. 180 degrees out, the roll pins won't go back in.
    Eyeball the roll pin hole to make sure.
    The seal runs against the driveshaft itself, so wise to clean up the contact area.

    Good luck.
    Do the job right the first time...you don't want to do it twice.. or thrice...

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    Which seal are we talking about? The O-ring inside the d'shaft end, or the outer felt seal (as used in 352 g'boxes)? I wouldn't think the outer felt seal is that common these days.

    Either way, if they don't leak massively, and the car is not used daily, it's not a problem. Let them leak and keep an eye on the g'box oil level. It is a pain in the dorongo to get them leak-free (to pull the d'shaft you have to disconnect the upper balljoint, compress the suspension, and so on, all of that annoying business) The driveshaft itself might have worn where the seal runs and even new seals won't last.

    That said, you cam make your own if you have some good quality felt and perhaps can cut them a bit undersize to give them more pressure on the d'shaft end. Make sure the driveshaft is not scored/scratched, etc. Soak seals in g'box oil for a while (maybe 12-24 hours?) before installing.

    Let us know how you go.
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    Never seen a felt seal in these gearboxes. Always a normal seal. And that is what the parts manual shows. Schiltzaugen where are you talking about there being a felt seal? We might be talking about something different.

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    Talking about the driveshaft oil seal at the gearbox end on 352 series and similar g'boxes.

    This one:

    https://www.renault16shop.com/7700554257

    or this one:

    https://www.renault12shop.com/7701460499

    I've never seen a "normal" (i.e. lip seal) on any of these 'boxes in Oz. They do appear at some point on 395 'boxes in R18 (and from then on in NG3 etc).
    Last edited by schlitzaugen; 2nd June 2019 at 08:55 PM.
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    Wasn’t the original design with the felt (see inner section of the seal in the photo) but normal seals can be used too?

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    Felt is great when things start to wear out, eg 45 yo R15's

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    The felt is a dust seal to help the lip seal from wearing prematurely.
    There are current double lip seals that are more effective, if available in that size.

    I have not done, but believe & will be soon, that these seals should be able to replaced without screwing out the differential adjuster. Just need to be careful not to gouge the adjuster when removing the old seal.

    Just hit square on....experience helps!

    The 'O' ring will be old, compressed, brittle & must be replaced.

    I can't comprehend how any roll pin totally outside the oil bath & the oil seal needs sealing.

    Contained oil either leaks through any seal or wicks along a spline....an "O" ring in this transmssion seals the spline!

    So oil leaks can only come from wicking through an old faulty "O" ring to get near this roll pin.
    Right or not?
    Last edited by Artificer; 2nd June 2019 at 11:05 PM.

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    The original seals in the 352 boxes did have the felt dust seals as shown post # 7 & 8.

    I have found it very hard to successfully stop oil from leaking from these seals, I think the reason is as the diff output shafts wear in the spine and also the driveshaft spine wears will cause movement as the drive shaft rotates and also when the car is being steered around a corner.

    I have tried double lip seals which seem to leak as much as a single lip seal.

    I have even tried using 2 thin seals in the one adjustment nut, but that seams to leak as well but probably the most successful arrangement that I have had so far.
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    No. The rollpin is halfway down the splined bore in the driveshaft (this is a blind bore and the o ring sits in the bottom of this bore squashed by the end of the outdrive) hence oil can wick up the splines and out around the rollpin (the rollpin sits in a hole that goes all the way through both outdrive and driveshaft inboard shaft). I am not sure why Renault even bothered with the O ring because oil can only leak around the rollpin.

    The felt seal setup doesn't include a rubber lip seal. That's just it, a felt ring seal.

    I am not sure if a double lip seal can be used in place of this felt setup, but oil circulation to the felt seal is very restricted, which might be a problem for a rubber/double lip seal. If you compare the big ring nut on the gearboxes with lip seals and those with felt seals you will see the difference. It looks like Renault took some care to make sure the lip seal was going to be lubricated otherwise I imagine it will wear out in no time and you end up with a bigger leak.

    It is not straightforward to just swap the ring nuts either. The rubber seal ring nuts have a very thin large o-ring around the circumference that sits in a machined groove in the g'box casing to seal the ring nut threads. That groove doesn't exist in g'boxes designed for the felt seal. The ring nut itself has a shoulder that bottoms out as opposed to the felt ring nuts which can be screwed until they drop inside the gearbox if you want.

    I would also check the driveshaft is machined to run in a lip seal because I remember it was too rough for that and by now it may be too worn to seal anyway. You need a nice surface finish for a lip seal to seal on like a ground finish or such.

    If you have the double lip seal setup, great, you might be able to change it in situ, though by the time you take the driveshaft out it's almost not worth it to risk damaging something in a moment's mistake.

    If you have a felt seal and you only have a small leak, leave it alone.
    Last edited by schlitzaugen; 2nd June 2019 at 11:44 PM.
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    There are tradesmen & wannabees!

    So let's try to learn & help each other & alleviate the static!

    We have an arrangement that includes a spline on an that flange's output shaft plus an OD machined sealing surface.

    There are only two oil sealing points:
    1. The spline with what it mates with an 'O' ring... this stops oil wicking along the splines.
    2. The oil seal & dust seal

    Forget this roll pin stuff as it has nothing to do with any oil leak!

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    If any flange OD is scoured @ any point, it should be speedi-sleeved 'properly' otherwise sealing is a hit & miss!
    Not interested in debating/.bs/ing this issue when value has been added.!
    Last edited by Artificer; 3rd June 2019 at 12:18 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Artificer View Post
    There are tradesmen & wannabees!

    So let's try to learn & help each other & alleviate the static!

    We have an arrangement that includes a spline on an that flange's output shaft plus an OD machined sealing surface.

    There are only two oil sealing points:
    1. The spline with what it mates with an 'O' ring... this stops oil wicking along the splines.
    2. The oil seal & dust seal

    Forget this roll pin stuff as it has nothing to do with any oil leak!

    So which one do you wannabe?

    I think you need to have a look at the car in question to understand the setup. It is clear that Col and Jensen have the same experience I am talking about. Jensen's picture is the nut ring with the felt seal and there is no other seal in this setup.

    Col, I have tried the two seal idea as well, but I think the inner seal is the only one working in that situation because the outer one is not lubricated and the lip is burnt out very quickly hence it does nothing. Maybe your success is explained by a cleaner/fresher running surface for the thinner seal (away from the worn out surface where the original seal was running).

    And I never found significant wear in the splines, not enough to explain the leaks. But I did find wear in the satellite carrier bore the outdrive goes through. Keep in mind, this is just the cast steel material of the carrier, no bushing, no other means of supporting the outdrive. Just friction and lubrication by g'box oil. On Stuey's car, which I drove for quite a few years it was bad enough that it caused a vibration akin to that of an unbalanced tire at certain speeds. The car was like that when Stuey gave it to me and told me he couldn't find where the vibration originated from. That's where. I replaced all the mounts around the engine and g'box with nice new ones and the vibration diminished but didn't go away. I checked wheel bearings and brakes, hubs, everything. Nada. And one day I just felt the left driveshaft and I could wobble the inboard joint in the g'box by hand. Maybe fractions of a millimetre, but enough to convince me that was the problem. That wear allows the outdrive to wobble enough in the carrier bore that it will never spin round in the seal with all the suspension up/down and steering movement fore/aft plus driving torque from the engine and eventually cause the leak.
    Last edited by schlitzaugen; 3rd June 2019 at 05:37 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by schlitzaugen View Post

    And I never found significant wear in the splines, not enough to explain the leaks. But I did find wear in the satellite carrier bore the outdrive goes through. Keep in mind, this is just the cast steel material of the carrier, no bushing, no other means of supporting the outdrive. Just friction and lubrication by g'box oil. On Stuey's car, which I drove for quite a few years it was bad enough that it caused a vibration akin to that of an unbalanced tire at certain speeds. The car was like that when Stuey gave it to me and told me he couldn't find where the vibration originated from. That's where. I replaced all the mounts around the engine and g'box with nice new ones and the vibration diminished but didn't go away. I checked wheel bearings and brakes, hubs, everything. Nada. And one day I just felt the left driveshaft and I could wobble the inboard joint in the g'box by hand. Maybe fractions of a millimetre, but enough to convince me that was the problem. That wear allows the outdrive to wobble enough in the carrier bore that it will never spin round in the seal with all the suspension up/down and steering movement fore/aft plus driving torque from the engine and eventually cause the leak.
    In my old Virage I could grab hold of the inner joint and easily see the movement, the spline had a bit and there was movement in the carrier for the output shaft as well, never managed to stop that trans-axle from leaking out of those seals.
    Regards Col

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    Some ring nuts allow the seal to be replaced from the outside without removing the ring but some have the nobs that are used to undo/do up the ring nut protruding out past the edge of the seal and the ring nut must be removed to fit the seal.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Artificer View Post
    There are tradesmen & wannabees!
    So let's try to learn & help each other & alleviate the static!
    We have an arrangement that includes a spline on an that flange's output shaft plus an OD machined sealing surface.
    There are only two oil sealing points:
    1. The spline with what it mates with an 'O' ring... this stops oil wicking along the splines.
    2. The oil seal & dust seal
    Forget this roll pin stuff as it has nothing to do with any oil leak!
    Hi
    When I had an R20 and did the drive shafts the official Renault recommendation (and the local guru) was to seal the ends of the roll pins, or they leak oil !! What would they know about it ??
    Jaahn
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    There are 2 seals between the transmission & the 1/2 shafts....one being an 'O' ring & if both are working properly there should be no need to seal the roll pin. If one wants to seal the pins to mask another problem then go for it!

    Of course the outer seal is always lubed, with nothing other than an empty transmission, stopping this from happening & the 'O' ring is there for one purpose & that is to seal between the carrier, sun wheel & the splines to stop wicking/leaking. The only way oil can get to the roll pin is if this 'O' ring is leaking for any reason.

    A self tapping PK screw & slide hammer is one method commonly used by tradesman to get such oil seals out. There is also a special tool that fits to a slide hammer, that fits along the shaft & engages the oil seal from the inside that does the same type job.

    https://www.google.com/search?q=remo...TF-8#kpvalbx=1
    Last edited by Artificer; 3rd June 2019 at 09:28 AM. Reason: picture added

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    Ok I am prepared to state that R15TS and R17TL 352 gearboxes were fitted with rubber seals. As were the 5 speed boxes. The workshop manual shows a photo with clearly a rubber seal. The parts manual shows a cross sectional view of a rubber seal and I have never seen anything else in my 5 cars other than rubber. My 15 I have had since almost new and would believe the seals were original when I first changed them and they were rubber. Not sure what an R12 or a 16 might have but am certain that GeeDee's R15 would have and should have rubber seals.

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    1000+ Posts schlitzaugen's Avatar
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    I am not saying YOUR car (or any other specific ONE car) didn't have rubber seals. I have never seen them on any of the multitude of R12s I've had. The R12 was of course, the main 352 'box beneficiary. My 17TL had a 352 as well, still felt seals. My 17G (I still have it here, 365 'box, so 5 speeder) has felt seals. I have had a 395 out of a R18, which had rubber seals as you say.

    Maybe it's worth if you could show us a picture, I am very curious about the ring nut arrangement. The 395 box I had had a similar ring nut like the NG3 out of a Fuego, so very different to the 352/365 ring nuts as I explained above.

    Col, yeap, I think you're right. Maybe we just used driveshafts beyond what Renault had envisaged their service life would be. Still don't understand why they worn the carrier. I mean the same setup is used in all the FWD cars I have messed with (Honda, Toyota, Peugeot) but none had this problem. Maybe because they were newer cars, better materials? (Come to think of it, I seem to remember the Honda had the seals running on the outdrive and the driveshaft splined inside a bore in the outdrive). Who knows. Have to say, when new, my dad's R12 (1974 car, 352 'box, felt seals) didn't leak.
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    Bush Mechanic fix, easy put a nipple and attach tube into filler plug location.
    Route up to engine bay
    Attach to an old windscreen washer bottle with pump
    Fill with 80W oil and just give a squirt when you see no oil dripping out of gearbox
    Man this is so easy, don't even have to remove a driveshaft

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    1000+ Posts schlitzaugen's Avatar
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    You don't even need to put a grease nipple. There's a venting nipple on top of the g'box with a little cap loosely crimped on. You can just take the cap off and attach the hose there.
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    I suspect no-one's arguing about what the o-ring is designed to do when all the sealing surfaces are new and the splines are tight, but it's a matter of fact that it doesn't succeed for long and leaks down to the roll pin. So why wouldn't you seal the roll pin ends to prevent the inevitable leak? What problem are you masking when a relatively new o-ring leaks anyway? No sane repairer wouldn't seal the pins on the principle that they wanted to keep fiddling with the o-ring installation replacing it until it seals. I have also seen official Renault service information somewhere stating the roll pin ends should be sealed.

    Geedee, just remember to clean the roll pin holes and keep the pins clean so any sealant (silicone for example) will stick.


    Quote Originally Posted by Artificer View Post
    There are 2 seals between the transmission & the 1/2 shafts....one being an 'O' ring & if both are working properly there should be no need to seal the roll pin. If one wants to seal the pins to mask another problem then go for it!

    Of course the outer seal is always lubed, with nothing other than an empty transmission, stopping this from happening & the 'O' ring is there for one purpose & that is to seal between the carrier, sun wheel & the splines to stop wicking/leaking. The only way oil can get to the roll pin is if this 'O' ring is leaking for any reason.

    A self tapping PK screw & slide hammer is one method commonly used by tradesman to get such oil seals out. There is also a special tool that fits to a slide hammer, that fits along the shaft & engages the oil seal from the inside that does the same type job.

    https://www.google.com/search?q=remo...TF-8#kpvalbx=1
    Hey Schlitz, thanks for the update on that problem I had with the bouncy wheel/suspension/driveshaft.
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    Thanks so much, will keep all in mind when my old Reno mate gets time to pull it apart.

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