Driveshaft seals on R12 gearbox
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  1. #1
    Fellow Frogger!
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    Default Driveshaft seals on R12 gearbox

    Hi,
    I need to renew the driveshaft seals on the g'box of my R12 s/w and would appreciate some advice.

    How do you unscrew the differential ringnuts so that the old seal can be removed other than using a drift to hit one of the lugs on the nut? This method seems rather crude and I've seen a couple of boxes with ringnuts a bit like my mouth - missing a few teeth. Is there a simple tool that can be made up or purchased to unscrew the ringnuts?

    I believe that each ringnut has an O ring to seal it, and Ken from Caravelle said that he doesn't have any. Thought I would try to get some from a bearing/seal specialist, but does anyone know the size?

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    Finally, I read on an old thread of a R12 g'box that developed a diff whine after seal renewal, despite the person refitting the ringnuts to the exact number of turns. Don't really want this as the box is quiet - anyway for a R12 .

    Thanks &
    Renpete

  2. #2
    1000+ Posts alan moore's Avatar
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    I would suggest that even after the seals(they are not an O ring) are replaced that there is every possibility it will still leak. There is a Renault tool to undo these nuts, but I know of no specialist that would allow it out of his workshop.

    I have undone the nut via the punch and hammer method, and I believe that I was sucessful with large multigrips way back when I had a 15TS. You may be able to use a second side carrier nut upside down to turn your original, using large multis on the threaded section of this nut to give leverage.

    Remember to seal the ends of the roll pin as oil can travel down the spline and come out there. There is an O ring on the shaft as I remember to stop this, but I am not convinced.

    By doing one side at a time you should not get into trouble with crownwheel position change. The side carrier bearings do need some preload applied, but this is worked out with just a crownwheel in the box on assembly, in your case it will have to be an educated guess as chances are your side carriers have been out before for seal change and are unlikely to have been put back in the original position.

    Worst part of the job is often trying to break the ball joints to remove the driveshaft.
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by alan moore
    I would suggest that even after the seals(they are not an O ring) are replaced that there is every possibility it will still leak. There is a Renault tool to undo these nuts, but I know of no specialist that would allow it out of his workshop.

    I have undone the nut via the punch and hammer method, and I believe that I was sucessful with large multigrips way back when I had a 15TS. You may be able to use a second side carrier nut upside down to turn your original, using large multis on the threaded section of this nut to give leverage.

    Remember to seal the ends of the roll pin as oil can travel down the spline and come out there. There is an O ring on the shaft as I remember to stop this, but I am not convinced.

    By doing one side at a time you should not get into trouble with crownwheel position change. The side carrier bearings do need some preload applied, but this is worked out with just a crownwheel in the box on assembly, in your case it will have to be an educated guess as chances are your side carriers have been out before for seal change and are unlikely to have been put back in the original position.

    Worst part of the job is often trying to break the ball joints to remove the driveshaft.
    Thanks Alan,

    I'm curious to know why can I still expect the sunwheel shafts to leak after replacing the seals - due to a bit of lateral movement when the driveshafts are attached? At present the seals leak quite a bit of oil, and I suspect that they are the original ones. Ken at Caravelle said that the original type of oil seal (felt?) is no longer available, and he sent me a couple of substitute seals - similar to the type of seal used for the crankshaft at the timing chain cover.

    I also want to replace the selector shaft seal, but apparently there are two types - one has a larger ID at the seal lip than the other. I remember someone telling me to use the smaller ID seal - what's your experience with this?

    Yeah, the upper ball joint can be perverse sometimes, especially if its nut has been over-torqued, but a sharp tap on the hub carrier where the joint fit in when the ball joint breaker is exerting pressure will usually free it. Never had problems with the steering arm one.

    Renpete

  4. #4
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    Hi Pete,

    I was the guy that ended up with a slight whine from the diff. The worst thing was that I'm a fussy sod and I was really careful, as Alan suggested, to do one side at a time. I've been assured that this is unusual, so I can only suggest that I miscounted # of turns/teeth.

    HOWEVER, one success was that the leaks disappeared since that thread you read until just recently - they've just started weeping very slightly. My tip is to use 800 grit wet or dry to polish the sealing surface of the shaft where it goes through the seal, then 1000 grit. Use your hand, grabbing the shaft inner end like a bike handlebar in the direction of rotation, and use water and soap.

    I too used the seals from Caravelle - they're fine. The felt just keeps dirt from going onto the sealing lips. I also got the O-rings from Ken, and you should use new roll pins.

    One tip - use spray on carby or brake cleaner to get all oil off of the roll pins after they're installed, then inject silicone into the hole, leaving a flattened blob on each end. It'll never leak from the roll pin hole.

    Oh, and I borrowed the proper tool from the local Renault mechanic who I was friendly with. Unfortunately, they're long gone...

    Good luck

    Stuey


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    1000+ Posts Europa's Avatar
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    I have heard people manufacturing the tool using a piece of plastic storm water pipe, and cutting notches to suit...
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  6. #6
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    i just recently replaced the shaft seals in my 12 box, unfortunately they still leak pretty badly, but that may be coming out through the roll pins, i've never heard of that solution.
    i was told by a coulpe of people that the original style felt wiper seals were better than the straight rubber ones that everyone uses now, so i got some from a contact of mine in argentina (where the 12 was made up until a couple of years ago) but now i'm not sure i made the right descision. any opinions on the felt seals?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stuey
    Hi Pete,

    I was the guy that ended up with a slight whine from the diff. The worst thing was that I'm a fussy sod and I was really careful, as Alan suggested, to do one side at a time. I've been assured that this is unusual, so I can only suggest that I miscounted # of turns/teeth.

    HOWEVER, one success was that the leaks disappeared since that thread you read until just recently - they've just started weeping very slightly. My tip is to use 800 grit wet or dry to polish the sealing surface of the shaft where it goes through the seal, then 1000 grit. Use your hand, grabbing the shaft inner end like a bike handlebar in the direction of rotation, and use water and soap.

    I too used the seals from Caravelle - they're fine. The felt just keeps dirt from going onto the sealing lips. I also got the O-rings from Ken, and you should use new roll pins.

    One tip - use spray on carby or brake cleaner to get all oil off of the roll pins after they're installed, then inject silicone into the hole, leaving a flattened blob on each end. It'll never leak from the roll pin hole.

    Oh, and I borrowed the proper tool from the local Renault mechanic who I was friendly with. Unfortunately, they're long gone...

    Good luck

    Stuey
    Thanks Stuey,

    Just got my computer going properly as it went into safe mode after my daughter gave it a thrashing on MSN. Jeez, I don't blame it the way she uses (or abuses) it. Had intended to replace a broken gearbox mount bracket on my R25 tonight but thats life.

    I'll follow your advice and make bloody sure I mark where the locking tab goes and count the number of turns on the ringnuts. Found out the ROCC has the special tool for the ringnuts so that will prevent butchery with a drift & hammer.

    Pete

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by alan moore
    You may be able to use a second side carrier nut upside down to turn your original, using large multis on the threaded section of this nut to give leverage.
    I reckon this sort of deserves Tip of the Year! My mod would be to drill straight through both sides of the ring nut and attach a long strong bolt through it to use as a handle either as a T-bar or to tap with a hammer to loosen the ring nut.

    The Meillor branded non felt seals from Caravelle work the best. Follow Stuey's advice and you won't go wrong. Just count the turns of the ring nut exactly.

    The selector shaft seal, there are two types, a 13mm shaft and a 15mm shaft. The shaft runs in two bronze bushes, one in the gearbox casing the other in the end casing. If these are flogged out they could cause premature wear of the new seal. However as I've never replaced the seal I could be wrong, mine at 300,000k's has a drip, but nothing catastrophic.

    One other thing to replace is the rubber bush in the gear selector knuckle, this can get sodden with oil and give a floppy selection. Replace this, and the two rubber block bushes (I've reinforced the rubber block bushes with the spacer for the Fuego rear hatch latch, bent into a U shape it fits perfectly, and isn't too solid) this gives a very nice (compared to normal worn R12) gear change :-)

  9. #9
    1000+ Posts Europa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Simon
    (I've reinforced the rubber block bushes with the spacer for the Fuego rear hatch latch, bent into a U shape it fits perfectly, and isn't too solid) this gives a very nice (compared to normal worn R12) gear change :-)
    Hey you want to be careful there, sacrificing Fuego parts for a R12!
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Europa
    Hey you want to be careful there, sacrificing Fuego parts for a R12!
    Ooo yeah, it'll be construed that piece by piece I'm trying to rid the world of Fuego's :-).

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Simon
    I reckon this sort of deserves Tip of the Year! My mod would be to drill straight through both sides of the ring nut and attach a long strong bolt through it to use as a handle either as a T-bar or to tap with a hammer to loosen the ring nut.

    The Meillor branded non felt seals from Caravelle work the best. Follow Stuey's advice and you won't go wrong. Just count the turns of the ring nut exactly.

    The selector shaft seal, there are two types, a 13mm shaft and a 15mm shaft. The shaft runs in two bronze bushes, one in the gearbox casing the other in the end casing. If these are flogged out they could cause premature wear of the new seal. However as I've never replaced the seal I could be wrong, mine at 300,000k's has a drip, but nothing catastrophic.

    One other thing to replace is the rubber bush in the gear selector knuckle, this can get sodden with oil and give a floppy selection. Replace this, and the two rubber block bushes (I've reinforced the rubber block bushes with the spacer for the Fuego rear hatch latch, bent into a U shape it fits perfectly, and isn't too solid) this gives a very nice (compared to normal worn R12) gear change :-)
    Hi Simon,

    Yes, I thought that tip quite novel, except I haven't got a spare sacrificial ring nut to see if it works as I imagine the multigrips would mangle the threads. I'll borrow the ROCC's special tool.

    I've come across quite a number of totally stuffed bushes in the gear selector nuckle, and over the years I've collected several knuckles with good bushes. The usual cause is oil leaking past a worn selector shaft seal. I've got a set of new rubber blocks for the join in the gear linkage rod, but hadn't thought of reinforcing it - especially with a Fuego part sacrilage. I have a Fuego, but don't think I'll cannibalize it yet for the R12 - there's one in a wreckers in Goulburn I'll check out (never seem to see any Renaults in ACT/Qbn wreckers - must go straight to the crushers).

    Incidentally, the other cause of a sloppy gearshift in the R12 is a worn bush where the base of the gear lever joins into the linkage rod. I believe it is a non-replaceable (nylon?) bush but Ken at Caravelle tells me that early R12 starter motor bushes do the trick, so I've ordered 2.


  12. #12
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    Hi again Pete,

    I forgot to address the selector shaft seal issue. I too got the tip from Ken to use the smaller seal. It has now been in use about 9 years (!) and still only has a slight smear of oil coming past - and that's without ever having the dust boot on it.

    As for the rubber blocks, I replaced these with steel bushes from child seat anchorages, bolted through firmly. This gives the best shift, IMO.

    The only leak I CAN'T fix comes from the speedo drive...

    Stuey


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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stuey
    The only leak I CAN'T fix comes from the speedo drive...
    Your car must be weird, I've never seen one leak from there!

    But there is the tiniest of tiny lipped seals in the speedo drive plastic case, 8.5x16x7, as well as an 0-ring that is on the plastic piece that slots into the end casing. Perhaps these are worn/compressed?

  14. #14
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    Simon, I replaced the tiny seal and the O-ring. It still leaks a fair bit. The car's almost ready for the Big A, so I'm not too worried.

    I've never solved that rum..rum sound, BTW... It still does it, but as I don't drive it any great distance, I don't worry about it!

    Stuey


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