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Differential Pinion Seal Replacement
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Differential Pinion Seal Replacement

Nick Czerula

Time:

4 hours4 hrs

Tab:

$150

Talent:

*****

Tools:

18mm socket and wrench, flathead screwdriver, E12 socket, seal installer

Applicable Models:

BMW Z4 Convertible (2003-06)
BMW Z4 Coupe (2006)

Parts Required:

Differential fluid, differential pinion seal

Hot Tip:

Warm differential by driving for three miles before beginning

Performance Gain:

Remedy a fluid leak

Complementary Modification:

Replace manual transmission fluid

On the BMW Z4 manual transmission equipped models, the differential seal can leak over time as the sealing lip wears. You may notice a leak toward the rear of your vehicle. Be sure to check the axle seals. See our tech article on axle seals replacing. When looking for the source of an oil leak, always look for fresh clean oil. This will direct you to the problem area. If you see dirt gathered around the seal and a clean oily area, this indicates a leak at the seal. I would suggest replacing your differential fluid when you replace this seal.

In this article, I'll go over the steps involved with replacing the differential seal on BMW Z4 models with a manual transmission.

Keep in mind that when your car was serviced before, parts may have been replaced with different size fasteners used in the replacement. The sizes of the nuts and bolts we give may be different from what you have, so be prepared with different size sockets and wrenches.

Protect your eyes, hands and body from fluids, dust and debris while working on your vehicle. If working with the electrical system, disconnect the battery before beginning. Always catch fluids in appropriate containers and properly dispose of any fluid waste. Recycle parts, packaging and fluids when possible. Do not work on your vehicle if you feel the task is beyond your ability.

Vehicle models change and evolve as they grow older, so the vehicle shown in our illustrations may vary slightly from yours. If something seems different, let us know and share your info to help other users. Questions or want to add to the article? Leave a comment below. When leaving a comment, please leave your vehicle information.

Jack up your vehicle and support using jack stands. See our tech article on jacking up your vehicle.

Remove the transmission splash shields. See our tech article on engine splash shields removing.

Remove the driveshaft. See our tech article on driveshaft removing.

On the BMW Z4 manual transmission equipped models, the differential seal can leak over time as the sealing lip wears.
Figure 1

On the BMW Z4 manual transmission equipped models, the differential seal can leak over time as the sealing lip wears. You may notice a leak toward the rear of your vehicle (red arrows). Be sure to check the axle seals. See our tech article on axle seals replacing. When looking for the source of an oil leak, always look for fresh clean oil. This will direct you to the problem area. If you see dirt gathered around the seal and a clean oily area, this indicates a leak at the seal. I would suggest replacing your differential fluid when you replace this seal.

Clean the grease from the differential flange (red arrow).
Figure 2

Clean the grease from the differential flange (red arrow).

Counterhold the flange and remove the 32mm nut (red arrow).
Figure 3

Counterhold the flange and remove the 32mm nut (red arrow). I find placing two bolts back into the flange and using a prybar to counterhold the flange works well. Be careful not to damage the fasteners when doing this, if needed, use spare fasteners.

Unscrew and remove the nut with the washer (red arrow).
Figure 4

Unscrew and remove the nut with the washer (red arrow).

Then slide the flange (red arrow) off the differential.
Figure 5

Then slide the flange (red arrow) off the differential.

Now it is time to remove the seal.
Figure 6

Now it is time to remove the seal. I use a seal puller and slowly lever the seal out. You have to stick the puller into the seal and then lever it out. Now be careful not to damage the differential housing and work gently and slowly (red arrow).

To install a new seal, slide it over the pinion shaft and press it in by hand.
Figure 7

To install a new seal, slide it over the pinion shaft and press it in by hand. Then slowly install the seal until it is flush with the differential housing. You can tap it in using a rubber mallet with a seal installer (red arrow), or a very large socket. Be careful not to bend the seal or seal lip. Install the flange onto the pinion shaft. Install the nut and tighten. Top up fluid, then install the driveshaft.

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Page last updated: Sat 12/3/2016 03:05:55 AM