Axle Seal Replacement

Step by step guide on how to replace a rear axle seal. This guide pertains to inner axle retainer vehicles only.

Difficulty Scale: 5 of 10

Tools and Supplies Needed

  • Replacement axle seal
  • Socket set
  • Screw drivers set
  • Wrench Set
  • Protective gloves and eyewear
  • Breaker bar
  • Large pry bar
  • Gear oil
  • Differential cover gasket
  • Gasket sealer
  • Fluid catch basin
  • Dikes (side cutters)
  • Shop towels
  • Hydraulic jack
  • Jack stands
Before work begins, park the car on level ground, in park with the emergency brake on.


Step 1 - Once the vehicle is safely in the air, remove the tire on the side where the repair is needed and remove the retainer clip.

Removing Retainer Clip

Step 2 - After removing retainer clips (installed for manufacturing, not needed on reassembly) remove the caliper mounting bolts.

Removing Caliper Mounting Bolts

Step 3 - Next, lift the caliper off the brake pads and secure it out of the way.

Removing Brake Caliper

Step 4 - After the caliper has been removed, lift the brake pads out of the caliper mounting bracket. (Note: If gear oil has leaked onto the rear shoes or pads they must be replaced. Visit - Rear brake shoe replacement, Rear brake pad replacement.)

Removing Brake Pads

Step 5 - Once the brake pads have been removed, loosen and undo the caliper bracket mounting bolts to remove the bracket.

Removing Caliper Mounting Bolts

Step 6 - Sometimes rust can hold the rotor to the axle, in this case use a plastic or rubber hammer to "shock" the brake rotor to loosen. 

Brake Rotor Shock

Step 7 - After the hammer shock loosens the rotor, simply grasp the rotor to remove it.

Removing Brake Rotor

Step 8 - Next, remove the parking brake shoe retainer bolt.

Removing parking Brake Shoe Retainer


Written by
Co-Founder and CEO of
35 years in the automotive repair field, ASE Master Technician, Advanced Electrical and Mechanical Theory.


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Article first published (Updated 2015-01-05)