Pontiac Firebird 1967-2002 - pinion seal leak




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billybob
01-03-2005, 11:34 PM
i've been hearing about rear pinion seal leaks. my question is, is this something that happens only if one is hard on the car or can this happen under normal driving conditions(cruising and occational bursts of fun). this is in a 02 ws6 with about 17500 miles on it.

thanks


y2k_ta
01-04-2005, 08:22 AM
Yep, it can happen under any condition. It's very common for them to leak, and there are many posts here on the subject. I remember reading of someone who had their's replaced multiple times, but it continued to leak. As long as it's not gushing out, I wouldn't worry about it. When it's leaking, it's not losing nearly as much fluid as you'd think it was by just looking at the fluid on the diff. Just don't forget to check the level occasionally.

ChiefBrody
01-04-2005, 11:23 AM
Just check the level and you'll be fine. My buddy just had the seal replaced and it still leaked. 2 sets of install kits later and the dealer may have finally did it right. I think having it replaced might be more trouble than its worth. Seems people are too afriad or just don't don't know about rear ends.


StavosWS6
01-04-2005, 07:15 PM
Welcome to the club.. Not a single 98+ Fbody I've seen hasn't had this problem. the 'F' stands for Fluid in Fbody's get use to it :)

billybob
01-04-2005, 10:53 PM
it sounds more like to me "fluid out of f-body". so basicaly if you have a 98-02 you will have piston slap,ticking,leaking rear seal. is there anybody out there who has not had any of these problems. i mean,if these are such common problems such as a leaking rear seal, why could'nt gm fix it right. it sounds like the rear ends in these cars are total crap. i'm not into racing and beating my car to death, i'm pretty much a casual cruiser and was hoping that if treated this way i would not have these issues. if only gm would have fixed these problems and kept making them i'm sure their reputation would have improved. it is definatly the most bad ass looking car on the road, but now i am thinking of selling while it still has reasonably low mileage and getting a gto :(

Racehead
01-04-2005, 11:18 PM
The seals do leak on these cars. I've had mine replaced twice under warranty and then replaced it myself once. Still leaks ?? I'm not really worrying about it now, it doesn't leak enough to drop the fluid level. And BTW I road race and open road race my car and the rear end has held up fine. It just leaks a little is all.

billybob
01-04-2005, 11:31 PM
hey race head, how much is noticable,what exactly am i looking for(dripping on the ground or bearly noticable. mine is not leaking yet that i can see. also any recommendation on type(brand) and wieght of fluid to refill diff.

thanks

ChiefBrody
01-05-2005, 10:48 AM
Most of them just cover the differential and spray onto the underside of the body. I havn't seen one leak to the point of dripping on the floor.

StavosWS6
01-05-2005, 10:53 AM
it sounds more like to me "fluid out of f-body". so basicaly if you have a 98-02 you will have piston slap,ticking,leaking rear seal. is there anybody out there who has not had any of these problems. i mean,if these are such common problems such as a leaking rear seal, why could'nt gm fix it right. it sounds like the rear ends in these cars are total crap. i'm not into racing and beating my car to death, i'm pretty much a casual cruiser and was hoping that if treated this way i would not have these issues. if only gm would have fixed these problems and kept making them i'm sure their reputation would have improved. it is definatly the most bad ass looking car on the road, but now i am thinking of selling while it still has reasonably low mileage and getting a gto :(

Another problem i discovered is a small oil leak between the oil pan and the transmission. I look it up on the forums guess what?! COMMON PROBLEM! getting it fixed this spring. only have 5k miles left on warrenty.

Anybody know if the warrenty will cover my turn signal switch? the paint all rubbed off on it and it looks nasty, and some times it wont turn the right blinker when i'm changing lane, not the the full blinker mode just 1/2 way.

Racehead
01-05-2005, 07:29 PM
hey race head, how much is noticable,what exactly am i looking for(dripping on the ground or bearly noticable. mine is not leaking yet that i can see. also any recommendation on type(brand) and wieght of fluid to refill diff.

thanks

If it's running on the ground I'd get it fixed. If the rear end itself is just a little wet and maybe a little is blowing under the rear of the car then I'd run it. Since i open road race I use redline synthetic. Before I installed my diff cooler I was running the "Heavy Shockproof" stuff. Now I just run the 90/140.

PureWS6
01-12-2005, 01:22 AM
I've replaced my pinion seal and flange......it still leaks......total crap

billybob
01-12-2005, 06:10 PM
i guess the leaking seal in the stock rear-end is the unfixable mystry. so basicaly if you want to fix the leak you have to change to a aftermarket rear end,if i am understanding correctly. any thoughts on why gm could not have fixed this problem,most other cars dont have this, so there must be a way,or do you think that since gm knew they where going to discontinue the f-body they had no inclination to fix these prolems, i'm not asking for a perfect car but come'on. sqeaks and rattles. thats just part of the muscle car experiance, but some of the problems are just fucking lame. damn you gm for discontinuing the f-body, damn you even more for not fixing basic stuff. fuck you lutz and hire some better q.a.

jyeager
01-13-2005, 03:20 PM
I've seen many comments @ the leaking pinion seal, but don't have the problem myself. There's one thing I'd like to interject here though. I think it's possible that many people are confusing a pinion seal leak with a leak out the breather tube.
If you see fluid all over your carrier then it's leaking from the breather tube. If you see a thin line of oil horizontally across the floorboard of the car just above the pinion then it's the pinion seal.
I think a lot of people keep throwing seals at a problem that isn't there. These breather tubes are too short and tend to lose fluid normally. The fix is to install a longer breather tube.

Hopefully this will help save someone a lot of frustration.

SmokingWS6
01-13-2005, 07:57 PM
The Pinion leak is common, you'll be wasting your money if you try to fix it, that is unless its gushing out. I rebuilt my rear(burnt up the posi) and its already leaking after 8k miles. On the question of fluid type, don't use synthetic, and only use the GM posi additive.

fa18007
01-13-2005, 08:39 PM
Just had mine fixed under warranty. I gues these things are like military planes...if it does not leak, then you are out of fluid!!!

SmokingWS6
01-13-2005, 10:37 PM
Just had mine fixed under warranty. I gues these things are like military planes...if it does not leak, then you are out of fluid!!!

Exactly :)

Muffracing
01-22-2005, 01:47 AM
I put an engine in a '95 and the pinion seal was leaking on that, as was my '99 enve after replacing the seal once and on my '02.