There are a lot of older cars on the road, and you probably see
your share of them in your shop. While you may expect to see
leaky hoses on higher mileage vehicles, sometimes the cause
is not so obvious. Diagnosing a problem takes time – time that
translates to money out of your customers’ wallets. That’s where
OE repair procedures and technical service bulletins (TSBs) come
Always check for a factory-issued TSB first – even when the
concern seems straightforward. You may be surprised to find a
solution already spelled out for you. If your customers are
trying to keep those old wheels turning for a while longer, they
will appreciate you saving them some money with a quick repair.
And they will be happy to learn that you service and repair their
vehicles to manufacturers’ standards. Happy customers may bring
you more business through word-of-mouth advertising.
Here’s an example of a TSB issued by Ford:
Some owners of 4×4 and AWD Ford® or
and trucks may complain of a fluid leak from the front axle vent
tube. This may be caused by fluid being thrown toward the axle
vent by the gears during vehicle operation. To correct this
problem, install a revised front axle cover kit, as described in
this Tech Tip. The revised cover has a baffle built in to reduce
the possibility of fluid being thrown out of the vent during
2001-2003 Explorer Sport®
2001-2005 Explorer Sport Trac®
1997-2001 Mercury Mountaineer®
Service Procedure Review safety procedures in ALLDATA Repair® S3000
NOTE: DO NOT FOLLOW THE SERVICE PROCEDURE
OUTLINED IN THE DANA® SPICER® INSTRUCTION SHEET INCLUDED IN THE
COVER KIT. FOLLOW THE SERVICE PROCEDURE BELOW.
With the vehicle in NEUTRAL, raise and support the vehicle.
Remove the lower engine splash shield, if equipped.
Index-mark the front axle pinion flange and the front
Remove the driveshaft bolts and retainers. Discard the
Tape the U-joint bearing caps to prevent them from falling
off the U-joint.
Swing the driveshaft away from the axle pinion yoke and
secure out of the way.
Remove the three (3) axle support mounting bracket bolts from
the axle housing.
Position suitable jack beneath axle housing.
NOTE: PLACE FOLDED SHOP TOWELS OR SUITABLE
SOFT MATERIAL OVER TORSION BARS TO PROTECT THE HALFSHAFT BOOTS
AND CLAMPS FROM DAMAGE.
Remove the two (2) bolts and nuts from the front axle support
bushings. Discard the nuts.
Carefully lower and position the axle housing until it is
resting on the torsion bars.
Disconnect the vent hose from the axle housing.
Position a drain pan under the axle housing cover. Rotate the
axle housing slightly to allow easy access to the axle cover
bolts. Remove the axle housing cover and discard.
Clean the axle housing cover mounting surface.
Apply a continuous bead of silicone rubber RTV (included in
the kit) to the new cover sealing surface.
Install the new cover to the axle housing. Install the new
vent hose and clip from the kit to the cover (Figure
1). Tighten all bolts to 20-25 ft-lb (27-34 Nm).
Connect the new vent hose to the existing vent hose using the
in-line connector supplied in the kit (Figure
Remove the old vent from the axle assembly and install the
pipe plug supplied in the kit.
Raise the axle into position and install the axle support
bushing bolts and NEW nuts. Torque the bolts to 49 ft-lb (66 Nm).
Install the axle support-mounting bracket to the axle
housing. Torque the bolts to 78 ft-lb (106 Nm).
Install the driveshaft using new bolts. Torque to 14 ft-lb
Remove axle housing fill plug and fill with 3.25 pints (1.54
L) of Motorcraft SAE 80W-90 Premium Rear Axle Lubricant. Install
NOTE: This Repair/Service Procedure is excerpted
from a Technical Service Bulletin published by the vehicle
manufacturer, and is intended for use by trained, professional
technicians with the knowledge, tools and equipment to do the job
properly and safely. It is recommended that this procedure not be
performed by “do-it-yourselfers.”
Ford, Explorer, Explorer Sport, Explorer Sport Trac, Ranger,
Mercury, Mountaineer and Motorcraft are registered trademark
names and model designations of Ford Motor Company. Dana and
Spicer are registered trademarks of Dana Holding Corporation. All
trademark names and model designations are being used solely for
reference and application purposes.