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I just purchased a completely restored 1959 Vette, and notice a slight
rear axle leak, I brought it to a mechanic who told me that when they
put it together they used silicone instead of a gasket, what and how
can i seal the leak ? I just used a marine expoxy and spread it in the
seam. I am going to test it. What if anything is stronger and longer lasting ?
Go to your local parts store and talk to one of those guys with a serious attitude problem, get the stock axle bearing flange gasket, pull the axle, install seal, remove all the crap you put on the outside to seal the leak, put the axle back in, problem solved.
I guess a further question is where on the rear axle is it leaking?
If at the pinion seal, then replacement is in order, but may also need a bearing job if the pinion bearings are worn (causing the seal to wear).
If at the pinion / ring gear carrier housing gasket, then a new gasket is in order.
If at the rear axle shaft flanges (out towards the wheels), note that there are a pair of gaskets (on either side of the brake backing plate), but the flange is designed to leak on one side of the backing plate (only if gear lube gets past the bearing / seals - which it shouldn't). There is a weep groove "built in" to provide this leak path. Now the reason for leakage at this point is internal to the axle housing ("O" ring seal on the bearing, bearing maybe, etc.) and should be looked at by someone who has done it before.
Don't apply sealant of any kind to a flange edge (seam) in an attempt to seal a flange (it will never work).
Last edited by Plasticman; 08-04-2004 at 08:05 PM.
I'm building a '56 and ran into an issue with the rear end leaking. This may not be the same type of leak you're seeing but it maybe worth checking into.
At first I thought the leak was coming from the cover but I finally figured out it was coming around the outside of the pinion seal (this was a new seal from Central Corvette). I pulled the yoke out, removed the pinion seal and inspected the case - nothing wrong - everything looked good. I got another seal (this time from Zip Products), same thing, it leaked right away. I then got a seal from Advanced Auto and it did not leak.
It appears that the Corvette suppliers are all supplying seals that are too deep. They go into the cover so far they hit the next diameter, bend and leak. The seal from Advance fit fine and cost $10 compared to $15 for the other suppliers.
Well I got the pinion seal from Zip Products and it did not work as you explain can you please tell me how I can purchase the pinion seal from
Advanced Auto do you have an email, web address or phone number
"It appears that the Corvette suppliers are all supplying seals that are too deep."
You are driving it in too far.
The correct seal should have an 1/8" space from behind flange to housing. Chassis service manual p. 4-36, fig. 95 (for '67s).
After spending 2 years chasing various leaks and drips I had a nice stainless drip pan built for my garage floor. Now I just check fluids everytime I have it on the hoist and sop up the antifreeze, oil and gear lube from the pan once a month. Much cheaper, much easier....