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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
replacing the hub seal(s) on a 2003 GM 14b FF rear axle.  After installing the new seal and reinstalling the hub on the spindle, I cannot determine if the inside edge of the seal should be 'lubricated' to aid the seal sliding over the spindle...or if it just goes on dry.  Both seals came off in two pieces - literally tearing themselves apart, and I'm concerned that if they go back on dry it may try to yank them apart or otherwise damage them again.

Anyone have a 2003 GM FSM that can tell me for sure? 

I'd also love to know the main hub locknut tightening sequence/specs, and the lb/ft spec for the eight axle flange bolts.  I've found 50 lbs for the locknut/back off 1/4 turn/then finger tight, and 110 lbs for the flange bolts - would like to have confirmation from someone with a FSM.

Thx,
- Sam
 

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I would never install a seal dry. Except for maybe the new ones that you use locktite to seal the moving sleeve to the spindle.

Looking up a pic, those do not look to be anything special.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
...normally I would think the very same thing, but these seals are 'different'.  As I understand these are a 2-piece seal - a seal within a seal per se, and I 'think' that the actual lubricated portion of these things is 'inside' - I think the inside (spindle) edge of these seals is not supposed to slide along the spindle but rather I think it is supposed to remain fixed - sealed 'to' the spindle...but I don't know for sure.  I have a couple other pings out as well and I'll update this thread if I find out for sure
 

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Hard to tell from the pics. Did you test them on the spindle before you installed them in the hub? My concern would be pulling them apart while trying to install the hub. What I have read about those 2 piece styles, is the inner part is a tighter fit, then a normal seal. Some have the inner surface mad of metal, and are supposed to be locktighted to the inner surface.

If you can watch it while installing, then I would forgo the grease, unless you see the inner surface not sliding in place.

The critical thing is getting the whole seal in place, without pulling the inner section out. Once in place, I do not see grease, or no grease being a factor. If it is a tight or even a medium  fit on the spindle, and the seal is in good condition, it will have less drag, then the fit on the spindle.

 

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there are some new style hub seals ............. they are meant to NOT move on the hub ! they rotate inside them selves . You should be able to SEE them as different from our "old dodge" seals .They usually come with a BIG warning NOT to damage them on install , They install into the hub DO NOT hammer the small part , use an installer OR BE CAREFUL to drive the wheel hub part of the seal only .  you MUST crank the wheel bearings up tight , pushing the seal onto the tube , then back off and adjust the bearings . yeah large trucks have been using them for a while , and I've seen them on newer 1/2ass trucks . ITS a seal within a seal so the tube wear is NOT a speedie sleeve problem anymore .....  and yup some styles come apart in 2 chunks LOL ....  IF it has a tin ring where it goes onto the tube , a rubber inside with "ribs" its fersure one of them ....some don't have that !  post a pix and I'll give ya MO
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I checked one carefully and sure enough the inner half indeed does rotate apart from the outer half, meaning a true 2-piece seal.  Very interesting design, tho yah I'll have to be extra careful when installing them both into the back of the hub and then when installing the hub onto the spindle.  I think I'll just 'lubricate' the seal with a dab of water or something that will evaporate and not contaminate the grease, but I don't think I want to use any grease or oil because then the inside edge might not 'seal' against the spindle.
 

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when I do full floating hubs with those seals , I put 90wt on the bearing , drop it in then the seal , excess drips down while I install seal . DO make sure seal get "seated " onto tube all the way before you adjust bearing , or you'll have a very loose bearing after a mile or so when the seal does get forced on all the way . When each side has the axle installed , I lower that side way down ( air jack) and allow 90wt from diff to fill that hub . Some fellas "pack" the wheel bearings with grease , it works , but the 90wt is a better lube and I worry the grease will stop the 90's flow around the bearings . The bearings were designed to run in oil .  I've had situations with the large salt trucks where the tube at the seal is deeply pitted  ( salt ) I have carefully applied a bead of sillycone (LOL) around tube behind the seal area , making the seal push the silicone back as it installs , later I've found the seal has NOT "spun" . with a clean tube , you don't have to chance that , dry is fine . do rotate the wheel hub as you tighten the bearing down tight , and I mean tight .  They make seal drivers that hit on the large edge only ,goes by seal number/manufacturer  but you can carefully do them the hard way , for a 1 need deal . or a pipe the right size and a block of wood across the pipe ..... 1 shot start square .  ;)  be aware that different brand seals are made different , look different externally , but fit / work the same . 

all the newer ( 2000+ )large trucks use those type of seals now , front and rear , both run in oil not grease .
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
good info - thanks Roy {cool}
 

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dodge82273 said:
Some fellas "pack" the wheel bearings with grease
I have always packed and then wipe off any excess with new bearings and done the axle tilt on used bearings. I like the extra protection on initial wear in. I have not done new bearings with the two piece style seal yet though.
 

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oil has been proven to be a better lube in this application , its why larger trucks run even the front wheels in oil bath . But no harm no foul .  ;D
 
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