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TR3 rear axle lip seal

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rHello guys and gales, 

Sometime, it's worth asking a question, even if other people might think you're an idiot : Which way should I fit the halshaft lip seal in a TR3 rear axle ?

I'm talking about the one on the shaft, who's supposed to keep oil in the diff.

My question isn't about the one who's on the flange side, who's role is to prevent bearing grease ingression in the brake drum.

I've seen both : "flat" side of the seal toward the diff, or the other way, ie toward the hub bearing.

Theorically, I would say it should be fitted as a seal on a gearbox (ie flat side facing toward the outside of the gearbox), but considering the nearly non existant pressure in the diff (because of the vent) compare to the pressure who can be higher on the bearing side (when hot), it could be either the other way.

Edited by Chris59

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Is this a Girling TR3 Axle or Lockheed?  The axle shaft is held in by 6 bolts each side on a Girling axle and by 4 bolts each side on a Lockheed axle.

The seal flat face should be away from the oil, like a gearbox as you have written. 

On a Lockheed there is only one seal each side held in the 4 bolt flange that retains the half shaft and bearing.

NB There are two sizes of seal used. You will need to measure the spigot of the hub to get the correct one.

On Girling axles there are two seals at the hub end each side.    One in the axle tube (seal GHS185) and one in the hub ( seal GHS162).  Oil on the brake shoes is usually the axle tube seal.  While in there check the axle shaft end float BEFORE you remove anything.  This end float needs to be right or the axle seals will leak......Replacing the hub seal requires the hub flange to be removed from the axle shaft.  This requires a special tool, not a legged puller, which will bend the flange, as will heating it.  Do not let the garage with a 100 ton press anywhere near it unless you feel lucky/rich.

Consider using a speedi-sleeve on the shaft where the seal runs.  My Girling axle continually dripped from one half shaft into the hub even after fitting a new seal and setting the axle shaft end float, until I fitted a speedisleeve, now all is clean and dry.


Peter W

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Many thanks guys for your replies and recommendations.

Yes Peter, it's a late axle, ie a "6 bolts" Girling.

I always check the endfloat before to remove a shaft, the "leaking side" wasn't correctly adjusted  : as you said, incorrect endfloat is not good .

Removing the flange is not a problem, I've made a proper tool years ago.

The shaft is in nearly new condition where the seal run (I polished it on a lathe to be sure), but could you please tell me more about this "speedisleeve", thanks ?

Cheers !


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It is superthin stainless sleeve you press over the axle end and the worn area. SKF is the most known manufacturer but other make them as well. You need the exact outer diameter of the axle to get the right sleeve 

Edited by ijonsson

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I replaced the axle seals this past week-end with the help of a local club member. I bought my seals from a well known UK supplier but found them difficult to install unless a 0.005 chamfer was ground on the outer metal ring on the lip side. After that they were easily installed with a suitable bearing drift.

Luckily there was not enough wear to warrant a speedi-sleeve, but during my research I found this thread to be informative: 

It mentions the speedi-sleeve part number being CR99131, which can be found easily on line with a google search https://www.bearing-king.co.uk/bearing/cr99131-skf-stainless-speedi-sleeve-for-shafts-3327-3343mm/23813

I can't vouch for the part number however, as I did not have to use one. BTW the "CR" in the part number refers to Chicago Rawhide, an old supplier of seals in the US, but now absorbed into many conglomerates, and now part of SKF.

A tool that came in very handy to remove the old seal was a cheap, three jaw bearing puller:  https://www.harborfreight.com/3-jaw-pilot-bearing-puller-4876.html

Available from Harbor Freight, the importer of cheap tools in North America. I am sure there is an analog in the UK.


Edited by Andy303

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Thanks for all guys.

Since Peter' reply, I've made some search too, and found this https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=speedi+sleeve&view=detail&mid=3ADFE2A801E7989A55533ADFE2A801E7989A5553&FORM=VIRE

I wish they could do something equivalent (but far stronger !) to repair Triumph worn "small chassis" half-shafts, where their needle bearing eat the shaft !

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