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Re: Transmission output shaft seal and play


    I gather from your post you are referring to the seal at the rear
driveshaft flange.

    This is NOT a one hour job!

    From what I recall, you have to disconnect the exhaust, pull the
driveshaft, and remove the rear crossmember. Then you pull the rear cover
off the final drive and the output shaft, bearing, and seal come with it.
    To get at the seal, you have to press the coupling off of the inner end
of the output shaft and press the shaft out of the bearing. You can then
replace the seal, which is outboard of the bearing. At this point, you might
as well replace the bearing.
    I think the bearing locates the output shaft, so if it is moving back
and forth, the shaft must be sliding in the bearing inner race, or the
bearing is sliding in the cover (or the bearing has no balls left, but this
is an extreme outside chance). My bet would be the shaft is sliding in the
bearing inner race. The bearing is pressed into the cover.
    There is an o-ring on the cover which seals the cover to the housing -
maybe this is what the mechanic was talking about.

    So, to answer your questions:

1. I don't know what is normal play for this component.

2. The seal is outboard of the bearing, between the bearing and the
driveshaft flange.

3. They may have damaged something if they tried to pull the shaft out
without removing the final drive cover. Is this where the one hour comes in?

4. The bearing appears to locate the shaft.

5. The bearing has to come out to replace the seal - you might as well
replace both.


Fred Munro
'91 200q  279k km

----- Original Message -----
From: JP Timmerman <jp@barclay.net>
To: <quattro@audifans.com>
Sent: Sunday, August 15, 1999 12:44 AM
Subject: Transmission output shaft seal and play

> I have an '89 200q that dumped some gear oil. My best guess was that one
> the final drive flange seals had failed, so I drove it to the dealer.
> a mechanic looked at it, the Customer Service Representative called and
> said that the main seal on the back of the transmission needed to be
> replaced. The CSR said that they would have to order the seal, and the
> would be CDN$30 plus an hour's labour to install it. The CSR later called
> to say that there would be a delay because they had ordered the wrong
> I was going on vacation and said that I would be back in a week to pick it
> up. A few days later, the CSR left a message that there was a problem.
> I contacted him, he said that the mechanic couldn't install the seal
> because there was far to much play in the transmission output shaft. He
> said that it could be moved 'nearly a centimeter and a half'. He said that
> the bearing for the shaft must be worn (!) and that the only way to repair
> it would be to rebuild the transmission. Somewhere in the conversation he
> also said that the seal goes between the housing and the bearing, which
> sounds wrong to me, but I didn't question him about it because he isn't
> guy working on it. I have not seen it myself and Bentley isn't with me,
> I think they may be wrong. (I hope that they're wrong!) I suspect that the
> mechanic looking at my car may have never done this job before. When I
> drove the car to them, it made no funny noises, rattles, clunks, etc... so
> I feel that the bearing could not be as worn as they report. Also, a
> of mine, with a Citroen fetish, changed transmissions in his 2CV and was
> surprised to learn that the 5 or 6mm of lateral play in the output shaft
> was considered normal. So in order to know whether they're fleecing me, I
> need to know:
> 1. Is that kind of play normal? What are the allowable limits?
> 2. Does the seal really go between the bearing and the housing? If so,
> the seal locate the bearing?
> 3. Is it possible/likely that they damaged the bearing while trying to
> remove the old seal?
> 4. Do other components in the system locate the shaft? (Parts that may
> been disconnected for the repair.)
> 5. What is likely to happen if I ask them to put the seal in without
> the bearing?
> The car isn't really worth the cost of having THEM rebuild the
> JP Timmerman
> '89 200q 300k+ km