Drive shaft seal leak/ seal replacement

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My Name: timb

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Model: C3 2006-2009, Facelift model
Year: 2006 (06)
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I have a C3 2006 1.6SX Auto. It is leaking ATF from the lip oil seal at the Auto box end of the driveshaft. I have changed the seal twice but it still leaks. It is very difficult to fit a new seal because it is in a deep recessed position that means when you put your hand in there you cannot see what you are doing. Does anyone know if there is a Citroen tool, and where to get it, for doing the seal fitting. Some sort of dolly that slips over the shaft so you can fit the seal maybe?
Or has anyone done the same job and found a good way of fitting the seal successfully?
Any help appreciated.
Thanks. Tim
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timb wrote: Mon Jul 01, 2019 5:45 am I have a C3 2006 1.6SX Auto. It is leaking ATF from the lip oil seal at the Auto box end of the driveshaft. I have changed the seal twice but it still leaks. It is very difficult to fit a new seal because it is in a deep recessed position that means when you put your hand in there you cannot see what you are doing. Does anyone know if there is a Citroen tool, and where to get it, for doing the seal fitting. Some sort of dolly that slips over the shaft so you can fit the seal maybe?
Or has anyone done the same job and found a good way of fitting the seal successfully?
Any help appreciated.
Thanks. Tim
Hi Tim

You have to be careful not to break the seal when fitting, you need to fit it the right way around for it to work and the driveshaft can wear where it contacts the seal and then may be a problem for you?


One of the driveshafts has two seals 13+18 in the diagram.

The other has only one seal, 16 in the diagram


AL4 driveshaft oil seals on a Citroen C3
AL4 driveshaft oil seals on a Citroen C3
My Name: timb

Contributor
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Jul 01, 2019 5:36 am
Model: C3 2006-2009, Facelift model
Year: 2006 (06)
Engine Size: 1.6 (16v)
Fuel Type: Petrol
Mileage: 80000
Trim Level: SX
Gearbox: Automatic PRND
DPF: No
LHD or RHD: RHD (UK)

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Hi thanks for replying, where do you get this info? is it available to everyone?
The seal I have problems with is the nearside which has the single seal as shown. The driveshaft does not actually touch this seal. The seal is in contact with the flange that sits and turns in the final drive unit. I have wondered if it has worn a groove in that flange but there is no way of checking without taking the box out I guess. When the drive shaft is removed the seal position is recessed and like I said when you put your hand in there you cannot see what you are doing. The spring on the inner part of the lip seal pops off, and it is a problem to get the inner lip over the flange because it is a tight fit and lack of vision. The last seal I fitted I packed the seal lip with a bit of grease to locate the spring but do not know if it popped off again. I am an experienced and qualified motor technician so do have knowledge and techniques from some 45 yrs experience but this seal is proving a pig to fit. I'm thinking of trying to find a piece of plastic pipe the right dia to use as a guide to get the seal onto the flange intact.
Any ideas anyone? Thanks. Tim
My Name: timb

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Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Jul 01, 2019 5:36 am
Model: C3 2006-2009, Facelift model
Year: 2006 (06)
Engine Size: 1.6 (16v)
Fuel Type: Petrol
Mileage: 80000
Trim Level: SX
Gearbox: Automatic PRND
DPF: No
LHD or RHD: RHD (UK)

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Looking at the diagram again it looks like component 9 is the seal housing so it should be poss to take it off change seal then refit 9. Is this feasible?
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timb wrote: Tue Jul 02, 2019 6:01 am Hi thanks for replying, where do you get this info? is it available to everyone?
The AL4 auto gearbox is a very common one across different manufacturers, you can find all sorts of info out there. This diagram looks like one from SEDRE.
timb wrote: Tue Jul 02, 2019 4:24 pm Looking at the diagram again it looks like component 9 is the seal housing so it should be poss to take it off change seal then refit 9. Is this feasible?
I don't know, but when I get access to SEDRE again, I will have a look at what is said about replacing that seal.
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A total of 5 special tools required for the removal and refitting the seals of both sides :shock:


This is an extract of the diagram on how to use some of the special tools

C3 automatic gerabox oil seals fitting special tools
C3 automatic gerabox oil seals fitting special tools

There are more diagrams in the SEDRE (see above)
My Name: timb

Contributor
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Jul 01, 2019 5:36 am
Model: C3 2006-2009, Facelift model
Year: 2006 (06)
Engine Size: 1.6 (16v)
Fuel Type: Petrol
Mileage: 80000
Trim Level: SX
Gearbox: Automatic PRND
DPF: No
LHD or RHD: RHD (UK)

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Excellent info. Big thanks to those who replied. I'll now try finding the fitting tool.
It's good to find a website that actually works and gives good help and info.
I'm registered now so will come back if needed. Keep up the good work.
Many thanks. Tim
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Hello timb

timb wrote: Tue Jul 02, 2019 6:01 am I am an experienced and qualified motor technician so do have knowledge and techniques from some 45 yrs experience
timb wrote: Wed Jul 03, 2019 6:33 am Big thanks to those who replied.
It's great you got your answer, hopefully you can track down a tool for the job, its a common old gear-box, there must be some out there for doing it.

timb wrote: Wed Jul 03, 2019 6:33 am I'm registered now so will come back if needed.
Pop back and maybe you can answer some of those questions that people need help with, your input would be most welcome :)
You can add an avatar to your account - Avatar or change your vehicle details - Car Bio or even add a signature to your posts - Signature. But this is not all you can do in the User Control Panel :)
My Name: timb

Contributor
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Jul 01, 2019 5:36 am
Model: C3 2006-2009, Facelift model
Year: 2006 (06)
Engine Size: 1.6 (16v)
Fuel Type: Petrol
Mileage: 80000
Trim Level: SX
Gearbox: Automatic PRND
DPF: No
LHD or RHD: RHD (UK)

Post

Yes I will keep an eye on the Forum and contribute if I can.
I've found a socket that is the right internal diameter and a piece of plastic pipe that is the external diameter so if I do not find a tool I will use these as seal fitting guides. I'll post again after hopefully a successful fitting.
My Name: timb

Contributor
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Jul 01, 2019 5:36 am
Model: C3 2006-2009, Facelift model
Year: 2006 (06)
Engine Size: 1.6 (16v)
Fuel Type: Petrol
Mileage: 80000
Trim Level: SX
Gearbox: Automatic PRND
DPF: No
LHD or RHD: RHD (UK)

Post

A few months has passed since my last post on this. I purchased two new seals, in case I damaged one again, and as I said found some pipe and a socket to use as guide/drifts. I then put it on my to do list. However it now appears to be curing itself. The leak has gradually slowed down to the point of next to no leak and the gearbox has been working and driving just fine. It does sometimes change up a little late but then it is getting old and it did do this sometimes before the seal first leaked. It is quite frustrating that there is no way of checking fluid level without draining it to see how much comes out. ( modern automatic technology eh). I am reluctant to put any more fluid in for fear of it overfilling and prompting leakage again. I keep cardboard under it in the garage to see how much it drips but it is now minimal.
I've never known a dynamic seal to stop leaking or cure itself, static seals can like silt up and stop leaking but not seen a dynamic do it. Also ATF has high viscosity and works at high pressure so leaks don't go away.
I'm now sort of bemused but pleased and very reluctant to disturb anything for fear of making it worse. Strictly speaking the leak should be cured, but...….
I'm wondering if maybe the last seal I fitted has sort of bedded into a wear ridge in the drive shaft flange it surfaces up to.
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