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Old 07-06-2009, 08:21 PM   #1
Captain Kenpachi
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Default Differential Removal

Do-It-Yourself Differential Removal by James92LS
(Disclaimer: Do this work at your own risk and only if you are mechanically smart – do not even think of coming after me if you screw up your car or yourself.)
This DIY was written to help those with a leaking differential. It includes instructions on how to remove the differential and replace all the seals. The typical reason it is necessary to remove the differential is to replace the differential pinion seal, which is the seal that goes between the transmission and the differential. One must either drop the transmission or remove the differential. If one has the proper tools (i.e., a car lift and a transmission lift), it may be easier to remove the transmission – But for those trying to do this in their garage, it is easier to remove the differential. Make sure you read the helms service manual differential section which is attached at the end of this document in pdf format. Any references to left, right, rear, etc. in the instructions are from the perspective of one sitting in the driver’s seat, facing forward.

Parts you will need:

Total of 6 seals you should replace (pictures of each seal are in the instructions below):
1) Differential pinion seal – goes between the differential and the transmission – 91209-PY4-003
2) Right Axle seal – goes between the differential and the right axle – 91206-PY4-004
3) Intermediate shaft O-ring – goes between the intermediate shaft and the oil pan – 91331-PY3-000
4) Intermediate shaft seal – goes between the intermediate shaft and the left axle - 91260-SL0-004
5) Differential to oil pan O-ring – goes between the left side of the differential and the oil pan –
91332-PY3-000
6) Speed sensor O-ring – goes on the speed sensor – 91313-611-010

Other things to replace:
• Differential drain crush washer - 94109-20000
• Differential fill crush washer - 94109-14000
• Cotter pins for castle nut (you will need two, one for each wheel) - 94201-30220

The helms service manual also recommends replacing a few set rings, but it isn’t really necessary unless one is worn or broken.
• Differential extension shaft set ring - 44319-PY5-000
• Right axle set ring – goes between the right axle and the differential - 44319-SL0-300
• Left axle set ring – goes between the intermediate shaft and the left axle - 44319-SL0-300

Fluids you will need:
• Honda Coolant (if you drain the coolant). It’ll hold a little over a gallon with a normal drain/fill
• Gear oil (differential fluid) – Service manual recommends SAE 90 for temps above -18 degrees C (SAE 80W – 90 for temps below -18 degrees C). It’ll hold a little over a quart (1.11).
• Super High Temp Urea Grease (P/N: 08798-9002 or just get from your local auto parts store)


Tools you will need:
• Jack
• Jack stands
• Optional: Acura extension shaft puller, P/N: 07LAC-PW50100 (expensive and not really needed)
• Optional: Acura extension shaft installer, P/N: 07MAF-PY40100 (expensive and not really needed)
• Optional: Acura (or other) Ball Joint remover tool, P/N: 07MAC-SL00200 (not really needed)
• Two drain pans, one for coolant and one for differential oil (only one pan is needed if you don’t drain the coolant).
• Gear oil pump (you can buy one for a few bucks at a local auto parts store).
• Various wrenches, sockets (10, 12, 14, 17mm etc.), and pliers (regular and needle nose).
• Torque wrench if you want to put all the bolts back on to specifications.
• A very good friend
• A lot of guts
• A full day of work (it took me from 10 am to 6 pm from start to finish with the help of a friend)
Differential Removal Instructions:

1. Jack up the front of the car and put jack stands under the front lift points. Try to get the car pretty high so it will be easier to work under. I was able to get mine about 14” high (measured from the floor to the top of the jack stands). Don’t forget to put the e-brake on hard and put blocks around the rear tires.

2. Drain the differential oil by opening the drain plug. Wait about 10 minutes while it all drains out, then put the plug back in (spec is 29 lb-ft). Don’t forget to use a new differential drain crush washer (P/N: 94109-20000).


3. Antifreeze runs through the differential, so you may want to drain the coolant from the car as well. I didn’t drain my coolant, I just plugged up the hoses after I pulled them off of the differential. This didn’t work very well and made a pretty big mess, so I would recommend draining the coolant.
a. Open the radiator cap (make sure the engine is cool when doing this).
b. The coolant drain plug is at the bottom of the radiator on the left side. It is normally a white plastic knob that you turn with your fingers. On my car I had to cut through the plastic cover on the bottom of the car to get to it – on newer years there is already a hole in the plastic so you can reach this plug.
c. Let the coolant drain out and then tighten up the drain plug.

4. Remove the drive shafts from the differential - Note that the method I used does not remove the axles from the hubs, but only from the differential. So the axles will remain under the car and attached to the hub (but removed from the differential obviously) while you are removing the differential.

a. Remove the front wheels.
b. Locate the lower ball joint with the castle nut on the bottom. This is the very bottom of your suspension, just behind the rotor.

d. Remove the castle nut
e. Use one of the following methods to get the ball joint out:
i. Use the ball joint remover tool.
ii. Turn the castle nut upside down from its original position and screw it part way back onto the bolt, but make sure the bolt doesn’t come out the bottom of the castle nut. Use your jack and put it under the castle nut. Jack the suspension part way up so there is pressure on the castle nut. Hammer the lower arm next to the castle nut until the bolt pops loose inside the ball joint (the purpose of putting the castle nut on upside down is to give the jack something to sit on rather than just the threads of the bolt, which you don’t want to screw up. Also, it is better to use a rubber mallet than a hammer, as it is easier on the car, but either work).

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Last edited by Captain Kenpachi; 07-06-2009 at 08:24 PM.
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