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1999 Corolla Ve Differential Box Seals Replacement. Power Steering Le

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Hello every one,

It's been a while since I have been on here. About to move to Seattle and brought the car for inspection and the previous leaking axle seal was fixed as the reman axle was not round and it leaks as soon as the new seals were replaced. Any way, with the axle seal fixed, now I still have differential leaks. It's very little but the mechanic seem to think it's from the seals within the differential box. For the VE models, the differential and tranny are two seperate boxes. I searched every where and no DIY guide or videos to do this. Does that mean this repair is rare or it just does not happen?

Another problem he says was the power steering pump is leaking a little also. Nothing major. The fluid level has not change since I last checked and I check very often. I wonder if the chain tensioner tiny leak is making its way down to the pump.

Never the less, the mechanic seems to think the repairs are not essential for the car to safely drive from SoCal to Seattle.

Now I like a nice no leak car like my 90 Accord. I would like to know if it's easy that I could replace the differential box seals myself? The power steering pump, is it rebuildable? Or for Toyotas, you just replace the pump? Any guide on replacing the pump? The car has AC so tighter to get down there. I am used to my Accord with every thing on top and the pump is rebuildable. Also, it seems the Honda pumps seem to last longer than the Toyota pumps as I have spend more money replacing the Toyota pumps than any Hondas. I work more on Hondas.

I know Fisher always come to the rescue.

Thanks for any input and help.

As for seal replacement on the differential - they are pretty rare on the A131L transaxles. I personally have not replaced any axles seals on the A131L or A245E transaxle - the 5-speeds/6-speeds are a different story. But what I've gathered, the procedure it very similar to the manual transaxles - meaning that the seals can be installed by hand (don't need a press). Supposedly, there are seals (marked with a red dot) that are supposed to be more prone to leaking that others seals, though that might be total conjecture at this moment.

As for the steering pump - there is a steering pump seal kit available. I think they go for around $20 for the kit. But I haven't seen any instructions to rebuild it outside of the factory service manual. Before you get too far down that road, I'd clean up the engine really nice / drive train as well - make sure that you can definitely pinpoint where the leaks are and how bad they are. Even a small leak around the timing chain tensioner can make that whole side of the engine look like it is hemorrhaging oil.

I totally agree with you on the leaks, nothing bugs me more than seeing a spot of oil on the garage floor / spots on my parking space. I've had older domestic cars that leaked all the time, that time this was just expected and fully excepted by owners - then we got our first taste of the imports (BMW 2002, 4th gen Honda Civic, 2nd gen Toyota Camry, 5th gen Toyota Corolla) and then every changed from that point. Not that your typical GM, Chrystler, Ford was bad at the time - just the build quality was shoddy, compared to the imports, and that people should expect more instead from their vehicles. The domestics now are very appealing, but still have a bit more polishing to do before I jump back onto them again.


Well another very good mechanic confirms that the differential leak is from the housing and not the axle seal. So what could I do now? Is there a seal that I could replace it with?


Leak from the housing? Not good. Might have to get the case checked, as I've seen some transaxle cases have microcracks that weep fluid. Usually happens most on standard transaxles - owner misses a shift and either crunches a gear really hard or overrevs the box. If it is a blown seal - not an issue, you can get that resealed. If the case is cracked - your option is basically to swap in another transaxle.

Depending on where the leak originates from - might be able to reseal it. They are sealed with a FIPG material from the factory - possible that it dried out and started to leak. If you ran any additive, it might have perforated the seal from the inside.

You could also go hog-wild with a tube of RTV and seal it from the outside. Worked on my old GMC 4x4 decades ago - ended up almost sealing the whole exterior of the transmission and transfer case with RTV to stop those leaks. Held up long enough for me to drive it a couple of years, before we junked it.


How do I need reseal it? Can I do it with the casing staying on the car?


Depends on how badly / quickly it is leaking. As long as you can see where it is actually leaking from and have access to that immediate area - might be able to temporarily seal it up with everything still on the car.

If is a lot of microcracking - not a lot you can do, aside from replacing the casing. Temporarily, you can seal it with RTV, epoxy or similar - sort of like body work for the transaxle with something that will stand up to oil and a little heat. Won't look pretty, but it will at least stop it from leaking onto the garage floor/pavement.

These are stress cracks on a Honda - you can't really make out the cracks, but you can see where the oil is weeping out from. Link below.,d.eW0&psig=AFQjCNHsE4PvdRjaagX-aKCuU-IMXlLK1g&ust=1387634704862015

If there is a noticeable crack - might be able to fill/permanently seal it with a low temp brazing rod or a special epoxy (some used J-B Weld with some luck). This is not a typical DIY job - lots of times, especially if the crack is big - you'll have to pull the casing to get at both sides of the crack.

This example is off of a Ford - this sort of damage is repairable, but generally not on the vehicle and be wildly variable in cost, depends on if there is anyone around that can tackle this sort of job.


My car is an auto with 3 speed so not sure how prone to cracking it is. But I really more worry about the fluid getting dried out and ruin the differential all together and my wife has no car.