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D30 leaking!


NAXJA Member
NAXJA Member
In the islands
I am tired of constantly filling the D30 just to watch it leak out the drivers side through the axel shaft and down the wheel so now I plan to do something about it.
My question is, could the seal be replaced without removing the carrier? I know one of the shafts; and maybe both could be removed by simply removing the hub and pulling everything straight out. Is this also true for both sides?

PS. Do Isuzu Rodeo come with a D44 in the rear. I think I saw one in a grave yard a few days ago. Don't know what year it is though.
From what I understand Rodeos do come with a D44, but they also have a 6 lug pattern. Maybe someone else with more info will chime in about it

Go to www.madxj.com and look up the 5-297 ujoint article, he had a lake and goes into what it took to fix it. He had a groove in his axle shaft so ended up changing the seal and shaft. He also upgraded to the heaver U-joint.
You must remove the carrier. The seals are on the outer sides of the differential housing just outside the bearing races for the carrier. The way this works on a non-disconnect axle is you remove the differential cover (have something handy to drain remaining oil) then both the front axles can be removed (they just slide out) after removing the axle hubs.

At this point you are ready to remove the 4 bolts that hold the bearing caps in place. These caps are keyed to the differential housing so study this carefully for re-assembly (mine had a right side up J on the housing and one cap and a sideways J on the other side and cap). When you remove these caps you are ready to pull the carrier straight out along with the bearing races on the sides. It sort of takes a finesse but you reach out with a couple fingers on each side and keep the races with the carrier to keep them from falling on the ground and getting mixed up. The carrier weighs about 10-15lbs. so be ready for it. Have a clean and lint free area to put the carrier and races. I wrapped mine in a towel and put it in a clean plastic bag.

You are now ready to proceed with the removal of the seals. I used an appropriately sized PVC pipe to knock them out. They have to be knocked out into the differential housing. Needless to say after they are out you will have to do some cleaning of the housing to get any grit and slime out. This would be a good time to clean out the axle tubes too. I used a rag and a broomhandle as a ram-rod, sort of like cleaning a big rifle.

To install the new seals ($12.76 each from the dealer) I used a 36mm spindle nut socket to drive it into the axle. I used a long threaded rod with a 1/4" thick washer and a nut. The rod was placed into the axle and through the square 1/2" drive hole on the socket. Now while I steered the socket an assistant threaded another nut down onto a larger 1/4 steel washer on the outside of the axle. I just swapped everything to the other side and did the same thing, that's it.

I did another final cleaning on the housing and replaced the carrier and its bearing races and bearing caps. Torqued the bearing cap bolts to 45lbs. I then replaced the axles by carefully supporting them while installing them to prevent damaging the new seals. I lightly lubed the ends of the axles with gear lube to facilitate sliding into the seal without damaging it. The three axle hub retaining bolts are torqued to 75lbs. and finally the axle nut is torqued to 175lbs.

I did all this in the space of a weekend, however, I also did the ball joints and axle u-joints and trac-bar while I had everything apart. It rides like a new Jeep now and it no longer leaks any lube out the axle. My axles have 155,000 miles on them and there were no grooves in the smooth sealing surface that contacts the seal. If you notice grooving at the sealing surface on the axle, the only way to fix it is to replace the axle.


so you can actually do this without messing with the r&p?? i didnt think that was posible.... but thats an area i'm green in still... i have the same leak since i did my drivers side u-joint last month..
If by messing with the R&P you mean shimming and such, that is not happening in this type of service. It's simply taking everything out and putting the same thing back in into the same spot.

To my knowledge shimming and R&P set ups are only done during an R&P replacement, i.e. different gear ratios.

But, as I outlined above the seals have to be knocked into the differential housing to remove them and then driven from inside the differential housing to install them. To do this the carrier must be removed.

When I first researched the procedure I was somewhat intimidated by it but I just took it on and I'm glad I did, it saved me a bunch of labor costs.

A website with good pictures and instructions was mentioned above by Martin. Go to www.madxj.com and find the tech article on Front Axle Seals and Upgrading to 297-X U-Joints.

Thanks everyone.
Now I know the carrier has to come out I will plan on doing all the repairs that need to be done at that time.