I am replacing the axle seals in the differential of my '91 318is and have a
question regarding the installation. My Bentley manual and a BMW service
manual on CD that I use both say that I should drive the seal in until it
bottoms out in the housing but if I do that the seal will cover up a small
cross drilled hole in the housing bore that looks to me like it is probably
a vent hole. I also think that driving the seal all the way in will put it
deeper into the bore than the ones I removed but I failed to measure before
I removed them so I'm not sure. One of my manuals does reference a special
mandrel to be used to drive the seal in and it occurs to me that the mandrel
might have an oversize shoulder on it that would bottom out on the housing
when the seal was at the proper depth but this is pure speculation on my
part. Anyone out there knowledgeable on this subject??
You're assumption is correct. The factory tool bottoms out against the
seal carrier, setting the seal at the correct depth.
That depth, by the way, partially covers the hole you refer to.
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