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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,

Just picked up a S3 Spider from Ebay and have discovered a patch of oil under the rear that appears to be coming from the differential housing :(

Haven't got it up on a ramp yet - will be taking it to Gravesend Transmissions at the weekend.

Anyone got any advice or previous experience?
 

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Could be one of four things-

1. Sump plug.

2. Filler plug.

3. Sump gasket.

4. Diff pinion seal.

The first three are easy but 2 and 3 will require a drain and refill of the axle (don't forget to use limited slip oil if the car's a two litre).

Number four is a right laugh...
 

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...and if it is the pinion seal, do NOT tighten the pinion nut to specs when reinstalling; instead, tighten the nut to the exact position it was in prior to disassembly. Reason is that tightening the pinion nut to specs with worn internal parts will mean way too much pre-load on the pinion bearings. This will wear out the bearings in short order (if you can put up with the howling noise long enough).
 

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I'm away to be doing my pinion seal,after removing the prop shaft I was expecting a hex nut but its a round nut with six teeth,do you just knock it round in an anticlockwise direction with a drift or do you get a special tool?
 

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There is a special tool but at the Mercedes place I used to work in we used an air chisel.:wow:

A hammer and drift ought to move it though.
 

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That crenalated nut is impossible to get hold of! No one makes them anymore and only a few specialist garages seem to have them. I had a leaky pinion seal when I got my Spider. BLS Automotive in Lincoln replaced it for me as they had the tool. Unfortunately someone had tried to remove the nut previously using 'brute force' and actually damaged the surface of the diff housing that the seal sits on. I had to have it machined back to flat so that the seal worked..... All is okay now thankfully!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks folks, decided to take it to somebody with some ***** experience, talked through on the phone this week and she's going in tomorrow for the assessment.

All great advice - I'll let you know the outcome tomorrow.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Well, it's apparent that it is the Pinion Seal and there is a little play in the prop shaft u/joint. That being said, it is a slow leak and there isn't any vibration coming from the rear when I'm driving so we've decided to leave it alone and keep an eye on it.

Thanks for all the tips...
 
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