Transaxle Seal Leak - How common, how dangerous?

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Care, Maintenance & Troubleshooting' started by Estes Kefauver, Jun 16, 2017.

  1. Estes Kefauver

    Estes Kefauver Junior Member

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    That might account for why I can't find any videos or how-to's on replacing them. I've been following my Haynes manual which has you disconnect the tie rod end and ball joint only, which lets you move the knuckle around and get the axle out of the hub. Then you are supposed to pry out the inner end from the transaxle. Well, there's no room for prying, any bar long enough to reach will run into other objects before it can start prying. @m.wynn , did you remove the steering knuckle entirely? I checked Chilton's online (we have access through our library), and they prescribe removal of the stabilizer link and control arm, followed by use of a special tool that looks like a slide hammer with long narrow jaws that engage notches in the inner end of the CV axle. @Mendel Leisk , do you have the page from the service manual on this? Just not sure how much needs to be taken apart, and I would have liked to avoid the need for an alignment afterwards ...
     
  2. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Titanic Social Director

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    Yeah I do have something; I'll try to post later, site is currently SO hooped it's hopeless.
     
  3. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Titanic Social Director

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    Here it is, hopefully helps, I haven't really read through it that much.
     

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  4. m.wynn

    m.wynn Senior Member

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    Absolutely. I can't imagine performing this job with it in the way unless maybe the car was on a lift. Then you need to get your pry tools of choice between the inner housing and the trans. A slide hammer is probably the way to go but I've never owned one. Again it was a bit fiddly but once you pry from the right orientation it will pop out with basically no resistance. It pops back in the same way. You won't need an alignment as you're not messing with camber or toe and I personally wouldn't replace the axle, especially given your low mileage.

    I did this job in late 2014 so apologies for lack of remembering detail and failure to document it. Neither are strong suits of mine...
     
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  5. Estes Kefauver

    Estes Kefauver Junior Member

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    Thanks to both of you! I thought removing the knuckle-to-strut bolts would necessitate an alignment after reassembly. Is that not so?
    Mendel, The document is the same, word-for-word, info I'm seeing online through the Chilton library. The relevant section is p36-7 in that document, and it shows the special tool. One thing I guess I did wrong so far is I didn't matchmark the hub and axle, although neither has rotated much if at all. The instruction to "separate" the "suspension arm sub-assembly" appears elsewhere in the document to mean just what I did -- remove the ball joint nuts, not the complete removal of the control arm from the car. With the tie rod end and ball joint disconnected, the knuckle can move around quite a bit to allow extraction of the cv axle from the hub. The one thing I haven't done is remove the stabilizer link, guess I can do that, but I'm not sure that's going to get me much more pry room. I have a slide hammer, but not the fancy attachment, and it still seems like the knuckle would be in the way. I'll fuss with it some more and see what I can do.
     
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  6. Estes Kefauver

    Estes Kefauver Junior Member

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    I believe you, I just haven't found the spot or the tool yet. But I think I've figured out what to look for now. Lemme see if I can insert pictures.
    This is the special tool diagram from the manual. It *looks* like a slide hammer device:
    SST_CVTool.gif
    But it has several components. I looked them up individually, and there are not two jaws, only one. It looks like this:
    09520-01010.gif
    So I think what is necessary is to find a spot on the inboard joint assembly where the notch shown in the detail of the first pic is, and rotate the joint to somewhere you can get a pry bar into that notch. Given that the whole thing is recessed and you don't have a lot of room to pry from the sides or underneath, you are coming straight at it, as if it were in the bottom of a tin can. I'm getting the best results, which so far is not saying much, with a "heel bar". Now I'm hoping if I can find the notch for it, that may do the trick.
     
  7. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Titanic Social Director

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    Those pics look like the perfect tool. In lieu, could something like this work? I think not as good though:

    IMG_7017.JPG
     
  8. Estes Kefauver

    Estes Kefauver Junior Member

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    The problem with every pry tool I have, including one like that, is there is just nowhere to put them. If this were the right side, it would be no problem, but the left is way inside the frame, there's body work and subframe members in all directions, and the surface of the transaxle case, where reachable, is curved so things slip off. The notches on the inner cv joint are actually rather far out from the transaxle, but still inside of all the stuff that's in the way, and in mid-air besides. I tried a number of different things to get a fulcrum, and had no luck. So why not try something like the manual's method? I checked my slide hammer kit, and it has a claw, but it's not offset enough and slips off the notches. I then made a light slide hammer from a piece of threaded rod, using a washer with a flat space ground on it. It wanted to slip off the notches, but with some leverage in the right places, I was able to pound away. Nothing. Rotated the cv, tried from all angles. Nothing. Not enough weight, I suppose. I'm about to conclude that it's unnecessary to replace the seal, and wait till @NutzAboutBolts does a video on this. ;)
     
  9. NutzAboutBolts

    NutzAboutBolts Senior Member

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    won't be putting this video up anytime soon since there's no problem with mine :(

    I thought I saw someone on here who changed out both of their cv axles and posted pictures of them no? maybe they'll have a better idea on how to help you on this process.
     
  10. Estes Kefauver

    Estes Kefauver Junior Member

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    That's too bad, Nutz! I have been reviewing YT videos on removing stuck CV axles from random vehicles. Most methods are destructive, which is fine when replacing the axle is your objective, but not helpful to me now. Several posters there mention that shock, rather than mere prying force, is needed. That may be only when they're stuck, but could account for why the repair manual uses the slide hammer + claw. I'll keep working on it and see if I can find a way. I like excuses to buy new tools ...
     
  11. Estes Kefauver

    Estes Kefauver Junior Member

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    Success! I worked from underneath the car. I found a place I could get a pry bar like the one in Mendel's photo up through the subframe. Curved end down, flat end against one of the notches in the inner cv joint. Standard hammer applied to curved end. Nope. 4lb hammer applied, and the cv started to move. You can rotate the axle and try other notches to spread out the force. Possibly a straight tool, like a heavy duty screwdriver or blunt chisel would fit instead of the pry bar. I have the car high enough for this, on jack stands, wheels are about six inches off the floor. Obviously, make *certain* the car is safely supported if you do this, and won't fall off your jack stands when you hammer. Since the repair manual has you use a slide hammer, I am assuming that what I did amounted to applying about the same kind of force, and shouldn't have damaged anything. Time will tell.
    I see a couple minor dings in the dust shield of the inner cv joint, probably from earlier prying attempts. I think I can restore it to round.
    Also, just to clarify from earlier posts, I still did NOT remove the whole knuckle. My reading indicates that camber is affected if you detach the knuckle from the strut, and I didn't want to risk needing an alignment. I did remove the stabilizer link from the strut, might not be completely necessary, but it gives you some clearance, makes it easier to move the knuckle around, and is prescribed in the repair manual.
     
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  12. Estes Kefauver

    Estes Kefauver Junior Member

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    For the sake of documentation, here's a photo showing the tools and where I used them. Refer to post #26 above, the end of the pry bar goes against the notch on the inner CV joint, pictured in that diagram as where the slide hammer claw goes. I found access under the car near the trans drain plug where I could get the pry bar on the notch:

    Prius_Remove_L_CV.jpg

    The tools (minus the tape measure, it's just for scale):

    Prius_Remove_CV_Tools.jpg
     
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  13. Kasra

    Kasra Junior Member

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    Hey guys,

    Tonight I was rotating my tires and decided to check the brake pads as well. I noticed mine is leaking as well and it doesn't look new either. From the mess that it has made, it seems that it's been there for a while. I did the first transaxle fluid change myself at 55K but didn't notice anything wrong. It's just sad that this has happened at this mileage,

    2015 Prius with 68K miles

    Does anyone have the part(s) number for the seal?

    Thanks
     

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  14. Avi's Advanced Automotive

    Avi's Advanced Automotive Independent hybrid repair shop

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    parts.toyota.com

    Posted via the PriusChat mobile app.
     
  15. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Titanic Social Director

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    Could it still be under warranty? Either way, consider having a dealership service department look it over, get a quote.
     
  16. Avi's Advanced Automotive

    Avi's Advanced Automotive Independent hybrid repair shop

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    Good point! It should be covered under warranty if it was purchased in Delaware, Pennsylvania, or Washington.

    Posted via the PriusChat mobile app.
     
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  17. Kasra

    Kasra Junior Member

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    I will check take it to the dealership and have them check it out. I live in California, but I let you know :)

    Thanks :)
     
  18. Avi's Advanced Automotive

    Avi's Advanced Automotive Independent hybrid repair shop

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    In California, the warranty is only until 60K miles.

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  19. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Titanic Social Director

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    Maybe some goodwill discount, it's such low miles still?
     
  20. Avi's Advanced Automotive

    Avi's Advanced Automotive Independent hybrid repair shop

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    I sent a friend to get his warrantied since it was under 60K. The repair manual says to drain the fluid, replace the seal, and fill with new fluid. All the dealer mechanic did was change the seal. They left the old fluid in and didn't even have the decency to top off the fluid.

    I'm not sure paying for anything at a dealer is a good idea.

    Posted via the PriusChat mobile app.
     
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