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Second Generation Legend (1991-1995)

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Old 12-02-03, 01:06 PM   #1 (permalink)
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differential leak

95 LS Coupe A/T. 92k miles. I've owned the car for 3 months.

The differential leaks. I have searched this forum for tips but would like some more advice.

There is no evidence that the leak is from either axle shaft. Evidently, it is from the pinion seal. The only oil seal my Helms manual shows is at the end opposite the pinion. I changed the gear oil about 1500 miles ago. The capacity is about 35 oz. I drained out about 20 oz & it was fairly dirty.

Is there any gear oil that has a "stop leak" in it that works?

A local independent shop quoted me $350 to replace the seal. The Helm manual makes this look like a lengthy job. Does this seem reasonable (or too good to be true)?

The Helm manual also lists a possible cause is a plugged breather hole but does not tell how to diagnose or fix this. Is this likely or any easier to fix than replacing the pinion seal?

I notice a very subtle gear "growl" when I drive (most others would think I'm imagining this). Is there any way to diagnose gear lash or wear while the differential is out without complete disassembly? Is there anything else I should have done while this is out?

Thanks!
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Old 12-02-03, 01:48 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I had a differntial leak about a month ago, at first I thought it was engine oil so I took into Acura of Spokane ASAP and they put it up on the lift and told me it was a differential leak. They said it is a very common problem with the Legends and they usually just slowly get worse and worse, but usually people just drive them and get it filled at LOF. In my case the seal had cracked and it needed attention now! They had me bring it back in the next morning. They gave me a loaner and I got it back the end of the day. The bad news... They have to take the tranny out to fix it! $540.00 Not to bring ya down, but its the truth. Now, a month later my car is in the garage with a BHG!! It could be worse
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Old 12-02-03, 06:41 PM   #3 (permalink)
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They are charging me closer to $700 to get mine fixed. I don't know anything about this, but I am sure this is the same problem. They just topped off the fluid for the time being, until I get the money to get it fixed (end of the month). Is there anything that I need avoid doing to keep it from getting worse?
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Old 12-02-03, 08:01 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I had to replace my pinion seal when I first got my car as well. Paid around $540 at the dealer. My rear seal was also leaking(which the dealer told me AFTER the job is done), but was too small that my independent mech told me that I'll only have to top it off once in a while. Of the two years that I owned the car, I never really needed to top it off since the leak is so minor. Anyways, have them check both seals and get both replaced if needed.
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Old 12-02-03, 09:20 PM   #5 (permalink)
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The repair through Acura is around $530. It is an all day job as the differential has to be removed. During the repair the gears are checked. The unit only holds just over a quart of fluid. Low fluid = deceased lubrication= damaged unit. The problem is that the diff is checked and refilled with the vehicle level and this is most easily accomplished when the vehile is on a lift.
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Old 12-03-03, 07:55 AM   #6 (permalink)
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There are two seals back there that go bad? I just got one fixed by Acura and they didn't even say anything about the other seal going bad was a common thing. I wish I would have known that before I gave them $530 to fix just one while they could have fixed both of them at the same time. This makes me mad, because most of that money is just labor! I can only hope that the other one doesn't go bad now.
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Old 12-12-03, 11:54 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Has anyone replaced the seal themselves or very aware of what is involved?

I'm planning on getting mine replaced soon by an independent shop & I want to make sure he does a complete job. The seal itself is $9 from the dealer and there is anywhere from $350 - $550 in labor to change it. Is most of this labor in removing & replacing the unit or in assembly & disassembly of the differential itself?

My Helm manual shows only an "oil seal" near the pinion hub & nothing near the pinion itself. Are there other things that should be checked or changed along with this procedure (axle seals, VSS/Power Steering Sensor, CV Joint boots, etc)?
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Old 12-13-03, 03:45 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I understand that it can be a common failure. My dealer once told me that some of the dif casings have air pockets in the castings and sometimes even a new seal won't completely solve the problem. Was told that at one time Acura had a hidden warranty on the bad casings.
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Old 01-20-04, 12:38 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I may have found a (temporary?) fix for the leak. A local NAPA parts store recommended Lucas Transmission Fix. This is intended for automatic transmissions but the label says "Excellent also to control leaks, wear & hard shifting in light duty manual transmissions" and "Completely stops most seal leaks". I drained my diff & put most of the contents of the bottle (24 ounces) & topped it off with gear oil. The viscosity is really high. It seems to have slowed or stopped the leak.

Anyone else tried this? I'll keep you posted.
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Old 01-24-04, 08:07 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by oldacura
I may have found a (temporary?) fix for the leak. A local NAPA parts store recommended Lucas Transmission Fix. This is intended for automatic transmissions but the label says "Excellent also to control leaks, wear & hard shifting in light duty manual transmissions" and "Completely stops most seal leaks". I drained my diff & put most of the contents of the bottle (24 ounces) & topped it off with gear oil. The viscosity is really high. It seems to have slowed or stopped the leak.

Anyone else tried this? I'll keep you posted.

I have been wandering this also. has it improved the performance in the tranny any?
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Old 01-25-04, 04:24 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Get it done by a small shop in your area, a lot cheaper than the dealers.
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Old 01-27-04, 06:01 AM   #12 (permalink)
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but the seal can break again right? Is there a better seal you can use to reaplce it? My first coupe had a break in the seal, but not my current one --=Keith
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Old 01-27-04, 12:49 PM   #13 (permalink)
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The differential leak seems to have totally stopped. I doubt that this is a permanent solution but it may buy me some time. My only concern is that the higher viscosity of the Lucas Trans Fix may not lube the differential gears properly but I called Lucas and they assured me that it would. I may try this for a while and switch back to regular gear lube later on & see if the leak returns. You can check it out at: www.lucasoil.com. This has not affected the transmission at all. I don't know if adding some to the transmission would help or hurt. They claim it smooths out shifting.
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Old 01-29-04, 09:32 AM   #14 (permalink)
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The seal is a very small, little 10cent seal (I think it's like an 0-ring ) and if the stop leak helped, then maybe changing back to the 90 wt. gear lube from Honda will be okay.

Most cars use an 80wt. differential fluid, but many cars have the differential cooled by the transmission fluid. The Legend has a separate little reservoir for the differential fluid that holds like a quart of fluid. Yeah, 500.00 is about the going rate at most dealers around here, and again, a lot of independents won't tackle this repair.

I have a small leak a drop every couple days or so, so I'm watching it. Let me know how this stuff works, and whether you go back to the regular fluid. I was wondering if there wasn't something to stop the leaking out there, that would work, but everyone just said 'nothing for differentials I'm aware of'.
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Old 01-29-04, 09:48 AM   #15 (permalink)
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$350.00 is a very good price,.....It is a very lengthy job on the legend.....
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