Pinion Leakage on 2013 - Mustang Evolution

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Old 04-25-2014, 11:01 AM   #1
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Pinion Leakage on 2013

Just discovered that the pinion is leaking on my 2013 V6. Has anyone else had this problem?
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Old 04-25-2014, 11:14 AM   #2
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Is your car lowered?
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Old 04-25-2014, 07:55 PM   #3
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Not too uncommon. Make sure it's not your axle vent as there is a TSB for that.
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Old 04-26-2014, 08:08 PM   #4
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I just installed a JLT expansion tank on my GT. There was a little seepage from the pinion. When I removed the OEM breather however I discovered it was pugged. There was significant air pressure inside the axle! I'm pretty sure that could push lube past the seals. Glad I decided to address this.

Maybe you also have a plugged breather?
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Old 04-27-2014, 02:19 PM   #5
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My 2012 had a small pinion leak around 30k miles.
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Old 04-27-2014, 06:26 PM   #6
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Noted it about a month ago when on a lift (~16K miles on a 2013 PP) - never enough to drip anywhere (home/work), but enough to coat the diff pretty well.

Sent a picture to Ford service advisor and took it in on Friday.

Was the pinion seal AND the breather (TSB). They replaced the seal, but had to order the kit for the TSB and will take it back later this week.

Hopefully no issues from the process - time will tell.
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Old 04-27-2014, 10:11 PM   #7
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hopefully its leaking on my wifes car---gear change excuse lol
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Old 04-28-2014, 03:42 PM   #8
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After thinking about it I believe the air movement I heard upon unscrewing the OEM breather was a vacuum as opposed to pressure being released. The breather seems to be a one-way affair like a check valve and the axle was cold at the time so a vacuum makes more sense. Of course this makes me worry a bit about the pinion seepage more. Gonna just keep an eye on it for now.
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Old 04-28-2014, 04:35 PM   #9
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Does any one have a picture of where the pinion is? I'd like to understand exactly what's happening and what to look for so I can keep an eye out for it when I'm working on the car or I take it in for servicing.
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Old 04-29-2014, 12:39 AM   #10
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The pinion shaft is where the drive shaft bolts onto the front of the differential.

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Old 04-29-2014, 08:02 AM   #11
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Thanks Jeff. I gotta do some research on this to find out where the breather is and how to tell if it's plugged and where a leak would show up.
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Old 04-29-2014, 10:56 AM   #12
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Old 04-29-2014, 11:23 AM   #13
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Quote:
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Thanks Jeff. I gotta do some research on this to find out where the breather is and how to tell if it's plugged and where a leak would show up.
Remove the drivers side rear wheel. Then look along the top side of the axle. You will see this small valve with a "cap". This is how the axle breathes. If the cap is stuck, or the differential is over filled, or you do any sort of extended "sprited" driving, you may see seepage of rear gear fluid coming out of this valve (stock valve at bottom left picture). If this valve plugs, then pressure can build, and either the pinion seal will leak (where the drivesaft meets the center rear differential), or worse, the end axle seals can leak. The rubber "turkey baster" (top picture) type is the Ford TSB replacement:
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Old 04-29-2014, 12:38 PM   #14
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Remove the drivers side rear wheel. Then look along the top side of the axle. You will see this small valve with a "cap". This is how the axle breathes. If the cap is stuck, or the differential is over filled, or you do any sort of extended "sprited" driving, you may see seepage of rear gear fluid coming out of this valve (stock valve at bottom left picture). If this valve plugs, then pressure can build, and either the pinion seal will leak (where the drivesaft meets the center rear differential), or worse, the end axle seals can leak. The rubber "turkey baster" (top picture) type is the Ford TSB replacement:
Thank you so much Bucko, that's exactly what I was looking for. I will check this valve when I do my typical weekly maintenance. Thanks again
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Old 04-29-2014, 01:47 PM   #15
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You bet. Another way to "fix" the cap from plugging up or allowing some gear oil to blow by is to remove it, then pop off the cap, and install a length of hose to it with a clamp. Route the hose upward, towards the trunk bottom (about a foot will do), and tie wrap it away from the exhaust. this allows for the pressure/gear oil mist to expand (it's only a finite amount), and settle back down. This is what the "turkey baster" method does. Some however have said the plastic valve at the top of the baster melts, as it's close to the exhaust; check it often as well.

Some have added a "catch can", simular to that used in the engine compartment to replace the PCV setup that routes crankcase fumes/oil into the intake...I'll stop here as to not create that debate here.

4 wheelers do the "extended hose" method all the time, to prevent water from entering this valve when they wheel around deep water. We don't have those issues (hopefully no one here 4 wheels with their Mustang!), but rather the "sprited" driving that can cause a bit of pressure to be created inside the differential when the gears are spinning.

I suppose a rear gear that has a higher ratio, such as a 4:11 gear at high RPM would create more differential pressure than a stock 2:73 at the same engine RPM.
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Old 04-29-2014, 07:41 PM   #16
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Here are two pics I took to get a better idea of what was happening under my car. I had both a leaking pinion seal and seapage from the axle vent. Someone smarter than me pointed out a pinion seal leak can be identified by a vertical oil spray pattern on the underside of the car near the pinion caused by the spray of oil right and left. You can see the vertical oil line on the grey underside of the car. Click image for larger version

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The second pic is of the axle vent at the top of the drivers side rear axle.(Cleaned up at time of pic, but was originally covered in oil and some grime)Click image for larger version

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Old 04-29-2014, 08:31 PM   #17
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Thanks for the pics, I just looked at mine 3 days ago and notice mine was covered in oil and grime but had no idea what the hell it was lol. I just had the gears done and I'll clean that up tomorrow. What did you use to clean it?

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Old 04-29-2014, 09:20 PM   #18
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Someone suggested brake cleaner, but warned be careful of paint. I tried Tarminator and it worked great. Safe for paint, spray on, let sit 60 seconds, hose off. Repeat if needed. I got it at O'Reiley Auto Parts, but heard you can find it at Walmart too.
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Old 04-30-2014, 05:56 AM   #19
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I don't know why the manuals state to fill the rear differential with just over 3 quarts...this aids in the problem of the rear end misting out rear gear fluid from the vent. Two quarts is enough to get great gear splash and keep everything lubed up backe there.

And check that 2 dollar vent piece often! If it gets plugged, the pressure has to go somewhere; it's a blessing if the pinion seal goes, as thats an easy replacement; if the axle seals go, they are a pain to replace.
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Old 04-30-2014, 08:24 AM   #20
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Bucko is correct as with the older foxes we fill with 2 quarts and 4oz of modifier.

Question, does that finned Ford Racing diff cover actually give you any added capacity or does it just look pretty and have "cooling fins"?
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Old 04-30-2014, 09:31 PM   #21
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My pinion seal leaked and was replaced under warranty at about 14,000 miles.
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Old 05-01-2014, 03:09 PM   #22
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Bucko is correct as with the older foxes we fill with 2 quarts and 4oz of modifier.

Question, does that finned Ford Racing diff cover actually give you any added capacity or does it just look pretty and have "cooling fins"?
The one on mine (yes, I do have one) aids in removing the fluid (lower drain plug), and re-filling (upper plug). Getting the fluid in on the 2011 from the top was just plain not going to happen without a special pump and long tube!
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