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  #1  
Old 11-03-2019, 05:25 PM
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Replacement of front axel twice

Greetings all
My sonís 2003 X5 3.0i E53 has oil leak 9 month ago I looked at it and found the leaks coming from the seal between the oil pan and the front differential shaft. Dropped the front end and installed all news shafts and seals and did the Oil pan gasket too. Soon after the leak came back same location I contacted the vendor thinking something to do with the shaft and in return they sent me two new shafts (L&R) with new seals.
I did not trust the seals so I got new from the dealer. Again took the front end down and replaced everything again new. Two month later he noticed oil leaks again but massive this time and he kept checking engine, transmission brake etc for any evidence of missing oil but found none
Got the car from him and took the shield down and found the leak coming from the same location for the third time.
I checked the seals they were installed correctly and had no Cracks or sign of tear Do you think I need to replace the oil pan now? Any input will be appreciated and god bless
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  #2  
Old 11-03-2019, 05:46 PM
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Go to NAPA (or wherever) and buy a few bottles of the phosphorescence oil additive. They are something like 2 oz bottles. Put that in the oil filler, run the X5 to operating temperature. Use a flash light all around the engine bay and underneath. The oil will reflect green. Search until you find the leaking area. You will need to replace the oil with fresh oil after you use this stuff though.
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  #3  
Old 11-03-2019, 06:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by X5M-ISH View Post
Go to NAPA (or wherever) and buy a few bottles of the phosphorescence oil additive. They are something like 2 oz bottles. Put that in the oil filler, run the X5 to operating temperature. Use a flash light all around the engine bay and underneath. The oil will reflect green. Search until you find the leaking area. You will need to replace the oil with fresh oil after you use this stuff though.
Thank you for speedy reply...if you noticed in the photo the engine and transmission are very clean and Easley is the leak. Itís coming fro the seal on the oil pan side next to the front diff. and increase when the engine normal temp and not even moving. I stayed under the car when was tuning with two spotlights and handheld over that I used reflecting merrier to look on top but was clean.
I am sure of the location but not sure if this is an issues with the oil pan or I need special seals or if anyone got an idea to save me the work all over again. God bless
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Old 11-03-2019, 06:34 PM
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How many miles? Just curious...


I have learned over the years that: this job (seal) is labor-intensive, so....

1. Brand: BMW gasket only.
For engine seal: BMW only, in the Volvo world, it is Corteco that makes the engine seal. Probably Corteco for BMW too.

2. Procedure: note the EXACT location of the factory seal and replicate that.
In general, it is about 1-2mm from the INNER side of the bevel edge.
Install too deep: you will get a leak.
This is bc the factory seal is used to the corresponding "grooves": look carefully on the axle, you will see shiny grooves created by the factory seal.


PS: It looks like it is coming from the engine side. However, it can come from the FRONT DIFF side too.
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Old 11-03-2019, 06:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alenorm54 View Post
Greetings all
My sonís 2003 X5 3.0i E53 has oil leak 9 month ago I looked at it and found the leaks coming from the seal between the oil pan and the front differential shaft. Dropped the front end and installed all news shafts and seals and did the Oil pan gasket too. Soon after the leak came back same location I contacted the vendor thinking something to do with the shaft and in return they sent me two new shafts (L&R) with new seals.
I did not trust the seals so I got new from the dealer. Again took the front end down and replaced everything again new. Two month later he noticed oil leaks again but massive this time and he kept checking engine, transmission brake etc for any evidence of missing oil but found none
Got the car from him and took the shield down and found the leak coming from the same location for the third time.
I checked the seals they were installed correctly and had no Cracks or sign of tear Do you think I need to replace the oil pan now? Any input will be appreciated and god bless

Did you check to make sure the tension spring on the back side of the seal didn't come out when you were installing the seal? OE BMW seal come with a plastic adapter that prevent the spring from coming off when you go to install the seal once the seal is install the adapter is removed. Non OE seal don't have this special adapter. You can fill the back of the seal where the spring is located with axle or wheel bearing grease. This will in most case prevent that spring from coming off. When you go back to do this check the back of the seal or if you have the oil seal check it to see if the spring is still there.

Hope this help
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Old 11-03-2019, 07:00 PM
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You are 100% sure this is not from oil filter housing gasket? Leakage from filter housing gasket will drip down same place as this.
Is it transmission fluid or engine oil? From picture it looks like engine oil, so then it should be the oil pan gasket.
I would dismantle all again if you are certain of the location, and check sealing surfaces very throughly. If there is any signs of scratches or detoreation in metal this could be causing leakage. Use some gasket cement on possible leakpoints when assembling, with new gaskets.

Also check shaft for excessive wear, if old simmering was old and hard, this could wear down the diameter of shaft. This should only be the cause if leaking transmission fluid, unless you have a crack in the oil pan.

Anyway, I would check the oil filter housing gasket first!
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Old 11-03-2019, 07:28 PM
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Thank you for the replies so far.
I a just came out from under the car after taking the. shield down. As I stated the whole front end including the oil pan gaskets, front shafts (complete left and right) new hoses including power steering. All been replaced as I thought if I am taking the front end down itís better to replace anything I can get to, better than doing this again (well I was hoping lol)
Anyhow I did not trust the seals and thatís why I got them from the dealer I get all my hoses seals and sensors from them ďonlyĒ
while I was waiting for parts I did change transmission gasket too and filter.
Looking at the front diff and the seal installed you can see how far is located and itís not deep inside. No parts left from the old shaft as the oil pan was down and the aria cleaned good before installing the new parts.
The second time I made sure to torque all bolts according to the specs thinking they may be off the first time. I am sure 100%+ the leak coming from the aria between the front shaft and the oil pan and confirmed that with my cam and nothing leaking from filters or pumps or other hoses as I keep all my kids cars very clean and on schedule maintenance. They drive long distance to attend their colleges. This X5 has 136000 and he is the only owner after me.
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Old 11-03-2019, 07:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cn90 View Post
How many miles? Just curious...


I have learned over the years that: this job (seal) is labor-intensive, so....

1. Brand: BMW gasket only.
For engine seal: BMW only, in the Volvo world, it is Corteco that makes the engine seal. Probably Corteco for BMW too.

2. Procedure: note the EXACT location of the factory seal and replicate that.
In general, it is about 1-2mm from the INNER side of the bevel edge.
Install too deep: you will get a leak.
This is bc the factory seal is used to the corresponding "grooves": look carefully on the axle, you will see shiny grooves created by the factory seal.


PS: It looks like it is coming from the engine side. However, it can come from the FRONT DIFF side too.
You are correct itís coming from the diff side as all the oil leaked is not engine oil.
Both side shafts are new twice and the seals are from the dealership Tha only thing I think of is it may be that the oil pan somehow expanded? The other aides from the passenger side not leaking or the other side of the diff only the middle. If the price was not a little high I would changed the oil pan too.
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Old 11-03-2019, 09:37 PM
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What are you using to install the seal? I used a PVC plastic pipe that I got at the local home improvement store. I bought the screw on cap for the pipe and used a plastic mallet to tap the seal in. The seal should be even with the differential when done. It should not be extended from the diff case.
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2006 Infiniti G35
2001 BMW 3.0I E53 X5 Build date 08/2000
Lotus Europa 1970 Destroyed by fire
Lotus Europa 1970 S2 Renault Powered
Lotus Type 52 1970 Twincam Webers Powered
PORSCHE 911 Targa 1982 The Garage Queen
Audi Avant donated to Kars for Kids
BMW 525IT Sold
Audi 4000CS Quattro Sold
Jensen Healey Lotus Powered Sold
Opel 1900 Sold
Triumph Spitfire 1971 Sold
Triumph Spitfire 1968 Sold
Plymouth "Cuda" 340 Six pack SOLD
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Old 11-03-2019, 10:30 PM
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Someone above mentioned the $6 OFH Gasket, did you ever replace the OFH Gasket?
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