’29 143 Rear Axle Seals

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    Recently we lost the left axle seal on my Dad’s ’29 143 EDL and after looking on all 3 CDs of service bulletins I can’t find any information on replacement parts or procedures. Am I overlooking a service bulletin on the CDs?

    The car has the original rear end.

    I know these rear ends have been rebuilt many times over the years so there has to be someone out there with seals that fit and a write up on the procedure to change them.

    I figure while I’ve got the rear axle out I may as well give the whole thing a once over.


    Hi, Craig,

    Back in 1993 I replaced the rear axle seals on my ’29 133 Club Sedan.

    I used a National seal 8835S. As I remember the seal lip fit the axle pretty well but the O.D. was a smidge too big, so I made a couple sawcuts in the edge so that it would squeeze together and fit correctly. It’s still there and working fine.

    Good luck!



    I forgot about the changing procedure.

    First you need to remove the brake drum which is attached to the axle’s tapered shaft. You’ll need one of those heavy duty pullers that have three long legs which can be tightened onto the wheel studs. The center stud of the puller pushes on the end of the axle. This is the kind of puller that has a special dogbone for hammering the center stud tight in order to put a lot of force on it. Then I’d use a big “dead blow” hammer to whack the end of the puller. In a few good whacks the drum will come off with a bang. Don’t let it drop on the concrete floor.

    Next, you’ll see that you now have access to five bolts that hold the axle housing to the carrier. Remove those and the axle and housing can be withdrawn from the carrier together. Note that there are shims between the carrier and the housing. This is how the axle end play is adjusted.

    You should now have access to the seals. I’s been a long time but I think that there are two seals on each side of the car.

    Also, remove the axle from the housing and clean up and check the wheel bearings. They are available should you need them.

    Upon reassembly, put the axle, bearings and housing back together with NO grease to begin with. Then assemble the axle,shims and housing to the carrier and bolt it up. Then check your axle end play with a dial indicator. I think that about .005 to .007 is about right. (Other PAS members can help me with this dimension, please!). This measurement is much more difficult to make if the parts are already greased, so please remember to do it dry. If you need shims to increase the clearance, I can probably come up with what you need.

    With that done, pull it all apart and pack the housing and bearings with grease and you’re on your way. Don’t forget to put the cotter pin back in the axle!

    Best regards,



    Thanks a bunch for the information.

    I’m just happy to hear that I don’t have to completely remove the whole rear axle assembly to do the seals.

    Looks like I’ve got some work for the next few weekends.

    Thanks for the offer to help out with shims, if I need any I’ll let you know.

    Thank you,



    Craig —

    I have a detailed write-up about replacing an axle on my Model 133. I did it and wrote it up in 2004 and eventually it may appear in a Service Bulletin, but I can send you a copy now.

    Arnold Romberg


    Thanks for the offer to send the write up, Arnold.

    You can send it either via e-mail or snail mail.

    Everything is correct in the latest registry for snail mail or you can send it e-mail to [email protected]

    I have the seals I just have to get out in the garage and start taking things apart.

    Thanks again.



    I got the e-mail. Thanks for such a detailed write-up. Part of me wants to replace the seals with modern seals for longevity but another part wants to keep the car totally original and replace the felt seals.

    No will ever see the seals but I’ll know what’s in there.

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