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Differential Cover Dust Seal - Updated

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On my 7016H, when switching from winter ags to summer turfs, I noticed leaf stems sticking out the differential/hub area.  The dust seal is barely there and definitely no longer as wide as it should be in spots, so I figured I should remove the right side hub and clean it out and replace the seal before the spider gears object to being fed debris.  

The dust seal is NLA according to several online parts dealers.  Maybe I can find one on a dealer’s shelf somewhere but if not, anyone have a suggestion on what can be made to work?

I did some forum searching, but couldn’t find anything about a substitute. 

Took some pics today of what the seal area looked like before I took it apart (pics taken after cleaning most of the grease/dirt/debris from the seal area):





See follow post below for "repair".


Edited by PhanDad
Pics added

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I just replaced that seal with two large O-rings from Fastenal. They fit fairly tight but stretch enough to get over the flange. I had to clamp in some temporary  wooden shims to keep the flange in place while installing the axle and squishing the O-rings a little. I think it will work, but I haven't got the rest of the tractor back together yet to try it out.

I can't find the order I used for the O-rings, but I measured the axle flange diameter and the inside of the differential flange to get the O-ring diameter and thickness. I used 2.16 inch I.D. x 5/16".

Hope this helps

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I forget the size O rings I used.  They come in different cross sections and then different diameters.  It seems like the .138 inch cross section filled the gap and I used a size to be slightly stretched when installed and used 4 of them side by side.  I got mine from a local hydraulic rebuilder but McMaster Carr has them also.  

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Try taking it in to a vacuum cleaner repair shop.  I believe its the same as a Hoover 89 vacuum beltsm03.


Vacuum Belt.jpg

Edited by ShaunE
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This is a part that needs to be replaced on probably half of the machines I work on. I've bought a couple NOS ones and they are sometimes too shriveled to use. Will let look into the vacuum belt idea. 

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Try calling several dealers and didn't have any luck finding a seal.  Looked at some vacuum belts, but didn't find any small enough in diameter (I didn't have the part number that was added in the edit by @ShaunE).  Looked in the plumbing section and found that a 2" rubber pipe connector is close to the right size, but the wall is too thick I believe.  

Then while removing the hub (pics above) and cleaning the debris from the hub and inside the differential housing, I had a brain drizzle.  (Lucky the debris only seemed to be on the outer edge - and they use to use sawdust in the old days to quiet the running of car rears so a bit of grass has to be good, right?) 

Many years ago I tore down a Vickers tranny that was given to me (a rusty, water infiltrated unit) to salvage the axle tube.  I documented the tear down with pics to use as reference - AND I thought I might have also saved the differential.  First step was check the pics and I found this:


Looked like a good seal to me; now all I had to do was find the differential.  Long story, short - found the differential and the seal is in good shape and installed on the 7016H differential:




Last pic is before the hub was pressed further on the shaft and locked in place with the set collar closing the gap shown in the pic.  


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Yeah, I can't believe they obsoleted that part.  Every one of the large frame garden tractors used it.  I know tractors get old and parts go away, but that dust seal doesn't last for ever.  The exposure to the grease in the diff seems to mess up the rubber over time, and almost every time I have had one of these axles apart, I have replaced that rubber dust seal because the original one was not really doing its job anymore.

I will have to look for that vacuum cleaner belt - I always thought that could be an option, but never actually tried to match it up.

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