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Hello all:

I drove my 16Kmile '01 Z06 to and from Z06 Fest(and all know it was *hot*, 95+ degrees 110 heat index). It was nice to meet some of you, sorry I don't remember all your names. Upon arriving in BG, I found a bunch of oil specs(gear oil, not trans oil, not engine oil, differential fluid, it has a very specific odor) on the rear fascia. I looked under the car at the rear end and didn't see anything at the time. I cleaned the car and in driving around town, noticed no new specs on the rear.

Upon arriving back home, the fascia was again covered with oil specs. I backed the car up on ramps and had a closer look. It seems that it's coming from the drivers side halfshaft area, closest to the differential(vs. closest to the wheel). It had leaked enough that it had streamed back on the exhaust pipe(before it goes into the muffler) and fiberglass that goes b/w the exhaust pipes and started dripping on the floor(although it has not leaked anymore since I cleaned the area up). Interestingly enough it was not flung everywhere like one might think if it was leaking around where the halfshaft was spinning. It was more like it was dripping out and the wind from traveling highway speeds was blowing it back.

I know from researching on the Forum that there are two possible scenarios: 1) It is the differential side cover o-ring and left axle shaft seal, or 2) The diff was overfilled and coming out the vent at the top of the differential.

Question: If it was the differential o-ring/seal wouldn't the fluid be strewn all around the shaft(from spinning) and surrounding area or would it just leak out and be blown towards the rear of the car like I explained.

Or would this scenario more than likely be the vent seeping? I felt around the vent area and it didn't seem wet at all, it was mostly around the drivers side halfshaft/differential area. Any and all help is appreciated, the car has an extended warranty but I'd like an idea of the probably cause before bringing it to the dealer(for obvious reasons). Thanks in Advance

Brian A.
90 ZR-1
[email protected]
01 Z06
 

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Sounds just like the rear diff seal which is a very common problem. Take it to Northside Chevy on Diamond Avenue and ask for Van. He is the Corvette mechanic there and he is absolutely great!!! I will be making a trip back there as the passenger side window regulator went out on Lisa's Z while at the fest.
 

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This might help you.

Vehicle: All Technical Service Bulletins Drivetrain - Rear Differential Fluid Leak

Bulletin No.: 03-04-20-006 Date: November 18, 2003 TECHNICAL
Subject:Fluid Leak at Rear Axle (Replace Left Differential Side Cover 0-Ring and Left Axle Shaft Seal, Add Sealant to Side Cover Flange)

Models:1997-2004 Chevrolet Corvette

Condition: Some customers may comment on fluid leaking from the rear axle.

Correction: Verify that the fluid leak is rear axle fluid, not transmission fluid. Replace the left differential side cover 0-ring and left axle shaft seal. Engineering has recommended that sealant be applied to the side cover prior to installation. Use the appropriate service procedure and part numbers listed below.

Service Procedure (Corvette)
1. Raise and support the vehicle.
2. Remove the left rear tire and wheel assembly.
3. Install J 33432-A Transverse Spring Compressor to the rear transverse spring and compress the spring.
4. Disconnect the electrical connector from the left wheel speed sensor.
5. Disconnect the electronic suspension control (ESC) position sensor link, if equipped.
6. Disconnect the shock absorber solenoid electrical connector, if equipped.
7. Remove the outer tie rod end nut
8. Disconnect the outer tie rod end stud from the rear suspension knuckle.
9. Disconnect the park brake cable from the park brake apply lever and bracket.
10. Remove the bolts securing the upper control arms to the frame.
11. Remove the spindle nut retaining the rear wheel axle shaft to the hub.
12. Rotate the suspension knuckle until the axle shaft clears the hub,
13. Release and remove the rear wheel axle shaft from the differential.
14. Remove the left muffler.
15. Drain the rear differential fluid.
16. Remove the retaining bolts and the damper/tuned absorber from the differential.
17. Loosen the nut retaining the transmission to the transmission LH mounting stud.
18. Install a second nut onto the stud.
19. Remove the stud from the differential cover.
20. Clean any dirt or debris from around the differential cover.
21. Remove the bolts retaining the differential cover.
22. Remove the differential cover from the differential.
23. Remove and discard the 0-ring seal and the axle seal from the differential cover.
24. Clean the 0-ring sealing surface on the differential cover and the differential housing.
25. Install new 0-ring, P/N 89047953, to the differential cover.
26. Apply a continuous 3 mm (0.125 in) bead of sealant, P/N 1052942 (Canadian P/N 10953466), or equivalent, to the cover flange.
27. Apply sealant around the bolt holes. Keep sealant away from the 0-ring.
28. Install the differential cover to the differential.
29. Install the differential cover retaining bolts. Tighten Tighten the bolts to 28 N.m (20 Ib ft).
30. Clean the excess sealant from the left cover/housing splitline.
31. Using two nuts installed on the stud, install the transmission mounting stud to the differential cover. Tighten Tighten the stud to 42 N.m (31 Ib ft).
32. Remove the second nut from the transmission mounting stud.
33. Tighten the nut retaining the transmission to the transmission LH mounting stud. Tighten Tighten the nut to 50 N.m (37 Ib ft).
34. Install the damper/tuned absorber and bolts to the differential. Tighten Tighten the bolts to 25 N.m (18 Ib ft).
35. Install the new axle seal, PN 88996703, into the differential cover using J 46405.
36. Install the left muffler.
3 7. Install the rear wheel axle shaft to the differential.
38. Install the spindle nut retaining the rear wheel axle shaft to the hub. Tighten Tighten the spindle nuts to 160 N.m (118 Ib ft).
39. Install the bolts securing the upper control arms to the frame. Tighten Tighten the upper control arm bolts to 110 N.m (81 Ib ft).
40. Connect the park brake cable to the park brake apply lever and bracket.
41. Connect the outer tie rod end stud to the rear suspension knuckle.
42. Install the outer tie rod end nut. Tighten
- Tighten the outer tie rod end nut to 20 N.m (15 Ib ft) to seat the outer tie rod stud.
- Turn the nut additional 160 degrees.
- Check the outer tie rod end nut for a minimum torque of 45 N.m (33 Ib ft).
43. Connect the shock absorber solenoid electrical connector, if equipped.
44. Connect the electronic suspension control (ESC) position sensor link, if equipped.
45. Connect the electrical connector to the left wheel speed sensor.
46. Remove J 33432-A Transverse Spring Compressor from the rear transverse spring.
47. Install the left rear tire and wheel assembly.
48. Refill the rear differential fluid.
49. Lower the vehicle.
 

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Bulletin No.: 03-04-20-006 Date: November 18, 2003 TECHNICAL
Subject:Fluid Leak at Rear Axle (Replace Left Differential Side Cover 0-Ring and Left Axle Shaft Seal, Add Sealant to Side Cover Flange)

That's it...I just had the same problem...that took care of it
 

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Mine was leaking too, but not as much as yours. It did leak for the first 2 years that I've had the car, then I read about the diffs being overfilled at the factory which contributes to the leaking. Sure enough, I checked the diff fluid, and it was over-full. I let the excess drain out the fill plug to where it should be, and it doesn't leak anymore.

I would try that first to see if that fixes the problem. If not, then the seals are bad.
 

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Mine was leaking at the fill plug gasket under the aluminum tag for "Limited Sip Only". I thought it was the right side axle seal too, because the oil was generally around that area. $1.14 for the aluminum gasket/ring & I left the tag off. It's nice and dry now.
 
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