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Discussion Starter #1
Has anyone seen this? Subject is a 2012 Sport with 33,000 miles. Manual trans. While changing oil last weekend, I noticed the greasy weepiness around the driver's side driveshaft. Any thoughts about the culprit? Could it be a bum CV boot?.... or perhaps a bad lip seal into the transmission?

Thanks!

-Ryan


IMG_20150426_165034.jpg IMG_20150426_165039.jpg
 

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How close is that to the main rear seal. They been known to leak too. If you still have warranty left, I'd take it in for a look.
 

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Agree on warranty comment but it sure looks like a weepy cv seal throwing stuff when rotating... course it also looks thin-ish look oil dripping, hard to see here
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks, guys!

Sniffed around for photos of the engine/trans assembly.... some guy on eBay has and engine/trans on for sale, and enough pics to satisfy. Looks like the leak is pretty far from where a rear main seal leak would manifest. The leak is limited to the CV boot area where it plugs into the "transaxle" part.

-Ryan
 

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I'd go with leaking CV - boot should be easy enough to tell if it's ripped/torn. I would get it checked out though.
 

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While installing lowering springs on my 14 Abarth with 6000 KMS ( 4000 ish miles) we noticed a LOT of grease on the passenger side CV boot. Took it into Fiat today, they told me it needs a new driveshaft. Will be without the car for up to a week. I'm also having one of my side skirts replaced because its peeling off ( this is the third time on my third fiat, you think they would have fixed this issue by now) Oh Fiat.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Still haven't dealt with mine. I half wish Fiat could just send me a new drive shaft. It'd take me less time to DIY than it would to drive the 200 mile round trip.

-Ryan
 

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Has anyone seen this? Subject is a 2012 Sport with 33,000 miles. Manual trans. While changing oil last weekend, I noticed the greasy weepiness around the driver's side driveshaft. Any thoughts about the culprit? Could it be a bum CV boot?.... or perhaps a bad lip seal into the transmission?

Thanks!

-Ryan


View attachment 70250 View attachment 70258

Ryan,
I have a 2012 500 Sport w/ 5 Speed manual trans.
It was manufactured on 4/2011 and currently has 35,000 Miles.
This weekend I had the bottom shroud removed, and my 500 is suffering from the same condition, on the same side (Drivers).
If I took pics, they would look EXACTLY like yours...
 

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Just some observations from your photos:

- Your rubber boot looks OK on that double offset joint (the inboard part of the shaft).
- Looks like more of a "seepage" from the output seal than "fling spatter" from the rotating joint.
- The lubricant looks more like gear lube (amber) than moly grease from the joint (almost black).

Kinda suspecting a leaking output shaft seal (the seal where the output shaft exits the transaxle).

If you have a good nose for odd smells, try smelling a drop of the leaking lubricant. If you can detect any kind of sulphur odor, then it's definitely leakage from the transaxle, not the DOJ joint.

Not a serious leak at all, but can be annoying when it gets worse. On our old Subarus, the tranmission lube leaks onto the exhaust manifold. Smells great! :p
 

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Just some observations from your photos:

- Your rubber boot looks OK on that double offset joint (the inboard part of the shaft).
- Looks like more of a "seepage" from the output seal than "fling spatter" from the rotating joint.
- The lubricant looks more like gear lube (amber) than moly grease from the joint (almost black).

Kinda suspecting a leaking output shaft seal (the seal where the output shaft exits the transaxle).

If you have a good nose for odd smells, try smelling a drop of the leaking lubricant. If you can detect any kind of sulphur odor, then it's definitely leakage from the transaxle, not the DOJ joint.

Not a serious leak at all, but can be annoying when it gets worse. On our old Subarus, the tranmission lube leaks onto the exhaust manifold. Smells great! :p
multiair,

Thanks for the reply and well-written analysis!

From the viscosity of the lube that's covering parts of the trans axle, I'm also surmising that this is a "weepage" condition (as opposed to a "leak") from the trans axle output shaft seal.
So, it's more than likely trans oil and not CV Grease. I rotated the output shaft 360 degrees, and the CV Boot is A-OK - no tears or punctures.

So, last evening I did a pretty extensive internet search for other 500's with the same condition.

I found (but neglected to bookmark) a post talking about how there was a run of 500's that had a "little" too much lube put into the trans axle. I don't know if this occurred in Italy (where the trans axle is made) or in Mexico (where the trans axle is mated to the engine).

Apparently, the fix is to drain the trans axle and refill - ensuring that the car is parallel to the floor.

This is also the most reasonable way to initially approach the situation as the axle seal is encased in a (removable) aluminum plate, and that "assembly" apparently is over $100 at FIAT!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I'll admit I've been ignoring my problem.... mostly because the Studio is a day trip during the work week. I suspect it's the driveshaft on my car. I'm starting to hear some evidence on the highway. Probably need to deal with it soon. I partly wish our car wasn't under warranty, because it'd be easier and quicker to deal with this myself in the driveway....

Is a transaxle seal really $100??

Either way, I'm not pleased that we have either of these problems at 35,000 miles.

-Ryan
 

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Is a transaxle seal really $100??

-Ryan
RyanR -

That's what I read late last night - $119 - I wish I thought about bookmarking...

I tried finding the seal at the "usual" FIAT online parts suppliers that support this (and the other 2) FIAT 500 websites, but to no avail. I imagine that the poster that I stumbled upon checked the seal pricing at the dealership...

Anyways - the axle seal is unusual in that it's encased within an aluminum plate - so when you buy a "seal" you have to buy the entire engineered aluminum "plate".

The aluminum plate w/ seal is screwed onto the side of the case with (4) bolts, one on each corner of the plate.

From an engineering standpoint, I can see how having the seal encased in a plate is a good idea, so as to prevent damaging the trans axle case during bad seal removal, or incorrect seal installation upon repair. I imagine that the engineers were trying to "idiot proof" the seal removal and installation process.

From the consumer standpoint - it is $100 more than I'd like to spend on a $20 axle seal.

I'm hoping that my (future) servicing of the trans axle will cure this condition -
 

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Discussion Starter #14
From an engineering standpoint, I can see how having the seal encased in a plate is a good idea, so as to prevent damaging the trans axle case during bad seal removal, or incorrect seal installation upon repair. I imagine that the engineers were trying to "idiot proof" the seal removal and installation process.
More likely it allows more throughput in the shop while extracting the same profit from the consumer. Sigh....

-Ryan
 

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Back in the day when this thread first started, it was easy to find the online diagram from FIAT part suppliers.

These days - not so easy...

Can anybody either post a link, OR, the FIAT blown up diagram - to the:

* 5 speed manual transmission
* Drivers side
* Trans axle output shaft seal

If you look at the photos on page 1, the trans axle output shaft seal is an aluminum plate, that holds a rubber seal.
The plate is attached to the trans axle via 4 bolts.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Update on this old thread from our end:

My wife went up to the Studio in Jan 2016 to get this fixed under warranty... and also to replace the key FOB I sent through the wash. :rolleyes:

While waiting, Fiat gave her a steal of a deal on a brand new 500X Pop with manual trans. I love that little 1.4L MultiAir engine, and it sings with the turbo. The 500X has FSD's so, all over it's a better ride than the 500 Sport. I'd love to get an 500 Abarth one of these days.

Back to this thread: Tasca is selling Fiat parts now, complete with parts explod-o-grams. I'd been using Tasca for years and years for genuine Volvo parts, and their prices can't be beat for Volvo. Prices seem very good for Fiat as well. They cleverly saved me like $5-10 by changing my order and selling me a "kit" of four spark plugs instead of the four plugs I'd ordered individually.

-Ryan
 

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Hoping that someday someone will do the definitive write-up on replacing front axle seals (with pics).

Is that too much to ask ;-) LOL!

I'm a confident RWD wrench turner BUT have never dealt with FWD seals and the removal of axles (in my case I need to do the driver's side / Left).

I also suspect there are alternative ways to remove the front axle so as to either lessen OR not screw up up the wheel alignment and steering wheel orientation.

Guess what I'm writing is that I'd wish that someone that has been there and done that will step up to the plate.

I've researched alternatives to the FACTORY axle seals (that are in the range of $80 - 90 ea), with German mfg. seals easily obtained off of EBAY for approximately $15 - $25 ea delivered.

I'd love to work with someone and pass on all my research.
 

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Hoping that someday someone will do the definitive write-up on replacing front axle seals (with pics).

Is that too much to ask ;-) LOL!

I'm a confident RWD wrench turner BUT have never dealt with FWD seals and the removal of axles (in my case I need to do the driver's side / Left).

I also suspect there are alternative ways to remove the front axle so as to either lessen OR not screw up up the wheel alignment and steering wheel orientation.

Guess what I'm writing is that I'd wish that someone that has been there and done that will step up to the plate.

I've researched alternatives to the FACTORY axle seals (that are in the range of $80 - 90 ea), with German mfg. seals easily obtained off of EBAY for approximately $15 - $25 ea delivered.

I'd love to work with someone and pass on all my research.
There are a few you tube videos on replacing half shafts. Watch one of those.
 

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There are a few you tube videos on replacing half shafts. Watch one of those.
@smark - Thanks for the suggestion.

BUT I'm looking for a 500 specific video or write-up that covers all the subtle Italian nuances that one will experience with a 500. If we owned Accords or Carollas this would be a walk in the park! ;-)

With that said, I did find one 500 specific video on YouTube.

It's filmed by a gent that calls himself Pureza Garage 704 , and it's titled: Fiat 500 Abarth Axles Pt. 1

Link:

It's an OK video for showing you what you will encounter, until it gets to the 9:12 minute mark.

At that point in the video, Pureza Garage 704 is attempting to remove the Drivers Side Axle (exactly the one I need to remove to get to the Axle Seal that is mounted to the Transmission case).

BUT, due to 500 space limitations (and probably not having the right/best assortment of tools), he's having such a tough time removing the drivers side axle that he decides to perform a work-around and separate the axle at the transmission case side CV joint.

This decision leaves nothing but the "tripod" that is inserted into the transmission case. He removes the tripod with a set of Vice Grips, after what he describes "hours of rocking it every which way". Well, that's one way to do it ;-) and it works for him because he's replacing the entire axle with a replacement axle...

Back to my situation; My factory FIAT axle and it's CV Joints & Boots are A-OK, and I want to remove them whole/in one piece so I can simply slip them back in and re-use them...

So I'm trying to figure out what tool arrangement is the best to overcome the tension of the snap ring, withing the tight space confines of the 500.

I've been researching various tools, and I'm thinking this tool for the end of a slide hammer, currently priced at $20.50 on Amazon; ABN 5534

 
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