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Q: Rear Axle Seal Replacement - What type seal?

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I am replacing an inner axle seal on a 1992 4runner. What is the best seal to use? I notice there are differences.

Toyota OEM- The seal housing is all metal. Napa (National brand) - seal housing has a slight rubber coating on the outside which I assume helps to seal it when tapping it in. O-Reilly Auto Part- Seal housing is all rubber

It seems like the Toyota OEM would be the way to go, but it is all metal on the outside. Will it seal ok? Do I have to put some type of sealant on it? Or just some gear only and tap it in? I did notice the OEM seal is deeper than the others?

Or, are the newer after market seals better? i.e.: maybe that's why they added rubber? Maybe newer technology in making newer seals?

Cost difference isn't much between the seals. I just want to install the best one and can't seem to get a consistent answer.

Thanks for any advice.

My car has 294000 miles.
My car has a manual transmission.

A: Hi there, thanks for writing in. I recommen...

Hi there, thanks for writing in. I recommend buy the Toyota OEM part. Although we could go into high detail as to the precise technical differences amongst the various and competing aftermarket seals you are describing, such will not change the conclusion at all. Generally speaking, aftermarket parts are NOT as good as the factory OEM parts. Large car manufacturers spend hundreds of millions of dollars, indeed billions, developing the technologies used in these vehicles and ALL of the parts are extraordinarily carefully engineered to fit very precisely and perform specific functions. In the aftermarket, they try to duplicate that, but more often than not, it does not work. Toyota OEM quality in particular is not duplicated well, if not at all, in the aftermarket.

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