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  1. #1
    Registered Member One Ring
    Join Date
    Jun 26 2014
    AZ Member #
    North Bend, WA

    Replacing driver's side axle flange seal, 2002 A4 automatic.

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    Performed this job recently on my 2002 A4, after experiencing a steady leak of ATF from the area of driver's side axle flange. Did not find any satisfactory write-ups about it, so thought I'd give it a go. I utilized Bentley and Hanes manuals, plus what I did find on the internet.

    1. With car on the ground, loosen the lug bolts of both front wheels and loosen the driver's side driveaxle/hub bolt (17mm internal hex). You will need a new hub bolt to re-install.

    2. Jack up front of vehicle and remove both front wheels. I also removed the belly pan.

    3. Bentley recommends removing at least 0.5 L gear oil from differential at passenger side of transmission. There is only a fill plug, so oil has to be removed with a pump. My hand pump did not quite get 0.5 L out, but I had to call it good. This is done to keep gear oil from getting into the transmission when you remove the axle flange shaft assembly.

    4. Remove driver's side axle bolt and remove speed sensor. You may want to unbolt the brake caliper assembly and hang it out of the way with wire. I chose to leave it in place.

    5. Remove the inner CV joint shield (3X 6mm allen). Remove the six bolts (M10 triple square) that hold the inner CV joint to the output flange of transmission.

    6. Remove the drive axle: to get the clearance for this you have to disconnect the two upper control arm ball joints and the steering ball joint. Completely remove all nuts and bolts from these ball joint mounts. You can use something like a brass punch to drive ball joints out, and a hammer and wood block against the control arm, if necessary. It is not recommended to try to free the ball joint studs by prying at the slot where they are mounted. Pull drive axle out of hub and set it aside.

    7. Near axle flange there is wiring bracket to disconnect and a wiring ziptie to remove. Remove wiring connector to speed sensor (I used a flatblade screwdriver to press on retainer clip and lifted it off with a pick tool that had a right angle bend at the tip). Remove speed sensor by prying the plastic arm away from mounting hole and turning the sensor 180 degrees.

    8. Remove three T40 bolts from the axle flange. The axle flange assembly can now be pulled out of the transmission.

    Caution: At this point I hit a snag. Bentley says that you can rotate the flange clockwise 60 degrees to clear the opening below the wheel well. In my case there was simply not enough clearance to make it through. I ended up having to use my grinder with a cutoff wheel and remove some of the steel lip at the top of the wheel well to get the necessary clearance. There are brake lines running very close by, so I pulled them loose from their mounts and ziptied them as far away as possible from the action. You might want to consider removing the brake lines (bleeding the system after replacing) if you're not feeling lucky. It is also recommended to be careful removing (and inserting) the shaft from the transmission so as not to damage internal seals which keep the ATF and gear oil from mixing.

    9. With the axle flange & shaft assembly removed it was pretty straightforward to complete the job. There is a snap ring to remove and then I used a hydraulic press to separate the shaft from the ball bearing/flange. With flange and shaft apart, I pried the old seal out with two large flatblade screwdrivers, applied oil to new seal and installed to same depth as old (I use an assortment of plumbing couplings as round seal drivers). The bearing looked good and so I did not replace it.

    10. Press shaft back onto flange assembly and re-install snap ring.

    11. Re-install in reverse. Top up gear oil in differential. You may also want to top up ATF, or better yet service the transmission if it has been over 50k since last one.

    12. Lightly snug wheel bolts and axle hub bolt while vehicle is still up. Once on the ground you can fully torque all of these. According to Hanes the axle hub bolt (M16) is first torqued to 148 foot lbs and then rotated a further 180 degrees (big cheater bar needed!).

    The axle flange seal for my Audi is P.N. 01L 409 399 and the seal ring (flange to transmission) is P.N. 01V-409-133. Purchased online from Jim Ellis Audi parts for about $50 with shipping.

    [IMG][/IMG] Passenger side differential.
    [IMG][/IMG] Upper control arms disconnected (driver's side).
    [IMG][/IMG] Driver's side output flange with axle removed.
    [IMG][/IMG] Ground away area at top of wheel well.
    [IMG][/IMG] Flange and shaft separated for seal access.

  2. #2
    Active Member One Ring
    Join Date
    Jan 02 2014
    AZ Member #
    Franktown, CO

    OK. I know this is real old but here goes. Changed the output shaft (flange shaft) (stub shaft) or whatever you want to call it seal today. When you pull the shaft there is basically the bearing, the seal, and some other spacer looking doo-hicky. IDK, speed sensor? Anyway it broke. The car has no power now - Yes I put it back together broke. What is the spacer part? I can not find a break down diagram that shows the flange shaft and it's parts. It actually looks like the part is still on the shaft in the above image. I guess I should state it is a 2002 A4 quattro Tiptronic 3.0L. I can't replace a part without knowing what it is. Thanks for any help

  3. #3
    Veteran Member Four Rings seanf86's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 27 2011
    AZ Member #
    My Garage
    04 A4 2.7T swap, 13 Q5 3.0T S line, 02 A4 1.8T tiptronic, 01 B5S4 tiptronic
    Items for Sale

    I know this is old but just to add I just did this yesterday and ran into the same clearance problem, ended up removing the rear subframe bolts, lowering it down and prying to down farther with a 2x4 while I popped the flange out, swapped out the seal, pried down again and slipped it back it and buttoned it all back up.


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