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Front diff starting leaking on the right side, enough to leave a puddle on the garage floor after our last ride. It is leaking around the seal were the cv enters the diff. I have pulled the cv out and removed the seal. When I stick my finger in the splines (in the diff) I can move up and down and in and out, not substantial play but movement. I removed the cv on the other side to check and see if its the same, found the left side also moves but slightly less.
I have new seals but wondering if I should have any play in the bearings at all? Atv has 1500 miles and I change my oils probably more than necessary, we do ride in a lot of water but my oil has never been milky. Don't want to just change the seal and have it leak again if the bearing caused the seal to fail in the first place...but I also don't want to pull the diff and rebuild if not necessary. Any answers are much appreciated.
 

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Sounds like a bearing on it's way out to me. You can only get that seal as a "kit" for around $55 at the dealer so you may as well tear it out and do it all as well as the bearings and the thrust button plate too. It's not a lot of fun to get out and takes a couple hours but is easy to work on once you have it on the bench.
 

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If you already have new seals and no other obvious problems I'd probably just put them in and try it. If its a bearing getting too much slack it'll show itself soon enough by starting to leak again. Its a tough call but sometimes you can get away cheap and easy with just a seal.
 
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