1st gen Nissan Xterras are known for getting a power steering leak from the sector shaft seal (the shaft to which the pitman arm attaches)

I'm wondering if it makes sense to lather on grease on the outside as a preventative measure to protect the seal?

This is the area I'm talking about: enter image description here

As you can see, there is a bit of an indent on the gear box body and the dirt and dust seal is a bit inset. I'm wondering if it makes sense to pack/fill this area with a nice thick waterproof grease to protect the seal from road salt and dirt?

Just to be clear on the set-up: there are two seals - the outermost is a dirt and dust seal, then there is a snap ring, and then the oil seal is deeper inside. Obviously, it's the oil seal that wears out and leaks, but I'm guessing that's primarily because dirt works its way up past the dirt/dust seal and wears down the oil seal. I figured if there is grease on the very outside, facing the elements, it will create a barrier for this.

  • It takes a very long time for them to wear out and its not from outside contaminants. Bad. idea
    – Moab
    Apr 26, 2020 at 22:33
  • In marine/boats, usually they put a ton of grease on all outside surfaces to seal them in - that's what spurred the thought. Also, I noticed that when installing a used gear box, there was thick grease there - so someone decided it was a good idea haha. That gear box is working well (no leaks), while my old one and most other ones I saw always leak around 200,000km... so got me thinking if the grease was what saved this one!
    – wild.coast
    Apr 27, 2020 at 17:24


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