What is a wiper seal and what does it do?

A wiper seal consists of an elastomer body. It is generally held in place by a metal ring and two half-moons. Sometimes a felt seal is added to protect it.

Its function is to stop external pollution and moisture, such as water, mud, and dust from penetrating the hub of your 4x4. It also prevents the grease contained in the hub from escaping. 


What is an oil seal and what does it do?

The acronym SPI used to designate a seal comes from the German company that pioneered this type of seal. The company, "Société Perfectionnement Industriel", was the first to develop this specification for a certain type of seal.

This type of seal is also known as a "lip seal". It’s used particularly in the motor industry, for accessories that require rotation, such as crankshafts, camshafts, wheels, etc. In short, it is a seal designed for rotation.

The seal has an elastomer body reinforced by a metal frame. It’s placed in a fixed part and the sealing lip rests on the rotating part to seal it. It is fitted with a spring in the sealing lip to ensure a perfect fit.


Why change the wiper and oil seal?

When you take a look under your 4x4 and notice the beginnings of a leak, it's time to change the defective seal. You’ll need to get under your vehicle so ideally it’s better to do it comfortably at home rather than out on the road.

In this article, we explain how to change a wiper seal and a front oil seal. We worked on a Nissan Y60 but this tutorial is valid for virtually all 4x4 models fitted with a rigid front axle.



To change the wiper seal and oil seal on the front axle of your 4x4, you need :

. Ratchet spanner + extension + sockets 22, 21, 17, 14, 13 and 12

. Torx spanner 

. Allen keys

. Phillips screwdriver

. Hub spanner

. Hammer

. Flat nose pliers

. Ball joint separator

. Wooden wedges

. Jack + axle stands

. Cross spanner

. Plastic collar

. Grease

. Degreaser

. Cloths



o give you an idea of the level of difficulty of our tutorials, we've graded them from 1 to 5.

Changing the wiper seal and spinnaker seal on the front axle of a 4x4 is level 3.




Find the seals to suit your vehicle:

Become a 4X4XPERT contributor!

Get your hands dirty

Euro4x4parts features over a hundred mechanical tutorials on 4X4XPERT, designed to get you started and help you maintain and repair your 4x4. These tutorials, illustrated by photos and videos, have been created by us and by some of our customers who are keen to share their knowledge and experience. 

Find out how to contribute here.


Tutorial created with help from Laura & Erwan: On The Road Mitsu

Do it yourself, you'll be even prouder! To help you out, Euro4x4parts shares its know-how and expertise in mechanics through 4X4XPERT: new products, technical sheets, and personalized tutorials... You've got the keys!
And because we also learn from your experiences, your feedback is essential. Let us know your thoughts and suggestions by email: [email protected]

Check out our complete catalogue of 4x4 parts and accessories!

All the photos in our articles are taken on authorized roads or tracks, private land, or during supervised competitions. Let's all do our part to preserve the environment!

Please note: Euro4x4parts publishes this information to help its customers, but cannot be held responsible for the advice given here and their consequences when used.