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Old 12-20-2007, 03:55 PM
Bikeman Bikeman is offline
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Default Dangit! Axle Seals Blew 3K after Rebuild!

The other day I noticed the lower bearing caps a little wet, but no drips. I thought maybe the grease was just oozing a little liquid out.

Today I wanted to install the fancy allen-head diff fill plug. I looked in to make sure the level was ok (.5" below opening). I stuck my finger in there and pulled out soup!

This sucks. I spent 8 hours per side, installing new everything from wheel bearings to trunion beatrings to birfs from OZ. I thought I made damn sure those axle seals were driven in square, and used all the little tricks from Romer's write-up.

Question: Since I basically just did the work 3K miles ago, I don't think I'm going to pull the knuckles off, since the trunion bearings and the wiper kit are newish. I want to pull the axle/birf assy, clean everything, install the new axle seals and leave the trunions alone. I have read that the lower trunion bearing is low rpm and won't mind the bath of synthetic oil and grease mixture, and it will eventually get grease on it anyway with gravity in mind. Sound OK?

It should take alot less time, since the wheel bearings are fresh; maybe add a little grease.

I am going to change the fluid tonight with just dino for now. I would change it every month or so to keep things fresh. I want to wait for better weather later in the winter. Any thoughts on waiting a couple months?

BTW, the inner axle shafts had some grooving on them. Probably not the best for the seals, right?

Good time to do gears right? WRONG! No money now.
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1997 FZJ80, White, Locked, deflared, 5.29'd, 4-5" lift, Fox's, DC shafts F/R, 35" AT's, Metal Tech front bumper w/ winch, custom tube rear bumper, SROR sliders, IPOR skid, Custom exhaust, Snorkel, Eezi-Awn 1600, Mark's Speedo Box.

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Old 12-20-2007, 04:53 PM
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Well, your grooves could have contributed to the mixing.. but probably not as bad as it sounds from your description. A little wetness on the lower bolts is normal, a lot of wetness isn't. How bad was the goop inside the diff before you did the job, is it possible that grease that's causing your soup now was already in there?

I would drop the gear oil, fill with dino, drive for a while then drop the gear oil again and see if it looks better than the last time you drained it. If there's improvement, go ahead and "flush" it one more time, after more driving. You could also take off the wipers from the knuckle and inspect the area below them, to see if your felt is holding back any gear oil. Don't worry about driving a couple more months.
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Old 12-20-2007, 06:24 PM
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When I regeared I left the knuckles on. Ben told me he does that to his trucks sometimes as well.
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Old 12-20-2007, 06:29 PM
Bikeman Bikeman is offline
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The wipers are dry, at least from gear oil. There is a light film of grease on the bell. The diff oil was changed at 117K (baseline, me new owner), and at 128K during the job. It definately does not look like new mobil 1.

I am changing the fluid out tonite and will report in the am.
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1997 FZJ80, White, Locked, deflared, 5.29'd, 4-5" lift, Fox's, DC shafts F/R, 35" AT's, Metal Tech front bumper w/ winch, custom tube rear bumper, SROR sliders, IPOR skid, Custom exhaust, Snorkel, Eezi-Awn 1600, Mark's Speedo Box.

2008 Subaru WRX Wagon, mods and lifted on 27's

2001 Honda XR400 with goodies
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Old 12-20-2007, 06:34 PM
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Check your axle breathers to be sure they are allowing the axle to vent freely.
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Old 12-20-2007, 06:38 PM
Bikeman Bikeman is offline
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I removed the breather "box" and extended the lines into the engine bay with 1/4" low-pressure fuel line.
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1997 FZJ80, White, Locked, deflared, 5.29'd, 4-5" lift, Fox's, DC shafts F/R, 35" AT's, Metal Tech front bumper w/ winch, custom tube rear bumper, SROR sliders, IPOR skid, Custom exhaust, Snorkel, Eezi-Awn 1600, Mark's Speedo Box.

2008 Subaru WRX Wagon, mods and lifted on 27's

2001 Honda XR400 with goodies
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Old 12-20-2007, 10:14 PM
Bikeman Bikeman is offline
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Well, I drained out dark grey gravy. Time to call Marlin in the am to "encourage" them to get those fancy axle seals made up for the 80's axles.

What is everyone using for seal drivers? I used a black piece of PVC, but I think I will have my dad turn something wooden on his lathe. Is there an SST for the seal?
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1997 FZJ80, White, Locked, deflared, 5.29'd, 4-5" lift, Fox's, DC shafts F/R, 35" AT's, Metal Tech front bumper w/ winch, custom tube rear bumper, SROR sliders, IPOR skid, Custom exhaust, Snorkel, Eezi-Awn 1600, Mark's Speedo Box.

2008 Subaru WRX Wagon, mods and lifted on 27's

2001 Honda XR400 with goodies
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Old 12-21-2007, 07:14 AM
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Yes there is an SST. I usually use a 1 x 1 square wood block or something similar, but the PVC should work fine if it's the same diameter as the inner race.

FWIW I'm tearing mine down after about 8K and would have left the knuckles on, 'cept I think I have to take them off to measure the axle tube and everything to make sure it's centered.
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Old 12-21-2007, 09:23 AM
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Did you use Toyota Seals. I have heard stories on mud of people using aftermarket seals with problems. I think there was a thread a year ago where someone comnpared a NAPA to a Toyota Seal and the Toyota one was definitly better quality.
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Old 12-21-2007, 09:25 AM
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Bikeman, I also use a 1.5" piece of PVC.. if you can get your dad to face the end on a lathe so it's nice and square all the better, but not critical if you're careful. Drive that thing for another month, then drop the gear oil again.. I bet it's a lot cleaner next time.
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