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Old 09-26-2021, 09:01 PM #1
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new axle seal leaking...FIXED

I did new bearings and seals about 3 months ago. 50 miles after install I noticed a small amount of oil on the inside of the wheel. I took the drum off, cleaned it and the shoes as best I could and unclogged the breather. I have about 2000 miles since then. Now all of a sudden the wheel is coated in oil.

If I pull the axle and put in a new seal, is it true that the oil will wash out the bearing?
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Last edited by D'arce; 10-24-2021 at 07:13 PM. Reason: solved
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Old 09-26-2021, 09:21 PM #2
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Originally Posted by D'arce View Post
I did new bearings and seals about 3 months ago. 50 miles after install I noticed a small amount of oil on the inside of the wheel. I took the drum off, cleaned it and the shoes as best I could and unclogged the breather. I have about 2000 miles since then. Now all of a sudden the wheel is coated in oil.

If I pull the axle and put in a new seal, is it true that the oil will wash out the bearing?
my 2000 was leaking when I got it and yes the bearings were washed out. turn the bearing once you pull the axle. if they turn like raw metal on metal then yes they are washed out.

make sure you do the grease test when you re-install, I have done them on 3x different trucks now and I have not had a leak. I did miss the spacer one time and had to reset the position so it would contact the seal in the correct location.

timmy the tool man has a great rear oil seal video. in the end if the grease test works you will not leak rear gear oil. I'm going to guess you new bearings are probably still ok.
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Old 09-26-2021, 09:46 PM #3
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. I'm going to guess you new bearings are probably still ok.
Thanks, I hope so and I will see how it spins. Definitely not going to drive it until I get it fixed. Are there any dimensions to measure off the bearing face to see if the retainer is in position?

If there are no dimensions to reference I'll certainly do a grease test as you suggest.
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Old 09-27-2021, 09:22 AM #4
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Get under the truck and make sure the breather valve isn't stuck. If it's stuck, try to spin it around so it un seizes. Typically when the seal goes out and makes a mess inside the drums, it contaminates the brake pads in the process and you have to replace them.
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Old 09-27-2021, 10:06 AM #5
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Sounds like you have entered, and become stuck in the Rear Axle bardo. The navigation of this bardo marks a critical stage in your transcendental 3rd gen ownership journey. Close family members should take turns reciting incantations from the Service Manual of the Factory during this time, and leave offerings of Brakleen and OE seals at your side.

Rear Axle Seals: The Ultimate Information and Replacement Thread (3rd gen)
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Old 09-27-2021, 11:06 AM #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by D'arce View Post
I did new bearings and seals about 3 months ago. 50 miles after install I noticed a small amount of oil on the inside of the wheel. I took the drum off, cleaned it and the shoes as best I could and unclogged the breather. I have about 2000 miles since then. Now all of a sudden the wheel is coated in oil.

If I pull the axle and put in a new seal, is it true that the oil will wash out the bearing?
Some have repacked the bearings with new grease with success, I'd check it. Mine had just the littlest oil weep into the ABS cavity and my bearings were washed grease free. Yours likely are now too.

This axle seal is an exact science. Watch Timmys video, read the DrCoffee thread carefully. It is possible to do this job yourself but the measurements and process have to be precise to get success. There is only about +/- 1mm of room for error on the retainer positions. Gotta get it right or its going to leak. And use new OEM seals from the dealership.
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Old 09-27-2021, 02:58 PM #7
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I had a re-leak after doing mine. I ended up getting new retainers, then when I pressed them on, I spread a little FIPG around the axle shaft that would fill in any micro scratches on the axle itself. I also spread some FIPG around the axle housing where the seal is pressed in to make sure nothing was working it's way around that way. About 10k miles since then, many of them very hard (Seattle>Cabo>Seattle) and no problems.

I think it was on Timmy's last video about doing the seals where he recommended not reusing the retainers.
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Old 09-27-2021, 04:08 PM #8
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Originally Posted by Hopeless Diamond View Post
I had a re-leak after doing mine. I ended up getting new retainers, then when I pressed them on, I spread a little FIPG around the axle shaft that would fill in any micro scratches on the axle itself. I also spread some FIPG around the axle housing where the seal is pressed in to make sure nothing was working it's way around that way. About 10k miles since then, many of them very hard (Seattle>Cabo>Seattle) and no problems.

I think it was on Timmy's last video about doing the seals where he recommended not reusing the retainers.
I had to do the same thing for my left rear axle seal.

For anyone considering doing this, make sure you are using an FIPG specifically formulated for gear oil if you decide to go this route and new inner retainers that are flipped. Sharpie/grease test the retainer location soon before the FIPG sets up. I also smeared a bead on the inside edge of the inner retainer where it meets the axle shaft for good measure and waited the correct cure time before refilling my differential.
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Old 10-01-2021, 04:14 PM #9
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Make sure to replace your diff breather, or at least pull it and test by blowing through it. A bad breather can blow oil through the seal. I've been using dino oil in the rear diff since I did mine instead if synthetic I had been using. The dino oil seemed to fix the slight leak from the half botched press work the axle shop I took the half shafts to. Their first attempt was totally botched, wasn't going to be a third attempt. It's been ok with Lucas conventional 75W-90.
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Old 10-01-2021, 04:41 PM #10
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Make sure the springs that hold pressure against the axles are in the seal properly and not broken. Is this what y'all mean by retainers?
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Old 10-01-2021, 05:43 PM #11
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Make sure the springs that hold pressure against the axles are in the seal properly and not broken. Is this what y'all mean by retainers?
No. The solid pieces that are pressed onto the axle shaft are the retainers. The inner retainer is what the axle seal rides on completing the seal.
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Old 10-05-2021, 08:04 PM #12
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So I've got an update. I pulled the leaking axle shaft out and about 1/4 cup of pretty nasty oil came out with it. I was thinking this isn't good. Set the axle aside and noticed a hump of metal shavings built up on the ABS sensor. Well shoot....something obviously went sideways with this install. I grease the retainer and slide the axle back in. Tighten two bolts to pull it tight and I took a peak through the ABS sensor hole. I didn't even bother removing the axle to see the grease mark afterward. I pulled the other sides ABS sensor and the exact same thing.



I can see why its leaking but I don't understand where the metal came from. This is of ultimately my fault. I didn't check the seal was riding on the retainer before putting it into service. The fellow that pressed on the parts sure talked a big game. I'm going to stop by and see him tomorrow after work.
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Old 10-24-2021, 07:12 PM #13
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I just wanted to update the thread as fixed. I purchased the tool (from donald-the-bonald) off ebay and a 20 ton press from harbor freight. Followed Tim's second video and it went smooth. The shop that I had press on the bearings originally just guessed at the location. They had pressed them on so far that I could not get the removal tool underneath to remove them so I had to cut them off. Kind of a pain but all's well that ends well. The tool was top notch and had everything I needed.
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