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Leaking rear axle seal draining on wheel and tire

gg1

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Feb 3, 2018
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I have replaced the bearing and seal twice now and I just can't get it to stop leaking. Are there any tricks? Maybe replace the axle on that side? I am using the best parts money can buy. so far into it for $400 and it will grow from there until I replace everything there is to replace I guess. The Jeep is going to be parked outside until this is resolved. Shame, but I am tired of mopping up grease. Suggestions? Anyone in Pittsburgh think they can fix it?
 

derekmac

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Feb 10, 2016
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NS, Canada
What seal and bearing did you go with? I went through two sets of the recommended Timken ones, and they both leaked. Tried National, and no leaks now.
IMG_20190913_191901.jpg
 
OP
gg1

gg1

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What seal and bearing did you go with? I went through two sets of the recommended Timken ones, and they both leaked. Tried National, and no leaks now.
View attachment 115061
Used National the first time. Not sure what was used the second, but will know soon. We always put the best parts on my TJ. Better to spend the money up front. I hope it can be resolved. If not, outside it goes.
 

Rob5589

Certified video trained differential rebuilder
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Of everything is correct, then either the seal surface is damaged or the housing bore may have some deformity. Those rarely leak, so there is something that is damaging the sealing surface/s.
 

Vinman

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Calgary, Alberta
Did you check the axle vent hose is not plugged causing the axle to pressurize and push gear oil out the weakest link? Last year my pinion seal started leaking badly and it turned out the cap at the end of the vent line was clogged up with very small amount of mud. Cleaned the vent and the pinion immediately stopped leaking and hasn’t leaked since
 
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Rob5589

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Did you check the axle vent hose is not plugged causing the axle to pressurize and push gear oil out the weakest link? Last year my pinion seal started leaking badly and it turned out the cap at the end of the vent line was clogged up with very small amount of mud. Cleaned the vent and the pinion immediately stopped leaking and hasn’t leaked since
Good call
 
OP
gg1

gg1

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Did you check the axle vent hose is not plugged causing the axle to pressurize and push gear oil out the weakest link? Last year my pinion seal started leaking badly and it turned out the cap at the end of the vent line was clogged up with very small amount of mud. Cleaned the vent and the pinion immediately stopped leaking and hasn’t leaked since
Thanks. I’ll check that.
 

Goatman

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Are you or a shop doing the job? Had a tractor that went through 8, maybe 10 seals in a row. No idea why. Then finally found a seal it liked. A light coat of rtv on the mount may help. Are you pre-oiling the seal lip enough?
Is there any no matter how slight roughness to abrade the seal lip? Can you tell where the leak is from exactly? Seal lip vs. mount surface?
 

TJScott

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This may be left field here. Did you do a recent diff cover change? When I had my regear done I had a rear locker and new Spyder diff cover installed, I think it was some older stock. The diff cover at that time had a fill hole that wasn’t oem height and with the locker, I wasn’t measuring the oil right, too much. Thus, my axle seal leaked. I bought another Spyder cover with the fill hole at oem height and have had no trouble since. Again, left field.
 

Mr. Bills

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@TJScott 's suggestion isn't from left field at all. An overfilled differential can and often does cause seal leaks.

Aftermarket differential covers often have high fill holes, a term not synonymous with high capacity. It is relatively common for axles with aftermarket covers to be overfilled because most of us were taught to fill differentials until the oil dribbles out the fill hole rather than pour in a measured volume.

Check your fluid level before you change seals again.
 
OP
gg1

gg1

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This may be left field here. Did you do a recent diff cover change? When I had my regear done I had a rear locker and new Spyder diff cover installed, I think it was some older stock. The diff cover at that time had a fill hole that wasn’t oem height and with the locker, I wasn’t measuring the oil right, too much. Thus, my axle seal leaked. I bought another Spyder cover with the fill hole at oem height and have had no trouble since. Again, left field.
I believe I have an OEM cover, but that is a very interesting thought and a high fill cover could be a problem. Thanks.
 
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gg1

gg1

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Are you or a shop doing the job? Had a tractor that went through 8, maybe 10 seals in a row. No idea why. Then finally found a seal it liked. A light coat of rtv on the mount may help. Are you pre-oiling the seal lip enough?
Is there any no matter how slight roughness to abrade the seal lip? Can you tell where the leak is from exactly? Seal lip vs. mount surface?
Both times a shop did the press in and the second time a shop did the whole job. The first shop only deals in axles/bearings and rear ends.

I am bummed about all of this. Maybe I buy a press and do this job from start to finish? Geez!
 
OP
gg1

gg1

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Also thank you all for such great help. My TJ is really like new other than some little things and this bearing is one of them. I guess I could get a new axle and cover plate (sorry if it is called something else).
 

Goatman

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I'd hold off on throwing the baby out with the bathwater. It is a simple problem with a simple answer. Just need to dial in on the answer. Check the oil capacity and refill to that. Then we can go from there.
 

reddvltj

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Challis, ID
I'm leaning towards @Rob5589 line of thinking. All other things being checked out; breather not plugged, not over filled and parts installed correctly. Either the seal to housing or seal surface on the axle shaft, or even both could be the problem. Any nicks or grooves on the axle shaft where the seal meets the shaft? (If so a speedi-sleeve would be less expensive route for repair.) If the Axle looks good, possibly a slightly out of round housing, which can be sealed with a bit of quality RTV sealant.
 
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