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TJ Dana 44 rear axle seal leak driving me crazy

c_anthony27

Member
Joined
Oct 10, 2018
Messages
39
Location
ny
So ive been going around in circles with the passenger side axle seal leaking on my TJ Dana 44 rear

Ive changed the seals out 3 times already on them

each time ive cleaned the axle area down with emery cloth
cleaned the inside of the housing
and all that good stuff
and used brand new seals

the last time I bought a totally new axle with new seal, bearings and retainer plate and i thought i had it all sealed up

the last time it was good for about 250 miles
and than i just noticed a drip coming from it this am

does anyone have any suggestions or anything to look for or do that im not doing here with this

my tj is in super nice shape
and i absolutely cant stand having vehicles that leak

definitely dont want to build another axle
i just built this one from an LJ with disc brakes, new gears, new yukon carrier and new axles.

thanks for any help
 

Steel City 06

TJ Addict
Joined
Mar 12, 2019
Messages
1,460
Location
Pittsburgh, PA
Have you had an alignment shop check if the axle is bent? If not, check the angle of the left/right axle tubes to ensure they're collinear.

Double check the torque on the mounting bolts with a torque wrench. Too much or too little can cause damage and possibly leakage.

If all else fails, take it to a driveline specialist. If the axle tube is tweaked or out of round or something near the bearing, it'll leak until the tube is repaired.

@gg1 did you ever figure out your leak?
 

Jerry Bransford

TJ Guru
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Nov 9, 2015
Messages
12,365
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Escondido California
Which axle shaft retainer bracket are you using, the flat bracket or the one with the raised ring, and do you have drum or disk brakes? If you have disk brakes and you're using the one with the raised lip, is the raised lip pointing in or out?

ret 1.JPG
ret 2.JPG
 
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c_anthony27

Member
Joined
Oct 10, 2018
Messages
39
Location
ny
Which axle shaft retainer bracket are you using, the flat bracket or the one with the raised ring, and do you have drum or disk brakes? If you have disk brakes and you're using the one with the raised lip, is the raised lip pointing in or out?

View attachment 123671View attachment 123672
i have the one with the raised lip with disc brakes
the rear was from an LJ model with factory disc brakes

I have the lip of the retainer bracket facing inwards towards the center of the rear

should i be using a different one ?
 

Jerry Bransford

TJ Guru
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Nov 9, 2015
Messages
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Escondido California
You're using the correct retainer and it's facing the right direction. Are you axle shafts scored where the seals ride? If they are that could be the source of your leak.

If not, try smearing some RTV around on the perimeter of the seal before reinstalling it. Use a Gear Lube appropriate RTV like Mopar RTV, Permatex Gear Oil RTV, or Permatex Ultra Black. In that order.
 
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c_anthony27

Member
Joined
Oct 10, 2018
Messages
39
Location
ny
You're using the correct retainer and it's facing the right direction. Are you axle shafts scored where the seals ride? If they are that could be the source of your leak.

If not, try smearing some RTV around on the perimeter of the seal before reinstalling it. Use a Gear Lube appropriate RTV like Mopar RTV, Permatex Gear Oil RTV, or Permatex Ultra Black. In that order.
jerry
thanks for the info

the axle is literally brand new
surface on it is immaculate

ill definitely try rtv on it the next time around

are the any specific brand seals you recommend using ?
 

Jerry Bransford

TJ Guru
Supporting Member
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SKF is the one that comes to mind, and if given a choice of a Chicago Rawhide, who is now owned by SKF jump on the CR. Either would be great. If mrnlaine sees this he'll know of additional recommended seals.
 
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c_anthony27

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Joined
Oct 10, 2018
Messages
39
Location
ny
SKF is the one that comes to mind, and if given a choice of a Chicago Rawhide, who is now owned by SKF jump on the CR. Either would be great. If mrnlaine sees this he'll know of additional recommended seals.
any chance you have a part number for them
i was looking on skf’s site and they only show them for dana 35 rears
and dana 44 front axles
 

Jerry Bransford

TJ Guru
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Last edited:
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c_anthony27

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Joined
Oct 10, 2018
Messages
39
Location
ny
I took the rear wheel off yesterday to try and get a better look at it

its leaking from the center of the seal where the axle passes through it

i also noticed that 2 of the retainer ring bolts were not really snug

i put some loctite on those retainer ring bolts and torqd them down to 50 ft/lbs each

cleaned it all up let it sit over night and no leak

drove it around for a little bit today or some short around town errands and no leak

took it out for a 20 minute drive
parked it
came about an hour later and the little drip was back

I ordered another bearing kit and a Timken 1192S seal for it

Im going to give it one more shot with the timken brand seal

I also want to put nylock nuts on the retaining ring bolts

does anyone know what size and pitch those threads are ?

im assuming they are metric thread
 

mrblaine

TJ Guru
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Quail Valley, CA
I took the rear wheel off yesterday to try and get a better look at it

its leaking from the center of the seal where the axle passes through it

i also noticed that 2 of the retainer ring bolts were not really snug

i put some loctite on those retainer ring bolts and torqd them down to 50 ft/lbs each

cleaned it all up let it sit over night and no leak

drove it around for a little bit today or some short around town errands and no leak

took it out for a 20 minute drive
parked it
came about an hour later and the little drip was back

I ordered another bearing kit and a Timken 1192S seal for it

Im going to give it one more shot with the timken brand seal

I also want to put nylock nuts on the retaining ring bolts

does anyone know what size and pitch those threads are ?

im assuming they are metric thread
The bolts are 3/8-24 grade 8 with a flat spot on the side of the head so they don't turn. Nylocs are fine. I hope the Timken seal is a 9912S and not the number you posted. The 9912S is what I would use. No need for RTV around the perimeter.
 
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c_anthony27

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Joined
Oct 10, 2018
Messages
39
Location
ny
The bolts are 3/8-24 grade 8 with a flat spot on the side of the head so they don't turn. Nylocs are fine. I hope the Timken seal is a 9912S and not the number you posted. The 9912S is what I would use. No need for RTV around the perimeter.
i wrote the wrong part number in my post
i got the 9912s seal

thanks for the info on the bolt size
i have some nice flanged 3/8 fine thread nylock nuts in my hardware bin i will use

i know the timken seal is a different design
but would using rtv on it have any negative effect ?

i really want this to be the absolute last time i do this job
so i was planning on using the rite stuff brand sealer

i use it on older harleys to seal stuff up
and it works excellent
better than any rtv ive used before
 

mrblaine

TJ Guru
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Nov 20, 2015
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i wrote the wrong part number in my post
i got the 9912s seal

thanks for the info on the bolt size
i have some nice flanged 3/8 fine thread nylock nuts in my hardware bin i will use

i know the timken seal is a different design
but would using rtv on it have any negative effect ?

i really want this to be the absolute last time i do this job
so i was planning on using the rite stuff brand sealer

i use it on older harleys to seal stuff up
and it works excellent
better than any rtv ive used before
The 9912S has an expanding skirt that gets mashed out into the seal bore. I don't think the RTV will have a negative effect but it won't do anything to seal it up that the skirt isn't already doing.
 

Vinman

TJ Enthusiast
Joined
Sep 20, 2018
Messages
230
Location
Calgary, Alberta
Did you check and make sure the axle vent is not plugged? Last year the vent on mine was plugged with dry mud and the axle pressurized to make the pinion seal leak enough to have gear oil run down the pumpkin and drip, I cleared the plastic vent and the pinion seal hasn’t even sweated since.
 
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c_anthony27

Member
Joined
Oct 10, 2018
Messages
39
Location
ny
Did you check and make sure the axle vent is not plugged? Last year the vent on mine was plugged with dry mud and the axle pressurized to make the pinion seal leak enough to have gear oil run down the pumpkin and drip, I cleared the plastic vent and the pinion seal hasn’t even sweated since.
yeah thats the first thing that i checked
took it totally off and blew air through it
there was nothing obstructing it

i was hoping that would have been the issue
 

gg1

TJ Enthusiast
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Feb 3, 2018
Messages
859
Location
Pittsburgh, PA, United States
I am following along in this thread. I just changed out my axle yesterday and drove around with it. No leak so far, but I am not holding my breath. This is the third time I tried to fix it. Funny thing is, I purchased the axle from a forum member that has a Rubicon and just threw it in there with bearing and seal that was on it. It would be funny if that works. If it doesn't I think I will try replacing the bearing and seal again on this axle. If that doesn't work, I will be pretty lost. So far it isn't leaking, but I haven't driven it much yet.
 

TJScott

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Joined
Feb 4, 2017
Messages
343
Location
Palmdale, CA, United States
Mine used to leak. Turns out I put too much fluid in the diff. I had a Spyder cover on the diff, it was the one of the early models that had the fill hole too high. I just couldn’t get the oil measurement right. I replaced the cover with a new one that had the fill hole at factory height. No more leak. Might have been that there was a locker in there and by filling it with the right volume of oil, that locker pushed the level too high.
 
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c_anthony27

Member
Joined
Oct 10, 2018
Messages
39
Location
ny
Mine used to leak. Turns out I put too much fluid in the diff. I had a Spyder cover on the diff, it was the one of the early models that had the fill hole too high. I just couldn’t get the oil measurement right. I replaced the cover with a new one that had the fill hole at factory height. No more leak. Might have been that there was a locker in there and by filling it with the right volume of oil, that locker pushed the level too high.
i still have the stock cover on mine
so its not overfilled
but thank you for the reply
 
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c_anthony27

Member
Joined
Oct 10, 2018
Messages
39
Location
ny
spent some time on it today

removed everything

i did notice that the retaining ring inside lip was a little course

so i put it in the lathe and just gave it a really light cut to even it down and smooth it

cleaned out the housing area
removed the old bearings etc
the axle is brand new so its in perfect shape

installed everything with the timken brand seal and a little rite stuff rtv
and some flanged nylock nuts on the retaining ring bolts

have it all back together and that side jacked up a little bit to let the rtv setup over night

gonna take it out tomorrow and see how it goes
 
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c_anthony27

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Oct 10, 2018
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ny
For anyone following along or that might have the same issue

I have about 300 miles on the jeep since i replaced the sealed with the Timken 9912S seal (i had a national seal in there before)

So far so good
I used the rite stuff on it around the seal and tilted the axle so the fluid ran down to the other side after i put the new seal in and let it sit like that for 24 hours

hoping that it got the job done this time
 
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