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Unread 08-22-2012, 06:53 PM   #1
bend
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2001 XJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Boston, Massachusetts
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Leaking front axle seal, can I drive a thousand miles tomorrow?

Hi,

I did some work on my Jeep two weeks ago, and had the front axles out.

Two days ago, I noticed some oil leaking from the front left axle, dripping onto the tire. Not enough to reach the ground. I saw the vent tube was really kinked right at the differential, so I hoped that was the problem, and not that I had a bad seal as a consequence of removing and replacing the axle. I straightened the vent hose. The differential was still very full of oil.

I drove another 15 miles that evening, and there was either no leakage, or just a drop or two on the end of the axle housing.

The next morning, I dried the axle completely. I made another two 25 mile drives, no leakage. Problem solved!

Today, after another two 15 mile drives, some more leakage, and dripping onto the tire.

Any suggestions as to whether this is something that will continue to leak very slowly? In which case I can leave tomorrow and drive 1000 miles over the next two days. I could also check the level and refill if needed after 500 miles. But if it is something that might get catastrophically worse, then I need to stay where I am (would mean missing work) and fix the problem before I leave.

One note - it may have been leaking before I removed and replaced the axle, and I didn't notice. It was only because I was giving the front end a careful look-see that I noticed this leak.

Any experiences?

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Unread 08-22-2012, 07:11 PM   #2
ROTTEN
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You answered your own question. Keep checking the level. Keep it clean. Yes it can get worse but maybe not. I put 2 in my old xj

If anything it would just leak more.

Its an easy job. Maybe half an hour with the right tools. Make sure to clean the sealing surface good or it will happen again.... that's why I did it twice...
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Unread 08-22-2012, 07:16 PM   #3
BriansCJ
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I would check the level and bring some fluid with you.

As you describe it, I wouldnt lose sleep over it or miss the trip.
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Unread 08-22-2012, 07:54 PM   #4
bend
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ROTTEN View Post
Its an easy job. Maybe half an hour with the right tools. Make sure to clean the sealing surface good or it will happen again.... that's why I did it twice...
Which tools? The write-up I've seen referred to is here:
http://www.stu-offroad.com/axle/d30seals/seal-1.htm

which makes it seem like a longer job, and you need an assortment of sizes of pipe, etc. More like a 4-6 hour afternoon job.
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Unread 08-22-2012, 07:56 PM   #5
donthelegend
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x2 Just keep an eye on it and have extra fluid. I put probably 5000+ miles on mine with a leaking axle seal almost the exact way you describe, sometimes there would be oil on the tire, sometimes not, and when I checked the fluid, it was still almost full.
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Unread 08-23-2012, 05:48 AM   #6
wgirvine
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ROTTEN View Post
Its an easy job. Maybe half an hour with the right tools...
So you jacked up the front of your Jeep, removed the wheels, removed both front axles, removed the diff cover plate, removed the differential, replaced both seals, put the diff back in, the cover back on, the axles back in, refilled the axle with lube, put the wheels back on and down-jacked your Jeep... all in 30 minutes?

Dang, there's a NASCAR pit crew that needs you.

Or perhaps you were thinking of the REAR axle seals...
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Unread 08-23-2012, 06:33 AM   #7
bend
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Thank you for your responses, I'll be off on my trip today.
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Unread 08-23-2012, 07:51 AM   #8
Millermagic
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Mine is leaking at the pinion seals. I just have to keep them topped off.

Don't look at it like it's leaking, look at it as it is self flushing!
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Unread 05-06-2013, 04:17 PM   #9
SpideYJeep
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wgirvine
So you jacked up the front of your Jeep, removed the wheels, removed both front axles, removed the diff cover plate, removed the differential, replaced both seals, put the diff back in, the cover back on, the axles back in, refilled the axle with lube, put the wheels back on and down-jacked your Jeep... all in 30 minutes?

Dang, there's a NASCAR pit crew that needs you.

Or perhaps you were thinking of the REAR axle seals...
Can you really get the rear diff-axle seals done in 30mins?
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Quote:
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My YJ is so excited it's leaking oil!
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Unread 05-06-2013, 04:28 PM   #10
ROTTEN
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ROTTEN View Post
You answered your own question. Keep checking the level. Keep it clean. Yes it can get worse but maybe not. I put 2 in my old xj

If anything it would just leak more.

Its an easy job. Maybe half an hour with the right tools. Make sure to clean the sealing surface good or it will happen again.... that's why I did it twice...
This guy is an idiot....^^
And needs to learn how to read.

I was referring to my pinion seal. Sorry

Punches self in forehead
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