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Unread 04-30-2013, 03:52 PM   #1
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Towing with a leaky axle seal

So I had a leaky inner axle seal on the pass rear side when I bought my 7. I replaced the seal following some excellent instructions found here. That was 3 weeks ago and I noticed last Friday that I am leaking again from the same area. I'm not totally surprised since I'm a total noob and don't know what I'm doing but I had hoped it would hold.

Anyway, a couple buddies and I are planning on going to Moab the weekend of mothers day. (Don't fret, I'll be home by Saturday night) Its gonna be a Thursday, Friday, home Saturday night trip. I have a 2007 F350 and had planned on flat towing the Jeep the 250 miles mainly for the comfort but was also going to sleep in the bed of the truck. Problem is now with the leak back I am wondering if its a good idea to flat tow it.

So before I "fixed" it the first time gear oil was oozing down the tire and onto the cement below at a decent rate. Since noticing the leak again it isn't leaking the same way. It only seems to leak while driving and the oil is spinning around the wheel well a bit. Its not leaking down to the cement though when parked. I know its gear oil from the smell and it seems to be getting on the drum/shoe and is burning there a little after coming off the freeway.

How bad of an idea is it to flat tow this thing in a couple weeks as is? I figure that I will convert to single axles when I dive into it again but don't have the $$$ to do so before the trip since I have a couple other parts to pick up and install. I checked the local auto transport trailer rental place and they want $55 a day and will charge me through Sunday since they are closed. Uhaul isn't much better.

Advice please and thank you.

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Unread 04-30-2013, 04:02 PM   #2
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The leak isn't going to get any better. I wouldn't do it. I suppose you could keep replacing the gear oil, but I wouldn't do it. You're tempting fate. It's your Jeep and it's your adventure; but if it was me, I'd leave it at home this time.

I know if it was me where exactly it would fail: on the trail the farthest most possible distance away from the trail head.

If you've done it before, repairing the axle will probably go quicker this time around. If it's just seals, they're cheap. Just be careful again and make sure all the mating surfaces are clean from oil... as in STERILE before adding the silicone. put it together, let the silicone set up and then torque it. Use new fastening hardware or at least use locktite.
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Unread 04-30-2013, 10:34 PM   #3
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It looks like the trip might be pushed back a couple more weeks. This will give me time to hopefully get the leak fixed. I can't leave the rig home because there are only 2 rigs planning on going right now and 4 of us guys. This is what is pushing me to get some of my projects on it done.

I am thinking about replacing them with one piecers but after looking at the options I am a little lost. I tried to search within the forum and through google to find out whether one brand is total garbage. I want to buy decent stuff but by no means need the best. Tens are by far the cheapest and Quadratech has the G2's for $235+40 for shipping but the Alloys are $310+ free shipping. Summit has the Alloys for about the same price, Moser's and Yukons are backordered for 3 weeks. I read that Yukon, Moser, Alloy, and Superior's are okay, what do you guys suggest. Are the Alloys worth the extra $40 over the G2's? Maybe I should just replace the seal again, problem here is I don't know how to inspect the bearing or anything else there to see if they are bad and are causing the leak.

Also, I am going to have to take them somewhere to have the bearings pressed in aren't I. At least my steering box isn't leaking after that fix.....

Sorry for the super bouncy post, I feel totally lost and not sure where to go. If I spend the money on axles I won't be buying the other things on my list right now, (CB, bikini top, high lift, ect.) are they, single axles, worth the money in exchange for these <==== things?
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Unread 05-01-2013, 05:06 AM   #4
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If you keep the stock axles, insure the end play is correct. Excessive haft end play will cause leakage every time.
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Unread 05-01-2013, 05:54 AM   #5
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For what it's worth, I drove my CJ for almost a year, with the same leak you are describing. It never did drip on the ground, just caked the inside of the wheel.

I'm not advocating that you ignore the leak, but chances are you'd be fine for one trip. It's your call, though, don't blame me if it fails.

Matt
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Unread 05-01-2013, 07:33 AM   #6
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Moser, Superior, Yukon are all good. All three are USA made. The Alloys are foreign made if that means anything to you. (India I believe) The three use Timken bearings, I don't know about Alloy. In the past G2 has had delivery problems. That may have been fixed but verify inventory if you go that route.
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Unread 05-01-2013, 07:59 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt1981CJ7 View Post
For what it's worth, I drove my CJ for almost a year, with the same leak you are describing. It never did drip on the ground, just caked the inside of the wheel. Matt
The gear oil is caking up in the wheel well, not just on the wheel. As I drive its flipping around as the tire spins.

I found the G2's on amazon for $207 and it has prime so I don't have to pay for shipping. I'll probably go that route and could have them this weekend not that I want to dive into it yet but whatever. The price is about $100 less that I though i would be spending so thats good.
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Unread 05-01-2013, 08:56 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sanctified View Post
The gear oil is caking up in the wheel well, not just on the wheel. As I drive its flipping around as the tire spins.

I found the G2's on amazon for $207 and it has prime so I don't have to pay for shipping. I'll probably go that route and could have them this weekend not that I want to dive into it yet but whatever. The price is about $100 less that I though i would be spending so thats good.
If it's leaking enough to be slung into the wheel well I'd either fix it or leave the Jeep at home.
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Unread 05-01-2013, 09:19 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sanctified View Post
The gear oil is caking up in the wheel well, not just on the wheel. As I drive its flipping around as the tire spins.
In that case, I think you're making a wise move to fix it. Mine was a slow seeper, it never flung oil.

Good luck, and post up your one-piece install.

Matt
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Unread 05-01-2013, 02:49 PM   #10
chromegrille
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no guarantee the seals won't leak on the 1 piece axles as well........
I'd just fix what you have and be done with it
lots of well documented seal/bearing problems here with all the axle replacement kits........
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Unread 05-10-2013, 12:00 PM   #11
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I ended up ordering a one piece kit from G2 on Amazon. I called around to the 4 wheel places in town and got prices for just the install from about $500 down to $250. I was talking to a buddy from work who asked if I had called six states distribution. I didn't realize that they did installations and thought they were just a seller. Anyway, they said $150 for the labor so I am going with them. I have my apt next friday and am getting excited for our moab trip planned thurs-sat night of memorial day weekend.

I still need to do some other things, like fix my headlights, and get a flat tow bar mounted, and install my new to me seats. I think I know how to do all of those things just need to find the headlight part and the $$ to buy the tow bar. A buddy is lending me his harbor freight welder this weekend so I can get some 2" flat stock welded to the stock seat risers to accommodate the different bolt pattern. Its getting closer but its still gonna take some work.
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Unread 05-10-2013, 12:17 PM   #12
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You do not need to have someone install the axles for you the process is super simple. so simple infact that I did it when I was 15 in my driveway. The only service you will need sourced is the bearing being pressed on. which for me was 10 bucks. I understand it seeming like a difficult task (belive me I was about to crap a brick) but take it a little bit at a time and keep up with the pics it will be much easier than you expect.
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Unread 05-10-2013, 12:29 PM   #13
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I'm just worried that since I couldn't get it to stop leaking with replacing the inner seal that I won't be able to do it right again. I went slow and tried hard to be thorough but it still leaked 2 weeks after I tried to fix it. I have no doubt that this is an easy job for most, I am worried about my total lack of wrenching skills though and wanting it to be done "right".
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Unread 05-10-2013, 12:34 PM   #14
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completely understandable You have the hard part figured out of knowing your limit! I have found mine numerous times but the key is remembering where it is, which i have yet to do
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Unread 05-10-2013, 02:54 PM   #15
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How do you know you don't have an axle bearing going bad?
Those seals are leaking for a reason........
Fix it--------Then wheel it.
LG
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