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Unread 03-13-2005, 05:18 PM   #1
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Join Date: Dec 2003
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Differential leak

I have this nagging problem with my rear left axle shaft seal. Ive replaced it three times now and as some of you know it is no cheap fix. Everytime after about 2 weeks or so the leak keeps coming back. Every time I look at the seals and see no visible gashes or anything of the sort, so I am wondering where and why this keeps happening. It might be useful to know that I only have had 4 lug nuts on that side, because I dont have the other? (im an idiot i know) But if anyone else has had this problem or know what might be causing it, let me know, because im not about to let my new black steelies get ruined from a constant flow of Diff Fluid. Thanks a bunch.

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Unread 03-13-2005, 05:23 PM   #2
Stu Olson
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1998 TJ Wrangler 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Arizona
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Just curious....did you happen to use any RTV around the outside of the seal when you reassembled them? Also, what axle do you have?
Stu Olson
ARB Locked & Loaded
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Unread 03-13-2005, 09:01 PM   #3
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If I interpret what you are saying in regard to expense you must have a Dana 44.
So, assuming that to be the case, and that you probably don't have the appropriate press and bearing tools, you are most likely removing the axle and farming the rest out. If this is the case about the only thing you have control of is the quality of the parts and the reinstallation procedure. When you take the shaft to the machine shop or where ever, make sure you mention to them to put some grease inside the lip of the seal, it's a good idea to pack it in behind the seal lip, and to use a fine crocus cloth to polish the shaft where the seal runs. The retaining ring is also a critical part, make sure it is absolutely flat, replace it if it is not. the bearing should be packed with a good quality wheel bearing grease, unless it is the type that is filled with grease from the factory and is sealed. the bearing only goes on one way, make sure the groove is towards the seal. When you are installing the shaft, make sure the housing is spotless, with no nicks etc. Put a little sealer arout the exterior of the seal, I use a very thin film of "Loctite 515 gasket eliminator". Torque the axle shaft bolts evenly and you should be fine.
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Unread 03-13-2005, 10:51 PM   #4
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I have been having the same problem. I just had the dealer install a "4th" left rear axle seal in 8 months and finally a new left rear axle shaft (under extended warranty). Hopefully this works but I'm not holding my breath. From my research, besides a poor job installing the seal, any burs, or warpage of the axle shaft, or the axle housing can cause repeated axle seal failures. Also check to be sure your breather tube is clear of any junk. It runs from the top left of the rear differential and parallels the gas fill spout. If this tube is clogged then the gear oil has to go somewhere under pressure and commonly spits right out the ends of the axle. Good luck finding your problem!
2000 TJ Sport 4.0L
31' Kumho Venture M/T, V-Force Muffler, Hi-lift, Midland CB, Hella 500 Fogs, Tuffy Center Console, Hurst T-handle shifter, X-Bound Seat Covers
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