Rear axle seal leak - Page 2 - JeepForum.com
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post #16 of 76 Old 04-16-2019, 11:43 PM
Yoppeh7J-05LJ
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I remember using a tow chain to pull the axle. We took the hook off the end put the link on the lug bolt and tightened the lug nut (on backwards I believe) and popped the chain doing the same as a slide hammer. This was back some 40 or more years ago and I can't remember who I was with. After 3/4 of a century some detail things can get fussy.

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post #17 of 76 Old 04-17-2019, 03:32 AM
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I've done two D44 rear axle seals, one on a WJ about 15-16 years ago and the other on a TJ about 4 years ago. I used a HF 12-ton press for both and if I could go back in time and advise my stupid-assed younger self to get the 20-ton version, I would. The 12-ton press is really the bare bones minimum.

Since the parking brake needs to be off in order to remove the rear rotor, chock the wheels that you will not be working on. Because poop happens.

When removing, I put the side being worked on a little bit higher than the other so the diff oil does not spill out all over when the axle is pulled. If you have access to an AutoZone or similar store with a tool loaning program, get a slide hammer puller from there and return it once you are done.

When you pull the axle, there is a good chance the old bearing will come apart. HF sells a rear axle bearing puller set. You may want to see if aforementioned AutoZone or similar store with a tool loaning program has a similar set you can borrow.

When you drill into the old ring, make sure you put some colored tape on the drill bit (also have a spare in case the cutting edge of the bit you are using decides to give up the ghost) so you don't drill too far in and damage your axle shaft. Then use a Dremel to cut at the ring some more. The ring should just snap open on it's own after enough metal has been removed. If not, smack it with a chisel as per the FSM. You may have to tear apart the old bearing assembly. Don't try the drill method. The bearing is too thin and hard. Use a Dremel only and smack with hammer/chisel. Make sure you wear safety glasses!

I was paranoid when I did my replacements and I actually had two full parts kits, including two 4 bolt covers, on hand in case I fubared one of the replacement parts. Plus now I have a spare set I can use if I find a suitable short-side axle shaft to turn into a trail spare. The parts were either from 4WDParts or Morris4x4. RockAuto also has them I think. Get Mopar labeled ones if you can. Inside the Mopar baggie, the new bearing should be made by Timkin.

Make sure every last bit of metal shaving has been removed from the axle shaft before putting on the new parts. Make sure you really pack some grease into the bearing. Put a glob in the palm of your latex-gloved hand and press it all around into the bearing until you see stuff coming out the other side. I used the heavy-duty green stuff from Lucas Oil. The green stuff is rated for a higher temp which might help if you use the heat trick on the new retainer ring.

If you do go with a 12-ton, make sure you lubricate the shaft when you go the press it on. Lots. You can also try to heat up the ring a little in order to get it to expand--just be careful you don't burn yourself and don't heat it while it's on the axle shaft.

Finally, you will need to take a close look at your brake pads, including the parking brake pads, to see if the leak contaminated the pads to the point where they are useless. If so, replace the pads on both sides.
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post #18 of 76 Old 05-01-2019, 01:42 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks again for all the advice and tips. I decided to go with a DIY 20ton press build using some C6 channel for the frame from my local steel supply.
Thanks to a few harbor freight manuals on their 20 ton press, I'm kind of comfortable to try this out.

If all goes as planned I will start the build this weekend and do the axle seal next week. If all goes well with my press build and I don't cave in and scrap it, I'll be sure to post a write up on the build if anyone's interested in doing the same.

Has anyone had luck in using a 4.5" angle grinder to cut the race and bearing retainers off? Or does it interfere with the hub?

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post #19 of 76 Old 05-01-2019, 02:58 PM
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I used a Dremel then air hammer and chisel to finish it. I was worried the angle grinder would get away from me and I'd nick the shaft.
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post #20 of 76 Old 05-12-2019, 05:14 PM Thread Starter
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The job is finally done! The tips offered here were great, there are so many informative replies, thanks.

I had to use a dremel to cut the retainer and inner race but they snapped off as I came closer to the shaft.
Packed the bearing with a lot of grease and I decided to weld the press fit studs on the retainer after the mentioning of them spinning free.

As for the press. I ended up making a 20ton using a 20ton bottle jack. It is actually just a mimic of some that I saw on youtube etc. 6" C-channel, some 1/2" grade 5 bolts, and some 1x4" solid flat bar. Worked great! I made it small and just propped it up on some saw horses
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post #21 of 76 Old 01-28-2020, 05:05 AM
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Hi Guys, I continue this thread to describe my "strange" experience...

Last summer I discovered a leak in the left rear weel; it was two days before traveling for holidays, non shops had time for the repair, so I went on holidays carrying 4 differential oil bottles...
I came back home without problems (only oil "sprayed" all around the wheel compartment), leak was only driving more than 100 km/h, and then took the jeep in a shop for being repaired.
They changed seal, bearing and retainer, using DANA Spicer spare parts, so, I think, more original than Mopar ones.

But unfortunately I discovered a problem: leak stil present, more and more than before.

At the beginning leak was "greasy", the garage shop men said he put some grease to assemble the bearing, but I had a suspicios, something was strange.
The man put ...a ton of gease; grease dripped inside the rotor, on hand brake pads, on the disk, on the disk pads...., a real real mess (think that in that days I had to pass the annual inspection...., a real mess)

I cleaned everything, four times (did the job in the four nights before ispection), ...and passed the ispection.

Now the leak is still present, bigger than before, leaks driving since 20 km/h.

Garage man now says that probably the axle is damaged (strange he did not see this when he changed the seal the first time...), and said to me: " take the car in the shop, ...I will solve".

I don't thrust what he could do... like taking an axle from a salvage yard and put it in my jeep; I payed for new parts, I don't want used parts.
He also said to me: " it's a jeep, if you don't want problems, ...take a Toyota"

I would like to ask you a question: in your opinion what could be happened during the job?
Do you know Spicer spare parts?
The bearing used is surely a Timken (I have a picture of it assembled), but I don't know about the seal...

A friend of mine told me that it seems that the shop hasn't do the job..., but I don't want to think about this.

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post #22 of 76 Old 01-28-2020, 08:40 AM
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I've done this job myself it's not difficult and seems unlikely the mechanic would miss damage to the shaft but it is more likely that the mechanic caused damaged the shaft when he tried to remove the old bearing and retainer. He probably tried to cover it up with grease hoping it would seal anyway. A new shaft is not that expensive here in the US if I were you I'd probably just buy a new one and another seal kit take it to another shop and let them install it.
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post #23 of 76 Old 01-28-2020, 12:06 PM
zouaveherb
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mak_v8 View Post
Hi Guys, I continue this thread to describe my "strange" experience...

Last summer I discovered a leak in the left rear weel; it was two days before traveling for holidays, non shops had time for the repair, so I went on holidays carrying 4 differential oil bottles...
I came back home without problems (only oil "sprayed" all around the wheel compartment), leak was only driving more than 100 km/h, and then took the jeep in a shop for being repaired.
They changed seal, bearing and retainer, using DANA Spicer spare parts, so, I think, more original than Mopar ones.

But unfortunately I discovered a problem: leak stil present, more and more than before.

At the beginning leak was "greasy", the garage shop men said he put some grease to assemble the bearing, but I had a suspicios, something was strange.
The man put ...a ton of gease; grease dripped inside the rotor, on hand brake pads, on the disk, on the disk pads...., a real real mess (think that in that days I had to pass the annual inspection...., a real mess)

I cleaned everything, four times (did the job in the four nights before ispection), ...and passed the ispection.

Now the leak is still present, bigger than before, leaks driving since 20 km/h.

Garage man now says that probably the axle is damaged (strange he did not see this when he changed the seal the first time...), and said to me: " take the car in the shop, ...I will solve".

I don't thrust what he could do... like taking an axle from a salvage yard and put it in my jeep; I payed for new parts, I don't want used parts.
He also said to me: " it's a jeep, if you don't want problems, ...take a Toyota"

I would like to ask you a question: in your opinion what could be happened during the job?
Do you know Spicer spare parts?
The bearing used is surely a Timken (I have a picture of it assembled), but I don't know about the seal...

A friend of mine told me that it seems that the shop hasn't do the job..., but I don't want to think about this.
Spicer and Timkin make the components for Dana. They are the same components that Mopar will repackage.

I would suspect the new seal or the axle is damaged. Or the old damaged seal was never replaced.

If this is a stock WJ, you have an aluminum center case Dana 44 rear axel.

This is a good video done by a guy in Canada working on a steel center case D44:

The axles come apart the same and replacing the seal is the same.

I'm not advocating that you do this yourself (although with the proper tools, it is a fairly straight forward procedure.) What I am advocating is that you learn what the procedure is so that a mechanic is less able to take advantage of your ignorance. For example, there is a retaining ring that is generally destroyed to remove the old seal. If you inspect the axle shaft and the retaining ring has not been replaced, it is cause for further investigation.
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post #24 of 76 Old 01-28-2020, 12:46 PM
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While the above video is good it's a little different 44a axle than on a WJ. When assembled the seal retainer has 4 studs sticking out of the back of the brake dust shied/backing plate and you remove/install the 4 locking nuts from the backside on the WJ.

In page 10 of this thread (see below link) I posted a photo of the 44a axle shaft from my 04 4.7 that has the new bearing retainer/locking ring, bearing, bearing seal, and seal retainer installed.

https://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f310.../#post40584607

@mak_v8 , You wouldn't be able to tell if it's a Dana/spicer bearing or Timken with the bearing installed on the axle shaft. The brand name is written/etched on the face of the bearing ring rather than on the outside of the race. Regardless it wouldn't really matter as far as your leak goes.

Agree with others and the mechanic may have nicked the shaft when cutting off the old bearing and locking ring. I've also seen where a member with a ZJ 44a axle damaged the aluminum axle housing while trying to cut the race out which was stuck/seized. But on the WJ it doesn't seem like the races fit in real tight in the axle housing like on the ZJ 44a axles. In fact I just remove the race from the housing with my fingers and didn't have to use any tools.

Since you said you have a photo of your axle shaft with the new parts assembled it would be worth posting here.
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post #25 of 76 Old 01-28-2020, 02:18 PM
mak_v8
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Hi guys, many thanks for your answers.
Here some pictures of the done job:
The axle housing:


The original assembly (leaking):


The new assembly:


I have the removed parts, and noticed that the garage man damaged a little the axle while cutting the bearing, because the bearing cutted has the inner race cutted "over the end", while the retainer cracked before (sorry for my english, I hope to have described correctly the situation)

I have a misgiving...: I will end buyng a new axle...

here in Italy, a new complete axle costs more than 500 euros....

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post #26 of 76 Old 01-28-2020, 03:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mak_v8 View Post
Hi guys, many thanks for your answers.
Here some pictures of the done job:
The axle housing:


The original assembly (leaking):


The new assembly:


I have the removed parts, and noticed that the garage man damaged a little the axle while cutting the bearing, because the bearing cutted has the inner race cutted "over the end", while the retainer cracked before (sorry for my english, I hope to have described correctly the situation)

I have a misgiving...: I will end buyng a new axle...

here in Italy, a new complete axle costs more than 500 euros....
If indeed the inner race of the bearing was cut with a grinder into the axle where the inner part of the outer seal rides no doubt that's where your leak's coming from.

Not sure how it works in Italy but here if a shop/mechanic makes a mistake like that it should be their responsibility to fix it right including paying for a new axle.

Parts & labor should both be included and believe I'd confront the shop the mechanic (garage man) works for about this.

You shouldn't have to pay 500 Euros ($551 US dollars) yourself plus you'll need another bearing, locking collar, and seal.

Not sure how much shipping/duty costs are but you may find a better deal on Rockauto. It matters whether it's a vari-lok (they call it hydra-lok) or not since the spline counts and lengths are different. Good luck.

https://www.rockauto.com/

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post #27 of 76 Old 01-28-2020, 03:44 PM
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At the beginning, I also thought that the cause was the cut with the grinder, but the seal works on a larger diameter part of the axle, and this part should not be touched (should...)

Also in Italy shops have responsability for mistakes, the problem is that the shops don't allow me to "assist" during the re-opening of the axle, so I can't demostrate any liability....
I talked to the man about warranty on spare parts that seems "bad in the box", but he said to me: "let's use japanese parts, leave the warranty alone...."...
I think that he is covering his mistakes...

I have to open it and look with my eyes, or ask other shops to let me assist during the opening.

Do anyone have ever used Spicer spare parts?
I have asked to other shops, they usually use SKF parts.... and I don't want to use them...

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post #28 of 76 Old 01-29-2020, 11:42 AM
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Two months ago, I ended up having to redo the seal replacement on my WJ (Dana 35). I got in a rush and didn't take my time the first time and I don't believe I pressed the bearing/retainer on far enough with my 20T press. As best I could determine, this caused the new seal to go bad in a very short period of time. I'd done this before a few times and wasn't being all too careful, late at night. I never heard the pop I expected when pressing the bearing and retainer to the shaft, but stopped pressing because of resistance I was feeling, and thought maybe I had just missed it. I did use the cheapest bearing and seal I could get at O'Reilleys, the first time. When I got ready to redo the job, I bought a more expensive bearing, and it pressed on easily, and I got the "pop" sound when it fully seated. No leaking this time.

Bottom line is that there are many different possible causes for the leak, from shoddy workmanship, to bad parts, but it will need to be redone. From the time I lived in Italy, around Livorno, I was amazed at the work many of the machine shops could do. I had a US domestic car as one of my vehicles and parts weren't always available easily, requiring rebuilds and fabrication that I wouldn't have even considered in the US. I saw things repaired and fabricated that was real craftmanship. If I were still there and had this issue, I'd take the axle shaft to a good local machinist and let them determine if it was bad or damaged, and if it could be repaired. That would certainly be less expensive.
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post #29 of 76 Old 01-29-2020, 01:29 PM
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Thank you Steve for your reply.

The bearing non correctly pressed on is one of my hypotesis, ...I have to open it an look with my eyes.

The problem I have now is that my car is in my garage, it is not so large, so I have to check if I can completely pull out the axle.
I live in Milan, house garages are very little.

Dealing about this, do someone knows the exact lenght of the rear left axle?

I don't know when you had been in Italy, but now, shops that repair instead of simply change are unfortunately really very rare..., it is better to change and let the cutomer pay...

30/40 years ago , ...it was better.

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post #30 of 76 Old 01-29-2020, 02:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Uniblurb View Post
While the above video is good it's a little different 44a axle than on a WJ. When assembled the seal retainer has 4 studs sticking out of the back of the brake dust shied/backing plate and you remove/install the 4 locking nuts from the backside on the WJ.
Yeah, you're right. Fergot about that (and my excuse is 15 years since I last worked on a WJ rear axle.)
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