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Rear axle seal problems..AGAIN

Discussion in '1st Gen. Tacomas (1995-2004)' started by kuntry09, Feb 28, 2018.

  1. Feb 28, 2018 at 11:48 AM
    #1
    kuntry09

    kuntry09 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I’ve had trouble with the rear axle inner seal on the drivers side. The first go round I had to have new bearings, innner and outer seals, along with the wheel cylinders replaced, all aftermarket parts, on both sides. The passenger side has held up great, and so has the drivers side until here recently.

    For back story, I’ve had to work on the drivers side two separate times. The first time I used all aftermarket parts, including the inner seal, and had the shop I used put the retaining ring on the way Toyota specifies, with the beveled edge inboard. This way didn’t last very long, maybe a few thousand miles at most. The second time I used a OEM inner seal and had the shop flip the retaining ring with the beveled edge outboard as described here. http://www.ttora.com/forum/2-early-...ution-leaking-axle-seals-tacoma-4runners.html. However, I didn’t replace the bearing because not much oil had leaked out. This way has seems to have held up great until recently I noticed my brakes didn’t seem to be stopping as they should which led me to investigate and find the drivers side leaking once again. It’s not a big leak at the moment (not coming out of the drum) but it’s leaking none the less and needs to be addressed.

    Also, the shop I used didn’t press on the retaining ring like I wanted them to. They heated up the ring so that it would go onto the half shaft. This has led me to question whether or not they did the bearing correctly and if it could be apart of the problem as well.

    I do have the breather mod done, leading up to the gas cap with a new factor breather/filter installed on the end of it.

    My questions to you guys are 1) would you go ahead and completely redo the drivers side half axle since this is the second time gear oil had leaked around the bearing? New OEM bearing, inner/outer seals, and of course retaining rings. And 2) could someone help me find the part numbers for everything needed? I have found the inner and outer seals along with the bearing, but I’m having trouble finding a part number for the retaining ring. My first thought was to ask Gunny but after looking through the Camelback thread, it looks like he may be discontinuing the discount right now.
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2018
  2. Feb 28, 2018 at 12:35 PM
    #2
    mechanicjon

    mechanicjon They call me "Jonny Stubs"

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    ABS or no ABS?
     
  3. Feb 28, 2018 at 12:38 PM
    #3
    mechanicjon

    mechanicjon They call me "Jonny Stubs"

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    DoorDing likes this.
  4. Feb 28, 2018 at 1:25 PM
    #4
    kuntry09

    kuntry09 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Non ABS, but it is a TRD w/locker so I have a ABS capable rearend, but not ABS

    So my intial inclination to go ahead and redo everything would be a wise choice, correct? Around where I live it doesn’t appear like any independent shop knows exactly how to do the axles correctly. My next move is to contact a local Toyota dealership to see if they knew the correct procedure to do it the right way with everything within specs.

    The last time I installed a new seal I did do the “grease test” to insure the ring was sitting in the seal correctly...and to me it appeared that it was with no issues.
     
  5. Feb 28, 2018 at 4:25 PM
    #5
    Itchyfeet

    Itchyfeet Well-Known Member

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    I really wish Toyota or the aftermarket would step up and make a retainer that's longer and or a better seal. The engineering that went into this design was piss poor and sloppy at best. I did the grease test and it took some fiddling to get it right
     
  6. Feb 28, 2018 at 6:37 PM
    #6
    kuntry09

    kuntry09 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    So how did you go about adjusting yours? Everything I remember reading in the past required pressing the retainer on and off. And since I don’t have a press, I’m at the mercy of whoever puts it on.
     
  7. Feb 28, 2018 at 8:00 PM
    #7
    mechanicjon

    mechanicjon They call me "Jonny Stubs"

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    Then you would order the ABS kit and leave the ABS signal ring off.
     
    kuntry09 [OP] likes this.
  8. Feb 28, 2018 at 9:23 PM
    #8
    fast5speed

    fast5speed Well-Known Member

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    Ah yes, the joys of owning a car.

    Unfortunately, the rear axle seal leak is a well kept secret of these 1st gen Tacomas. I struggled with the issue for the entire 4 years I owned the truck, and it turned out to be a much bigger hassle than I ever realized.

    Here's how the process goes:
    1. rear diff vent gets rusted and seals shut, causing pressure to build up in the rear axle
    2. rear axle seals blow out, and gear oil gushes all in your brake assemblies
    3. gear oil gets onto your brake drums, brake shoes, and your tires fling it all inside your wheel well.
    4. gear oil seeps into rear wheel bearings and wipes them clean of lubricant. The gear oil itself is not sufficient, so the bearings will break down over time, but will happen much more rapidly when your diff stops supplying them with oil.
    5. rear brake shoes absorb gear oil and swell. Until the shoes wear down, there will be continuous contact with your rear brakes.
    6. your rear brakes always 'slightly' touching drums will cause a stomach-churching burning-gear-oil smell. Sulfur is a nasty demon.
    7. your rear drums will overheat, due to constant brake friction, and they will develop hot spots and distort.
    8. as your rear brakes become increasingly drenched in gear oil, they will cease function at all.
    9. your front brakes become overloaded and your rotors will repeatedly warp
    10. your rear differential runs out of gear oil and chews itself up.

    All of these things happened to my truck. When I bought it from a dealer, they gave me service records showing the rear axle seals had been replaced about 6 months and 3k miles prior to me buying it. I took the truck in for inspection 2 weeks later - it failed for gear oil all in my rear brakes. Unfortunately, I didn't re-discover the service receipt until after the 1yr mark.
    I replaced brake shoes on both sides, and both my axle seals.
    Once again, I found my rear tire covered in gear oil about 6 months later.
    I tried to remedy the issue a 3rd time, but I figured the axle housing itself was out of round and no oil seal would ever fit properly, so I decided to just check and re-fill with gear oil for the remainder of my ownership.
    I checked and replaced the rear diff vent several times.


    I fully disclosed the issue to the next owner, but all he could say was "TACOMA! TACOMA! TACOMA!"
     
  9. Mar 1, 2018 at 4:56 AM
    #9
    Itchyfeet

    Itchyfeet Well-Known Member

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    After reading about a lot of other people having issues with the retainer pressed in too far. I bit the bullet and bought a press this tool which allows for the retainer to be pulled back if it's pressed too far. What really blows is this the expense of this tool puts it out of reach of most DIY-ers. It really sucks that the tolerances are so sloppy that installing something as simple as a retainer can turn into a a PITA.

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/REAR-AXLE-...855944?hash=item2ec58d2008:g:-V4AAOSwM4xXbamX
     
  10. Mar 1, 2018 at 6:30 AM
    #10
    mechanicjon

    mechanicjon They call me "Jonny Stubs"

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    You can actually use a piece of pipe that's just bigger then the axle and tap the ring on with a hammer. Just don't go to far.
    Have a shop just press on the bearing. That way you can line the seal up yourself.
     
    Pickeledpigsfeet likes this.
  11. Mar 1, 2018 at 7:11 PM
    #11
    Itchyfeet

    Itchyfeet Well-Known Member

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    I don't recommend doing this unless you know without a doubt that the end of the pipe is truly flat and the retainer is going to go on straight at the start of the first blow. These retainers are not bomb proof and will egg out causing the oil to leak between the axle shaft and the retainer.
     
  12. Mar 1, 2018 at 8:18 PM
    #12
    btu44

    btu44 Well-Known Member

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    I think the retainer being pressed or hammered on incorrectly causes most axle seal leaks. I had an 89 Toyota 8" rear that went through many sets of rear brakes.

    Hope it is okay to link this from another forum but it worked for me.

    https://www.yotatech.com/forums/f11...heel-bearing-seals-toyota-8-rear-axle-292614/
     
  13. Mar 1, 2018 at 10:03 PM
    #13
    Timmah!

    Timmah! Well-Known Member

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    Watch the video my buddy Sean and I made for this repair. I've done this job 7 times now. This is the #1 repair dealerships, private shops and DIYers screw up. Follow what we show in the video, read the video description and also read the comment I pinned. If you do all that and you have the right tools to get this job done, you'll have success and won't have to deal with this repair for a long time.

    https://www.youtube.com/embed/AVhSDnw2ugo
     
    jubei, kuntry09 [OP] and tony2018 like this.
  14. Mar 1, 2018 at 10:48 PM
    #14
    tony2018

    tony2018 Well-Known Member

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    The Timster comes through as always. Great videos!
     
  15. Mar 2, 2018 at 9:20 PM
    #15
    kuntry09

    kuntry09 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Sine you have the specialty tool for the press, is it THAT special to justify the price? Or could I have someone fashion something identical for much cheaper? I know guys on the forum have done it, but none of them look like they work as easy as yours.
     
  16. Mar 2, 2018 at 9:26 PM
    #16
    Timmah!

    Timmah! Well-Known Member

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    If you have the ability to fabricate, you could make something for much more affordable. Some guys cut off the end of an axle housing, weld on some arms and use that as their special service tool.

    But, is this a friend doing it for you or do you plan on paying someone? If you're going to pay someone to make a tool, you'll probably won't be saving any money and possibly end up paying more.
     
  17. Mar 2, 2018 at 10:06 PM
    #17
    mechanicjon

    mechanicjon They call me "Jonny Stubs"

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    I made one. It was a 4runner axle housing. Took forever to strip all the brackets off.20171112_160450.jpg

    This to press it on with
    20171208_152111.jpg

    Also made a clamshell piece to pull ABS ring off. I had alot of time in it.
     
  18. Mar 2, 2018 at 10:11 PM
    #18
    mechanicjon

    mechanicjon They call me "Jonny Stubs"

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    Oh and you have to have access to a 20ton press.
     
  19. Mar 3, 2018 at 5:59 AM
    #19
    kuntry09

    kuntry09 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Getting a friend that’s good with fabricating has been my thought, I’m sure if I paid someone to fabricate one it would end up being much more than the cost of buying one off the shelf.
     
  20. Mar 3, 2018 at 9:13 AM
    #20
    kuntry09

    kuntry09 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Is there a difference between the bearings going from ‘95.5-‘99 to ‘00-‘04? Both Lowrange and Marlin Crawler sell kits for ‘00-‘04 that are for ABS but they only sell non abs kits for ‘95.5-‘99 and the only difference I can see are the bearings. I see in the comments of Timmah!’s video that bearings for the 4runners are different going from ‘00-‘01, so I’m thinking the ABS bearing for the ‘01-‘04 that both companies sell would be incorrect for my ‘99. Am I on the right track?
     

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