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post #1 of (permalink) Old 12-09-2002, 04:21 PM Thread Starter
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YJ - Gear oil leaking out of axle tube.

So while driving around in town today (2WD, Posi-Lok not engaged) I heard a pop while braking at a stoplight.
About 15 minutes and 4 miles later I get home and start to investigate the noise. I noticed that there was grease or something leaking from the axle tube on the front passenger side.
Anyway, I pulled the tire and was able to determine that it's not grease, but rather gear oil.

I jacked the front end up (the red and black thing in the pictures is the jack), locked the Posi-Lok and turned the wheels. Both wheels were turning, but the driveshaft was not. This is to be expected because the engine isn't spinning the t-case...
Anyway, I went out and went to my favorite close wheeling spot (living in the desert is great for this sort of thing) and everything appeared to be working. Even managed to get the front passenger wheel airborne so I could see if it would spin (one advantage to an open diff I guess).

So far, I have no loss of steering, braking, 4WD capability, or noticeable loss of gear oil.
I pulled the check/fill plug on the front diff. and it seeps out of the hole, indicating that the level is sufficient.
The oil that was leaking out of the tube appears to have been a momentary thing as I cleaned it up after examining the situation and no more oil has come out.....yet.

I have attached a picture that I hope will show a decent amount of detail so that hopefully someone will be able to tell me what happened (or how it happened) and how severe the problem is.
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File Type: jpg 966475-axle1.jpg (50.5 KB, 29 views)
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 12-09-2002, 05:10 PM
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Re: YJ - Gear oil leaking out of axle tube.

From a quick read of this I'd say your seal is shot. But you also said it popped, and said that you can spin both wheels, but the driveshaft does not spin, so I'd say something is definately up! But I could be wrong. Either way, pull the diff cover ASAP! I also wouldn't recommend wheeling or driving it too much until you get the diff cover off. But that's just me.
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 12-09-2002, 05:47 PM
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Re: YJ - Gear oil leaking out of axle tube.

I'm taking a guess here based on what you said, it sounds like you've got a worn seal. I say I'm guessing here, because if the seal was bad, it would still be leaking. As for the popping sound, I'd pull the diff cover and have a look inside. My experience, popping sounds never really fix themselves.
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 12-09-2002, 05:57 PM Thread Starter
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Re: YJ - Gear oil leaking out of axle tube.

When I had the front end up on the jack, I rotated the wheels manually, and to my knowledge, the driveshaft has never spun beforehand when doing this.

On the other hand, while driving around the front shaft does spin. It's got a worn u-joint in it that clanks around when the shaft spins. [img]images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img]

I will be pulling the cover in a little while just to have a look see and find out if any bolts are loose or if the ring & pinion are stripped/missing teeth/etc..

Anyway, how hard would it be to replace the seal?
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 12-09-2002, 07:33 PM Thread Starter
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Re: YJ - Gear oil leaking out of axle tube.

Alright, well I just got done bolting the differential cover back up and I can safely say there are no problems with the front diff.
All bolts are tight, no teeth worn/missing, no parts or shavings inside diff or in used oil in the drain pan.
I spent a good 10 minutes cleaning everything out and wiping all the old oil off and as near as I can tell nothing is damaged.

On a slightly better note, I do believe I found the source of that popping noise I heard earlier.
I noticed that my muffler was hanging down a bit lower than usual and found out that I had a busted rubber exhaust hanger, and the other was isn't even there. [img]images/graemlins/shocked.gif[/img]
I'm assuming that since my exhaust pipe was contacting the skid plate, that noise I heard was probably the pip hitting the plate when the hanger busted.

Anyway, I got the exhaust hangers and put those on after I checked the diff.
After driving to the parts store to get 2 $1.99 hangers, there doesn't appear to be any more gear oil coming out of the tube.

So that's pretty much how this one turned out,but I will keep in mind that I probably have a worn seal on the axle tube if it happens again.
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