Informed Opinions Wanted... Air pressure and front axles... - Off-Road Forums & Discussion Groups
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post #1 of (permalink) Old 07-11-2007, 10:09 PM Thread Starter
 
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Informed Opinions Wanted... Air pressure and front axles...

Here is the thing...
I've been running air pressure inside my distributor cap for a while, and I'm pretty happy with the results.
No ignition drown out in deep water...

I'm tired of having to change Diff lube every time we do any deep water fording where the axles tubes get under water.
I know what's causing it, I'm just wondering of there is an 'Easy' way to make it stop happening...

I have a second port on the solenoid I use for the distributor vent air, and I'm wondering if I can apply the same 5 PSI or so of air pressure to the front axle in sufficient volume to help keep the 'Goobers' out of my expensive Diff lube?

I'm not talking about blasting it with 120 PSI shop air, I'm talking about a 1/4" line pressurized to about 5 PSI.
Do you all think there will be enough volume through a 1/4" line to keep the water out?

I already have the distributor air wired on a solenoid so it comes on when I flip the 'Fording' switch, and it cuts my electric fan off at the same time, so wiring in a second air solenoid isn't a problem...

Anyway, what do you guys think...

(If you are on the 'Ignore' list, don't bother replying and cluttering up the thread...)
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 07-11-2007, 10:27 PM
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Good Idea? yes.

Problem... building up the air pressure enough, quick enough, prior to fording....
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 07-12-2007, 12:26 AM
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I cross deep water all the time and i have yet to find any in the Diffs fron or rear. How ever all the guts are very new still only 1 3/4 yrs old. I do how ever repack the from bearing every few weeks..
How are your seals? and your vent?

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post #4 of (permalink) Old 07-12-2007, 06:53 AM
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I doubt that 5 psi will hurt anything. Worst it could do is invert the lips on the shaft seals. If that happens they just might do a better job of keeping water out, but also tend to let the lube out.

The obvious question is, why is water getting in? With good seals that shouldn't be a problem. And with proper venting and enough duck putty around the distributor cap there shouldn't be a problem there either.

EVERYTHING's easy for the guy who doesn't have to do it.
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 07-12-2007, 07:56 AM
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I agree that having pressure built up soon enough is the issue; As to why water gets in in the first place; I once had "twins", one would get water/other not. Finally traced the wet one to the lockouts for the hub water and the small axle seals for the Diff intrusion. Never could stop either so it would be interesting to see if air would fix it.
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 07-12-2007, 10:48 AM
 
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I think its an idea worth testing. Theoretically, 5 psi should equal a water column of about 11 ft. That should be plenty. Maybe do some testing as to how fast you can build pressure when you flip the switch, so you know whether that's a factor. Even a couple of psi should hold out water to a depth up to your doors.
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 07-12-2007, 11:22 AM Thread Starter
 
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I know what the problem is, worn axle seals in the differential.

And yes I'm aware of what I *Should* do
(Fix the damn axle seals) but I'm just not up to gutting the diff while it's hot... and we still have Aug. and Sept. to deal with around here before it cools down...

The other thing I worry about is blowing lube past the diff seals.

My hubs have been pretty well water tight, no problems there... Where grease is, water can't be, so I subscribe to the 'More grease the better!' line of thought.

Maybe if I change this front axle out for something a little more robust in the fall...?
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post #8 of (permalink) Old 07-12-2007, 11:33 AM
 
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If you can perform some testing of this idea, I think it would be great knowledge to gain. You might even want to lower the air pressure to 2.5 psi. What harm can it do trying?
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post #9 of (permalink) Old 07-12-2007, 12:48 PM
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would you close off the vent tube to do this?
you need to open it after to avoid condensation

How did I get sand THERE!
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post #10 of (permalink) Old 07-12-2007, 02:22 PM
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How 'bout sharing a little of that air with the trans and t-case too?

I'd think the time when most of the water gets in would be when the axles/trans etc are hot, then you plunge them in the cool water. The rapid cooling could actually "suck" the water past the otherwise good seals. Having them already pressurized should help stop that.

11 feet! Maybe even share a little air for the driver too?

Out here it's not so much water getting in, but dust! Silica sand is a great abrasive.
Slight pressurization may help that a bunch too!
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