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why does my rear wheel seal keep leaking?

This is a discussion on why does my rear wheel seal keep leaking? within the Technical / Maintenance forums, part of the General Discussion category; Hi guys, looking for some help or suggestions on why my rear right axle seal keeps leaking differential fluid. The ...

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    why does my rear wheel seal keep leaking?


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    Hi guys, looking for some help or suggestions on why my rear right axle seal keeps leaking differential fluid. The first time I tried to fix it I wasn't too smart about it, just replaced both side seals and refilled. The second time I blew out the vent tube and replaced bearings and seals both sides with Timkens. After of short drive down the highway the same right side is leaking again. Should I now replace the right side axle and seal or is there something in the pumpkin which may be causing this as well. It is a 95 silverado, 5.7 auto, 3.42 rear, 193K miles. There is some slight whine or howl (not sure of the difference) which is only there at certain speeds mostly while on the throttle. I assume this is the pinion bearing. It's not too loud so I don't want to replace this unless I absolutely have to. I drive this truck about 3,000 miles or less a year (for pulling a small travel trailer) so I think the rear will last me a few more years unless this is the cause of the leak. Any ideas or suggestions are greatly appreciated. Thanks for taking the time to read this.

    Tony

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    Resident Dick Quyonmob's Avatar
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    Re: why does my rear wheel seal keep leaking?

    Axle shaft cleaned and deburred near the seal.

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    Re: why does my rear wheel seal keep leaking?

    It's because the axle bearing (and therefore most likely the axle) is bad.

    Pretty hard for the seal to keep the fluid on only one side, when the parts are all flopping around madly in there.

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    2nd Amendment Supporter mudbuddy's Avatar
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    Re: why does my rear wheel seal keep leaking?

    You either put a gouge in the housing removing the seal or the axle has a knick or worn spot where it meets the seal, did you check for these two items?

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    Registered User 1998454's Avatar
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    Re: why does my rear wheel seal keep leaking?

    Did you check the housing vent?

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    Re: why does my rear wheel seal keep leaking?

    I don't know if it's common or not on that axle but I have actually seen dried out old seals wear a groove into the shaft itself. If you take it back apart check that surface real good. Sometimes you can get a sleeve or a smaller seal and some times like on rear main seals good aftermarket ones will actually move the location of where the lip rides on the shaft.

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    Re: why does my rear wheel seal keep leaking?

    The leak is between the axle and the opening in the seal so it's not from a gouge in the housing. I checked and cleaned the axle best I could when I had it removed. I didn't notice or feel any burrs, pitting or worn area.

    RB04Av - I replaced the wheel bearing on the out part of the axle, is that the bearing you are referring to?

    Also I removed the vent housing and blew it clean with my compressor. Actually blew the top off of it. I plan replacing the this part with a breather filter but it's open for now. I guess I need to check that the opening in the diff itself isn't blocked. Assuming no block should I replace the axle at this point, have the whole diff rebuilt or as Ezkieler850 suggested try getting a sleeze. I'm all about cheap but the sleeze sounds like a hack fix but I could be wrong, never heard of this so I don't know.

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    2nd Amendment Supporter mudbuddy's Avatar
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    Re: why does my rear wheel seal keep leaking?

    Is there a line in the axle where the seal rides? Sounds to me that the axle is the culprit. Post some pictures of it when you have it out again.

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    Re: why does my rear wheel seal keep leaking?

    Axle shaft is undersized..seal cant seal it no more replace the axle..

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    2nd Amendment Supporter mudbuddy's Avatar
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    Re: why does my rear wheel seal keep leaking?

    Also don't buy cheap no-name seals from the auto chain stores, get some National seals.

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    Re: why does my rear wheel seal keep leaking?

    Even national Seals is made/supplied by cheap Chinese factories.


    Quote Originally Posted by mudbuddy View Post
    Also don't buy cheap no-name seals from the auto chain stores, get some National seals.

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    2nd Amendment Supporter mudbuddy's Avatar
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    Re: why does my rear wheel seal keep leaking?

    Yes but they are made to tighter tolerances than no-name cheap Auto-Crap brands. But hey it's your truck so buy whatever you want.
    Last edited by mudbuddy; 03-21-2012 at 11:54 AM.

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    Re: why does my rear wheel seal keep leaking?

    Thanks for all the input looks like I'll try replacing the axle.
    I don't understand what all the bickering about the brand of seals is about. As I stated in previous posts I buy made in the USA Timkens bearings and seals so not sure why you guys have a problem with that. I thought Timken was always recommended if not I guess I can send my money to China like everyone else.

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    Re: why does my rear wheel seal keep leaking?

    timken seals, bearings are fine. rear brake dragging can cause the axle to heat up and ruin the seal.
    O2 GMC RCSB 4.8L V8 AUTO 3.73's
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    2nd Amendment Supporter mudbuddy's Avatar
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    Re: why does my rear wheel seal keep leaking?

    No bickering, just people voicing their opinions which is what happens on forums. Get used to that. Timkens are fine so don't be a knob, I said name brand products are fine and to stay away from the cheap junk you find at certain stores. We aslo try and cover other items other than what you asked about or wanted to know because it might help someone else out in the next year or two when they use the search function.

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    Re: why does my rear wheel seal keep leaking?

    There is also the matter of how they're being installed...

    If you try to tap them in around the edge, they are basically GUARANTEED to leak. It's impossible NOT to distort the metal part by doing that. And once it's distorted, the seal is ruined. It has no chance.

    Next time, try setting it just by hand into the bore, laying a short piece of 2x4 up against it, tap it GENTLY a time ar 2 to start it in STRAIGHT, and with one mighty whap of your BFH, bonk it in STRAIGHT.

    In case I forgot to mention keeping it STRAIGHT, keep it STRAIGHT. You don't want it to get bent or twisted or otherwise altered in any way.

 

 

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