Front drive shaft free play and leaking pinion seal

Submitted: Wednesday, Oct 01, 2014 at 15:43
ThreadID: 109680 Views:1753 Replies:5 FollowUps:6
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Hey guys,

I've just come back from my "Trip to the Tip" and am in Cairns right now.
Going down the CREB track I all of a sudden noticed this distinctive gear oil smell and had a quick look.
Unfortunately the front pinion seal is buggered.
Whilst under the car, I also noticed, that the drive shaft has about 1/8th turn freeplay.
Dunno if this is normal or still within acceptable ranges?
The front gear oil is really dark and muddy. I had only changed it about 15.000km ago. Rear diff oil still looks good. Almost no freeplay there.
Maybe some water got into the diff, too, whilst doing those notorious creek crossings up there.
Also the passenger side's swivel hub is leaking again (not badly and has been for a few months already). Both only got rebuilt last November by Toyota...

So my question now is, what I can and should do about it.
I would probably be able to put a new pinion seal in, but what about the preload?
Would it be alright to just tighten the nut a whisker past the original point?
I cannot really spend any big dollars right now, but need to get it fixed for at least another ~5.000k's.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Cheers, Mark
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Reply By: pop2jocem - Wednesday, Oct 01, 2014 at 16:03

Wednesday, Oct 01, 2014 at 16:03
Mark,

I'm assuming that because you had the previous work done by Toyota your vehicle is a Toyota of some sort.
What model you got? Part time or full time 4WD?

Cheers
Pop
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Reply By: dbmaxpayne - Wednesday, Oct 01, 2014 at 16:30

Wednesday, Oct 01, 2014 at 16:30
How stupid of me... Sorry bout that.

It's a '92 HZJ80 - 80 Series Landcruiser
AnswerID: 539767

Follow Up By: dbmaxpayne - Wednesday, Oct 01, 2014 at 16:31

Wednesday, Oct 01, 2014 at 16:31
Still Full-Time by the way
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Follow Up By: pop2jocem - Wednesday, Oct 01, 2014 at 17:12

Wednesday, Oct 01, 2014 at 17:12
Maybe for a start try dropping the front drive shaft off the front diff and see how much slop there is in just the diff flange other than by rotating. This should tell you whether tightening the flange nut up a bit is going to help much towards a short term remedy.
Obviously that is going to need to happen anyway if you intend replacing the seal. Also obviously get rid of that soup that is in the front diff ASAP.

Cheers
Pop
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Reply By: Bludge - Wednesday, Oct 01, 2014 at 17:17

Wednesday, Oct 01, 2014 at 17:17
Stick your head in at NQ Crash & 4WD spares.
272 Hartley St Cairns, QLD 4870 or call them on 07 4030 8400

They are used to the carnage from the Cape and will be able to assist if they can.

Good luck.
TonyV

Cairns FNQ.

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AnswerID: 539771

Reply By: dbmaxpayne - Wednesday, Oct 01, 2014 at 18:06

Wednesday, Oct 01, 2014 at 18:06
Thanks alot so far.
Will drop the shaft tomorrow and have a look at that. Getting dark now^^

However, spending big dollars is impossible atm, so would rather do it myself :/

Is black oil always a sign of water dilution?
I've seen watered oils before and they looked different... but maybe some grease from the swivel hub went through the seal?
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Follow Up By: Member - Nutta - Wednesday, Oct 01, 2014 at 21:52

Wednesday, Oct 01, 2014 at 21:52
I think the oil goes pasty white when water gets in.
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Follow Up By: B1B2 - Wednesday, Oct 01, 2014 at 22:16

Wednesday, Oct 01, 2014 at 22:16
Mark,
Black oil is NOT a sign of water dilution. Emulsified white IS.

Good Luck,

Bill
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Follow Up By: Life Member - Terry 80FTE - Wednesday, Oct 01, 2014 at 22:31

Wednesday, Oct 01, 2014 at 22:31
Drop the shaft, feel the resistance to turn flange in the free play range, back and forth, the extra freeply is probably due to some wear in the CV's and hub splines. don't worry at the moment.
Also feel for movement up and down, shouldn't be any, if it has some it definitely needs more load on the nut.
unstake and undo the nut, remove flange and replace seal, reassemble and tighten the nut "just" past the original point as you mentioned, and rotate and feel the resistance to turn within the free play range again, new seal will add a bit , but give it more in slight incraments until you get a bit off drag, i.e. slight preload.
Stake nut ,refit shaft.
probably best to change oil anyway,
Hope that gets you home ok.
Cheers
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Follow Up By: Member Kerry W (WA) - Thursday, Oct 02, 2014 at 00:43

Thursday, Oct 02, 2014 at 00:43
Hi DBMax

Black Oil in a front diff is a sign of wear internally, be interesting to see what comes of your investigation. If drive shaft has that much freeplay and the oil is very black things could be getting a bit worn somewhere in there.

Oil is cheap.... in the long run...!
Kerry W (Qld)
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Reply By: dbmaxpayne - Wednesday, Oct 08, 2014 at 15:49

Wednesday, Oct 08, 2014 at 15:49
Hey guys,

I finally managed to replace the seal yesterday.
God, it was a horrible job... The driveshaft bolts/nuts were completely stuck.
Took me like 2 hours only to get those four bolts off, grr.
Then the new seal wouldn't go in properly and it was getting dark...
However, I've replaced the seal and tightened the nut a whisker past its original mark.
I hope that'll be alright.
So far it's not leaking anymore, but I haven't done many k's yet, so time will tell.

With the driveshaft off, the freeplay was still there and as soon as I hit the end of the turn, I could hear a clunking noise from within the driver's side's swivel hub, so I assume, that the CV joint in there is buggered. Would that make sense?
Passenger's side sounded good, though.

I'm now thinking about replacing the CV/axle shaft and whilst on it, rebuild the swivel hubs once again.
Would it be alright to just replace the broken CV/axle shaft or would you recommend to replace both?

And does anyone know where to get them as cheap as possible, but still in a reasonable quality?
I've seen that onlineautoparts sells a pair for about 260 bucks, but I've seen bad reviews about GS-P axles, so...

Cheers guys,

Mark
AnswerID: 540091

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