Diff/Trans extension breathers

Submitted: Tuesday, Aug 30, 2011 at 16:56
ThreadID: 88772 Views:2619 Replies:7 FollowUps:9
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Another question.
I have read in many 4x4 mags and blogs that you need these to do water crossings . We are looking at going to the Cape next year so DO you really need them or just change it on return. Also what about the occasional deep water crossing on a weekend trip. Will have a snorkel fitted soon and upgrade/lift to suspension.
All replies greatly received "as you people know as you have done it all before"
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Reply By: Fab72 - Tuesday, Aug 30, 2011 at 17:17

Tuesday, Aug 30, 2011 at 17:17
Not too sure what you mean by "just change it on return". Do you mean change the buggered diffs, gearbox and transfer case?

I would have thought a couple of metres of rubber fuel hose, a few universal Ryco inline fuel filters and a handful of cable ties would have been a cheaper option.

It really isn't a big job to extend the breathers and if you're not up to doing the job yourself, get it done. Even if it costs you $100, it's cheap insurance.

The cost of changing the contaiminated oils will cost more than this. Bearing failure will cost 10X this.

AnswerID: 463879

Follow Up By: Member - Tony Z (NSW) - Tuesday, Aug 30, 2011 at 17:35

Tuesday, Aug 30, 2011 at 17:35
Thanks Fab, i'm knew to this, so will be looking into this mod. Have seen extended breathers mounted on firewall in the 4x4 mags, You can buy manifolds to use
Again thank you
FollowupID: 737762

Follow Up By: Fab72 - Tuesday, Aug 30, 2011 at 19:44

Tuesday, Aug 30, 2011 at 19:44
No worries Tony....hey we all started somewhere, none of us were born with the knowledge.

The firewall is the most sensible and common place to put them.

Good to see you asked the question. That's the easiest way (and the cheapest way) to learn.

Have fun....Fab.
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Follow Up By: Penchy - Tuesday, Aug 30, 2011 at 21:05

Tuesday, Aug 30, 2011 at 21:05
I thought most people plumbed them into the air box. With a correctly fitting snorkel, minimal chance of water getting in there.
FollowupID: 737783

Follow Up By: Fab72 - Wednesday, Aug 31, 2011 at 09:45

Wednesday, Aug 31, 2011 at 09:45
Much for muchness I guess, but during my time at a Toyota dealership, I only ever saw them lined up against the firewall.

With the exception of one person who had them mounted on the roof rack basket. Now that's extreme water crossing stuff.

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Follow Up By: Fab72 - Wednesday, Aug 31, 2011 at 09:48

Wednesday, Aug 31, 2011 at 09:48
Just a thought....plumbing it into the snorkle...wouldn't that just create another possible water entry point into the air intake system of the engine?

I personally wouldn't.

FollowupID: 737814

Reply By: Member - Keith C (NSW) - Tuesday, Aug 30, 2011 at 17:45

Tuesday, Aug 30, 2011 at 17:45
Diff breather kits are about $55 on ebay, easy job to fit them
AnswerID: 463883

Follow Up By: Member - Tony Z (NSW) - Tuesday, Aug 30, 2011 at 19:10

Tuesday, Aug 30, 2011 at 19:10
Thanks for that info Keith
FollowupID: 737772

Reply By: Robin Miller - Tuesday, Aug 30, 2011 at 19:21

Tuesday, Aug 30, 2011 at 19:21
Some 20 years ago we got our first serious 4wd , and I did the biggest water crossing I have ever done.

500 meters of the Melba hwy out of melbourne was covered with water up to 1 meter deep.

It was night with police cars blocking both ends and they had a series of flares going as a warning.

I convinced them that I was a local with a property around the corner and they let me go.

Every one said it was to deep and flowing , but I knew the road very well , it had a slope on it, and you could
still see the white posts red reflectors shining as they were just below the water level.

You just had to hold your nerve and focus on the line of submerged posts.

I started to get asvice from the passengers.

But after a while, everything went dead quiet in the car as all the passengers could see was a lake with the moon reflecting off it.

I managed to maintain the heading with just a little bit of rear end float , but was secretly very
happy as we approached the police cars at the other end and the water shallowed.

It was nearly two weeks later that I began to hear the noise.

One of the two gearbox breather hose's had previously been damaged by a rock and was torn.

The long session in cold water meant that some water was sucked in.

All the main bearings in the gearbox had to be replaced.

Just two weeks ago , in some tough country I ripped out another hose as we approached theEyre creek crossing from the north.

I had learned a lesson , we stopped and made a temporay repair this time.

Robin Miller

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AnswerID: 463890

Follow Up By: Bigfish - Wednesday, Aug 31, 2011 at 06:35

Wednesday, Aug 31, 2011 at 06:35
Sometimes it takes first hand experience before we really think that yes, it can happen to me!

As stated it is a very cheap form of insurance to ensure you enjoy your holiday and keep money in your pocket.
Think it was a stupid thing to do Robin. Hopefully you have learnt from that experience too! Dont want to sound smart but there are reaasons why roads are sometimes shut.
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Follow Up By: Member - Tony Z (NSW) - Wednesday, Aug 31, 2011 at 20:33

Wednesday, Aug 31, 2011 at 20:33
Thanks Robin, i've read some of you blogs before and to me you are doing all the hard work for me, in finding out what we can do wrong out there and let us know! so we can get it right the first time!
Thank again Robin
Keep them comming
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Reply By: Member Brian (Gold Coast) - Wednesday, Aug 31, 2011 at 06:33

Wednesday, Aug 31, 2011 at 06:33
Hi Tony, and welcome to the world of 4 wheel driving!

The diff breathers are a must in my opinion, as someone above stated, they are cheap insurance. Robin Miller's story is one to learn from.

The other thing I must ask, and regulars will probably grimace about now and mutter "here he goes again"...... but if you're new to 4WD'ing, please consider a driver training course, or join a club that has a driver training program. A few $$ spent on learning new techniques in recovery and, more importantly, what NOT to do can enhance your enjoyment of this activity ten fold.

When we got our Patrol back in 2003, I was not interested in joining any sort of club at all. But SWMBO had other ideas and convinced me to join our local club. We have not looked back since, and have made many friendships with like-minded people and seen so much of our great country since, and all of our travels have included in some shape or form, skills learned through our club.



AnswerID: 463914

Follow Up By: Member - Tony Z (NSW) - Wednesday, Aug 31, 2011 at 20:38

Wednesday, Aug 31, 2011 at 20:38
I am going to join a club down here on the NSW Central Coast. Been to busy with work over the last 12months. Time has freed up so will try and get to their nex meeting
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Reply By: Member - Alastair D (NSW) - Wednesday, Aug 31, 2011 at 17:00

Wednesday, Aug 31, 2011 at 17:00
As time goes by you will tend to get braver and tackle deeper water. If you are prepared to enter water that is approaching hub height then you should extend the diff breathers. It is a relatively cheap mod and not hard to do on most vehicles.

It is not just a case of making sure that your breathers are above the water height but making sure that they breathe well. Ideally when you enter water deep enough to cover the axles/difs you should stop for a while and let things cool so that the termal shock is minimised. Most of us are too impatient and it takes a long time if the air is hot! When you enter the water the hot dif and air inside will cool rapidly and produce a suction effect. If the diff breather is clear then air will be sucked in and not water. On some 4wds the standard so called dif breather is a valve like device that allows air hot out as the dif warms up but stops anything being sucked back in. What then happens water can be sucked in past the various oil seals in the axle with bad consequences.

The advantage of having the dif breathers on the firewall is that you can easily check that they are clean and clear. If the ends are out of sight and lower down, like one set of mine, the oil fumes can attract dust and the clug that results over time restricts the air flow when the need arises.

Another advantage of crawling around underneath your vehicle and doing this mod is that you will get to know your vehicle and may spot something that needs attention. Never ignore something that looks dodgy if you plan to take your vehicle off road.

Have fun


AnswerID: 463946

Reply By: Member - Michael A (ACT) - Wednesday, Aug 31, 2011 at 19:12

Wednesday, Aug 31, 2011 at 19:12
I did the Cape last year and yes they are cheap insurance. some of the crossings were bonnet deep at the time and even though we had breathers there was some ingress. Not enough to stop us obviously. We found this when we got back and serviced the vehicle. Ps i did check the truck while travelling
I think that with not breathers i'd still b there (i dont know if thats a good or bad thing)

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AnswerID: 463956

Reply By: River Swaggie - Tuesday, Sep 06, 2011 at 14:59

Tuesday, Sep 06, 2011 at 14:59
These breathers are a MUST in my opinion if your going to go through water crossings on a regular basis...Also just because you hav them fitted dont set and forget...They can come apart at the joins or split etc etc so when youve been on a trip with plenty of water crossings double check the diff,gearbox for white oil...

I had mine fitted,when it was in the mechanics he said is that the aircon hose hanging down,arrrgh no thats the diff breather you fitted to the front...arrrgh ok i'll just put it back on...I said your not checking the front diff,no he said and i said you will ive been through rivers...Sure enough white oil comes out the front diff...

So it doesnt hurt to check after a weekend of river crossings..
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