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Old 05-18-2009, 10:31 AM   #1
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Lube leak from front axle

I just had my 4X4 SMB serviced (30k miles), and when the mechanic was repacking the hubs, noted that there was a leak from the front axle seals. I hadn't noticed anything on the floor of my garage prior to taking The Rig in, but now have a small drip from the left front axle at the connection with the wheel. He said I'm looking at $850 for the replacement of the seals. I said I'd keep my eye on it and get back to him.

Question, when checking the level of the oil in the front differential, how do I know it's full? In the old days, one used to just unscrew the nut on the diff, and if a little lub oozed out, it was full. And has anyone one else had a problem with the SMB front axle leaking?

thanks..

Tom
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Old 05-18-2009, 10:44 AM   #2
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Re: Lube leak from front axle

Quote:
Originally Posted by flyfisher
I just had my 4X4 SMB serviced (30k miles), and when the mechanic was repacking the hubs, noted that there was a leak from the front axle seals. I hadn't noticed anything on the floor of my garage prior to taking The Rig in, but now have a small drip from the left front axle at the connection with the wheel. He said I'm looking at $850 for the replacement of the seals. I said I'd keep my eye on it and get back to him.

Question, when checking the level of the oil in the front differential, how do I know it's full? In the old days, one used to just unscrew the nut on the diff, and if a little lub oozed out, it was full. And has anyone one else had a problem with the SMB front axle leaking?

thanks..

Tom
I think you use the finger test if you have a diff fluid drain plug..to see if it's just at the right level from spilling out.

Mine leaks a tiny bit from the front axle seals when it's not level. I saw minor drops on the driveway. My Buddy said it's most likely due to it sitting unleveled for a while which explains the one sided extra fluid pressure load when it's not level.

I keep it level now and the leaks have stopped. It probably needs a new seal but I'm stretching it out till it starts to leak alot or leaks when it's level.

I'm assuming that $850 quote for seals was for both sides?
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Old 05-18-2009, 02:39 PM   #3
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Re: Lube leak from front axle

NRL, yep, $850 for both sides. The quote is from a Ford Dealership, so it may be on the high side. They said it's an all day job, they have to take both axles out.

Tom
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Old 05-18-2009, 03:06 PM   #4
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Re: Lube leak from front axle

I've had to have my seals done as I had a pretty good leak on the passenger side. Cost $446 for 4.7 hours plus parts. Seals are #36487. Yup, gotta remove the front cover and pull the offending axle. I would definately do both sides while I was in there. The seals are cheap, labor is what kills you. I'd also get the Torco fluid ahead of time as most shops will not have access to it and that's what Dynatrac recommends. My rig was less then two years old and therefore under the Dyantrac warantee. I called SMB, they called Dynatrac and I got a check in the mail from SMB that covered 95% of the whole thing.
I'd sure look elsewhere for a better price. This kind of work is not rocket science. No diagnostics, just plain old fashioned wrenching.
Good luck.
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Old 05-18-2009, 03:21 PM   #5
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Re: Lube leak from front axle

Get an estimate from a good driveline and/or 4x4 shop.


Herb
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Old 05-19-2009, 03:36 PM   #6
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Re: Lube leak from front axle

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Originally Posted by Bronco_hauler
Get an estimate from a good driveline and/or 4x4 shop.


Herb
YES! I had an brake shop do my ball joints and the guy screwed up. He wanted 825 which I paid. He said he would do it over but I didn't want him to monkey with it anymore. Took it to a off road and differential shop and it was about 500. They also fixed the air line and seals for the locker. I learned a hard lesson but the brake shop will make it good to me (if they don't go out of business). You might want to replace everything that might need it while your in there.
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