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Old 10-13-2017, 11:14 PM   #1
Wire89's Avatar
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ARB compressor leaking oil

I have an '02 7.3L with ARB's front and rear air lockers. The compressor sits under the passenger seat and the solenoid tied to the rear diff air line is leaking oil...enough that it is soaking the carpet now. I had not noticed this,, or smelled it, until I picked the van up from an alarm installer who had mistakenly engaged the lockers.

The van is fairly new to me, as is ARB's system, so I'm trying to sort out the cause and how serious it is. In reading some other forums, it could be as serious as a bad o-ring in the diff housing. Or, it could be somewhat normal in that there is no breather valve installed, or at least best I can see in tracking the lines.

Can anyone help in suggesting a few steps I could go through to determine cause and risk of damage? Thx
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Old 10-14-2017, 07:03 AM   #2
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From my somewhat limited understanding, just like you read, the o-ring could be at fault, or that the axle vent could be plugged causing the air pressure to vent out the solenoid (along with some oil).

I've lived with the same situation for years, but my solenoid is located in my engine bay.


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Old 10-14-2017, 01:52 PM   #3
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I think it's doubtful that the compressor is leaking oil, I'm not sure there is any in there. It's probably coming from the diff, and if so, it should have a distinctive smell unlike motor oil. I'm guessing it got hot and somehow pushed oil back up the air line. You should check the oil level at the level plug to see if it's low. If your lucky, you can simply top it off if needed, clean up the mess, monitor and drive on. Not sure that helps, but I don't remember any oil in the ARB compressor I tore apart a few years ago.
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Old 10-14-2017, 04:40 PM   #4
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Thanks both of you for the feedback.
It is definitely gear oil, and seems to be under some pressure as it still leaks a little after sitting for a few days.

I did finally find the breather hose on the rear, a stubby little section wrapped in with the brake line. It shows no signs of relieving oil and I've not yet pulled it to see if it's blocked. Oil level checks.

the front breather hose is still not obvious to me, though I'm pretty sure that's not the leaker. Possible the front axel does not have a breather?
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