Axel seals leaking 4K miles after rebuild?!

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stinkycheese

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New to the land cruiser world, recently bought a ‘96 that seems well cared for by the prior owner. I got a pre purchase inspection which informed me that I need a knuckle rebuild. I looked at the knuckles and sure enough, they’re leaking and look like all the pictures I’ve seen on here of knuckles that need to be rebuilt. Here’s the rub- the prior owner reportedly did a knuckle rebuild about 7 years ago. However, the vehicle has sat, mostly in storage since that time. He estimated it’s been driven about 5k miles since then. My question is this- assuming what I’ve been told is true- why is it leaking after so few miles? It doesn’t seem like the kind of seal that would fail from disuse. Did the prior owner not perform the job correctly, or is there another answer?

Also, I’m gearing up to do the rebuild now and given that not many miles have been put on it since the last rebuild it seems like it would be overkill to swap all the bearings for new- I was considering reusing the wheel bearings and not removing the trunnion bearing races, assuming there’s no obvious damage/wear. Thoughts?

Thanks in advance
 
BadReligion

BadReligion

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Could be as simple as aftermarket axle seals. When I had my 80 locked and regeared, a supposedly good shop rebuilt the knuckles, and claimed to have used all OEM parts. The knuckles starting leaking 2 years later. I rebuilt them myself and discovered lots of non OEM parts. They haven't leaked since...8+ years

If you rebuild the front axle yourself...replace everything since you don't know the history. With this job, the time cost is much greater than the parts.
 
BILT4ME

BILT4ME

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New to the land cruiser world, recently bought a ‘96 that seems well cared for by the prior owner. I got a pre purchase inspection which informed me that I need a knuckle rebuild. I looked at the knuckles and sure enough, they’re leaking and look like all the pictures I’ve seen on here of knuckles that need to be rebuilt. Here’s the rub- the prior owner reportedly did a knuckle rebuild about 7 years ago. However, the vehicle has sat, mostly in storage since that time. He estimated it’s been driven about 5k miles since then. My question is this- assuming what I’ve been told is true- why is it leaking after so few miles? It doesn’t seem like the kind of seal that would fail from disuse. Did the prior owner not perform the job correctly, or is there another answer?

Also, I’m gearing up to do the rebuild now and given that not many miles have been put on it since the last rebuild it seems like it would be overkill to swap all the bearings for new- I was considering reusing the wheel bearings and not removing the trunnion bearing races, assuming there’s no obvious damage/wear. Thoughts?

Thanks in advance
Assuming what the PO told you is true......... Then no, you don't need to replace bearings IF they were properly installed.

Sitting without being driven is hard on a vehicle. It's possible the seals have failed. More likely they were installed improperly.

Either way, rebuild it so you have a real time history.
 
LandLocked93

LandLocked93

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New to the land cruiser world, recently bought a ‘96 that seems well cared for by the prior owner. I got a pre purchase inspection which informed me that I need a knuckle rebuild. I looked at the knuckles and sure enough, they’re leaking and look like all the pictures I’ve seen on here of knuckles that need to be rebuilt. Here’s the rub- the prior owner reportedly did a knuckle rebuild about 7 years ago. However, the vehicle has sat, mostly in storage since that time. He estimated it’s been driven about 5k miles since then.
Pics and...
...POs statements are a pack of lies until you determine/confirm otherwise.
Bearing don't leak.
Seals do.
Just do the knuckle job, with the OEM knuckle rebuild kit, and note leakage from then.
If any, come on back.
 
LandLocked93

LandLocked93

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And be sure to check the axle breather. If it’s clogged it can pressurize the axle and cause oil to push out. It’s a good time to extend the lines and change the valve at the top to something else.
+1 - tho you can use a new OEM valve on the end of an extension.

1 - 90930-03097 - PLUG, BREATHER, REAR - TPD/$11 - OEMPS/$10
1 - 90930-03094 - PLUG, BREATHER, Transmission - TPD/$5 - OEMPS/$4
1 - 90930-03097 - PLUG, BREATHER, FRONT - TPD/$11 - OEMPS/$10
TPD - toyotapartsdeal.com
OEMPS - oempartsource.com
Partsouq.com and Amayama.com prob less expensive, but shipping cost and time come in to play.
 
SpenserAK

SpenserAK

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Maybe consider the wits-end offset seal driver as well, just for extra reassurance?
 
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Nemesis1207

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+1 - tho you can use a new OEM valve on the end of an extension.

1 - 90930-03097 - PLUG, BREATHER, REAR - TPD/$11 - OEMPS/$10
1 - 90930-03094 - PLUG, BREATHER, Transmission - TPD/$5 - OEMPS/$4
1 - 90930-03097 - PLUG, BREATHER, FRONT - TPD/$11 - OEMPS/$10
TPD - toyotapartsdeal.com
OEMPS - oempartsource.com
Partsouq.com and Amayama.com prob less expensive, but shipping cost and time come in to play.
I personally don't like the OEM valve because it really only allows air out, not in. Under that cap you've got a one-way rubber valve. A little bit can get in over time, which is fine for when your diff assembly is cooling down in air, but when you get rapid cooling, such as from cool water hitting a hot housing after a hard day's wheeling, the air cools too rapidly for the OEM valve to cope with, and you can end up blowing your seals from negative pressure. I suspect that's one of the reasons why they added a bit of an air "reservoir" in the 95+ year models up the front with the breather valve on top. If you're extending your diff breathers higher up, I'd go for something that easily allows air to move both ways.
 

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