Found Rear Grease Seal in Front Axle During Bearing Change

Joined
May 17, 2020
Messages
8
Location
Boise, Idaho, United States
Hello all,

I recently started the process of replacing my front driver wheel bearings, seals, etc on my 1996 Lexus LX450. Watched a couple tutorials, figured it out and it was smooth sailing. However, when I went to rebuild the thing, I discovered that the OEM grease seal I bought from Toyota not only didn't fit, it didn't match the one I pulled out. At first I figured I just didn't align it correctly when trying to put it in, so I tried again with the spare I had bought. Same deal, just a little too big and it cracked. I googled the serial number on the seal I had pulled out, #24635, and it came up as a rear grease seal, as in for the rear axle. IMPORTANT NOTE: A couple summers ago I was wheeling during some off time at the summer camp I was working at and ended up breaking my right front axle in the mud, something I didn't realize until I got back on pavement (thought it was just terrain noise oops) and the driving of it resulted in a messed up diff as well, according to the shop I took it to. I wasn't able to work on it myself because of my schedule so I had a local shop take care of it. The ONLY reason I can think of that a rear seal would fit the front and a front seal wouldn't is that they put in some weird aftermarket parts. I just moved so my files are who knows where but once I find the invoice for the job I'll investigate further but I cannot for the life of me figure this out. Am I missing something?? Is there a variation between Land Cruiser and Lexus axles? I was under the impression that everything was shared between 80's and LX's aside from trim stuff, like paneling and interior design. I've attached a picture of the seal I pulled out.

unnamed.jpg
 
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Joined
Jan 5, 2017
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2,994
Location
Charlotte, NC & Alexandria, VA
You are correct, the 80 series and LX450 have the same axles. As a matter of fact, the rear seal is used on a lot of Toyota axles.

I looked through my rebuild photos from my '94 rear axle rebuild last month. The rear seal should be Toyota 90311-62002; unfortunately, I didn't take a photo of the seal, but I don't remember it having a number on it.

I know I looked, because I looked in order to pull the seal numbers; I also pulled the numbers off the bearings. I really hate buying stock seals and bearings from OEMs; it's a racket. There are very, very few bearings and seals used by OEMs which are not standard products, from someone. (soapbox dismount)

I've never measured the front and rear spindles, but since the seals have different numbers, I'd expect them to be different sizes. Given the fact that there are two numbers (front & rear) and that the seals fit both onto the spindles and into the hub bores, if the "correct" OEM seal was too large, I can't see any way a "shop" could modify the front hub (which has a seal bore smaller than the rear) the way you're describing. They would have had to decrease the hub seal bore. Somehow. Maybe magic bore beans?

My bet is on a bad seal (i.e., someone pulled the wrong part). I'd be more inclined to believe someone modified the hub if you said the "correct" OEM seal was too small.
 
Joined
May 17, 2020
Messages
8
Location
Boise, Idaho, United States
Hello all,

I recently started the process of replacing my front driver wheel bearings, seals, etc on my 1996 Lexus LX450. Watched a couple tutorials, figured it out and it was smooth sailing. However, when I went to rebuild the thing, I discovered that the OEM grease seal I bought from Toyota not only didn't fit, it didn't match the one I pulled out. At first I figured I just didn't align it correctly when trying to put it in, so I tried again with the spare I had bought. Same deal, just a little too big and it cracked. I googled the serial number on the seal I had pulled out, #24635, and it came up as a rear grease seal, as in for the rear axle. IMPORTANT NOTE: A couple summers ago I was wheeling during some off time at the summer camp I was working at and ended up breaking my right front axle in the mud, something I didn't realize until I got back on pavement (thought it was just terrain noise oops) and the driving of it resulted in a messed up diff as well, according to the shop I took it to. I wasn't able to work on it myself because of my schedule so I had a local shop take care of it. The ONLY reason I can think of that a rear seal would fit the front and a front seal wouldn't is that they put in some weird aftermarket parts. I just moved so my files are who knows where but once I find the invoice for the job I'll investigate further but I cannot for the life of me figure this out. Am I missing something?? Is there a variation between Land Cruiser and Lexus axles? I was under the impression that everything was shared between 80's and LX's aside from trim stuff, like paneling and interior design. I've attached a picture of the seal I pulled out.

View attachment 2743203
I should add that the seal I pulled out is, as far as I know since I haven’t worked on it myself, is the one the shop put it. I also say it’s a rear seal because that’s what the auto parts site I used to search the number displayed it as.
 
Joined
May 17, 2020
Messages
8
Location
Boise, Idaho, United States
I should add that the seal I pulled out is, as far as I know since I haven’t worked on it myself, is the one the shop put it. I also say it’s a rear seal because that’s what the auto parts site I used to search the number displayed it as.
I’ve also thought that maybe they put rear parts in the front but I don’t know how someone could make that mistake. They also told me that parts were very hard to source, something I find hard to believe after doing my own research at the time.
 

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