Front Hub rebuilding tips

86aggie

SILVER Star
Joined
Aug 13, 2017
Messages
420
Location
RICHMOND, VIRGINIA
I had my front hubs rebuilt this summer - new seals, plates/rings, shims. Took it in yesterday for a state inspection and the inside seal is leaking oil into the hubs, so they need to rebuild again. The mechanic is an old-school guy that grew up building 4x4s, so I am confident in him. It seems odd that the seals would both fail though. For those that have done this, is there any guidance or tips I can pass along?
 

2mbb

SILVER Star
Joined
Sep 1, 2003
Messages
5,694
Location
WC, CA
As you state it's the inner oil seal in side the axle tube that keeps the differential oil out of the steering knuckle, which is packed with grease.

The new oil seal should be installed carefully using a seal installation tool to get it properly seated. When installing the axle shafts, the shaft should be supported as best you can to keep from damaging the seal.

Inspect the axle shafts for wear where the seal will contact the shaft.

Make sure your axle tube is not bent (although I would think this would present itself in other ways).

Was a proper alignment tool used when installing the new shims? I suppose this should be checked and the shims adjusted accordingly to ensure the knuckle is centered with the axle tube. I'm a little curious why the shims were replaced. These are just spaces and not wear items. Usually the shims are kept together (top/bottom, left/right) so they can be reinstalled in the original location, preventing the need to do the alignment process. I think at this point, if you did replace the shims and you don't know what/where the old shims went, you should probably check the alignment.

1661863551984.png
 
Last edited:

Gretsch

SILVER Star
Joined
Apr 3, 2017
Messages
2,023
Location
Plano Texas
One thing I did with mine was use the Marlin ECO seals:


They have a couple of advantages to the OEM seal. They have a nice nitrile ring around the sealing surface where the seals contacts the axle tube, they have a nice steel lip to prevent you from not only getting the seal in too deep but also helping the seal get inserted straight. I think they also have multiple sealing lips that contact the axle shaft. They seem a little more forgiving if you bugger up the seal inserting the axle shaft. Kurt at Cruiser Outfitters will sell you these with his rebuild kits if you ask him to.

I am not usually one to go against OEM, but these worked out well for me. HTH.
 

Spike Strip

Goblin Mode Activated
SILVER Star
Joined
Nov 22, 2005
Messages
16,413
Location
Lost Angeles
^^

x10 - Buy the Marlin seals and hand them to the next mechanic who next does the work. They are much more forgiving than standard seals that are easily damaged with rough or improper installation. I think they are optionally available in Cruiser Outfitters rebuild kits ( @cruiseroutfit ) but not 100% on that.

As mentioned above, if the reassembly was done incorrectly, and the axle is off-center (thus the SST), this causes quick and excessive wear on that seal, and again, the Marlin double seal is much more robust and able to withstand off-center shafts.

 

kevin in okinawa

SILVER Star
Joined
Apr 18, 2008
Messages
936
Location
Waldorf, MD
Last edited:
Joined
Oct 30, 2007
Messages
10,417
Location
Plano texas
Personally I just use a piece of pvc to drive them in.Tool is great to have however.
 
Joined
Aug 14, 2017
Messages
172
Location
Reno, NV
I did this job in 2017 or 18 using eco seals from marlin.

They’re definitely leaking again—at least on one side—and I really don’t know why.
My best guess is I damaged the seals upon reinserting the axles or the axles are worn since it’s a high mileage truck.

Regardless, ecoseals are the way to go!
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top Bottom