Gear lube in the birfs. What to do? (1 Viewer)

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May 26, 2010
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Mechanic put gear lube in the birfs. What to do?

Ok. My 117K LX had perfectly clean knuckes and plenty of good-looking grease in them.

I decided to replace plugs, wires, rotor, and cap. I've been busy at work so I called my freind, an oilfield mechanic who I trust, to see if he'd do that and an oil change. He said sure. I get the truck back and I notice the knuckles are wet. I figured I'd give it a day or two. Well they're really wet now, even slinging on the exhaust a bit.

I gave him a call and found out he filled the birfs with 90 weight. To the top. I'm not mad at the guy. I guess I should have told him it needed moly but I had no idea he was even gonna check them. He said all the other 4WD's he's worked on use 90 Wt.

Anyway what should I do? Is this gonna require a teardown or can I fill it with moly as the gear lube runs out?

Man if this isn't a lesson in "If you want it done right do it yourself" I don't know what is.

Thanks folks!
 
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Joined
Feb 7, 2002
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It needs the proper grease for a reason. You will need to tear it apart, clean it all and replace the gaskets etc, pack the bearings with the correct grease and button back up. While you are in there. Replace the inner axle seals with Marlin Seals and check the bearings and races for wear.

I'm guessing the 90 weight has diluted the moly grease. Probably should fix it sooner than later.
 
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The 90 wt probably won't hurt anything itself, but it will wash the grease out and leak out. You're probably gonna have to clean and re-grease. That's what I would do, anyway.
 
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Yeah, do it yourself. Solid axle Land-Rovers IIRC use gear oil, that's probably where he learned it. The main problem will be the mess it creates; it'll get slung on everything, then drip on your driveway, on the tires, ---. Hasn't the front axle service never been done?
 
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Joined
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The main problem will be the mess it creates; it'll get slung on everything, then drip on your driveway, on the tires.
No the main problem will be that the bearings are now "dry" due to the gear oil diluting it. Same reason you repack the bearings and knuckles after you fix inner axles seals when they leak gear oil.
 
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I agree that the front axle should be serviced (didn't state it clearly in my post), it's just not an emergency. There have been many mudders who've driven many thousands of miles with "Birf soup" with no problems. Here is what mine looked like after driving a few months with soup.
DSC00068.JPG
DSC00067.JPG
 
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Joined
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I have decided for now to pull the spindles and birfs, repack, and replace all four seals. I'll leave the felt wipers and kingpins alone.
Thanks!
 
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dgerst: When I dug into my front axle for the first time I found many things that were broken, twisted, dented, scored, or just worn out, including the trunnion bearings which were in the worst condition of all the parts. You might get lucky but it wouldn't hurt to have new bearings on hand in case you find this:
DSC00079.JPG
DSC00152.JPG
DSC00158.JPG
 
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iptman

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I have decided for now to pull the spindles and birfs, repack, and replace all four seals. I'll leave the felt wipers and kingpins alone.
Thanks!
Why?? You're all the way in there why not do the whole axle service? It's not like the wipers are pricey.
 
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My truck had soup in it just not bad enough to leak from the wiper seals until 6k miles later after I got it. It drove just fine the whole time with thick green goop in the diff and oily soup in the knuckles.

All bearings and races were in good shape yet but replaced anyway.
 

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