I guess I shouldn't have been putting this off

sjpitts

 
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I walked out in my garage this morning and noticed grease on the driveway. Grey grease. Its locations was near the location of where the front drivers wheel is when my wifes 80 is in the garage. So I went and looked under the 80, and this is what I found.

Clearly, I have been neglecting the knuckles. I have owned it for almost three years-- I bought it with 109k miles and it now has almost 130k miles. I don't have any reason to believe that the PO did any knuckle work. I added grease once throuh the placebo (inspection) hole and have recently changed the gear oil, but I have been putting off doing a whole knuckle job.

The good news is that this is very recent. The bad news is that I need to put a couple hundred miles on this vehicle this weekend, and will not be able to do a full knuckle job for at least a week.

Will I be ok?

Jared
 

e9999

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200 miles only?
very likely OK, just make sure there is enough oil and grease...
 

flintknapper

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Mine has 120,000 and doesn't look anything like that. It looks like you have an axle seal that has worn and is allowing gear lube to get into the birf. causing the grease in that area to "slurry".

I would not be surprised if the reverse is true also (grease now getting into the diff.) and mixing with the gear lube.

If your Birfs. are not "clicking" yet... then you might get away with putting a few more miles on your Cruiser before any damage is done...but the axle is in need of some attention pretty quick IMO.

Check the fluid level in the diff. and put some more grease in the "placebo hole" if you decide to drive it.
 

semlin

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avoid turning :D

seriously, slow right down before you turn so you don't put stress on the joints and balls. you will likely be alright but there is no telling when she'll blow. I blew mine out on a sharp turn under load that I tried to take fast.
 

sjpitts

 
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You guys are making me nervous.

I should add that the knuckle did not look like this a week ago. I would guess that the inner axle seal let go in the last couple of weeks.

And another thing I forgot to mention-- I will be towing a small (16.5 foot, 3000lbs) ski boat this weekend. Up and down a windy mountain road

In fact, I have been towing this boat alot recently. Could this have caused the sudden failure in the axle seal?

And Semlin, what do you mean by blow? Do you really think the birfield could bust? I could see it busting if it went dry, but it seems like the gear oil and the remaining grease would provide some protection-- at least for a while.

Jared
 
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semlin

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one of mine broke at 122k shortly after i bought it in the circumstances i described. it was described as "dry" by the mechanic who fixed it (badly). Beforehand, it had some diff oil on the hub and a drip stain on the knuckle housing but a toyota mechanic looking at it a week before it blew told me not to worry about it for a while. It happened too early in my ownership to have thought to do it myself or know what questions to ask so that's all the detail I've got.
 
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sjpitts said:
I added grease once throuh the placebo (inspection) hole and have recently changed the gear oil, but I have been putting off doing a whole knuckle job. Jared
Some might argue, but I think this is why you don't add grease through the inspection hole. Knuckle grease has nowhere to go but either out the back like yours, or past the seal into the diff lube. Either way, a knuckle that needs grease added should just be repaired the correct way immediately. And if you added too much grease, it could have caused this, IMO.

I would not operate a truck leaking that bad....my luck the birfield would crater and cost me a lot more than a rebuild. Of course, a lot of guys on here will tolerate leaks, I don't.
 
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The grease in the knuckle gets consumed, it slowly diffuses through the felt washer (that's why it is felt and not rubber) to lube the sphere. Grease that is used between major knuckle services must be replaced via the greasing plug.
 

IdahoDoug

 
 
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Be sure the front diff stays full. You're going to suddenly go through a lot of gear oil (going out the birf where you see the grey mess) on the trip, so fill it and have a jug/plug wrench/filler with you. Run low while towing and you'll also be replacing the front diff.

DougM
 
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MH_Stevens said:
The grease in the knuckle gets consumed, it slowly diffuses through the felt washer (that's why it is felt and not rubber) to lube the sphere. Grease that is used between major knuckle services must be replaced via the greasing plug.
Nope, I disagree. The felt is not a seal and it has no sealing properties. The felt is a wiper only and is designed to keep dust off of the ball. Behind the felt is a companion rubber ring that IS the seal and it is designed to keep the moly in. There should be no loss of grease between major knuckle services unless the inner axle seal begins to leak, in which case it's time for service. Major knuckle services should be determined not by the presence of a leak at the back of the knuckle through the felt, but the presence of moly in the diff lube, which in my experience in owning 8 Land Cruisers and doing 20 and counting knuckle rebuilds, almost always occurs first.

To the thread starter sjpitts, get a 10mm wrench and snug up the 6 little bolts buried in the grease on the back of the knuckle. This, coupled with IdahoDoug's advice will get you through the weekend if you are careful.
 
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e9999

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parabola said:
Can someone post a pic of what they should look like?
clean with a very thin layer of grease on the knuckle, maybe a bit of accumulation at the "edge" of the swept area, but without the dripping mess at the bottom...
 
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parabola said:
Can someone post a pic of what they should look like?

Sure, here's mine with 16,000 miles on them. What appears to be grease on the outer lower studs and nuts is water, its damp and has been raining here. Note the rust colored circumference around the knuckle housing behind the felt retainers...NO grease anywhere.
knuckle.jpg
 
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Cancel your trip and do the knuckle job or rent an SUV to tow your stuff. Isn't the purpose of the trip to make it back home in one peice?

My 2 cents...........
 

e9999

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advice?
make sure the 4 nuts at the bottom are tight! :)
 
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That's happened to me. Best thing to do is replace the axle seal and probably the oil seal as well. The job takes a little more than 3 hours per wheel if you know what you're doing and are complete with tools, including a brass drift.

I'm of the opinion that even a 30 mile trip will cause further damage.


Kalawang
 

e9999

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parabola said:
That's it?! It looked to me that the DS was rather wet. Is everything looking OK?

no,no, that's not it. Just another thing to check in the same location. Much worse potentially, but little to do with your leak. Your inner seals are definitely far gone. But still, if there is oil in the diff and grease in your knuckle, I think you should be fine to drive for a bit.
 
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