Rear Axle Service (1 Viewer)

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I am about to do the rear brakes and want to service the hubs as well. I know there are going to be as many opinions as there are brands, so I'll try to ask more generically.

I believe on the front axle the consensus is generally the Toyota inner axle shaft seals are worth the money vs aftermarket. On the rear axle hubs are there any parts that are known to perform significantly better? I don't believe there are near as many failures / maintenance required on the rear as compared to the front axle. That being the case I'm thinking for the seals I'll grab my favorite aftermarket brand unless there is a strong case to do otherwise. Could also just leave them out, but I'm still reading up on that a bit.
 
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I am about to do the rear brakes and want to service the hubs as well. I know there are going to be as many opinions as there are brands, so I'll try to ask more generically.

I believe on the front axle the consensus is generally the Toyota inner axle shaft seals are worth the money vs aftermarket. On the rear axle hubs are there any parts that are known to perform significantly better? I don't believe there are near as many failures / maintenance required on the rear as compared to the front axle. That being the case I'm thinking for the seals I'll grab my favorite aftermarket brand unless there is a strong case to do otherwise. Could also just leave them out, but I'm still reading up on that a bit.
What year? It makes a difference on what rear hub parts you have......

But, yes, Cruiser Outfitters.
 

80t0ylc

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I am about to do the rear brakes and want to service the hubs as well. I know there are going to be as many opinions as there are brands, so I'll try to ask more generically.

I believe on the front axle the consensus is generally the Toyota inner axle shaft seals are worth the money vs aftermarket. On the rear axle hubs are there any parts that are known to perform significantly better? I don't believe there are near as many failures / maintenance required on the rear as compared to the front axle. That being the case I'm thinking for the seals I'll grab my favorite aftermarket brand unless there is a strong case to do otherwise. Could also just leave them out, but I'm still reading up on that a bit.
Good time to rebuild the e-brakes as well as disk brakes. There will be a core charge on the shoes. There are quite few guys that leave the seals out. The theory is that gear lube is better for your rear bearings than grease. I replaced the seals when I did mine a couple years ago. Went with Cruiser Outfitters for both front and rear seals and bearings on my '94 with about 280K on the clock.

Edit: Link for my axle service with pics for reference.
 
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FWIW, Toyota doesn't make seals. Or bearings. Or hoses. Or electrical connectors. But, you'll have a hard time finding metric automotive hoses and Sumitomo suppliers in the US are few and far between, so buying OEM valued parts like those from Toyota makes a lot of sense.

Bearings and seals are another story. Any reputable bearing manufacturer (Koyo, SKF FAG, Timken, etc) or seal manufacturer (SKF, Timken, National, etc) have accepeted industry standard parts which will perform equally well in the applications the particular seals or bearings are cross-referenced for. There should be a local industrial bearing and seal supplier in your area (Motion Industries comes to mind, but there are others) who will be able to get you any bearing or seal is you have a manufacturer's part number (not the Toyota part number). The number will be on the part somewhere. Just call the counter sales number and ask for an interchange part number. If they don't stock what you need, they'll be to get an acceptable substitute.
 
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FWIW, Toyota doesn't make seals. Or bearings. Or hoses. Or electrical connectors. But, you'll have a hard time finding metric automotive hoses and Sumitomo suppliers in the US are few and far between, so buying OEM valued parts like those from Toyota makes a lot of sense.

Bearings and seals are another story. Any reputable bearing manufacturer (Koyo, SKF FAG, Timken, etc) or seal manufacturer (SKF, Timken, National, etc) have accepeted industry standard parts which will perform equally well in the applications the particular seals or bearings are cross-referenced for. There should be a local industrial bearing and seal supplier in your area (Motion Industries comes to mind, but there are others) who will be able to get you any bearing or seal is you have a manufacturer's part number (not the Toyota part number). The number will be on the part somewhere. Just call the counter sales number and ask for an interchange part number. If they don't stock what you need, they'll be to get an acceptable substitute.

Yup my thoughts exactly. Just wanted to verify there wasn't anything commonly known to go off the rails when doing that. No fun to be in Baja with oil streaming out of the axle.
 
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if you havent serviced the rear bearings before youll probably need 1 tub of red wheel bearing grease to repack the bearings. order extra hub gaskets as they are paper and can tear easily, small tear you can use a small bead of red fipg on the gasket and itll be fine
 

80t0ylc

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The main reason I decided to replace the rear seals and NOT leave them out is I thought that if on a trail or road that was continually sidehill, you might starve the wheel bearings on the up hill side. It's been said that most semi's (big rigs) are FF and rely on the gear lube from the diff on that axle for wheel bearing lube. Also if you frequent the forums for our contempory U.S. built pickups, their rebuild threads for FF axles commend leaving out or removing these seals. I agree that gear lube is superior to grease for bearing lube, but I'm of the opinion that since our rigs can operate at odd angles frequently, the OEM design has a purpose to having the rear wheel bearings continuosly lubed with grease. Remember, FF axle design is quite different from Semi-Float, which are much more common, but cheaper and weaker.
 
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I haven't looked into the price difference of OE Toyota seals vs aftermarket but you probably are only saving a couple bucks for each seal and will get years of service out of them. As already stated above, toyota doesn't actually manufacture the seals. Most people probably haven't had a rear axle serviced and still have their original seals in there. That being said, if you want to pinch pennies with the seals give @cruiseroutfit a call and order up what you need. I am sure he carries both OE and a quality aftermarket option which would probably be just fine.

I also am of the opinion that running with the seal makes sense. Not too many people on mud are posting about rear bearing failures and most have never serviced the rear bearings as stated above so while gear oil may technically be a better lubricant there is likely no real world practical service life difference of running gear oil instead grease as designed.
 
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The main reason I decided to replace the rear seals and NOT leave them out is I thought that if on a trail or road that was continually sidehill, you might starve the wheel bearings on the up hill side. It's been said that most semi's (big rigs) are FF and rely on the gear lube from the diff on that axle for wheel bearing lube. Also if you frequent the forums for our contempory U.S. built pickups, their rebuild threads for FF axles commend leaving out or removing these seals. I agree that gear lube is superior to grease for bearing lube, but I'm of the opinion that since our rigs can operate at odd angles frequently, the OEM design has a purpose to having the rear wheel bearings continuosly lubed with grease. Remember, FF axle design is quite different from Semi-Float, which are much more common, but cheaper and weaker.
Running at an angle is not a problem, as once the oil is in the hub bearings, it stays there unless the hub seal goes bad and it is leaking out of the hub, all over the brakes and wheel.

The oil will run out the spindle and into the bearing cavity. The oil cannot migrate back into the spindle because it must be forced uphill. Even if you tip the truck upside down, the oil will not run back into the inside of the spindle.

If you are planning on running with just gear oil, be sure to pack the bearings with a grease that is compatible with the gear oil. This is very important.

Then, BEFORE you drive it any distance, jack up both sides significantly and separately (not at the same time) or park the truck on a side hill for about 5 minutes EACH DIRECTION.

This will flood the bearing area with gear oil to start the process.

Then take it back to level ground, let it sit for about 10 minutes, then pull the fill plug and check your differential oil level again and top it off accordingly.

Believe me, this is the CORRECT procedure. I failed to do this to my Dad's 78 Chevy K20 Pickup when it was about 3 years old. I made it one mile when both rear spindles and wheel bearings seized. We had to use a torch to get it apart.

That is a memory that is burned into my backside.
 
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Glad I stuck with the grease when I did mine. Wouldn't have known to do all the re-distribution of gear oil tricks.
 

80t0ylc

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Running at an angle is not a problem, as once the oil is in the hub bearings, it stays there unless the hub seal goes bad and it is leaking out of the hub, all over the brakes and wheel.

The oil will run out the spindle and into the bearing cavity. The oil cannot migrate back into the spindle because it must be forced uphill. Even if you tip the truck upside down, the oil will not run back into the inside of the spindle.

If you are planning on running with just gear oil, be sure to pack the bearings with a grease that is compatible with the gear oil. This is very important.

Then, BEFORE you drive it any distance, jack up both sides significantly and separately (not at the same time) or park the truck on a side hill for about 5 minutes EACH DIRECTION.

This will flood the bearing area with gear oil to start the process.

Then take it back to level ground, let it sit for about 10 minutes, then pull the fill plug and check your differential oil level again and top it off accordingly.

Believe me, this is the CORRECT procedure. I failed to do this to my Dad's 78 Chevy K20 Pickup when it was about 3 years old. I made it one mile when both rear spindles and wheel bearings seized. We had to use a torch to get it apart.

That is a memory that is burned into my backside.
I don't know - no disrespect intended, but if the gearlube doesn't migrate into the bearing cavity with out tipping the truck, could also be a problem. Those wheel bearings need to be continually washed with gear lube. The bearing action alone should push some gear lube back into the spindle, so the oil would need to be replenished. You say the oil can migrate into the bearing cavity by tipping, but it can't migrate out by tipping? That doesn't make sense unless there's some sort of one-way valve.
 
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Believe me, this is the CORRECT procedure. I failed to do this to my Dad's 78 Chevy K20 Pickup when it was about 3 years old. I made it one mile when both rear spindles and wheel bearings seized. We had to use a torch to get it apart.

That is a memory that is burned into my backside.
Memory's that are burned into your backside are not soon forgotten, mine was when i was a teenager, and rolled my dads beloved 1963 VW bug on it's roof. I'll say this, my dad is now 93 years old, he still reminds me of this mistake every year when we get together for Thanksgiving dinner.
 
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I don't know - no disrespect intended, but if the gearlube doesn't migrate into the bearing cavity with out tipping the truck, could also be a problem. Those wheel bearings need to be continually washed with gear lube. The bearing action alone should push some gear lube back into the spindle, so the oil would need to be replenished. You say the oil can migrate into the bearing cavity by tipping, but it can't migrate out by tipping? That doesn't make sense unless there's some sort of one-way valve.
Every time you turn a corner,the gear lube runs down the axle housing, out the spindle, and fills the bearing cavity of the hub. Eventually, the axle housing reached an equilibrium with the bearing housings and the level stays the same. You must tip the truck INITIALLY to fill the cavity. Then you go back and check the differential oil level because some of what you put into there is now in the hubs. Liquids will reach a level full condition while at rest.

During operation, it's a tornado of fluid inside there, so it's very "active" and it will run down the axle tubes as needed.

ALL Dana 60's and 70's operate on gear oil filled hubs. The procedure I posted above was pulled from a Motor brand rebuild manual from 1978.

All this said, Tools R Us and I went back and forth about it and it comes down to personal preference.
He chose to run without the internal oil seal and let the rear hubs fill with oil.

I chose to follow the FSM and pack the bearings and hubs with grease and I do use the internal oil seal.

I will guarantee that if I pulled apart my rear hubs tomorrow, they are being bathed in oil and all traces on my grease are long gone because the oil mixes with it and washes it out. I'm perfectly ok with that. I've got 95,560 miles on that axle rebuild and it keeps up fine with my 20K miles per year.

I'm planning on going through everything when I achieve the 100K point on the rebuild. Right now I have 312K on the truck.
 

80t0ylc

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Every time you turn a corner,the gear lube runs down the axle housing, out the spindle, and fills the bearing cavity of the hub. Eventually, the axle housing reached an equilibrium with the bearing housings and the level stays the same. You must tip the truck INITIALLY to fill the cavity. Then you go back and check the differential oil level because some of what you put into there is now in the hubs. Liquids will reach a level full condition while at rest.

During operation, it's a tornado of fluid inside there, so it's very "active" and it will run down the axle tubes as needed.

ALL Dana 60's and 70's operate on gear oil filled hubs. The procedure I posted above was pulled from a Motor brand rebuild manual from 1978.

All this said, Tools R Us and I went back and forth about it and it comes down to personal preference.
He chose to run without the internal oil seal and let the rear hubs fill with oil.

I chose to follow the FSM and pack the bearings and hubs with grease and I do use the internal oil seal.

I will guarantee that if I pulled apart my rear hubs tomorrow, they are being bathed in oil and all traces on my grease are long gone because the oil mixes with it and washes it out. I'm perfectly ok with that. I've got 95,560 miles on that axle rebuild and it keeps up fine with my 20K miles per year.

I'm planning on going through everything when I achieve the 100K point on the rebuild. Right now I have 312K on the truck.
I recall the posts with Kevin. He convinced me that gear oil lubes the bearings better. So, with your truck, what purpose do the internal oil seals provide. It was my understanding they keep the gear oil out of the hubs. And you said previously to use grease that's compatible with gear oil, so it makes sense about the mixing and washing, but using the seals has me confused.
 
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I recall the posts with Kevin. He convinced me that gear oil lubes the bearings better. So, with your truck, what purpose do the internal oil seals provide. It was my understanding they keep the gear oil out of the hubs. And you said previously to use grease that's compatible with gear oil, so it makes sense about the mixing and washing, but using the seals has me confused.
It's part of the OEM design. I used them because the are "supposed" to be there. Once I installed them, I realized how pointless they are. They are NOT a tight fit and you have to drag the entire length of the axle shaft across the seal surface before the axle is seated.

It's possible Toyota designed it to separate the grease and oil for compatibility issues, but who knows.

I will still follow the FSM and OEM parts......
 
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Have mine apart right now due to leakage....bearings had zero grease left and they looked perfect. Everything was covered in oil.
Looked like it's never been apart, ~220k miles on it.
I have changed the gear oil since i've had it at least

Debating on how to put it back together.
 

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