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Rear Axle Seal Leak

Discussion in '5th Gen 4Runners (2010-2024)' started by strannik, Feb 10, 2024.

  1. Feb 10, 2024 at 1:51 PM
    #1
    strannik

    strannik [OP] New Member

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    Can somebody explain this to me? I am having a strange leak into the parking break. The break system is in good shape. No leaks anywhere. Parking break on the passenger's side is consistently covered in something oily. I have been monitoring break fluid for the past year. No problems there. Every time I check the rear breaks I see parking break assembly all covered in something.

    If it was related to parking break cable, the driver's side would also be affected as well.

    Here is the video of what I am talking about:

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=tEPoRrDtEuo
     
  2. Feb 10, 2024 at 1:56 PM
    #2
    Slopemaster

    Slopemaster Slope Survivalist

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    265-70-17 Ridge Grapplers, TRD Pro rims, 3M precut bra, N-Fab nerf/steps
    Maybe gear oil from the differential.
     
    Photon_Chaser and strannik[OP] like this.
  3. Feb 10, 2024 at 2:02 PM
    #3
    Photon_Chaser

    Photon_Chaser 42202 and counting…

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    Caliper piston seal looks intact as well as the banjo fitting. Seeing as how the 'stain' appears all around the brake housing (backing plate) I suspect a possible rear axle seal.
     
    strannik[OP] likes this.
  4. Feb 10, 2024 at 2:03 PM
    #4
    catbrown357

    catbrown357 New Member

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    Not a brake issue. I'd be looking at axle seal.
     
    strannik[OP] likes this.
  5. Feb 10, 2024 at 2:05 PM
    #5
    strannik

    strannik [OP] New Member

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    Thanks! Never would have thought. I will have to check rear axle seal out. I've heard it is a nightmare to change that.

    Is there an easy way to confirm this without dismantling everything?
     
  6. Feb 10, 2024 at 2:07 PM
    #6
    catbrown357

    catbrown357 New Member

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    Unfortunately not.
     
    strannik[QUOTED][OP] likes this.
  7. Feb 10, 2024 at 3:50 PM
    #7
    strannik

    strannik [OP] New Member

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    Looking at this video, it will be a lot of work. It also seems to be very expensive if done at a shop, so it will have to be a DIY project.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xvQybhW

    What type of press is good for the job? Do I need a 12T, or 6T will do? I was looking at these from Amazon for a very reasonable price. 6T may be a bit too short.

    https://www.amazon.com/VEVOR-Hydraulic-Adjustable-Shop-Press/dp/B0BZ7YY3CP?crid=2WF71YM5VZHDV&keywords=VEVOR+Hydraulic+Shop+Press&qid=1707608631&sprefix=vevor+hydraulic+shop+press%2Caps%2C471&sr=8-3
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2024
  8. Feb 11, 2024 at 7:16 AM
    #8
    Startrek

    Startrek New Member

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    I would go with 20T HarborFreight $250. you risk to pay twice with 12T, or hassle return in a middle of job. all auto shops using 20T
     
    strannik[OP] likes this.
  9. Feb 11, 2024 at 11:25 AM
    #9
    Scotty4run

    Scotty4run New Member

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    Yes, probably diff oil. Check your breather first, you probably need the seal also but start by verifying that breather works. I had this problem on a Tacoma, shop (not dealer) replaced both seals for about 350.00.
     
    strannik[OP] likes this.
  10. Feb 11, 2024 at 6:41 PM
    #10
    strannik

    strannik [OP] New Member

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    It seems that seals are not a problem to replace at all. Parts cost $25, and replacement can be done without removing the parking brake assembly. I found this video, and comments to it very informative.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=__PSNbupxBc

    I am still debating if I should go ahead and replace the wheel bearings or wait until they fail. My decision is leaning strongly towards replacing them while I am working on the car in my garage. It seems like not every shop has the equipment to pull and press Toyota rear wheel bearings, and dealer wants an arm and a leg to get the job done. I have calculated the cost of all the parts and tools, and it came out to be around $1,000.
     
  11. Feb 18, 2024 at 7:27 AM
    #11
    strannik

    strannik [OP] New Member

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    After doing some research, I finally figured out what caused the axle seal to blow out.

    ...

    Water in the rear differential fluid
    • If you ever drive through deep water that may submerge the entirely axle, it doesn't hurt to go ahead and do a drain/check unless you are sure your axle seals are good and you've extended the differential breather to a higher drier location.
      • When you put a hot axle into cold water the temperature change creates a sudden vacuum inside the axle assembly.
      • If there are leaks or the breather itself is under water, it will draw water into the axle.
      • The gears will turn the water/oil mix into a gnarly sludge.
      • Also, once the axle gets hot from the poor lubrication the water will boil and the steam can potentially blow out seals.
    https://www.reddit.com/r/4Runner/comments/ujvqtf/how\_often\_does\_differential\_fluid\_need\_changed/

    ...

    I discovered rear axle seal leak the first time after a long road trip that involved many water crossings. I never did rear differential breather mod. That is probably another thing that I should do as well as replacing the seal.

    Not sure how much water got in, but the fluid is definitely due for a change. I came across another video where a guy does drain and fill several times after water got into his rear diff. Not sure if this is necessary in my case. Mine doesn't look like milky sludge.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pylitmMEsLw
     
    BS67 likes this.

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