Hilux axle seals leaking again?.....

Toyota Hilux axle seals leaking again

  • Poor suspension ?

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Cheap axle seals used ?

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Warped shafts?

    Votes: 1 100.0%

  • Total voters
    1

giles4X4foster

New Member
Good afternoon all,

I hope you don't mind if this has been covered already, but I am in desperate need of some advice/help regarding my Toyota Hilux LN106 2.8L diesel rear axle seals.
I do a lot of scuba diving and carry up to 6 or 7 diving cylinders in the back of my Hilux at times, especially when we travel to Mt Gambier to dive the caves. Upon returning from a weekend dive expedition last month or so, I noticed my right hand rear axle seal was leaking diff fluid out onto the wheel and it was really bad. So without hesitation I got the rear axle seals replaced along with the bearings!

All has been well, up until today. I got home after some local diving, and the left hand rear axle seal is weeping diff fluid out onto the wheel and brake drum :-( this is really bad timing as my friends and I are due to road trip next weekend from Melbourne to Lake Jindabyne to dive the sunken village.
But here's the thing, I'm trying to think if my suspension is the root cause of this issue, as the leaves are in a sorry state, they are extremely flat on the rear, including the fronts as well, and who knows how old the shocks are, possibly letting the axles/seals taking too much strain?..

I've been thinking of a new suspension/lift kit for a while, and I'm wondering if the axle is taking the strain from the weak suspension?...especially when laden with my diving gear. The reason I think this could be so, is because my scuba cylinders were laid evenly across the back tub area, but as it is an ideal height to get into your gear, another guy came along and placed his scuba tanks on the left hand tub area for ease of kitting up, adding to the already laden Hilux, and this is the side now leaking.


What are everyone's thoughts? All feedback and responses welcome as I need to take action almost immediately to save the road trip next weekend!
I'm thinking to bite the bullet and get the suspension/lift kit done this week if possible and new axle seals. I hope I'm not dreaming at such short notice!

But then comes the question what lift kit do I go for?.. OME, Tough Dog, other choices?...I heard there were a choice of stiffness with some kits, would people reccommend going for the medium or hard stiffness? is there much difference? I'm sure whatever I put on will be ten times better then the current gear.

Is there any other considerations with a lift kit?..
My maximum allowable height is 2 inches as I wouldn't be able to go higher with where I park the car as we live in a CBD apartment and I drive through a gate and into multi level car parking.

Thanks in advance for any helpl you can all share with this.
Enjoy the weekend!
 

Albynsw

Well-Known Member
The cause may well be a bent axle
This has been reported in the model after yours and happened to me

If you are say that it has been heavily loaded and has sagging suspension it only needs to bottom out on the bump stops with a bit of momentum and you can do that damage
 

typhoeus

Well-Known Member
well if she's done a few miles, it could be a few things. the seals could be poor quality, they can wear a groove in the shoulder, and when you replace the seal, the new one may not seal well because of it. Also there are single lip seals and double lip seals. I took my old ones to CBC and got double lip seals, and made sure they were lubricated with Teflon cam bearing assembly paste so there was no chance of damaging them. mine haven't leaked a drop since. I don't think the suspension parts would affect the seal life, as potholes, road shocks etc are transmitted to the suspension via the axle bearing all the time, and the seals have a bit of flexibility in them
 

Gavo

4x4 Earth Contributer
Could be wrong, but does sounds like the seal has worn a groove where it runs on the axle.

This is a guess, and without seeing the axles out, who knows.

Had a 2002 hilux for 8 years myself, and noticed that the seal had in fact worn a reasonable groove when I did wheel bearings. Those older hilux's are tough though. And an air cylinder isn't that heavy!

Putting the lift aside, think its worth a chat to the installer of new bearings and seals. Ask if the notices any wear. Somewhere confident a speedy sleeve of similar would solve the issue!

In other news, had the opportunity to dive Ewan Ponds a few times in my life, no cave diving, but an epic experience at night all the same!

Wish you luck with your truck what ever the outcome!
 
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garry r

Member
If your axles have a worn groove due to wear and tear, you could have the seal faces built up and re ground back to std. May be cheaper than trying to source good 2nd hand axles or such. Remember that 2nd hand ones could be just as bad. From memory they nitrite them then grind. We used to have crankshafts done this way, but some may know better as it has been very many years since we had this done.
 

Zoro

Member
Using aa too thick of a diff oil can ruin your axle seals.
I personally tried using a 140 weight and within a week I had both sides leaking into the wheels.
Might be worth looking at if you have recently replaced the fluids in the diff.
 

Swaggie

Moderator
My right has been leaking for awhile, replaced the seal twice so I think it may have something to do with the axel, I've left it for six months this time and it doesn't leak as much, i will look into it when I get lockers I guess, but saying that my vehicle is basically only used for 4wdriving. This year is the first time its done well under 5k...


Goodluck
 

giles4X4foster

New Member
Thank you kindly for all the replies. It is much appreciated!

I'll be taking it back to the mechanic that replaced the rear bearings and axle seals this week, and hopefully he can check out what may have caused it. Are these grooves in the axle shafts quite obvious if they are bad? I'll pass on the info.
Would be interesting to see if I can get the double lipped seals....i'll try and source some and use those if I can.

It is true, one air cylinder in the back tray isn't heavy, but, without causing too much confusion, I'm usually carrying two sets of twin 12l cylinders, banded together with manifolds (for deep technical diving or caves) these usually weigh around 30kg'ish for one set, then I also have 2 or 3 11l cylinders that contain the O2 for decompression. I then also have the roof top bag containing the tent and various camping gear etc, along with other gear in the back.....is it at all possible that the poor/sagged suspension caused too much stress on the rear axle and seals??
The reason I ask, is because a mate of mine over a year ago packed his Hilux for a dive trip across the Nullarbor to dive cocklebiddy cave, and he was seriously overweighted and did an axle seal on the way, he luckily was near a town and had it fixed and rented a trailer. No further problems.

The diff fluid was drained and replaced with the seal/bearing replacement, I believe it was with Penrite diff oil 80/90 or 75/90.
I also checked the diff breather hose, I have them extended, and they breath ok.

I hope this isn't going to be an episode of seals failing, I've read some other forums about people having as many as three or four trips to mechanics to chase the source of this problem and constantly having leaky rear axles.

Cheers guys.
 

Batts88

Well-Known Member
Had same problem with my Nissan found the axle had a grove where the seal sits got it machined should be good for another 400,000km my mechanic hates speedy sleeves he likes to fix it correctly so it lasts.
 

ian.c

Well-Known Member
Something as simple as a blocked breather can cause axle seals to blow out, hot air expands wants to escape it will blow out seals that are average, blocked breather can also be the cause of water being sucked into the diff housing when doing river crossings, hot air in diff contracts when dunked in cold water and causes vacuum, had this problem with my first cruiser, i worked out the hard way, replacing seals and diff oil is no fun, so simple but not always checked, if you cant blow air through it could be toast, its an easy job to extend them up high in the engine bay, keeps out water,mud and grease, they shouldn't block again, can post some pics of my homemade setup tomorrow if you like. Ian.C
 

CampbellWalker

New Member
Hey guys not sure if anyone can help me out,
Just as a backstory last year on the way to Marlo for a fishing trip I pulled over as the left rear wheel was smoking, oil pissingout everywhere and loss of breaks.. ended up being a rear wheel bearing and seal, had replaced and drove home after a week of fishing. Checked my diff breather and was pretty full of shit around the top so suspected that was the reason it blew as we were driving for 5 or so hours.

Couple months on me and my girlfriend are doing a half loop of Australia. Done south Australia and up the guts. After doing the Mareenie loop in NT a few days we heard abit of a ‘rrrr’ sound. Got into Alice springs luckily enough and had a fair bit of oil coming from the back of the hub. Had a mechanic look at it last night and told it was axel seal and bearing seal. This isn’t the same side as what happened in a Marlo but when I checked the breather it was clear... what else can cause this to happen??? Wear and tear??
As we are only one month into our 7 month trip just wondering if there is an underlying problem or it’s just wear and tear. The car has done 275k kms.
I’m installing extended diff breather today..
 
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typhoeus

Well-Known Member
Yes, usually if one bearing or seal goes, the other isnt far away soits cpmmon practice to replace both at the same time. Its a messy job, and usually requires the brake shoes to be replaced (if they are soaked in oil), which come in pairs so thats why its better to do both sides.
 

Swaggie

Moderator
What year is it.... Also you sure your Axel isn't bent. The seals are known for this I've replaced a few. There is a U.S company that make a seal that has two seals on the one (harder for the oil to get past) sorry don't recall there name.....
 

Batts88

Well-Known Member
I had a front left bearing go on a 4 runner at around 140k yrs ago so I reckon you had a good run at 275k and would most probably say mormal wear and tear. I was told left side usually goes first because it's the roughest side of the road which makes sense. I would now be thinking about doing the front at the same time just in case especially if they have not been inspected in the past..

When the left rear bearing went on my current GQ at 400,000km the front went the following yr so if I still have the car I will replace them all again probably at 300 - 350k.
 

CampbellWalker

New Member
Yes, usually if one bearing or seal goes, the other isnt far away soits cpmmon practice to replace both at the same time. Its a messy job, and usually requires the brake shoes to be replaced (if they are soaked in oil), which come in pairs so thats why its better to do both sides.
Sure that makes sense.. shoes are being replaced while his at it as they are rooted. I wish my mechanic had of just replaced the bearing while when I asked him instead of just the seal but ahhwell. The mechanic checked over the car yesterday and didn’t think the axel was went. Should I look into it abit more??

I Installed extended breather for rear diff today.. easy for peace of mind. I have a 2005 Toyota hilux with IFS. where can I find the front breather??

Thanks a lot for your help
 

typhoeus

Well-Known Member
Yes the axle is not likely to be bent unless its had rough treatment, like overloading and bashing over rocks etc or sideways into a curb. Its easy enough to test tho with a dial guage and a couple of V blocks. Yhe front breather is on the top of the front diff. . Mine is a 98 model so it should be similar. And dont forget the gearbox breather too. . Thats a bit harder to get to, you have to remove the rubber boot around the gearsticks to see it. But if your not fording rivers maybe the geabox breather can wait till u get home
 

Swaggie

Moderator
Yes the axle is not likely to be bent unless its had rough treatment, like overloading and bashing over rocks etc or sideways into a curb. Its easy enough to test tho with a dial guage and a couple of V blocks. Yhe front breather is on the top of the front diff. . Mine is a 98 model so it should be similar. And dont forget the gearbox breather too. . Thats a bit harder to get to, you have to remove the rubber boot around the gearsticks to see it. But if your not fording rivers maybe the geabox breather can wait till u get home

When my Hilux did the outer rear bearing I decided to limp it home (coming home from camping anyway) it was making a hell of a noise the axle is now bent (dial indicator)...
So the seal was replaced on that side before that happened. The way the crappy seal is made with a 1 cent spring inside it's no wonder they leak. Not sure there the same after 05..
I Havnt dial indicated the rear passenger side and it's never leaked. What I have noticed though it's nearly always the rear drivers side that leaks first speaking to other Hilux owners in the past ..
 

TroopiePete

Member
Something that has not been mentioned is the seals will leak if the oil level it too high, basics are the oil when correct in the Diff housing is at a very low level when it comes to the seals, when changing if the car is level not much oil should come out, some will but not much.
What usually causes the level to go up is water! usually evident by milky oil or the first fluid to drain when the plug it taken out if it's been standing still for a while..
But worn axles are the usual issue, not sure on the brand but there are now a few companies selling better - usually double lipped seals - if these new seals sit either side of the original seal ring it may actually seal without any other work.
 
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