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  1. #1
    D. Thomas Guest

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    Underside inspection revealed alot of oil leaking on the back side of the brake drum on one side of rear axle. Oil feels like 90 weight or so. I assume a new seal is needed somewhere in there. Anyone have any experience with this sort of problem on a mid size truck, like how much trouble it would be to fix myself or what sort of cost might be involved for a "heavy truck" shop to fix it ?

  2. #2
    sasbenson is offline Member
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    Don, Speaking as a shop owner my advice to you would be to take it to a reputable truck shop and and pay someone else to perform this incredibly messy dirty task.
    IMHO. Regards,

    sas

  3. #3
    D. Thomas Guest

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    Sas, therein lies the problem, as I'm located in a resort town with little industry and therefore only one heavy truck shop. With the contruction boom around here (i.e. lots of mid size trucks to repair) and Lowes coming to town (with all their diesel delivery trucks) these guys are so busy that I suspect they will either take forever to get to it and/or charge one arm and one leg. But perhaps not, hence the need to have some vague idea of what it ought to cost.

    I'm glad you mentioned the messy aspect of it, as that is indeed further inspiration to seek out someone else to deal with it

    [This message has been edited by D. Thomas (edited 01-05-2003).]

  4. #4
    Mud's Avatar
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    D - I've done that job, I have most of the proper tools and still I'd let someone else do it for me. sas is giving you good advice. If you do try it your self make sure you have a BIG helper there.

  5. #5
    D. Thomas Guest

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    Got 2 forklifts for "helpers" but I'll still check and see if our only heavy truck guys can get to it sometime in this decade. Everytime I drive by their place I see trucks, trucks and more trucks...all to be dealt with in a little 2,000 sq ft metal building and dirt parking lot. If someone wants to move here and repair diesel trucks they'd probably have plenty of business right off the bat.

  6. #6
    jim king is offline Aluminum
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    Check oil level.If you can touch it with your finger, drive it to a larger town.there is a shield to prevent the oil from getting on shoes.As long as is not pouring out.Use common sense.

  7. #7
    George Hodge is offline Aluminum
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    I imagine you do a lot of highway driving,right? When you have the seal replaced,be sure to check the axle breather vent. On the right side,top of some axles.It gets plugged with mud,snow,etc.,then the seal,which is the weak part, blows out as the pressure inside builds up. It's not such a bad job,I've done a bunch of them.But be prepared to do some heavy lifting,use good jack stands.You'll need some larger than usual wrenches and a seal driver. You probabably can rent or borrow the driver and wrenches from the truck shop. Lots of times the brake shoes are saturated.The backing plate should keep the 90wt.off,but my luck never ran that way.Best bet is to replace the shoes instead of trying to clean them.Brake cleaner works on the shoes,maybe,deffinitly on the drum. Your friendly auto parts store probably has or can get everything you need.Check the Library for a Chilton's truck book,it shows step by step how to do this.First time will take you about 3 hrs to do it,second time 1hr.or less.If all you need is the seal and axle gasket,figure on less than $40.00 to do it yourself.The shop will be over $150.00 I'm thinking. If you work on the machines you sell,you probably have everything you need to do the job. E-mail me for more hints if you want to. George

  8. #8
    L Webb is offline Senior Member
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    It is a messy job but doable. They make a special jack so you can slide the duals/drum off together. It is also a good idea to use new nuts on the axle when reassembling. I once had a mechanic re-use the Nylocks on the axle. They all came loose within a week.
    Good luck.
    Les

  9. #9
    halfnut is offline Senior Member
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    No problem at all, that is if you have a few special tools.

    First back off slack adjuster.

    Remove axle nuts, smack axle with sledge, remove the taper wedge washers. Remove drive axle, have the coffee can and rag handy to catch oil. Jack this side of axle up to just clear tires from floor some, now loosen the bearing nuts some, this takes a big special socket. Either use a wheel dolly or oil the floor, if using floor just touch tire to floor and finish removing nuts. Rassle it a bit and the outer bearing will come loose, more oil will escape.

    Slide the wheel assembly off axle. Get another coffee can and a big rag, put rag in drum and can on top under inner seal. Take a bar and pop seal out from other side by driving on inner bearing or use a seal removal tool and sometimes a rolling head bar works.

    Stemco seals always worked the best for us in the truck shop where I worked, they have an inside wear ring, seal itself is made of rawhide. They take a special driver. CR's or Nationals are OK but we had much better luck with the Stemco's.

    Do your cleaning up, steam cleaner time, replace shoes if too oil soaked. Might as well do the other side as well then.

    Install wear ring on axle, place bearing in hub and install new seal. Slide wheel assembly back on axle taking care not to damage seal. Fill cavity with oil, slip in outer bearing, snug down nut decent. Jack up axle to clear tires from ground, then install the washer making corrections to get the holes to allign with the protruding pin on this inner nut. You want some preload on these bearings, not much but somewhat snug with this wrench, and the handle isn't that long. Wheel assembly should turn with ease. Snug the outer locking nut real good.

    Put axle back in, a thin film of Blue Goo works fine. Make sure you get the tapered keepers in, add nuts and impact them down good.

    Readjust brakes and you are ready to go.

    About a 45 minute job plus cleanup time.

    You probably have outboard drums and pulling the complete wheel assembly isn't necessary. You can remove wheels, then drum, then the axle and hub assembly. By removing as a complete unit it is easier to keep things straight and not damage seal when reinstalling hub. It seems easier to me.

    Easiest way would be to take to truck shop, I've had to clean up these messes before, only thing that might be messier is a front pinion seal, either way it slings a lot of oil. 90w doesn't like to wash off trailers and backs of cabs very well. Plus we used red synthetic, might have been worse.

    Been going on 10 years since I had to do this job, typing out the procedure might keep me in practice? Kinda enjoyed truck mechanicing in a way, sure miss those service calls in the winter, ya sure.

  10. #10
    D. Thomas Guest

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    Thanks for the instructions halfnut and others, but I got to thinking that our local semi wrecker/35 ton rollback trailer guy, Dukes Towing, might know about an alternative fix it place. Sure enough he directed me to call the local Penske rental place and she gave me the number of the guy that's keep their fleet up. When I asked about price he sez "oh, I dunno...I charge $50 an hour...probably take about an hour"...and he makes "house calls" too

  11. #11
    George Hodge is offline Aluminum
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    Put that feller to work!!!

  12. #12
    L Webb is offline Senior Member
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    Gee Don, I was going to ask if you had a Penske or Ryder shop around.
    For $50 an hour, I'd let the man with the tools and experience do it.
    Les

  13. #13
    D. Thomas Guest

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    Update- He came yesterday morning, older fellow, maybe 70, but in good shape. All went well until the it came time to pull the axle. The drive axle flange just would not come off. Usual proceedure is to hit it with a brass hammer and it pops out but repeated attempts produced no results. Hitting it with a heavy punch from behind did nothing, attempting to knock a chisel edge between the flange and housing did nothing. So, this guy is cussing up a storm and saying in 35 years of doing this, he has ~never~ seen one stuck this bad...especially unusual on such a relatively new (1995) truck. He ends up having to remove most of the studs, but even this was quite difficult as the studs were subject to the same tapered cone wedges seize that was the reason the flange wouldn't budge in the first place, and the two wedged nuts on a stud would tend to just unscrew. But he finally got enough studs off for it to free up. So my "about an hour" job turns into "about 4 hours"....$#*^!

    For future reference, any products or techniques exist for removing studs better than the two wedged nut trick ?

    Also, my suggestion to the guy was to spray the devil out of the flange/tapered cones/studs with PB Blaster and come back the next day. He insisted that wouldn't have done a bit 'o good, as those tapered cones surrounding each stud were just not gonna let go...someone must have tightened the flange nuts too tight years ago. What do you guys think ?

  14. #14
    L Webb is offline Senior Member
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    Unfortunately, there are too many 400lb gorillas wielding big impact guns at service places. Their theory is to impact to the max torque of the gun and then a little more. An equal PITA is when someone has done the inside and outside lugs wrong. Frustrating to have the two lugs turning with the outer wheel sandwiched in-between.
    It's too bad you had to pay the extra time but it is worse to let them leave to come back the next day. It's guaranteed an emergency will come up and you won't see the repairman for days.
    Oil on the wheel/brakes is an item to get you dinged in inspection and it falls on the driver as a daily inspection item. Years ago when I was hauling auto batteries I missed the leaking seals on the truck I was assigned one day. I found out how bad it was as I came down a hill into Whittier and a signal light changed and I couldn't stop as all that happened was the trailer would lockup. I was fortunate as people heard my horn blasting and gave me a clear shot through the red light and I was able to downshift and get stopped before the main blvd a half mile further down. The pucker factor was rather high on that one.
    Les

  15. #15
    D. Thomas Guest

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    In this case even if he didn't come back for days it would be no big deal as I don't need to use the truck anytime soon. Was just wondering for future reference if anyone thought that a penetrant, like CRC or Blaster, for this particular application would have high or low probablity of sucess ?

    Re oil on the brakes shoes, yeah, I was wondering why the truck didn't seem to stop as well as it used to. Reminds me of when I as a teen and was too poor to repair my '62 VW Bug, where both rear wheel seals leaked on the brakes. My proceedure was to ocassionally wash the pads with detergent ! Rear ending a Mustang a few months later due to the contrivance not stopping too well kinda inspired me to scrap up enough dough for the proper repair.

  16. #16
    Mud's Avatar
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    I'd say your chance of penetrating oil making a difference is about 50%. If rust is holding things together, then it will, If it's just from overtightening, it probably won't. My favorite for penetrating is Kroil http://www.kanolabs.com/
    I've even had it loosen seized parts that galled together from lack of lubrication.

  17. #17
    halfnut is offline Senior Member
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    Gee wiz.

    These axles come out hard, got to hit them real good. 8lb sledge is good, 12 is better, former neighbor who did a lot of truck work had a sledge which weighed at least 25lbs, biggest one I ever saw. He was proud of that sledge, one thump and an axle would come loose from the hub.

    How long has this old geezer been working on trucks? You aren't going to break it anyhow.

    Getting those keepers out is a pain, once the axle is jarred loose sometimes a small screwdriver with end sharpened can be driven in slot. I kept a pair of needle nose vise grips with a notch ground on tips that worked well for removing these.

    We always reinstalled these nuts with a 1/2 drive impact, hammered good. But we didn't use my Mac, it would pull 1/2 bolts in two.

  18. #18
    D. Thomas Guest

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    Actually, when the 5 lb brass didn't do the trick, he pounded for probably 20 minutes with a much larger long handle steel sledge....nay results.

  19. #19
    jim king is offline Aluminum
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    use to use a 16 lb. sledge.Hit it hard.I doubt if any liquid spray would have helped.You shouldnt have had any oil on your shoes Don.If you did I hoped he replaced them.Cant dry them out.It ought to stop better since your wallet is a little lighter.

  20. #20
    George Hodge is offline Aluminum
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    Those wedges really get a grip dont they?? The bigger hammer method usually works,but accuracy is real important !! Saw a feller swat the axle and hit two studs,broke both off 1/4in.below the surface. I ended up making a jig to drill them out,after we got the easy-outs out. That job took about 4 hrs. also.

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