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Discussion Starter #1
I have 2008 fj cruiser 4x4 with a Left Rear Axle Seep, enough that it is now on my left rear brake pads But, is not getting onto the inside of that rear tire as of yet.
"I want to replace this axle seal myself".
*I am asking for suggestions on the Best Brand Axle Seal I should buy & which Brand Axle Bearing ought to buy? and anything else I may need to R&R this rear axle seal (parts wise).

*Also... does anyone happen to know the Total Length measurement of the Left Rear Axle - from where the wheel bolts up at the Outside end, to the other end of the axle at the splines? (I have a narrow garage to work in and I am not sure that I will have enough room to get the axle out before hitting the garage wall with the axle)

Thank You!!
 

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I would stick with OEM toyota brand on the seal. 28.5" from the back of the dust shield to the end of the shaft, I have some sitting in my basement lol.

Are you replacing the bearing also? That job is quite difficult, you'll need a press and jig to get them off and on.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I would stick with OEM toyota brand on the seal. 28.5" from the back of the dust shield to the end of the shaft, I have some sitting in my basement lol.

Are you replacing the bearing also? That job is quite difficult, you'll need a press and jig to get them off and on.
Thanks Iconic -
It was suggested to me that I replace the Axle Bearing claiming the axle oil may have rinsed some of the bearing grease out of the bearing?. However, the bearing is Solid in the housing, With the rear end up off the ground, I moved the wheel side t side, in and out, no movement at all. Wheel spins perfectly and with No Noise from the bearing area.
I would prefer to just replace the Axle Seal. What do you think?
(and Yes, I will be replacing the Disc brake shoes and E Brake shoes on both ends of the rear axle)

Thank You Sir
 

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Yes its possible the bearing could be compromised but I don't know an easy way to tell that. Just hoping you caught it early enough. Its possible to pull the shaft without disconnecting the brake lines and parking brake cable. Just remove the parking brake cable bracket located on the frame to get some slack, and if you want, make an easy cut with a hacksaw or similar tool on the tab on the axle for the brakeline. Then bend the bracket, remove the line, and there is now enough slack to pull the hub/shaft/rotor/dust shield out as one unit. Bend the bracket back once the shaft is back in.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Yes its possible the bearing could be compromised but I don't know an easy way to tell that. Just hoping you caught it early enough. Its possible to pull the shaft without disconnecting the brake lines and parking brake cable. Just remove the parking brake cable bracket located on the frame to get some slack, and if you want, make an easy cut with a hacksaw or similar tool on the tab on the axle for the brakeline. Then bend the bracket, remove the line, and there is now enough slack to pull the hub/shaft/rotor/dust shield out as one unit. Bend the bracket back once the shaft is back in.
I'll just replace the Axle Seal. Take my chances.

I appreciate the directions to avoid disconnecting the brake cable lines and the parking brake cable!! I will do the job that way.

Before I re-install the Axle, will it help any to try force bearing grease into the original axle bearing by hand, as best I can? I am thinking... Yes.
 

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if the axle bearing has an "inside" and an "outside" (that is, one face that is facing inside of the axle housing), then try to get the grease into it from that side, so that if you do compromise the bearing seal by doing that, it'll be exposed only to the diff oil, and not to the outside elements.

Diff oil won't hurt the bearing as much as water and dirt will.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I would stick with OEM toyota brand on the seal. 28.5" from the back of the dust shield to the end of the shaft, I have some sitting in my basement lol.

Are you replacing the bearing also? That job is quite difficult, you'll need a press and jig to get them off and on.
first.... Thank You: Iconic_ & norm356 !!

I have a couple more questions now:
1) Is there a "Retainer" that is a possible part that needs to be replaced along with the Axle Seal?

2) I have read something regarding installing the Retainer "backwards", (I may have misunderstood what I read) apparently some folks have discovered by doing this they Never had a Axle Seal Leak again on that Axle Seal?
 

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first.... Thank You: Iconic_ & norm356 !!

I have a couple more questions now:
1) Is there a "Retainer" that is a possible part that needs to be replaced along with the Axle Seal?

2) I have read something regarding installing the Retainer "backwards", (I may have misunderstood what I read) apparently some folks have discovered by doing this they Never had a Axle Seal Leak again on that Axle Seal?
The retainer is a press on sleeve that holds the bearing assembly in place on the axle shaft. If you are not replacing the bearing the existing retainer just stays in place. The reference to reversing the retainer on some forums is because the retainer has a beveled edge to make it easier to replace the axle shaft/bearing assembly into the axle without damaging the axle seal. By reversing the retainer you provide a larger surface for the seal to seat to. Unless you pull the bearing assembly you can't remove the retainer. Pulling the bearing assembly destroys the bearing and while it is possible to press in a new bearing to the assembly it's just way easier to buy a complete unit. An arbor press and removal/replacement tool are required for servicing the bearing assembly. The retainer holds a washer against the bearing which will block access to the inner bearing seal and the outer side of the bearing is completely blocked when it pressed on the axle shaft. Any grease you try to inject into the bearing will likely end up on your brakes.
 

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Replacing the seal is a super simple quick job. Replacing the wheel bearing is a absolute nightmare. Don’t do it unless you have to. Trust me, I just did one earlier this year. Use a Toyota seal. The retainer is pressed on and holds the bearing on. Don’t touch it and be careful not to nick it.

My advice is pull the tire off, separate the brake lines and move them out of the bracket, remove the four nuts, slide the axle out. Super easy. The fj is a very simple vehicle to bleed the brakes as well. It nearly does it for you.


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Discussion Starter #12
Thank You: FJ4RWS & dabeyta3

Partial Quote form:FJ4RWS:
"Pulling the bearing assembly destroys the bearing and while it is possible to press in a new bearing to the assembly it's just way easier to buy a complete unit"

*Just so I make sure I understand... when you say "Complete Unit" do you mean Complete New Axle Assembly to include, its New Axle Bearing & New Retainer already installed - All in a One Unit Purchase"?
 

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Thank You: FJ4RWS & dabeyta3

Partial Quote form:FJ4RWS:
"Pulling the bearing assembly destroys the bearing and while it is possible to press in a new bearing to the assembly it's just way easier to buy a complete unit"

*Just so I make sure I understand... when you say "Complete Unit" do you mean Complete New Axle Assembly to include, its New Axle Bearing & New Retainer already installed - All in a One Unit Purchase"?
The bearing is pressed into a machined metal housing which is then pressed onto the axle shaft. Sample here https://www.rockauto.com/en/moreinfo.php?pk=1117187&cc=1433267&jsn=1041&_nck=Ekt6BqBF1pwlXdx0gYlm1esw98pF26vehMm/GG3C/l2QOXSJubi7WSpUmUSdg3OxWOs2f5z9h422EONy36O0PjCuaadDqI1r86y/vJ1lBqy8eOR0sg7BszHWEnTZqwKC386sI9h6r/AcBIPM3akz+HcGuBxK7rBinSvsIStuAQEMExBvz6yZqSV2qSFJccm9uCDxU56chI4RxuwbMvyHDCJ0+Og0gE6c5jkt9mXlkUQVVpC5z9H83rjtp2umFOT6MxbFg1mtV/7ZsxRpborAHQ4qNl7RMcHIJGImtEcpcDiDW3n3sUJm1HsQB9RO0GtCwFFZB5EUcyOqg8ADIxzfJsk6LIMMPHBFfBVPc+aEb6xq0phQq3RCE+kqQnYuxqy21+EB8vA1u2M0fViYYQ2ByA==

I found a thread where someone trying to be as cheap as possible reused the metal bearing carrier and just bought a new bearing to press into it. If you are going to replace the bearing (which you said you were not) it's way simpler to buy a pre-pressed bearing assembly. Someplace like East Coast Gear might sell you a completely assembled axle and bearing but it would be expensive and require you send them new brake backing plates or take apart your axle so you can send them your backing plate. If you were to do that it would mean you have or have access to an arbor press and the tool to pull/press the bearing assembly and would way cheaper to do it yourself. The single biggest PITA about this repair is the parking brake which you are going to have to replace because of the oil contamination. If your satisfied your bearing is OK you can remove the brakes (parking and Disc) pull your axle, remove the axle seal, Clean the smelly oil of of the bearing and backing plate, replace the axle seal and re-assemble. It's a messy smelly job because of the gear oil but aside from the stupid parking brake not very hard to do. Also the wheel speed sensor bolts into the bearing assembly and needs to be removed before pulling the axle. Be careful with this as it doesn't liked to be stretched at all.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Just and FYI... I have read about this before but always blew it off, Until Now:

I was on YouTube this Morning and a mechanic was showing how a 2005 Tacoma he had replaced the rear axle seals on, how both the rear axle seals were Leaking Again after only 60,000miles since he had replaced the axle seals the first time.

The mechanic pointed out that the Culprit was a "Clogged Rear Axle VENT TUBE" that had caused the seals to leak prematurely.

He pointed out that the Rear Axle Housing will create Pressure when driving and the Vent will relieve that pressure. With a Clogged Rear Axle "Vent", we will begin to have leaks out of anywhere the pressure can find to escape through... Axle Seals.

Wishing Everyone a Happy & Safe 2019 Thanksgiving Holiday!!!
 

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Just and FYI... I have read about this before but always blew it off, Until Now:

I was on YouTube this Morning and a mechanic was showing how a 2005 Tacoma he had replaced the rear axle seals on, how both the rear axle seals were Leaking Again after only 60,000miles since he had replaced the axle seals the first time.

The mechanic pointed out that the Culprit was a "Clogged Rear Axle VENT TUBE" that had caused the seals to leak prematurely.

He pointed out that the Rear Axle Housing will create Pressure when driving and the Vent will relieve that pressure. With a Clogged Rear Axle "Vent", we will begin to have leaks out of anywhere the pressure can find to escape through... Axle Seals.

Wishing Everyone a Happy & Safe 2019 Thanksgiving Holiday!!!
This is a good reason to do the Scuba Mod and get your vents, 2 on rear axle, 1 each transfer, transmission and front diff up out of the way. The factory vents have an internal metal disc that can stick and block the vent which can indeed force oil past the seals.
 

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Thank You: FJ4RWS & dabeyta3

Partial Quote form:FJ4RWS:
"Pulling the bearing assembly destroys the bearing and while it is possible to press in a new bearing to the assembly it's just way easier to buy a complete unit"

*Just so I make sure I understand... when you say "Complete Unit" do you mean Complete New Axle Assembly to include, its New Axle Bearing & New Retainer already installed - All in a One Unit Purchase"?
In my opinion yes it would be easier to buy the whole complete axle assembly if you can find it. If I remember correctly it took over 20 tons to pop off the old bearing retainer. That press pressure was so great it dented my outer hub slightly and that affected the rotor from sliding over the hub. I had to grind it to remove the “press” flat spots. All in all, it was a pita. Not to mention the down time find a machine shop to do it. I called darn near every diff, trans, and machine shop in Southern California until I got lucky and found one old timer who could do it. He said the building shook when the retainer came off. Below are a couple pics of my bearings. Also don’t forget to replace the oring on the axle housing and check for rust like on mine. Water somehow got past the oring and into my bearing. - are you 100% sure you have oil in the bearing and not water? Last if you look at my first pic, the grease is white. If yours is still white you probably don’t have any contamination in the bearing. My contaminated bearing was ugly brown.





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Discussion Starter #17
This is a good reason to do the Scuba Mod and get your vents, 2 on rear axle, 1 each transfer, transmission and front diff up out of the way. The factory vents have an internal metal disc that can stick and block the vent which can indeed force oil past the seals.
I believe I have found the One - Axle Housing Vent (very short cap that spins, sits on top of a short metal piece that is screwed into the top of the Rear Axle Housing, located just to the drivers side of the Differential) ... "Where" is the 2nd Rear Axle Vent Located please Sir?

I have read on this site that there is an "e-locker" Vent as well? Would this be the 2nd vent you are talking about on the Rear Axle? (yes, I have the e-locker as well as the A-Trac in my FJ)
 

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Discussion Starter #18
In my opinion yes it would be easier to buy the whole complete axle assembly if you can find it. If I remember correctly it took over 20 tons to pop off the old bearing retainer. That press pressure was so great it dented my outer hub slightly and that affected the rotor from sliding over the hub. I had to grind it to remove the “press” flat spots. All in all, it was a pita. Not to mention the down time find a machine shop to do it. I called darn near every diff, trans, and machine shop in Southern California until I got lucky and found one old timer who could do it. He said the building shook when the retainer came off. Below are a couple pics of my bearings. Also don’t forget to replace the oring on the axle housing and check for rust like on mine. Water somehow got past the oring and into my bearing. - are you 100% sure you have oil in the bearing and not water? Last if you look at my first pic, the grease is white. If yours is still white you probably don’t have any contamination in the bearing. My contaminated bearing was ugly brown.





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In your 2nd picture, with the Red Circle... is that Red Circle marking the O-Ring you are talking about, that needs to be Replaced along with a New Axle Seal?

I am now thinking of putting this Seal Replacement off for just a bit while I "Research" what my Best Choice will be to get this rear end, Leak Free. I don't drive this FJ more than about 40 miles a day, When I even drive it at all. Since I have owned this FJ, it has only been driven in town or on the highway.. - ( 1 Pull the Axle, have old bearing pressed off and the new bearing pressed on (I like this choice Best) - 2 a new axle with the sleeve and bearing already pressed on As New - 3 check my local junk yards for FJ's that have non-leaking rear end housings and just buy the whole rear end and install it in my FJ) this last choice is not one I would prefer to do, Too Much Work.

I am going to see what shops around my Portland OR. area, Press Bearings on and off of axles on a regular basis. If anyone knows of a good shop like that near my area..... Please pass it on to me? Thank You
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Here is a comparison of my rear brakes areas...….

The 1st picture is of the Rt Rear Brake Area, it is clean = no fluid leaks.

The 2nd picture is of the Lt Rear Brake Area, It is pretty much Wet all over this backside, the brake pads are wet and the front side of the brake shield is wet from fluid. It has to be Axle Oil because my Brake Fluid Reservoir is Still Full.

I appreciate all the help with this problem and the suggestions!!

I thought I would add these pictures in case it would be helpful to anyone else. This site has been a $$ saver for me. Thanks Again Everyone!!! (I will update once I finally replace the Lt Rear Axle Seal)
 

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I believe I have found the One - Axle Housing Vent (very short cap that spins, sits on top of a short metal piece that is screwed into the top of the Rear Axle Housing, located just to the drivers side of the Differential) ... "Where" is the 2nd Rear Axle Vent Located please Sir?

I have read on this site that there is an "e-locker" Vent as well? Would this be the 2nd vent you are talking about on the Rear Axle? (yes, I have the e-locker as well as the A-Trac in my FJ)
Yes the E-Locker has a vent and when I modded mine I tee'd the axle vent and E-locker together and ran the vent line into the Jack storage area and terminated with a small air filter.
 
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