View Full Version : When it rains, it pours
I had noticed a deterioration in my braking lately, so I checked my front pads, which were fine, then removed a wheel to check the rear shoes, and low and behold, my axle seal on the passenger side had gone to hell, and the drum was full of this nice black gooey combination of brake dust, dirt, and gear oil. What a treat. I read my shop manual and have determined that it won't be too hard to swap that seal, but my question is this: what are the chances that it's just a seal that's bad, and not a bad set of bearings. Does anyone have some experience dealing with these (10 bolt) and know if they tend to eat these up a lot. I can get about 1/16 to 1/8 inch of play in the axle shaft when I have the wheel and drum off. Not so much up and down, but in and out of the shaft. Sounds like I'll be spending at least part of the weekend in the garage. Thanks guys. Oh yeah, one more thing, I've decided to do a whole rear brake job since I'm going to have it torn down any way, and is there anything I'm forgetting to replace. I've purchased shoes, wheel cylinders, and all the springs. I'll get the drums turned, but is there anything I've left out? Thanks.
03-09-2001, 04:27 PM
I havn't done this on a chevy but on a ford thunderbird.
My seal was leaking gear oil, and i did change it two times and later changed the bearings. Later someone told me, i needed a bearing saver.
When you pull your axle out, look at the area where the bearing would sit. If there is a groove that means your axle is worn out. Nappa sells axle bearing savers, 20 bucks i think it was, and it is a bearing with a seal on it. If you remove the bearing, you will need a puller, you can rent one from an auto parts store. They look like a dent puller with 3 claws. Its the same work as changing the seal out.
03-09-2001, 05:13 PM
This is not that big a deal,the in and out play is normal,and the only thing that will make that worse is the wear on the C-clip or C-clip groove,so check them once they are out.go ahead and pull both axles,since one seal went ,the other is right behind it,and its just as easy to do both now that the diff cover is off.if the axle has a groove where the seal rides,you need a different depth seal,or an axle,or axle saver sleeve,they arent needed often,the wheel bearings usually dont go bad unless you've been running real low on differential oil,that will starve them.If they need replacemant,a long,heavy slide hammer and a custom tip ,does the trick,they pop right out,and you can tap in new ones,in 5 minutes,the hard part is getting them out if you dont have a huge slide hammer.Put new shoes on,dont try to brake clean the old ones-,and make sure the wheel cylinders boots arent ballooned and squishy from the diff oil,if they are,replace them too,now.With a lfit.this is a 2 hr job,tops,with new shoes,new bearings,seals,and diff cover gasket.On the ground,without all tools,and with a few problems it could take the better part of a day.Good luck
03-09-2001, 07:20 PM
Ok, this is what i would reccomend, and what i would do. First of all, i would do both seals, since you are doing one, its good to do the other one too. Next, i would do the bearings also, since you are in there. How is your rear pinion seal? If there is any question as to its condition, i would replace that too since the differential is already empty. This way you can wash it out real good, and this way you dont have to worry about that differential for a long time cause everything has been done. How are the rear shoes? Because at work when a seal goes, we do the shoes too if they are kind of close. I would do everything there is to do so i dont have to worry about the rear diff, or the rear brakes. Good luck and keep everyone posted.
03-10-2001, 10:50 AM
Rich brought up a good point about the pinion seal. I have an 85 GMC K-2500 and I too thought that I had an axle seal going out. What it turned out to be was the pinion seal had gone bad and the grease from the rear axle was being flung out from there. Now how does this get to your brakes? I found that the grease had permeated the emergency brake cable and when it got warm out the grease would leech down the cable and drip into the brake drum area. A few good solvent cleanings of the cable and I have had no problems since.
Alright guys, here's what I did. Swapped out both seals at the end of the axles, pinion seal is OK, did the whole break job on the rear. No gear oil is leaking now, the truck stops on a dime. Everything came apart easily, 3 hours tops in the shop, and it's all ready to go another 25,000 miles. Total expense $98.66 at schucks, 3 hours "on it" service, and 3 skinned knuckels, 2 stripped bolts 2 cases of beer, and no PRIDE last we checked. Thanks for the help guys. MT
03-11-2001, 11:43 AM
Glad to hear that you got it straightened out OK and you're back up and running.
Sorry about the pride thing.
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