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Discussion Starter #1
A couple weeks ago, I noticed I had gear oil leaking out of one of the rear axle seals into my drums. I don't drive the Bronco much while I'm at school, so I have been putting off getting it fixed. I had read while searching that if the breather hose is plugged, it can force oil out of the seals. So when I was working on the truck tonight, I went to check on the seal leak, but everything by the drum (didn't pull the drum off) was dried up. I then noticed that I had gear oil coming out of the breather hose, enough that it had run all down one of the shocks. I checked the tube, it was clear and the spot where the tube connects to the axle was clear.

So here come the hundred questions. What would cause gear oil to be forced out the breather tube, if it is not overfilled? I know the seal probably needs to be replaced, but does it have to be done immediatly? Or would I be ok to make it home from school (~300mi) if I just make sure the fluid level is fine? I'll clean out the drum tomorrow and then check it again next weekend and see if it leaks out of the seal any more.
 

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If your not overfilled, then it could actually be vaccum drawing the oil out of the breather if it is in direct airflow while cruising down the road, might want to try and reposition it.
 

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I just went through a similar situation with my 92. Those brake shoes are gonna need replacing regardless of whether it is still leaking or not. After cleaning mine several times in one week I ended up just driving my motorcycle until my new shafts came in. The gear lube will make the shoes swell and could cause them to hang. I found this out after driving around town and smoking my brakes. Do you have an old set of shoes? Might be worth putting them on if you really need to drive it.
As for the seal, it could be pressure build up or vacuum (never heard of that one. interesting.) but you need to check everything out. When you pull the shaft's (might as well pull them both) check for grooving where the bearing sits and check the bearings out. My p-side was toast and my driver side was grooving/pitting.

good luck
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Ok, I was planning on checking everything over. As for the vacuum idea, I don't think that would be an issue, since this has never happened before (I have not changed anything on the rear axle). It's strange because just out of the blue it leaks some gear fluid out one of the axle seals, then stops (can't say that for sure as I have not pulled the drum yet, but it has dried up around the drum), then it pukes a little fluid out of the breather tube. :shrug
 

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Did you check the fluid level of your rear end? Of course, if you have no or very little gear oil back there, it wont leak. If you have oil on your brakes they are garbage now and I might add, no point in wasting time putting another set of shoes in there regardless if they are new or used, until you fix the problem. If you have enough oil in your rear end you should be alright to drive a few hundred miles. Oh and also, just because you don't see any oil on the outside doesn't mean the leak stopped. It's quite possible that your shoes are soaking up the oil.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
waltman said:
Did you check the fluid level of your rear end?
I ran out of time to check it today, but I'm going to check it tomorrow.

Of course, if you have no or very little gear oil back there, it wont leak.
Wow, I feel retarted for not thinking of that. :brownbag

If you have oil on your brakes they are garbage now and I might add, no point in wasting time putting another set of shoes in there regardless if they are new or used, until you fix the problem.
Yeah, I knew that, which sucks because they were brand new shoes.
 

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shoes are only 15 bucks.....

now on the other hand, shafts are going to cost you areound 50 if you need to get them from a junkyard. Minor pitting on them is acceptable. Forgot what else i was goign to say but anyways look up all the rear axle leak post on here and you will get teh lowdown
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Ok, I just got done checking the fluid level in the rear end. It was perfect, it was less than 1/8th of an inch lower than the last time I checked it (some of that could have been the slight angle the Bronco was on). So, that still leaves the two questions, what would cause it to leak out by one drum, then spit some fluid out of the breather hose?
 

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worn seals cause it to leak by the drum, they do age and go bad on their own. Leaking out the breather hose is normal, that is a good thing, its means your is working right.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
85f150 said:
Leaking out the breather hose is normal, that is a good thing, its means your is working right.
That just seemed strange to me that it could push some fluid almost a foot vertical if it wasn't overfilled. :shrug
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Sorry double post.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Sorry, triple post, geez the comp is having some problems. :banghead
 

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i know there is a big difference between gear oil and brake fluid, but are you positive it wasn't the brake piston leaking? might want to pull the drum off and take a look.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I took the drum off when I first noticed the leak, and it was definitly coming from the axle seals and not the brake cylinder. Plus, the brake fluid level has not moved. Hopefully tomorrow I can get a chance to take the drum off again and clean it up real good and see if it leaks any more (yes, I know the shoes still need to be replaced).
 

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The right answer is to pull the seals/shafts and see why they are leaking. I know is sounds bad, but it's easy and could prevent more serious problems down the line.

good luck
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I know that's the right answer, but I was just checking to see if it would be fine for the ride home. Once I was home, I would fix the problem.
 

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if it isn't puking alot i wouldn't worry about it. I drove on mine for awhile before i even noticed the backing plates were wet. I would take teh drums off though and back off the auto adjusters so that the shoes don't soak up too much oil and swell tight to the drums and lock your brakes up....make sense?
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Yeah, makes sense. I think I might go pick up some brake cleaner and try to clean up the drum as good as I can for the trip, then when I get home I'll replace everything that needs it.
 

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Mine started doing the same thing. That's what I get for going in the mud pit in Hollister. :toothless This may be a dumb question but do I have to drain the gear oil out of the differential before pulling out the axle shafts? I have an 8.8 so the seal is easily accessible, right?

Hope my brake shoes aren't too bad. Thanks in advance!
 
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