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  #1  
Old 14 Dec 2005
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Front Axle Lube

This weekend I tackled the front axle of my Hilux 4x4 (beam axle). The case was filled with an acrid smelling, streky grey oil, which appears to have been contaminated with the dark grey grease in the CV joints and hubs. My question is, should the front axle oil be clear and golden? If it has become contaminated, should I worry about flushing out the axle housing? Or should I just fill with all-new axle oil?

Thanks for any suggestions,

Dan

[This message has been edited by danielsprague (edited 13 December 2005).]

[This message has been edited by danielsprague (edited 13 December 2005).]
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  #2  
Old 14 Dec 2005
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Hi,

Assuming your axle is the similar to the one on the 80 series, it sounds like the inner axle seal has gone causing the CV grease to leak into the axle.

Generally this isn't the end of the world, but you might want to put a batch of cheap diff oil into the axle for a few hundred miles to flush it out a bit. Makde sure the diff is nice and warm when you first drain it and leave it draining for a while to get most of the oil/grease out.

Of greater concern is that the diff oil might be going the other way and flushing the grease away from the CV joint, which is a problem (often identified by oily leaks from the seals on the steering knuckle). If this is the case then well worth stripping down the ends of the axle to replace the inner axle seal and repack the CV joint - might as well also clean off and repack the wheel bearings.

Common causes of the seal going are things like blocked axle breathers, over filling of the axle with diff oil and also worn CV joints causing excessive movement with the half shafts.

Personally I would strip the knuckles down to see what condition the CV joints are in before changing the diff oil.


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Old 15 Dec 2005
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Hi Julian

I've stripped the front axle right down, got both stub-axles out and taken the swivel-housings off. The breather was fine, so I'm not sure why the oil seems to have been forced into the CV joints. I reckon it may have been overfilled.. The CV joints look fine - they're pretty meaty - and the bearings seem to be fine, though of course it's difficult to tell with these things. There are no other major signs of wear on the front axle, the splines on the ends of the half-shafts (going into the diff) look fine. Also, as it has free-wheeling hubs, I think the vehicle has spent most of its life in 2 wheel drive.

I've found diff oil quite expensive (£5.99 for 1 litre of 80W/90 at Halfords - any suggestions of a cheaper place?) so I may just bung a whole new load in.

What grease would you advise to use on the CV joints? I don't no whether to go for standard CL grease, or to use the molybdenum grease I've put in the propshafts?

Thanks for your help.

Dan
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  #4  
Old 15 Dec 2005
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Quote:
Originally posted by danielsprague:
I've found diff oil quite expensive (£5.99 for 1 litre of 80W/90 at Halfords - any suggestions of a cheaper place?) so I may just bung a whole new load in.
Halfords tends to be pretty cheap, although it might be worth trying your local motor factors - they may well sell it in bulk at a cheaper rate, but I do find the little 1litre containers handy for filling the diff some times.

Quote:
<font face="" size="2">What grease would you advise to use on the CV joints? I don't no whether to go for standard CL grease, or to use the molybdenum grease I've put in the propshafts?</font>
You should use a Molybendum based grease for the CV joints and a Lithium based grease for the Wheel bearings. Most Halfords and Motor Factors tend to just sell a general purpose grease or basic versions of the Moly/Lithium based grease which satisfy most people.

Personally I prefer to use decent quality grease, particularly on overlanding vehicles that I work on so use Mobil Grease Special for the CV joints and Mobil Grease XHP 222 for the wheel bearings - they are higher specced grease that should last longer in the harsher conditions. If you want to go for something a bit special you do have to hunt around for it.

If you are interested in the Mobil stuff I can put you in touch with the suppliers I used near Stroud, Gloucestershire. I buy it in 12.5kg drums but they can also supply in smaller quantities.



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Cheers,

Julian
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http://www.landcruisers.info/lists/
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