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Leaking stub axle seal, long drive and parts delivered to wrong house.


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So following on from the escapades to get up here to the Highlands (see Hats off to Steve @ Lakelands) I've just noticed the stub axle we repaired is leaking EP90.

I had ordered a load of spare parts the intention of at least having them in the car for the journey south. Was on the ball and ordered them on Sunday, paid for express delivery considering its normally two days to get here. Only to find out this morning that they've delivered everything to a neighbour in Surrey... At least they refunded the shipping.

Unfortunately I went through some deep water two days ago so I'm likely to have got some in the diff. Mum and gran have gone for a drive and to see if they can find some so I can change it.

We couldn't source a stub axle last weekend when effecting the repairs (had ordered some) so the one that was damaged we smoothed as best we could. Unfortunately looks like its not as smooth as it needs to be.

Plan of attack (with limited tools but luckily probably enough) is to change diff oil (Salisbury axle), check the breather, pop the hub cap off to check things but then try and seal it back on as best I can.

Does anybody have any other ideas that might help in our 500+ mile journey south?

Really beginning to wish I'd brought the FF now. Our at least chucked in a couple of axle stands like I was thinking to.

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it depends how much its leaking. if its leaking a small amount into the rubber cap you could pack it with grease to act as a secondary seal. i'd stage drive stopping to check the oil level. but in reality if you run dry it could cost a fair bit. if you have RAC relay , i'd use that.

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Funnily enough we did have RAC relay but this year it wasn't renewed. Haven't quite got to the bottom of it.

I was going to stage the drive. It's leaking a bit more than I would like, but haven't investigated fully yet. I might even resort to some gaffa tape around the hub cap (it's on alloys so protected) as an added measure.

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Is it the external stub axle - hub seal leaking, so oil getting onto the inside face of the brake disk, or is it the internal stub axle - half shaft seal of a later axle leaking, so oil getting to the drive flange splines and weeping out of the rubber cap? If it's the former, which it sounds like, you'll be ok replacing the oil and running a short while, though you really should replace it twice with a short period of running about between to make sure you get all the water out. Replacing the stub axle is not urgent unless your brakes are getting bad contamination.

If it's the latter, then don't replace the broken internal seal - take it out completely, reassemble the axle and bond the rubber cap on with RTV sealant after cleaning well, and do the same to the other side. Those internal seals keep the diff oil away from the wheel bearings (or swivels on the front), which serves no benefit but does starve the drive flange splines of lubrication so they rust and wear twice as fast as the older design axles.

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I was going to say it's an earlier one but it's an early 300Tdi 110 (M reg) with Salisbury axle so might be a later one?

I haven't yet taken the wheel off but it looks like it's weeping from the rubber cap but I'll know more in a couple of hours. If I can survive the pesky midges...

Sourcing RTV sealant will be the next fun bit...

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300Tdi will be the later type with the small rubber cap and the thinner half shafts with raised smooth section for the inner seal. Those seals lead to early spline wear, like I said. Where is the oil showing up? If it is coming through the alloy wheel centre cap ontot he face of the wheel, or is on the outside face of steel wheels and over the drive flange, then it's coming from from the rubber cap. All you need to do is remove the cap, clean it and the lip of the drive flange carefully and stick it back on with RTV. You only need replacement parts if its the big seal on the back of the hub leaking where it runs on the stub axle from having pitting or a wear groove in the steel, which is what I suspect you were referring to in the first post.

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Well preliminary investigation is its only the cap that's leaking.

The face that was scored badly from the bearing collapse was the outer surface of the stub shaft which corresponds to the inner face of the oil seal. The hub faces themselves were fine (i.e. the outer surface of the oil seal). So what I suspect has happened is the inner face has become damaged which means oil leaks through from the diff to the splines on the half shaft.

So once we find some sealant (and I'm going to swap the hub caps around as this one is pretty poor compared to the others) then I'll just change the oil, check the breather while I'm at it, seal hub cap and check on the journey south.

If only the parts had been delivered up here...

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There may be some confusion over the terms stub axle and half shaft. The stub axle is the hollow tube that bolts directly onto the end of the axle tube and has the wheel bearings sit around its outside. The half shaft is the solid bar that runs through the stub axle from hub to diff.

If the wide section of the stub axle exterior surface is scored, then any new seal will be ripped up very quickly. Oil leaks will be over the inboard side of the hub and brake disc, and would likely heavily contaminate the brakes on that corner. A scored half shaft will allow oil up to the drive flange and a loose hub cone would allow oil to sweat or weep over the entire hub and the majority of the wheel, but probably won't contaminate the brakes and is just a little messy.

It's only the inside of the stub axle that can be scored (as long as it's not deep enough to cause structural weakening). Scoring of the half shaft's "seal land" (raised and machined surface that the stub axle interior seal runs on) doesn't matter, as long as you use the RTV on that cap as mentioned. Scoring of the stub axle requires repair (by sleeving) or replacement.

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Snagger I think you've narrowed it down, clarified my thoughts.

I did go rather deep in water on Tuesday and I hadn't realised but I don't think the previous owner had extended the rear axle breather so that may well have dipped under. The oil is only coming out of the end cap so most likely just too much oil (and water) in causing it to seep out.

I'll drop the oil tomorrow morning and change it. The front axle isn't leaking but it's breather exits at the top of the engine. We'll also make a call to Land Rover in Inverness in the off chance they have some new end caps to supplement the 6 I ordered but that got delivered to Surrey.

James - apart from axle stands I have the tools I need. Just lacking parts which I had tried to rectify but the supplier scuppered that plan. If I didn't have Mum with me I'd stop by anyway but we may still take you up on that if things go pear shaped!

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Ed,

If you are in bother, I've got a couple of new stub axles, bearing kits, seals and rubber caps in Aberdeenshire (and Tigerseal if it all goes pear shaped). From Inverness, you could take a lovely scenic detour from Carrbridge, through Tomintoul, over the Lecht, then to Ballater. We are near Banchory.

You could then get back to your original route via Balmoral and down the road towards Perth.. It would maybe add a couple of hours to your journey (Saying that, you wouldn't be hobbled by the A9 average speed cameras on the bypass route!)

Alternatively, I can chuck parts in my 90 and meet you somewhere.. I'm close to Aboyne tomorrow.

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Donald (and others) thanks very much for the kind offers. Ducking underneath it this morning before breakfast revealed the blocked breather. So I think with a fluid change and a few check ups on the way south everything will be ok.

I've drained the oil but we only managed to source 2l of EP90 locally. Mum and Gran have popped into Inverness to see an old friend and have some bits and pieces to pick up from various places. Including 5l of EP90 to finish off the top refill and have some spare.

We did manage Kendal to just down the road from Invermorriston with the repair so I think it was mainly the blocked breather and extra "water" from my foray into the hill that caused the leak. If the seal was going to get damaged I cp would have thought the sat on the motorway at 70 would have done it.

You've got to bear in mind I'm in the 110 on muds not the TDV8 so sitting at 60 is actually quite pleasant! And I wouldn't want to put you out, it'll be an adventure anyway. We're planning on setting off tomorrow.

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Ed,

Good luck, I'm sure you will be fine but I'll PM you my mobile. If you get stuck north of Perth, give me a call. (I've even got plenty EP90)

I was brought up in Kingussie (40 miles south of Inverness) so know the area rather well.

60 on the A9 in summer.... You will be lucky :rofl:

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Glad to hear you're sorted. Hope you're not held up too much with it being a big holiday travel weekend, with luck most folk will be going the other way! I've just got home from working at Fort William today and it was a clear enough run but saw plenty of motor homes and caravans with big queues behind them going north :)

As above give me a shout if you come a cropper - I've got various axles and parts about plus oils etc.

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James you were right. It's been a bit slow but I'm glad we haven't been heading North. Every pinch point where it goes from 2 to 1 lane has been bad.

Missed the usual turn off near Perth because we went to get fuel but currently heading across to Glasgow and, touch wood, nothing's happened yet...

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Well made it home at 1am with no issues. Picked up some toys from gti-90 on the way.

So now the fun begins changing everything over. Thanks for all the offers of help, wonderful credit to the forum.

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