Rear diff leak - warped axle housing end causing seal to leak

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lulu62

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Hey guys, I'm Lauren. 2010 scab here with my second diff leak in a year. Clearly my repair last time didn't do the job - looking for guidance on round 2!

Backstory - 8 months ago, I noticed a slight diff fluid leak on the rear passenger side on the outer end of the axle. After some research (lots on this forum!) I figured it needed a new axle seal. Well.. I was kind of right.

When I took the wheel off and axle out, I noticed that the actual axle housing was slightly warped at the bottom (photo attached), which caused the seal to not sit quite perfectly. While I was in there, I replaced the bearing and seal for good measure, but was still left with this housing fitment issue. I decided to go with some JB weld around the outside in hopes it would seal off the gap.

Well, 8 months later, I started smelling diff fluid again and when I crawled under the truck, it was drooling diff fluid in the same spot. I'm guessing my JB weld blew.

Before I go in and do it all again, wondering if anyone has solutions other than replacing the whole rear end? Is it worth trying to get the housing shaped back up? Should I go with motorcraft RTV instead of JB weld? Speedi sleeve? Is it possible to replace just the "cups" at the end of the housing?

A bit at a loss here. Appreciate any help or advice. Thanks guys!
 

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downforce137

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probably need a few more pics without the seal and your hand in the way..

if the seals outer mating surface isnt round, how did that happen?

it also appears you are also holding the seal up backwards..

the seals mating surface should have a machined finish.. is there an impact mark, like maybe the axle broke before?

not sure JB would be the right thing, probably silicone sealant around the outside of the seal...

post some more better pics, also in landscape instead of portrait.. lol
 
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lulu62

lulu62

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Thanks for the replies @downforce137 and @mprice1234 ! My apologies for the bad photos. I know it's hard to help with bad info. I have pretty limited photos from the job. Admittedly, at the time, I wasn't quite sure what I was looking at. But if it helps, attached are 1. a photo of the original seal (how it looked when I first opened it up) and 2. a photo of the new seal installed and seated showing where the diff fluid can drip out of the bottom. This was before any JB weld.

1: Original seal before removal:
IMG_3428.png


2: New seal I installed showing residual diff fluid drip:

IMG_8518.PNG


Regarding the photo of the original seal, I wonder if that wear on the inside is indicative of an impact with the axle shaft, potentially the same impact that bent the housing?

Is it worth trying to get a welding shop or rear end specialist to shape the housing back into place? I suppose it depends if the axle shaft is bent, because if it is, I guess this would just happen again.


FWIW, here is the axle. I didn't get great photos of it at the time. I didn't realize I should be looking at whether the axle was bent. Will be able to get a better look when I take it apart again.
IMG_8544.jpg


(Also @downforce137 - not sure why I held the seal backwards for the first photo, ha. I didn't even end up using that seal, as you can see, so that photo is not particularly helpful - it just illustrates the warping most clearly, I think! FWIW, I ended up using this seal to match the prior seal.)

Thank you very much again for the help!!!
 

GCATX

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That's a pretty good gap. Me, I would heat it with a torch and try to "tap" it back into shape. No idea if that part is heat treated though, so may want to check on that.

Or get everything as clean as an operating room and try some quality RTV and let it set up before putting in oil.
 

downforce137

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could it have been damaged removing or replacing the bearing or the seal, or that def where the fluid was coming from initially the first time you took it apart?

the orange stuff on the seal is sealant, and the tube does look mushroomed at the end, but could be optical illusion..

next time its apart you'll need to measure the end and see if its out of round and see if the seal comes out really easy?

did you pry the old seal out?

raptor axles and housings arent easy to come by either, and i think the early ones are even more difficult because there was a spline number change somewhere along the line..

make sure the end is round before going any further..
 

TomDirt

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Any previous repair records available? Any previous collisions? The only scenario I can think of that would result in that damage is some kind of janky roadside repair using the wrong tools to pry off an old seal.
 

Canuck714

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As GCATX mentioned, I would probably attempt to tap the bottom of the flange up to try and close the gap. Then clean/dry and add some locktight 515 (anerobic sealer) and tap the new seal into place. If you wanted you could cover the edge of the tube and seal with RTV once the seal is in place.
 
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