• Hi Guest! Being a Paying Supporter is NOT a requirement to participate at BCF. However, subscribing will help ensure we can continue to serve the LBC community for years to come. If you enjoy BCF and find our forum a useful resource...Please consider supporting us by **Upgrading**
    (PS: Subscribers don't see this banner)
Tips
Tips

TR4/4A Replacing the Real Axle Tube Seal

KVH

Luke Skywalker
Country flag
Offline
I just pulled out the rear seal from the axle tube in my solid axle 4A. Thanks Geo for all the help and photos. It was easy. However, I can also see that I am fixing something not broke. The old seal looked perfect, and the axle is jam packed with black moly grease that appears almost new. When I replace the seal should I pack more moly grease in the tube and on the splined axle shaft? No harm in over-filling with grease?

I'm fairly certain now that the wetness I noted near the brake drums was either my own cleaning solvents or what appears to be a slight leak in the brake wheel cylinder.

I'm trying now to better understand how the axle sealing works. If the seal in the axle tube is primarily to hold the grease back, and maybe any differential fluid that could possibly make its way there, then the forward seal in the hub is only guarding the grease from the hub bearing, correct?
 

Geo Hahn

Yoda
Country flag
Offline
I believe if you (or someone before you) over-zealously greased the hub the excess will get into the axle area. I would think there is no real harm in that but will defer to others with more experience.

As I recall the instructions for greasing the rear hub are somewhat vague - enough but not too much (or something like that). But if you give the specified number of strokes year after year for 50 years... the excess grease has to go somewhere.
 
OP
KVH

KVH

Luke Skywalker
Country flag
Offline
I believe if you (or someone before you) over-zealously greased the hub the excess will get into the axle area. I would think there is no real harm in that but will defer to others with more experience.

As I recall the instructions for greasing the rear hub are somewhat vague - enough but not too much (or something like that). But if you give the specified number of strokes year after year for 50 years... the excess grease has to go somewhere.

What about that bearing? I see it there, all snugged in, but so tight in the hub there will never be separation. As I mentioned, my shop gave up on the last hub I delivered, and I'm not inclined to even drop this one by. I can't recall the point he gave up, but he said either my hub or his equipment was soon to fail if he went on. Do I just cram grease in from behind and call it a day?
 

TR3driver

Great Pumpkin - R.I.P
Offline
IIRC there was even a service note warning to use no more than 5 strokes every 12000 miles or something like that.
But I agree, the inner seal is primarily to hold oil inside the axle. Excess grease will hopefully go past the inner seal (where it won't do any harm).
The outer seal both holds bearing grease from getting into the brake area, and keeps brake dust from contaminating the grease.
 

RC64

Jedi Hopeful
Country flag
Offline
IIRC there was even a service note warning to use no more than 5 strokes every 12000 miles or something like that.
But I agree, the inner seal is primarily to hold oil inside the axle. Excess grease will hopefully go past the inner seal (where it won't do any harm).
The outer seal both holds bearing grease from getting into the brake area, and keeps brake dust from contaminating the grease.

Randall, let me rekindle this old thread. I've got a rear axle oil seal leak so I've been browsing old posts. Your explanation here sheds a lot of light on my problem. So let me run a couple of thoughts by you before I take any drastic action.

On my 59 TR-3A I've been seeing what appears to be dark oil on the floor under the right rear axle from time to time. I pulled the wheel and drum and the brake area is thoroughly soaked with differential oil. From your explanation, that tells me that the inner oil seal must be passing oil and it is also getting past the outer seal. My thought was that the inner seal definitely needs to be replaced and the oil is also getting past the outer seal so why not replace it also while I'm at it. But that means that I will have to have the hub pressed off. From the many other threads I've browsed (several of your posts included) pulling the hub could be a very risky venture. If it gets damaged I may have a very tough time finding one to replace it.

So here's my thought. Replace the inner seal, clean up the brakes, grease the bearings, and put it all back together to see if that solves the problem. I really don't want to risk tearing up the hub and axle. I got plenty of practice pulling the axle last year when I was adjusting the float on both sides so the idea of maybe having to break it down again doesn't bother me at all.

Do you or anyone else see any problem with a conservative approach that significantly reduces risk? Any other suggestions on a good way to pull the inner seal?

Rick...
 

M_Pied_Lourd

Darth Vader
Country flag
Offline
It's probably what I would try as a first attempt Rick.....not sure what the others will say. If that doesn't work and you need to go after the inner, someone just recently posted about a puller they made with readily accessible hardware.

Cheers
Tush
 

TR3driver

Great Pumpkin - R.I.P
Offline
In my case, I don't believe the oil was actually going through the bearing. There is no gasket between the bearing housing, brake back plate, shims and axle end; I believe the oil was leaking through that joint. At any rate, the grease in the bearing did not appear to have been flushed out with oil, as I believe it would have to be if oil was passing through the bearing and out the outer seal.

Anyway, I did exactly what you propose, back in 2011, and it worked well for me. Brakes are still dry as a bone.

I have in the meantime come up with a method for removing the hubs that seems to work for me (5 times in a row including the one that destroyed my previous puller). Eventually I still plan to replace those outer seals in a different axle (which I'm converting to 3.45 gears). But that project got relegated to the back burner and it's not clear when I'll get back to it.

One other side point: I do not believe it is possible to adequately remove oil contamination from the brake shoes. No matter how much you clean them, there will still be oil inside the friction material that will come out when they get hot and spoil the braking action. BTDT Just replace them (or have them relined). TSi can reline them with a high performance "Kevlar" material that I really like.
 

RC64

Jedi Hopeful
Country flag
Offline
At any rate, the grease in the bearing did not appear to have been flushed out with oil, as I believe it would have to be if oil was passing through the bearing and out the outer seal.

Now that you mention it, in my case it does look like the grease has been flushed out from around the bearings. There was some traces of grease around the outer edges of the bearing but it was pretty clean for the most part. Here's a shot of the axle and hub just after it was pulled from the axle shaft.

Rear axle hub.jpg

I didn't see any sign of leakage through the joint. The back of the break plate was clean and dry. No sign of oil. However, the inside of the brake plate was a different story. There were traces of oil running down inside and then being spread all over that area.

Your earlier post (those two sentences told me exactly what I was looking for in all that prior browsing) indicated that the purpose of the outer seal was to keep the bearing grease in and the dirt from the brakes out. From that, it appears that the seal was letting the oil out. So I think my best option now (low risk) is to see if I can keep the oil from getting to the bearing and that outer seal.

Rick...
 

RC64

Jedi Hopeful
Country flag
Offline
It's probably what I would try as a first attempt Rick.....not sure what the others will say. If that doesn't work and you need to go after the inner, someone just recently posted about a puller they made with readily accessible hardware.

I'm with you. I'll try the easy (less risky) approach first.

I must have missed the thread on the puller. Do you happen to have a link to that thread?

Rick...
 

M_Pied_Lourd

Darth Vader
Country flag
Offline
Yep, that's the one. Thanks Randall.

Cheers
Tush
 

ghawk16

Jedi Trainee
Offline
My british specialty shop is trying to get my hubs off the axle and mine are both seized on. Has anyone else come across this where everything they have tried from leaving them on a press after giving them some slight heat and all sorts of other things and they just won't pop. They are thinking of just getting some used hubs and cutting the old ones off so they can replace the bearings and seals as sand got into the diff when they blasted the frame. <shakes head>
 

TR3driver

Great Pumpkin - R.I.P
Offline
My british specialty shop is trying to get my hubs off the axle and mine are both seized on. Has anyone else come across this where everything they have tried from leaving them on a press after giving them some slight heat and all sorts of other things and they just won't pop. They are thinking of just getting some used hubs and cutting the old ones off so they can replace the bearings and seals as sand got into the diff when they blasted the frame. <shakes head>
Yup, very common. Also common to ruin (distort) the hubs trying to force them off that way.

I've personally tried a succession of tools. The first one I built worked on the first hub I tried it on, couldn't budge the second one. Then I made an approximation to the Churchill tool shown in the manual, which worked on two hubs but could not budge the third; even after I applied so much force that it crushed the 1" ACME forcing screw lengthwise! What has been working for me, on 5 hubs in a row now, are a pair of very heavy press plates that I machined to fit very snugly behind the hub, including cutouts for the backs of the wheel studs. With about 20 tons of force applied, I then bang on the shaft to set up vibration. Took about 20 blows or so to loosen the hub that destroyed the previous tool.

I'm all out of hubs to try now, but if I get any more, I intend to try the approach in the link above.

FWIW, here is another tool that the creator says has worked on every hub he has tried. He has also generously offered to break hubs for others, for just the cost of return shipping. As far as I know, the contact info at the end of the article is still current.
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B2H2NJt34OffOTIyYmQ4MzgtNDM0Yy00OTY1LTljNzEtZDMyNjM5OWFkZTQ4
 

ghawk16

Jedi Trainee
Offline
FWIW, here is another tool that the creator says has worked on every hub he has tried. He has also generously offered to break hubs for others, for just the cost of return shipping. As far as I know, the contact info at the end of the article is still current.
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B2H2NJt34OffOTIyYmQ4MzgtNDM0Yy00OTY1LTljNzEtZDMyNjM5OWFkZTQ4

Whoa!!! That is some tool he created. As for my hubs, well...that makes me feel a little better others have had difficulties getting theirs separated. I just thought it was my car. But at least when it's done it'll have all new bearings and seals in the rear and the diff will be cleaned out.
 

RC64

Jedi Hopeful
Country flag
Offline
TR3driver;1017092But I agree said:
Well, after closer inspection by someone who knows about these things, I now know why the oil was getting past the inner seal and into the bearing housing. The so called 'expert British car mechanic' I hired that overhauled the rear end during the restoration installed the inner seal backwards. Oh well... Now it will be replaced correctly.

Rick...
 
OP
KVH

KVH

Luke Skywalker
Country flag
Offline
Am I correct reopening this topic that there is no need to pack the axle tube with grease?
 

TR3driver

Great Pumpkin - R.I.P
Offline
No need to pack the tube, but it's a good idea to smear both the lip(s) of the seal and where it rides on the shaft with grease. First time you go around a corner, the oil in the axle housing will splash up there and lube the seal, but it needs some assembly lube before that.
 
Similar threads
Thread starter Title Forum Replies Date
fpstude TR4/4A Replacing Rear Flexible Brake Hoses on TR4A w/ IRS Triumph 11
J TR4/4A Replacing springs Triumph 7
Got_All_4 TR5/TR250 Need guidance for replacing steering column bushings Triumph 11
L Replacing veneer on wood dashboard Restoration & Tools 12
D TR6 Replacing Horn insert in steering column Triumph 11
69MGC MGC Replacing an Outer Wheel Well panel MG 3
BN6_2197 Replacing gearbox switch of the overdrive system Austin Healey 10
TomMull replacing walnut veneeron the dash Lotus 17
R TR2/3/3A Replacing rear springs Triumph 51
Jer refresh my foggy memory - replacing clutch in my 67 Midget Spridgets 1
RAC68 Clutch Still Slipping after replacing 30W-Non-Det. for Red Line Austin Healey 52
T Replacing O/D switch with a clock Austin Healey 4
simon1966 Replacing the witches nose in-situ. BN1 Austin Healey 14
KVH TR4/4A Replacing Front Windshield Gasket Triumph 5
Michael Oritt Replacing timing chain tensioner and more Austin Healey 24
Rut Replacing rocker assembly Spridgets 1
T TR4/4A Replacing rear pinion seal - remove driveshaft? Triumph 16
J Replacing BJ7 Dash - Detailed Photos/Schematics Austin Healey 3
M Replacing front shocks, torque setting? Spridgets 2
T TR4/4A Replacing in situ oils sealing gearbox and rear axle Triumph 18
55modified TR2/3/3A warning indicator bulbs need replacing where and what to buy? Triumph 4
Jim_Gruber Replacing Wheel Studs Spridgets 10
P Replacing the crankshaft damper [harmonic balancer] Austin Healey 15
K TR4/4A Replacing a broken 4A turn signal switch indicator? Triumph 2
55modified Replacing rear spring eye bushings on a BN1. How difficult? Austin Healey 8
Michael Oritt Replacing Cold Air Box with Velocity Stacks Austin Healey 10
Rhodyspit75 Replacing boot floor need bracing? Spridgets 2
RickB MGB 1980 MGB No rear brakes after replacing MC & booster MG 5
Popeye TR4/4A Steering bushing: replacing rubber with poly, do I snug to 1/8" gap or...? Triumph 3
Jim_Gruber Replacing Spridget Coolant Spridgets 21
TimK Old brake hoses need replacing, if you need proof look here... Austin Healey 1
KVH General TR Short Wheel Studs for Wire Wheels--Replacing Triumph 14
GTP1960 TR2/3/3A Question on replacing brake lines & converting to Dot 5 Triumph 9
tomshobby replacing water pump Spridgets 1
D TR2/3/3A Patching, versus replacing floors? Triumph 15
T Replacing the crank pulley/damper Austin Healey 4
M TR4/4A Replacing the hood/bonnet onto the body Triumph 11
T TR4/4A Replacing Drive Train Seals Triumph 5
Joe Reed MGB Replacing heater cables... MG 29
woolfman General MG Replacing capillary tube MG 10
M TR4/4A Replacing inner furrey window glass seals. Triumph 4
AngliaGT Early '74 Midget - MC/Pedal Box Replacing Spridgets 3
WillR MGB transmission seals worth replacing? MG 8
2wrench TR6 Replacing rear seal on W58 HVDA transmission conversion. Triumph 4
2billydavies TR2/3/3A question about where to bolt into when lifting/replacing engine Triumph 11
F Advice replacing flexible brake pipes on BT7 Austin Healey 3
F Replacing brake master cylinder, fluid reservoir and flexible brake pipes - order? Austin Healey 4
A TR2/3/3A Possible problems replacing a Lockheed rear axle with a girling unit Triumph 6
mgedit TR2/3/3A Replacing Lockheed Axle Seals 56 TR3 Triumph 18
GTP1960 TR2/3/3A replacing rear axle buffer? Triumph 6

Similar threads

Top