1. #1
    Renzomatic's Avatar
    Renzomatic is offline Junior Member
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    Leaking diff fluid through rear axle onto drum brakes - 2001 Wrangler

    Mine is a stock 2001 Wrangler. I've had an issue with differential fluid leaking through the rear axle through the two seals and into the drum brake.

    I've had one mechanic remove the axle twice to fix the seals and had another mechanic remove the axles again after it continued, so in total, the axle has been removed and replaced three times.

    The amount of fluid leaking has never been of such an amount that when I get the fluid levels checked that there is a problem, but it of course degrades the brake.

    My guess is that there could possibly be a very slight bend in the axle and so the seals don't actually sit very well allowing fluid to leak.

    Options I've considered are new axle or converting the rear drums to disc brakes. The idea of going to discs seems like a good idea, but that wouldn't address the leak, and if the drums are removed, maybe the leak actually worsens for because the drums actually allowed only a certain amount of fluid in based upon the orientation, If the discs go in, maybe the axle just leaks to the road and drains out the fluid.

    The issue has been going on for years, and there's never any fluid on the ground, it just gets spun onto the drum brake then into the wheel well, but again, never so much so that the diff fluid is drained out or exceptionally low when it gets checked.

    Any thoughts?

  2. #2
    Bounty__Hunter's Avatar
    Bounty__Hunter is offline Moderator
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    Re: Leaking diff fluid through rear axle onto drum brakes - 2001 Wrangler

    Are you sure it's gear oil? Could be brake fluid from leaky wheel cylinders.

    I would have the shafts checked for true, and also check for any grooves where the seal hits the shaft.

  3. #3
    beauchamp's Avatar
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    Re: Leaking diff fluid through rear axle onto drum brakes - 2001 Wrangler

    i am fighting this issue now myself, if you find cure please post. I will do the same

  4. #4
    69jeepcj's Avatar
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    Re: Leaking diff fluid through rear axle onto drum brakes - 2001 Wrangler

    Very possible the axle is bent, and even if not, the dana 35 isn't worth fixing if that's what you have. You could probably upgrade to a better axle for not much more than a disc brake kit. I wouldn't pay for a disc upgrade on a bent axle.

  5. #5
    jeeeppy's Avatar
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    Re: Leaking diff fluid through rear axle onto drum brakes - 2001 Wrangler

    Hi all,
    I too am suffering from this problem on a 99 Sahara tj with Dana 44 ruff stuff diff cover. seals been replaced three times on rear right,third time they welded a little nick and machined drive shaft back down, sat in workshop all fine drove it and about 30 miles diff oil leaking out of drum on to wheel.
    any help appreciated.

  6. #6
    Utah_jeepster's Avatar
    Utah_jeepster is offline Moderator
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    Have a 01 with a dana44 rear as well. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but if you lay a string across your axle, and measure your going to find your rear axle is bent. A temp fix till you go either have it straighten or replaced is rtv around the seal. This is a temp fix. The early TJ 44's are weak. A quality truss kit will stiffen them up and keep this from happening again.

    I have done the 98 grand cherokee drum to disc conversion. So changing to disc's will not help this problem. All you are changing, is the drum backing plate for a small clamping plate to hold the seal in the axle.
    Last edited by Utah_jeepster; 09-23-2014 at 03:55 PM.

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