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Old 06-15-2018, 01:02 PM   #1
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Need help, two axle seal replacements on same trip, now it is leaking again.

The front left axle seal is leaking badly on our motorhome and I am losing hope in getting it fixed. Plus we are well over 1,000 miles from home in the middle of a 6 week trip. I don't know what to do at this point.

When we got to our destination in Florida I could smell something burning when I hit the brakes and saw fluid all over the inner rim of the wheel. A mobile mechanic came out and repaired it with a seal he cross-listed from NAPA. We made it up the coast to Virginia and once again there was oil all over the front rim. We had the seal replaced this morning at a very well-rated truck shop with a National part, and they said it should be good to go. We have made it 100 miles up the road and all of the oil has leaked out again. We are outside of Salisbury Maryland and in a campsite for two days...supposed to head out Sunday when nothing is open. I told the shop this morning to look closely and make sure that ALL of the old seal was gone, including the wear indicator. They said that they did.

So why is it leaking so badly again? My wife and kids are definitely tired of dealing with it, and I am as well. It is threatening to grenade the trip we have been planning for months.

Can I put thicker Lucas Hub oil in it to slow the leak? Is there something else I can do? At this point I have lost confidence in any of the shops on the road being able to fix it, and I can't keep paying $300 for a shop to put in a seal that fails almost immediately.
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Old 06-15-2018, 01:59 PM   #2
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LEAK

the seal could have scarred shaft where it runs and it will have to be cleaned up are a sleave put on it. Good Luck with.
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Old 06-15-2018, 02:05 PM   #3
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Might be getting real hot!

Does the rotor show any signs of major overheating from caliper drag?
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Old 06-15-2018, 02:18 PM   #4
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Have them pack the wheel bearings with grease.

That will get your trip done and then find a shop that can figure out what's going wrong.
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Old 06-15-2018, 02:19 PM   #5
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No overheating, no caliper drag. Hubs aren't hot when I touch them. I am going to mix the synthetic with thicker Lucas Hub oil and try to make it to Boston where I will have it repaired for the 3rd time. Very, very frustrating to say the least. I am going to order the STEMCO seal and have it overnighted.
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Old 06-15-2018, 09:23 PM   #6
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First before you do anything crazy that might mess things up, buy a bottle of the correct oil and top it off before each trip until you can get it fixed. Even if some leaks out and it runs low, the centrifugal force of it spinning will keep oil in the bearings.
I had the same thing happen. It took 3 trips to the shop to fix it for good. What the last shop found was the hole the seal fits in was ever slightly out of round so the seal didn’t fit right. The fix was to add some silicone to it. They said they see this once in a while on the big rigs and the fix has always worked.
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Old 06-16-2018, 04:48 AM   #7
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Quote:
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Have them pack the wheel bearings with grease.

That will get your trip done and then find a shop that can figure out what's going wrong.
That is exactly what I would do.
Wheel bearings have been packed with grease since they have been around.
To remove the wheel, caliper and the hub is no big job. The bearings should be cleaned with mineral spirits, dried and packed with wheel bearing grease designed for disc brake applications. Total labor time should be around 1.5 hours.
If you find grease seeping from the inner seal you have a major problem that will have to be addressed.
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Old 06-16-2018, 05:21 AM   #8
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Need help, two axle seal replacements on same trip, now it is leaking again.

Quote:
Originally Posted by okie mopar View Post
the seal could have scarred shaft where it runs and it will have to be cleaned up are a sleave put on it. Good Luck with.
I feel for you, we had several issues on our last trip as well.

I had leaks on my dolly that uses a hybrid grease that turns to oil when heated. When I disassembled the hub, I found a very small burr that I could barely feel with my finger. Cleaned up the burr and installed new parts and it hasnít leaked since.

If you get stuck in Connecticut, I have a really good tech in Canterbury. I am in Rhode Island and drive over an hour to have him work on my coach.
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Old 06-16-2018, 05:32 AM   #9
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Is it a oil filled front axle bearing seal? or a greased front axle bearing seal?
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Old 06-16-2018, 06:29 AM   #10
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It might work to try axle bearing grease, as was said, you must use grease made for disc brakes, itís for higher temperatures. remember though, youíre still going to have to watch, as the grease heats up it liquifies. If you have access to the hubís cap and are able to pop out the seal and keep filling it with oil, that might be the way to go. Remember that if it gets bad enough, it can foul the brakes. The best on your trip, Iím sorry to have to see you go through this.
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Old 06-16-2018, 11:42 AM   #11
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Thank you for the tips you all. Right now we are in the middle of nowhere Delaware, about 7.5 hours from Boston. We are going to head to Boston and I have overnighted two new STEMCO seals to the repair facility there. Question: does the STEMCO seal come with the wear ring? At this point I don't know if the original wear ring is still in place, or if one of the two previous installers removed it. If it is gone, I am not sure if I can get my hands on a replacement to go with these STEMCO seals (if they don't come with one in the box).

I am going to add a mix of Lucus Hub oil and the 75w90 synthetic to get us to Boston...the Lucus stuff is really thick and should cling to the bearings quite well.
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Old 06-16-2018, 05:27 PM   #12
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I am going to add a mix of Lucus Hub oil and the 75w90 synthetic to get us to Boston...the Lucus stuff is really thick and should cling to the bearings quite well.
Some may disagree with me but I would go the wheel bearing grease route and keep my speed down. Too much oil leakage could cause a bearing to fail which would create a lot of heat and a possible fire with oil all over the hub and brakes. You might not even be aware of it before it's too late.
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Old 06-16-2018, 05:44 PM   #13
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Is it possible you are overfilling the hub? My Chevy rear axle is oil bath and uses the differential oil to float the wheel bearings. I filled the diff oil level to the fill mark and went through 3 wheel seals before I found out to keep the diff level a 1/2" low. No seal problems in 3 years now.
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Old 06-16-2018, 05:50 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cgreer00 View Post
Thank you for the tips you all. Right now we are in the middle of nowhere Delaware, about 7.5 hours from Boston. We are going to head to Boston and I have overnighted two new STEMCO seals to the repair facility there. Question: does the STEMCO seal come with the wear ring? At this point I don't know if the original wear ring is still in place, or if one of the two previous installers removed it. If it is gone, I am not sure if I can get my hands on a replacement to go with these STEMCO seals (if they don't come with one in the box).

I am going to add a mix of Lucus Hub oil and the 75w90 synthetic to get us to Boston...the Lucus stuff is really thick and should cling to the bearings quite well.
I went out to my RV and checked the Stemco Front inner wheel seal that I have, its part# 308-0866 stemco the wear ring is already on the seal I cannot pull it apart.

Ultra RV has a picture of the seal with the wear ring not on the seal. I was reading about 2 different set of instructions for each type of seal.

There is also 2 different set of instructions on the box my seal came in.

I have not changed a front seal before so sorry I cannot help anymore
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