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Old 12-31-2010, 03:27 PM   #1
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Pinion seal and axle leak

I was under my rig yesterday (replacing the fuel filter after some bad gas) and saw a very wet differential. The pinion seal appears to be the minor source and the right side axle is the major source of this oil.

Reading other posts on this type of issue there was mention of a possible venting problem.

1. Where is the vent? Is a faulty vent the cause of the leaky seals?
2. Is the typical problem that the vents get clogged with dirt and oil?
3. Which seals need to be replaced? What part numbers?
4. I have 30,000 miles now. Is this a routine that I should expect again once replaced?

I have nothing leaking in the hubs. I had the rear wheels off and everything looks dry there.

Thanks for your help.

GW
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Old 01-01-2011, 07:33 AM   #2
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I have the same leak at the vent. Very little oil will go a long way. (Same as a glass of milk will cover the ENTIRE floor!) I just check the level in the chunk at every oil change. And after 52K miles, it is still up to level.
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Old 01-04-2011, 07:30 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reply Big.


I took it to my local certified Workhorse service center and was told the following:
1. The source of the oil is the pinion seal and only the pinion seal, which has coated the right axle as well.
2. The seal had hardened and wore out.
3. The pinion flange was so worn there was a groove cut like they have never seen before.
4. The fluid in the differential was nearly gone.
5. It was good that I brought it in when I did, or it would have been bad news for my rear end.
6. The extended warranty company approved payment for the pinion flange replacement after I pay my $200 deductible, leaving $350 for them to pay.

Does this sound familiar to anyone?
Is it common to wear a groove in a pinion flange?
What should a pinion flange replacement and differential service cost?

Thanks,

GW
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Old 01-05-2011, 10:17 AM   #4
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Mine was replaced Dec 2006 under warranty, at Range RV, Hesperia, CA.. Total bill to WCC $235.44. (Parts $70.44, Labor $150.00, Freight $15.00).

Paperwork says seal blown out, mileage 28,397.

I had been having an issue with my differential vent, which was eventually replaced with a new style, and this probably contributed to my blown seal.
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Old 01-05-2011, 10:25 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GLWilliams58 View Post
Is it common to wear a groove in a pinion flange?


GW
The groove being worn into the flange is very common occurrence on cars and trucks, there is a steel spring behind the lip of the seal to keep pressure applied, some are just more prone to grooving than others.
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Old 01-07-2011, 05:03 PM   #6
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Just picked up the rig with my shiny new Pinion Flange and Seal. I can't wait to show the neighbors that!!

The total bill was $879.78

1 W8000308 Flange Kit Pinion: @$435.28
4 89021677 Gear Lubrication 8.8 @ $35 = $140
Labor $264
Expedited Shipping $40.

My deductible was $200 plus sales tax and the expedited shipping cost which was my request.

I am grateful for my American Guardian Warranty that paid $639.00 Very nice.

There was an issue with the first flange they ordered with a GM part number being the wrong size. They had to re-order the larger more expensive one with what looks like a Work Horse part number. They also confirmed that all of the oil was coming from Pinion and nothing was leaking from the axles. The last thing they said was that if I had not noticed this leak when I did, I would not have been motoring much longer.


So the moral of the story goes like this: the bad gas I got, which prompted pinging in the engine, which activated the knock sensor, which turned on my engine light, which prompted me to change the fuel filter, which caused me to notice the leak, really saved me from toasting my rear end. Funny how these things work.
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Old 01-07-2011, 05:12 PM   #7
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Just for comparison sake, I had my pinion seal replaced in 2009 at just over 50k miles after it was found to be leaking at the annual chassis service done by Statkus Engine in Albuquerque (it does pay to have a tech pay attention during chassis service). Mine is a Spartan diesel chassis ... costs were: pinion seal $70, 20qt of gear lube $90, brake cleaner to clean up pinion seal leak mess on air bags etc, $19.50, labor $250. I don't do extended warranties, so I paid the full cost of $429.50.
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Old 01-07-2011, 06:37 PM   #8
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Yes sir any day you don't "toast your rear end" is a good day...
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