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Old 05-24-2021, 02:00 PM   #1
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Stemco Seals - Fluke or Frequent Issue?

New to us '07 Essex / K2. PO had the bearing oil changed all around about 6 months prior. Front hubs have Stemco seals.


After about 2500 miles, we stopped for a night and I noticed oil leaking from the driver side hub cover onto the tire. Popped the cover off and the red plastic fill plug fell out. Easy fix - I figured it was just a careless service tech who didn't push the fill plug in all the way.


After another 900 miles, now the passenger side has oil leaking from the cover. Same thing - the red plug fell out when I popped the hub cover off.


So is this a fluke or a common problem with the Stemco seal fill plugs? We did go from sea level to 4000ft but I doubt that would cause an issue.


Do I need new plugs because they get worn / soft?
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Old 05-24-2021, 04:17 PM   #2
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Make sure the vent (middle of plug) is not clogged. Take a needle or awl and check to see that it's open. If they get soft or damaged they're cheap to replace.
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Old 05-24-2021, 04:52 PM   #3
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As posted, the plug has a very small hole, directly in center of plug, use a small paper clip to be sure it's clear.

The hole is a breather, vents when hub get warm. If breather vent is plugged, it'll either pop the plug out, or blow out the inner wheel seal (worse)
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Old 05-24-2021, 04:55 PM   #4
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Good to know - thanks!
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Old 05-24-2021, 06:43 PM   #5
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Since the plugs shouldn't be to expensive, I would definitely buy 1-2 sets to keep on hand. Maybe someone on the forum can find out the p/n for you for your particular unit. I remember having our hubs leaking slightly after I requested they be checked. In our case, the screws on each hub were "slightly" snugged up; no more leakage. ��

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Good to know - thanks!
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Old 05-24-2021, 09:02 PM   #6
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The red plug is part of the Stemco hub cap. I'd say they were not installed correctly. My replacements are only 7 yrs. old, originals were 14 yrs. old; I've never had one come out. Be sure not to over-fill the hubs, half-way between the add mark and full mark is fine, naturally the full mark is ideal but over-filling will get messy real fast.
NAPA sells new Stemco hub caps and gaskets, there are two kinds 5-bolt and 6-bolt.
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