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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
This weekend we took our Samurai out to try out our 6.5 gears. We drove a long ways down a riverbed over a lot of rocks and up some hills. Here is a short clip of part of the area we drove through. Nothing too crazy.


After we got home and parked I went outside and noticed large puddle of dark black oil around the right rear wheel. I'm guessing a wheel oil seal went out letting oil from the differential / axle escape. The Sammy has who knows how many miles. I think It's around 180K. Given we have no service history on the vehicle, I was wondering if I should go ahead and buy new bearings at the same time or just change the seal? I'm thinking maybe the extra strain of going over so many rocks blew out the seal because of excess play in the bearings. :confused: That is only a guess as I'm pretty green when it comes to 4x4 mechanical experience. Suggestions?

I also plan to put in a Mini Spool Locker at the same time I get around to fixing the leak. If there are other maintenance items I should look at while I have the rear end apart, please let me know. Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter #2
No suggestions? :( Help me out folks. I've never taken apart an axel or differential. Wondering what to watch out for.
 

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watch out for extra parts when you have it all back together again. ;)

I've replaced my rear axel, with one from the wrecking yard, but have yet to rebuild one. Have you checkd the oil in the rear diff to see if it's low? If you jack the back end up and grab the rear wheel and wiggle it around, Do you have any play in the rear wheels (side to side, up and down) Have you checkd brake fluid level to make sure you don't have a slow leak out one of your wheel cylinders? Did you inpect the rear shock on that side to make sure the shock isn't leaking down onto the axle?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I haven't had time to mess with it yet but there is a random clunking noise coming from the right rear area when driving. There was a lot of dark black oil that had a strong odor with the same smell as the old dif oil I replaced a few months ago. So I'm 90% sure it is dif oil.

I have ordered a pair of rear bearings and seals and a mini spool to lock the rear dif. I'm hoping it won't be a PITA to instal the stuff. The info on setting up a differential seemed complicated. Perhaps less complex using the mini spool?
 

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My Sierra has done the same. (oil and sound) have you found out what your problems was. did you have problems with your brakes as well?
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
My Sierra has done the same. (oil and sound) have you found out what your problems was. did you have problems with your brakes as well?
Not yet. Mini Spool, rear bearings and seals arrived this week. Today I put her in the garage and jacked her up. That's as far as I got. Too much stink'n work getting in the way of me having time to start on it. By what I read should take about 1/2 day to pull the axles and install the mini spool. Hoping there isn't something busted back in there. But I'm guessing it was worn bearings that had too much play and made the seals go out. Will post what I find when I get a chance to pull it apart.

Here is what much of the road looked like the day we went out. We were hearing a clunking sound now and then on the way out there before we got off road. I'm guessing going over a bunch of rocks pushed it over the edge.

Brakes seemed okay but there may be oil in the rear drum. It's really coated with a lot of oil all around there.

 

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Discussion Starter #7
Today I tried to pull the axle out. However, it didn't want to cooperate. No matter how hard I smacked the wheel or wiggled or pulled on it, the axle was not moving out. Stores were already closed so I could not get a slide hammer. Tomorrow or later this week I will pick one up.

There is a lot play in the axle so it does appear the bearing failed which in turn would put the weight of the axle on the seal and eat up the seal in no time.

The drum brakes are soaked in oil. I'll replace the shoes as I guess oil soaked shoes are probably a bad thing.

I ordered some breather tubes when I ordered the other parts. Looks like indeed they are needed. When I drained the diff oil it looked like coffee with milk in it. Appears quite a bit of water has mixed in with the diff oil.

Here is the oily brake mess. Been about 25+ years since I've done any drum brakes! For some reason I think they were a bit of a pain to do.

 

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Discussion Starter #8
Making progress... Yesterday I pulled out the axles and diff internals. As I suspected the bearing failed on the side that the oil poured out from. The bearing on the other side has a lot of wear and looked like it was not going to last too long. Now I'm concerned about the front bearings. May do them too to avoid one going out on the trail. If they are as worn as the rear they may not last long.

Now I'm trying to figure out what direction the new bearings go in. :confused:

http://www.suzuki-forums.com/suzuki-jimny-sierra-samurai-forum/45833-my-poor-wheel-bearings-way-do.html
 

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