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hypoid is contaminated by grease

2423 Views 16 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  vantunes
Every time I change the hypoid gear oil from the front differential, I found that the hypoid is contaminated by grease, I guess that grease is from swivel housing. My question is: That problem should be solved at once or it can be delayed for more convenient time?
230GE 85
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It won't hurt anything. Just get a little messy as the liquified grease in the swivels wil leak past the seals more easily. That said, the job is just an afternoon's work on the axle you have where the seals are out by the knuckles. On older style axles like the ones in my 1980 the seals are in at the diff end (stupid design which MB figured out quickly) and require pulling the diff to change.

Yours however can be changed by just removing the wheel, caliper, hub, swivel housing, and drive axle. Cuople hours' work per side. No special tools required.

Don't leave it for ever, but a couple months probably won't hurt anything. You will want to check your diff fluid from time to time though. If the grease in your swivels is incompatable with the diff oil, one or both could loose their lubricating properties when mixed in quantity. If you stick your finger in the filler plug hole and what comes out looks and feels like regular 90 wt, it's okay.

-Dave G.
Absolutely the new one

The old style axle didn't make it through the '81 model year. MB didn't make too many goofs with these trucks, but that seal placement was one. They corrected it quickly.

All the best,

-Dave G.
Yeah, you take the good with the bad, I guess. But the darned U-joints are so expensive it's still almost worth going to custom shafts. I don't know.

Hey, I scored another one this morning. Stopped by the mechanic's to return a tool I borrowed last night and he says, "Hey, look what I found!"

It was a like-new piston style vacuum pump for the 617A. Now I can ditch that ticking time bomb of a diaphragm pump that's on it. I asked him how much and he says, "Take it." Even threw in the gasket.

Things are coming along nicely for the swap. I'm just waiting now for parts to trickle back in and I'm installing them as they do.

Like they used to say on "The A Team"....

I love it when a plan comes together.

-Dave G.
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But if you REALLY want to know...

Send your VIN. I'm not sure if the cutoffs in the EPC are listed by axle number or not, I was thinking just by vehicle serial number, but I could be wrong.

I won't have access to my EPC 'till next week, but maybe someone else can help you.

LR mechanic should do fine. The only thing you'll need to call out to them specifically is DO NOT add/remove/adjust shims between the swivel pin caps and the swivel housing. On LRs these require frequent adjustment and a good LR mechanic will want to adjust them. It the G it's better not to.

He'll also need a special wrench for removing the hub nuts on the G. He might not have one.

The LR mechanic will get a nice awakening working on the G axles. I've worked on lots of both and grown to appreciate the ways of the G.

As far as the surface of the swivel ball goes, gently remove any surface rust with fine emery cloth or 0000 steel wool. If you have deep pits, they can be cleaned with brake cleaner, filled with epoxy, and smoothed down with a file to match the ball surface. The heavy grease in the swivel housings means that the seal of the ball to the housing doesn't have to be all that perfect. Using a good quality waterproof grease in the swivels will keep the swivel balls covered with a protective coating that will prevent rust in the future.

Good luck!

-Dave G.
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Curse of the shipfitter

It's always a good idea to check the condition of the wheel bearings any time the wheel is off the ground, I think.

But as far as when to do them, you have a good point that, it's already apart so why not? It is a little more involved than just the seal, but the bulk of the money in either job is in the disassembly and re-assembly. So if one is hiring it done then I'd say yes, just spring for a full service with wheel bearings, swivel pin bearings, and all the seals. He'd be paying the same labor costs all over again when it was time to do the bearings where he could get them done now for just a couple extra hours' labor.

Europa will sell you a kit of parts containig all the components required to rebuild both axle ends. Last time I bought one the kit was about $500. It's probably closer to 700 by now with exchanges what they are. But I forgot where the original poster is located. If in the UK, things seem to be more readily available, and thus less expensive, over there.

Good luck!

-Dave G.
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