Drive axle wheel ends

Discussion in 'Heavy Duty Diesel Truck Mechanics Forum' started by Kbb1991, Oct 20, 2020.

  1. Kbb1991

    Kbb1991 Bobtail Member

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    Can someone tell me how to change the oil in the wheel ends of my drive axles. It’s on a 9400 international truck with Rockwell drives. They don’t have a small drain plug in the end hubs, they do however have an odd bolt where the axle bolts on I’m wondering if the oil will drain there. I drained the pumpkin of the diff thinking I’d just go that far, but the oil was extremely dirty and I think I should probably change the wheel ends while I’m at it. Will the differential pump the new oil out to the hubs when driving?
     
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  3. AModelCat

    AModelCat Road Train Member

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    You can try and pull the bolt. Might be a plug. I don't know but doesn't hurt to try. Sometimes there's a plug on the side of the hub. If not, you can probably unbolt and remove the axle to drain it that way. If there's a diff lock, engage them first before pulling the axle.

    When you refill the diff, fill it to the bottom of the fill/level plug, then jack up each wheel and let the oil flow from the centre section down to the opposite hub. Then recheck the oil level in the diff and top off if neccessary.
     
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  4. Kbb1991

    Kbb1991 Bobtail Member

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    The axle end is held on with studs all the way around except for one and it’s an actual bolt threaded into the hub. That’s the one I’m thinking may drain it. If it happens to be, should I just put a quart or so back in and run it a bit then recheck? I really hate to have to pull the axle to do it. I can do it. But sometimes it seems like things like that can turn into a bigger ordeal than I’d like.
     
  5. AModelCat

    AModelCat Road Train Member

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    Just fill the diff housings like normal, then jack up each wheel end on the drive axles about 4-6" one at a time. Let each wheel sit elevated for about a minute each. Oil will run from the diff into the wheel end opposite of the jack. Then top off the oil in the diff. No need to waste the effort trying to manually fill each individual wheel hub.
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2020
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  6. Dino soar

    Dino soar Road Train Member

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    I don't know if any of them are a drain, but most likely someone put a bolt where the stud used to be.

    With my truck I can put like a 5-quart drain pan or maybe smaller and set that right inside the wheel so that I can pull the axle out without even pulling the wheels off.

    I put the axle into a big trash bag and make sure I scrape Everything clean and then scrape the housing surface to make sure carefully that nothing Falls in there.

    After everything drains out you could jack that axle up in the air the opposite way make sure that nothing is dripping out wipe it all down and put a new gasket in and you're done.

    You do have to jiggle the axle up and down a little bit to find the right spot but it's really not that big of a deal.

    Make Sure you torque the outside bolts or buy new nylon nuts if need be and enjoy your truck.

    Jack it up like a model said and let the oil run out to the wheel ends and check it and you're good to go.
     
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  7. spsauerland

    spsauerland Road Train Member

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    International's we used to have had hubs with 3/4" studs and one bolt that did work as drain if my memory serves me correctly. We had issues with Chinese Hyatt bearings in them, so pay close attention to any metallic in the hub oil. I think every one of them had at least one drive spindle replaced by axle surgeons before 500,000 miles.
     
  8. ultra truck

    ultra truck Bobtail Member

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    If you park the truck on a incline the gear oil floods the low side. If you keep the rear full the oil constantly is changed. If you have a failure that causes metal to contaminate the oil then it needs changed.
     
  9. BoxCarKidd

    BoxCarKidd Road Train Member

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    Interesting as the odd bolt always struck me as odd. Never considered or looked to see if if could be a drain.
    Personally I thank worrying about changing oil in the hubs is overkill for a differential oil change normally.
    On the other hand we had a truck come in that required the power divider to be locked in order to move.
    Truck delivered the load and came to the shop, all within 40 miles. It had a destroyed front diff. Metal shavings were at the hub ends. We jacked up enough to relieve pressure from the hub and removed the outer bearing. Cleaned out the hub cavity as best we could and filled it with oil. Loosely installed bearing, jacked it up and adjusted bearing. Put it all back together and filled diff with oil through the vent hole on top. When oil started to run out the fill plug installed plug. Then added two more quarts. This procedure has worked for me many times and was taught be good old Joe.
     
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  10. Goodysnap

    Goodysnap Road Train Member

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    We have one fleet that actually has hub oil changes on their PM intervals. Not every service but at certain mileage. I completely agree with this practice as it extends bearing life dramatically.

    I also agree the odd bolt being a drain and fill point.
     
  11. BoxCarKidd

    BoxCarKidd Road Train Member

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    Thanks for the education guys!
     
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