The input and output seals on a front drive axle are at the top of the gearbox unlike a rear drive axle where the pinion is sealed down low in the gearbox.
When the front diff is nearly empty there is little chance that it would leak out of a seal (input or output) up that high on the gearbox, it's simply not getting any oil directed up there to leak.
If this was a rear drive axle with a pinion seal down low on the gearbox, it would continue to leak until the diff was totally empty.
Help! Stuck in Seattle-Rear end gone!
Page 8 of 9
Either way I'm guessing this guy ran it entirely to long with it leaking if it made as big a mess as it sounds.bender Thanks this.
Well, this is what I am still trying to reconcile, and the facts remain:
A: Went to dealer with a problem. Dealer diagnoses problem as two bad wheel seals with a hellava mess of oil to clean up.
B: Dealer charges for 6lbs (roughly pints) of oil. No mention of checking diff or filling it on the invoice. Yet the obvious is stated in the service description on the invoice. ie: "removed wheels, brakes... etc."
When we questioned the "night service foreman" about it, he stated "we didn't fill the diff or do anything with the rear end. The rear end has nothing to do with wheel seals ma'am". (However, someone in the back ground was correcting him) We were later told in a voice message by a much "higher up" that the 6 lbs of oil all went into the diff and none of that went into the wheel hubs. (???)
C: At no point during that service did anyone make mention of origin of oil being anywhere other than the wheel seals.
Okay... so problem is fixed and down the road you go....
Question still remains. If the diff was filled and there was another problem that was overlooked in Sioux City, and the oil was coming from the rear end housing, It would have been obvious at W.S 800 miles later. Whether or not W.S checked the diff level is another can of worms. However, Marty did tell his guy at W.S about what happened three days before in Sioux City. He may have assumed that it was good to go since he just had service done. If we need to "go there"... we will.
So where did over four gallons of oil go? We know where it went with the first mishap... all over the place to the extent of a four hour clean up. Why is the Diff nearly empty, (mechanic drained less than 2 quarts) with no sign of oil anywhere except for some residue on the housing which the mechanics in Seattle attribute to happening at the time of it finally puking after running with lack of lube for so long by the time you get to Seattle?
Also, spoke with an expert at Eaton in great length. He described how rear end failures happen and what you will see as far as damage and cause of failure. The damage that was done to the rear end parts (gear teeth, ring gears, pinion teeth, becoming razor sharp, spider gears rounding off etc.) are indicative of lack of lubrication. Where in contrast to being shock loaded where everything is just busted up.
Seattle stands behind what they found. They found the damage to be the former not the latter. All parts are in good hands for future inspection.
Bottom line is this. There was no indication of any rear end problem when presenting to Sioux City or they obviously would have seen it and made mention of it. There was no indication of any rear end problem at W.S 800 miles later. I think it might be safe to assume that even if they didn't check the diff oil, that they SURLEY would have at least seen it if there was oil residue or leaking on the housing. There WAS an indication of a rear end problem 4000 miles later in Seattle WA that was determined to be due to lack of lubrication.
All of that being said, my common sense tells me that if there was a more serious problem from the get go... and Sioux City missed it, it wouldn't have taken 4000 miles for it make it self obvious once again.
But I could be wrong. Either way... Someone screwed up.
Sioux City seems to think that we lost it on the ground while driving... drip by drip by drip.
Thanks again for all of your input. It is truly greatly appreciated.
Assuming the source of a large oil leak is a gamble too often made, you win some and you lose some. The only way to be confident in the right direction of repair is to first clean off the oil, fill the fluid level of the leaking component and run or operate the truck as necessary to reveal the source of the leak. This is where it went wrong from the beginning which not only caused a misdiagnosis of the problem but also a near empty gearbox when the incorrect repair was completed.
If Sioux city had added 40+ pints of lube to your diff at the time of the repair you would have known that diff failure was inevitable at some point in the future.
The diff was run out of lube (which was the operators responsibility) before Sioux city ever touched the truck, but since Sioux city did an incomplete repair by not filling the diff, that put them on the hook and relieved some operator responsibility due to it never being revealed that the diff was run empty.
The oil residue on the backside of the diff could have been caused by the small amount of lube in the diff for the ring gear to sling up to the output seal.
If the tech at WS was informed of no need to check lube level in forward diff by the operator because of recent work done I'm not to sure that you can hold him responsible.
With all of the information that has been gathered since this ordeal started, it has been determined that there was no issue with the rear end prior to having service done in S.City.
Even an objective look at the picture would indicate many things. One being that the techs at S.city, during their four hour extensive oil clean up along with the four hour repair job would have (or at least should have) had the responsibility to determine the origin of the oil and what needed to be repaired. That's what they are there for.
Sioux City determined it was wheel seals and I believe it. For reason number one, they were never concerned about any oil residue on the housing at that time, which would be hard to miss. When the tech in Seattle pointed it out, it was plain as day with my own eyes. Couldn't miss it if you were standing behind the truck. It wasn't a lot, but you could see the darker color of where the residue was. I can't imagine any tech would be dumb enough to clean oil of the housing and not realize the possibility of a different problem. So I have to assume that they were correct in their diagnosis since the W.Star tech never saw any oil on the housing. Which means that if it were present prior, Sioux City would have had to of cleaned it off. I would be willing to give them at least that much credit. (??) Another thought to ponder.... If there was any sign of oil anywhere on that housing, the tech would have noticed it when he was "filling the diff with the 6 lbs of oil", if he had "missed it" during "clean up."
There is absolutely no doubt that the wheel seals were gone. The only question is what caused two to go at once. Eaton said "it does happen." It was explained that when one goes, and enough oil leaks out it can cause the other to go also.
Remember, we were 16 miles from the delivery in Seattle when "clunk, and grind" happened. (engaged power divider and drove to dealer). I have a hard time believing that if a serious enough problem had happened prior to arriving in Sioux City... enough to cause two wheel seals to go out, that a band-aid of new wheel seals would have been enough to allow the truck another 4000 miles with no sign of any problem. Especially when we know they didn't put oil in the diff. Even if they did, they are admitting to putting only 6 pints (lbs) of oil in the diff. We all know it was none. But even admitting to 6 is a poor excuse for trying to evade responsibility. It needed 40+.
Again, the damage of the parts as explained by an expert at Eaton is indicative of lack of lubrication. If the lack of lube caused two wheel seals to go, and damage was already in the works... I don't believe that two new wheel seals would not have been enough to travel another 4000 miles with no indication of a problem at all.
I know I'm talking in detail about this because I hope that in the end everything comes to a clearer light and others will benefit from our mishap as well.
We are not considering legal action at this time, so that is not an issue really.
The whole ordeal was over $6700.00
I have been at this for along time and I can tell you the oil that was leaking when the wheel seal blew was from the rear end !!
The oil from the differential flows down the axle tubes to oil the wheel bearings.
Just have your lawyer get a hold of a eaton person to explain it to the judge and you will have your case in the bag .
It is common knowledge that if you blow a wheel seal that you have to refill the rear end housing !
Attempting to determine that there was no differential damage in Sioux city without at least draining an oil sample could be comparable to me determining if you have a tummy ache or not, there's no way to know.
Dark stains from oil leaks indicate long term leakage. I would assume this to be your original leak source. The gear oil not only lubricates, it also cools. If the oil level became so low from the original leak source that the remaining gear oil cooked and the differential was doing an internal roast, it could build enough pressure to overcome the vent flow capacity and push oil past every seal in the rear end including hub seals. Heat builds pressure. If that was the case in Sioux city, your diff was already well under way to self destruction.
No one knows how long a gearbox can run under lubed, It's never purposely done and no one knows it's being done until the end result.BridgettAnn Thanks this.
Page 8 of 9