Can brand new retainers (already installed) be moved out the 1+/-mm without damage so the seals center better? I have a pesky seal, but all my real axle parts are new (only a few hundred miles).
Not really. You should go to toyota and buy two new retainers, cut off the old ones with a dremmel tool w/cutoff wheel and have them pressed on again. Doing this should save you time and money at the machine shop. These are on very tight and would be difficult to move. But before you cut them off, grease then up and find out where the actual seal lip is making contact and adjust accordingly. Feel free to post pics of you retainers so i can see where they are.Can brand new retainers (already installed) be moved out the 1+/-mm without damage so the seals center better? I have a pesky seal, but all my real axle parts are new (only a few hundred miles).
Use acetone to clean the surface between the retainer and axle. Then add a bead of gear lube resistant rtv on the inner side of the retainer.Yeah I would definately do the "grease trick" before doing anything drastic. It just sucks because, as I mentioned, all parts are new.
The only other tricky part is that the previous owner had work done to the rear axle before, where someone staked the sealing surface itself. I hope the leak isn't from between the seal and the sealing surface.
I have a parts "hook up" for OE parts, so I'm sure I can hit the $13 or less mark.
Yes. You can see where the machine shop cut too deep on the axle. It made a path for the gear lube to leak under the retainer. The picture above was from attempt #2 of 4 before I reversed the retainer, but yes, it also has a bead of sealant to keep the lube from migrating past the retainer.You did this to help keep gear oil from escaping?
That's funny you mention that. There have been times I have been so pissed at my rear axle, I just wanted to yard the whole thing out from under my truck and start fresh. This all started with a leaky driver rear seal, then went to a hellish nightmare rear disc swap "while I was in there"...and the saga continues.I womder why the TSB doesnt list 4runners on there. I have had hell with my seals and bearings. Next time I have mine out I look into that. I have been seriously thinking about going with a completely different rear end.
The pics are great for us visual folks, so thank you for that. The machine shop should buy you a new axle shaft for ruining yours. That can and will make it prone to failure. I suppose a guy could have the retainer carefully shortened by a machine shop so it wouldn't contact the axle housing. I wonder if there are any shorter retainers for another application that would fit?I figured this whole topic is alluding some folks so I will post a cut-away view of the new OEM seal.
Even with my old school non ABS toyota axles i had a lot of problems with leaks. Im now running a 9" rear end and even when i broke a shaft and drove it back to camp with the axle flopping all over the place it didnt leak a drop.I have been seriously thinking about going with a completely different rear end.