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Old 06-06-2013, 03:03 AM   #1
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Default 1989 Hardbody Driveshaft Leak

Hello all. I am asking for any advice as I am at my wit's end. I have an '89 hardbody 4x4 regular cab with the z24i engine. I have a leak at the tranny (transfer case) and the driveshaft. I have now replaced the seal 3 times with different seals from O'reliableys and now lastly a Nissan seal. All to no avail. The leak is just as bad each time as it was originally.

There is no lift on the truck and no vibrations that I can feel from the driveshaft. The sleeve of the trans is smooth and I have tried some Permatex on the outer rim of the seal.

Only thing I have noticed is pitting on the shaft that enters into the trans. It is not too bad but definitely pitting. I didn't notice a worn groove in the shaft where the seal meets the shaft but didn't know to check until I researched further after this 3rd try.

It seems to me that the leak is coming from where the shaft spins in the seal but I am not sure.

My question is: Have I ruled out all other sources of this problem and ready to fork over the cash for a junkyard driveshaft with less pitting or is there another route any of you can think of?

Any advice is much appreciated.
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Old 06-06-2013, 03:06 AM   #2
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gonna throw it out there but if theres a vent on on the transfer case, is it free of debris? if there is indeed a vent hose and its clogged, enough pressure may be in the T-case to push fluid past the seal
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Old 06-06-2013, 11:21 AM   #3
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I do believe I saw a vent when I was under there. I did not see a hose on the vent, only a vent that looked like it may have had a hose on it at one time. I'll check it out and report back.

Thanks!
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Old 06-06-2013, 11:36 AM   #4
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I really wish that vent was caked and clogged with mud and clay but it wasn't. I could not spin the fitting that goes into the trans all the way around to get it out and verify that it was clear but I did use a paper clip to move around in there. Visually it did not appear clogged and the paper clip did not find any debris either.

Thanks again for that suggestion. It got me excited enough to rush out there in my boxers and get under the truck before breakfast.
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Old 06-06-2013, 01:13 PM   #5
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The first thing i thought of as i started reading was that someone may hav gouged the metal some where. As you put the drive shaft back it might be tearing the seal if its rough enough.
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Old 06-06-2013, 02:43 PM   #6
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stupid idea here, what if you marked the driveshaft where it rides on the seal, clean it, solder the pits so its smooth, install and see what happens.. I dont know if the solder will stick to the shaft or how long it will last.. but it might give you a idea if its the seal or the shaft. its a thought anyway...
the seal is not being damaged on the install, correct...
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Old 06-06-2013, 02:58 PM   #7
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Thanks for the ideas. I did make sure that none of the metal has gouges or snags. The seals that I pulled out had no signs of tears other than the damage that the seal puller makes.

I don't think solder would last on the shaft and it looked like the pitting was not present where the seal actually meets the shaft, only on the part that was inside the trans and not touching anything (wrong trans oil used maybe? not GL-4?). I'm not equipped to weld the pitted area and lathe or grind smooth (far beyond my capabilities).

I just got back from the transmission shop and the guy told me it may be the bearing inside the transfer case that has worn out causing the drive shaft to not rotate smoothly.

It sounds like it makes sense but I feel no vibration (this really means nothing due to the fact that the suspension is terrible). There could be vibration and I just don't notice it.

But if there is vibration couldn't it just as easily be a bad drive shaft (U-joint)?

I see no replaceable part for this bearing he is talking about in the factory schematic of the transfer case. I guess the solution for this problem (if, in fact, this is the problem) is to replace the transfer case. That's something I'm not prepared to do just yet.

Any other suggestions?
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Old 06-06-2013, 03:00 PM   #8
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I did find the bearing! Called the retainer bearing. Looks like it's pretty deep inside the transfer case so not sure if I'm ready to give that a shot. The part is $35 so not a bad option though.

Edit: I have no idea how to change this bearing and don't think I'll even try. I can't find any info on how to do it and it probably is way more than I think it is. Also I have no idea if it will fix the problem. Transmission guy seemed pretty confident.

Part 33160 is the retainer bearing:


Last edited by peabody; 06-06-2013 at 05:45 PM.
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Old 06-06-2013, 09:16 PM   #9
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Any more ideas?
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Old 06-07-2013, 02:16 AM   #10
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Default Pitting

Quote:
Originally Posted by peabody View Post
any more ideas?
change the yolk flange... The reason its leaking is the pitting...
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