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  View original topic: Swingaxle seal 1966 bug
ptspringer Sat May 19, 2018 9:35 am

I have a 1966 bug that I have driven for about 30 years. Recently, the drivers side rear axle seal has been leaking oil. This happened about 15 years ago on the passenger side and I was able to successfully install a new seal kit back then.

When I went to replace the seal this time about four weeks ago, I noticed that the axle nut was not tight, just snug, maybe 10 ft-lbs of torque was all i needed to remove it, rather than the 300 ft-lbs I expected. The seal was likely original - over 50 years old, I had not replaced it in my 30 years as a daily driver. The cotter pin was in place so that nut did not back out on it's own.

I replaced the seal, gasket, and O-rings after cleaning it up. On reassembly, I torqued the nut to ~ 300 ft lbs & installed a new cotter pin. After a week or so it started leaking again. (a few teaspoons a day) I figured I must have sliced the big O-ring so I went to install a new kit today. Once again I found the axle nut was only snug. So rather than replace I tightened the nut up to the proper torque to see if that would fix the leak.

I'm hoping that the seal was not down to full depth when I installed it, and it worked it's way down releasing the torque on the axle nut and opening a leak on the O-ring that might not be then properly compressed.

Or could it be that something is broken and giving way under the stress?

In few weeks I'll know if the leak has stopped. Has anybody experienced a loosening axle nut after a new kit, and if the leak is not stopped what should I inspect/replace, before a new seal kit??

Thank you,
Paul

57BLITZ Sat May 19, 2018 10:22 am

ptspringer wrote:
I'm hoping that the seal was not down to full depth when I installed it, and it worked it's way down releasing the torque on the axle nut . . .

That is NOT what happened! The seal is not even close to the drum.

If you replaced the "oil deflector" washer . . . and it is one from a cheap kit, it might be too soft and compressed while driving.

Something broken . . . I had it happen once, but it was on my '70 . . . inner race of the outer wheel bearing broke . . . made only a little noise and I don't know if the noise was from the broken bearing or from the drum being loose.
BUT . . . your rear wheel bearing is completely different from my I.R.S. wheel bearings.

ptspringer Sat May 19, 2018 10:39 am

Thank you.

I read that the axle nut can loosen if the splines on the drum are worn and cause motion that harms the seal.

That still means I need to replace the seal - which I'm going to go do now.

bluebus86 Sat May 19, 2018 11:16 am

ptspringer wrote: Thank you.

I read that the axle nut can loosen if the splines on the drum are worn and cause motion that harms the seal.

That still means I need to replace the seal - which I'm going to go do now.

When the drum is off, inspect the splines, if they are damaged, the only solution is a new drum, else it will keep getting loose again and again as you drive, destroying the seal again, an oil leak may eventually get on the shoes, ruining them too. Sounds like it is time for a new drum. Fortunalty the axle splines usually dont get damaged, strong steel there verses a soft cast iron drum. I speak from personal experience with the drum splines, tightened it twice, it self loosed twice, then I saw the drum spline were worn, new drum was the fix.

Good Luck, Bug On with good splines!



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