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Old 09-13-2010, 11:41 PM   #1
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Leaky Steering Gear and Diffs

Hello,
I am into week 2 of jeep ownership. It's a '98 TJ Sport. 179K km.

I have what appears to be a pretty common leak in the steering gear above the pitman arm and the adjuster plug seals. My repair manual recommends replacing the adjuster plug seals and the pitman shaft seals. I noticed allot of people hear just replace the entire steering gear. What am I in for?

Both my diffs are leaking. Not badly mind you. I can actually see the gasket on the front diff which seems to be a bit shoddy to me. What is the best way to stop the leak and or maintain them in the mean time?

My reference material thus far is the 1999 Wrangler Electronic Service Manual. My skill level with mechanicals falls somewhere in the range of changing household light bulbs and this manual I think assumes a slightly higher level of ability.

Thanks
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Old 09-13-2010, 11:58 PM   #2
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My TJ had a leak at the pitman shaft about a year ago. I added some Lucas Steering Additive ( stop - leak ) just so I could look around for a good price on the repair. It hasn't leaked since. It took about two weeks till it worked it's way through to the leak. I know it will need to be done eventually. But so far so good.

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Old 09-14-2010, 12:16 AM   #3
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If the diff is leaking from the cover then all you need is RTV sealant. They don't use a gasket. If the leak is at the pinion seal where the driveshaft enters the diff then it's best done by a qualified mechanic.


But that's just my personal pinion. Hahaha

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Old 09-14-2010, 01:01 AM   #4
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Depending on your differential the pitman arm will have either a crush sleeve, shims, or a solid sleeve. With a crush sleeve you have one chance to set the back lash. This is one of the most difficult tasks that I found at mechanic school to get dead on even with training it's easy to screw up without a lot of practice and it's expensive if you do. My recommendation is price out an axle swap to having the work done.
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Old 10-04-2010, 03:00 AM   #5
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I finished changing the oil and re-sealing the front and rear diffs. Not a hard job at all. Finger painting with Permatex RTV is a joy.
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Old 10-04-2010, 08:14 AM   #6
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Still having the problem with the power steering fluid leak from the stearing gear box?
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Old 10-04-2010, 09:32 AM   #7
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Finger painting with Permatex RTV is a joy.
And I whole-heartedly recommend this method. I'm not artistic enough to do anything else
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Old 10-05-2010, 10:00 AM   #8
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yeah, still leaking from the steering box. The fluid level was still full last I checked, but I have some lucas steering additive for a try at the quick fix once the level gets low enough.
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Old 10-05-2010, 10:50 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fofo View Post
Depending on your differential the pitman arm will have either a crush sleeve, shims, or a solid sleeve. With a crush sleeve you have one chance to set the back lash. This is one of the most difficult tasks that I found at mechanic school to get dead on even with training it's easy to screw up without a lot of practice and it's expensive if you do. My recommendation is price out an axle swap to having the work done.
I didn't know Diff's had pitman arms... this must be something new

If the diff is leaking at the gasket, there would be no need to do an axle swap. Why would you recommend an axle swap??? Not sure what school you went to but make no sense at all...

Also yes, you can get a gasket for the Diff's. Lubelocker makes a diff gasket that can be reused over and over. They can be bought thru most online aftermarket places like 4wd.com I've had mine for about 3yrs now and it's nice not having to mess with RTV and letting it sit/cure.
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Old 10-06-2010, 02:28 AM   #10
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The oil on the differential looks like splatter from the leaky steering getting blown back onto it to me?
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Old 10-06-2010, 08:38 AM   #11
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I didn't know Diff's had pitman arms... this must be something new

If the diff is leaking at the gasket, there would be no need to do an axle swap. Why would you recommend an axle swap???...

Also yes, you can get a gasket for the Diff's. ....
No worries, I got the gist of the post: leaking at axles not so good. Mine aren't, so axles swapping is not in the plans.

I may very well go for the gasket next time. It would certainly save a couple of hours in curing and hand washing
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Old 10-06-2010, 08:42 AM   #12
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The oil on the differential looks like splatter from the leaky steering getting blown back onto it to me?
Maybe, but it was pretty localized and very oil like as opposed to power steering fluid like. It also had a twin on the rear diff.

Anyway, I think the diffs are sorted. Onto bigger and brighter projects. I'm thinking of fluid changes in the transmission and transfer case. Maybe a rad flush too since winter is fast approaching.
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Old 10-06-2010, 09:39 AM   #13
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what is the exact type of Permatex RTV u used
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Old 10-07-2010, 09:58 PM   #14
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The oil on the differential looks like splatter from the leaky steering getting blown back onto it to me?
Yup, there is some of that too
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Old 10-07-2010, 09:58 PM   #15
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what is the exact type of Permatex RTV u used
Permatex RTV Ultra Black

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