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Old 03-11-2012, 10:55 PM   #1
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Help! Please identify this leak!

After parking on some virgin concrete for a few hours Saturday afternoon, I noticed a puddle of fluid on the ground - very close to the passenger front tire. I backed away from the spot and stuck my finger in the puddle.

The fluid was thick and viscous - like motor oil, but I don't think it was. I checked my oil, and the level was fine. When I got the Jeep back in the garage, I placed a piece of corrugated under the spot overnight to see how much fluid would accumulate.

To my surprise, there was no fluid on the corrugated this morning. I didn't know what to think. I ran some errands today - driving about 50 miles total. I parked it in the garage and put the corrugated back under it. Almost immediately, the leak started again.

I know it's difficult, but based on the strange location of this leak, I'm wondering if anyone can theorize what's leaking on my Jeep. It's a 2011 with only 8,500 miles on it. The only work I've had done in this general area was new 33" Duratracs and 15" Level 8 Trackers about a month ago. Could that have had anything to do with this?
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Old 03-11-2012, 11:00 PM   #2
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Difficult to tell from the pics due to the fact that the ones showing the underside of your rig are somewhat far away & dark, but given the location of the leak my guess would definitely be brake fluid.

Get under there & check the brake line, especially where the hard line from the engine compartment meets the soft rubber line that extends to your brake assembly... I'd be willing to bet you'll find fluid dripping from that line somewhere...

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Old 03-11-2012, 11:01 PM   #3
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X2 same spot, no clue what it is. I don't think its condensation, as I don't run the A/C.

Edit: Actually mine isn't oil like though, more like heavy water.
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Old 03-11-2012, 11:16 PM   #4
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Your entire caliper/knuckle area looks black?

Brake fluid would be my guess also.
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Old 03-11-2012, 11:19 PM   #5
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He said the oil was thick. Axle seal, under warranty, return to dealer. One hour fix.
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Old 03-11-2012, 11:21 PM   #6
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Some times it appears to not leak but the Jeep can be tilted away from that side a little.
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Old 03-11-2012, 11:23 PM   #7
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Ahh

Never had an axle seal go on me
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Old 03-12-2012, 12:13 AM   #8
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Could be an overfilled front pumpkin and the passenger side axle seal is going anyway as Silverton says, but

Thats not the problem---I'm trying to figure out where you found "Virgin Concrete" !

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Old 03-12-2012, 02:54 AM   #9
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My garage floor is coated in a green epoxy. These leaks were actually in the garage, but I couldn't see them against the dark floor. I parked the Jeep in my two year-old driveway for about six hours on Saturday. I had a saucer-sized puddle in that time.

Thanks for the recommendation on the axle seal. After googling some pics, I think that is the culprit. I didn't realize the passenger side axle seals on the D30 axles was such a recurring problem!

Thanks, guys. I'm calling my dealer first-thing Monday morning.
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Old 03-12-2012, 04:34 AM   #10
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I don't think its condensation
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Old 03-12-2012, 06:51 AM   #11
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Another vote for leaking axle seal.
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Old 03-12-2012, 07:50 AM   #12
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leaking axle seal. just had to replace mine as well. same spot. oddly enough, mine is also a 2011 with 8000 miles on it
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Old 03-12-2012, 09:11 AM   #13
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That's exactly where an axle leak will drip, and also where excess grease on aftermarket ball joints will drip. Personal experience on both accounts.
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Old 03-12-2012, 09:43 AM   #14
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Just called my local dealership. Their service department is booked solid until Friday afternoon! Now that I'm pretty sure it's an axle leak, I'm terrified to drive it anywhere but to the dealership. Looks like the Jeep is stuck in the garage until then...
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Old 03-12-2012, 09:53 AM   #15
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As long as there isn't any oil getting on the brakes you should be fine to drive it. If it were gushing out then that would be a problem.
It only takes a few drops of oil to make a huge looking mess.
Check the level in the diff. If it is ok then drive it but keep an eye on it.
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Old 03-12-2012, 10:19 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by speeddrive1 View Post
As long as there isn't any oil getting on the brakes you should be fine to drive it. If it were gushing out then that would be a problem.
It only takes a few drops of oil to make a huge looking mess.
Check the level in the diff. If it is ok then drive it but keep an eye on it.
Agreed. I would feel comfortable driving it if all the above checks out.
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Old 03-12-2012, 10:50 AM   #17
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Can anyone post a step by step on how to replace the front inner seals?

What do I do once the diff cover is off?
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Old 03-13-2012, 09:57 AM   #18
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Quote:
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Can anyone post a step by step on how to replace the front inner seals?

What do I do once the diff cover is off?
I know of only one step by step for axle seals.

1) Take Jeep to someone who knows how to replace axle seals.
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Old 03-13-2012, 09:54 PM   #19
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Can anyone post a step by step on how to replace the front inner seals?

What do I do once the diff cover is off?
Pull the axles. Note back-lash on Differential, pull the Differential, but leave in the Pinion. Make sure to mark bearing caps, and know which side the shims are from.

Using a "hook", remove old seals. Clean seal mounting surface and check for burrs. Press in new seals making sure to use the correct orientation. You can purchase or make a tool to do this.

Replace differential, shims and bearing caps - torque to speck. Check back-lash to verify nothing moved.

Replace cover, fill with fluid and test drive.

This is just the basics, so you really need to know what you are doing to do it correctly.

There are write-ups on several Jeep forums, didn't check this one.

Good luck!
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Old 03-14-2012, 08:20 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by babiehughie View Post
Pull the axles. Note back-lash on Differential, pull the Differential, but leave in the Pinion. Make sure to mark bearing caps, and know which side the shims are from.

Using a "hook", remove old seals. Clean seal mounting surface and check for burrs. Press in new seals making sure to use the correct orientation. You can purchase or make a tool to do this.

Replace differential, shims and bearing caps - torque to speck. Check back-lash to verify nothing moved.

Replace cover, fill with fluid and test drive.

This is just the basics, so you really need to know what you are doing to do it correctly.

There are write-ups on several Jeep forums, didn't check this one.

Good luck!
heh, mine started leaking again after the dealer replaced it the first time. didn't realize they had to pull the diff too. Maybe I can talk them into regearing when they go to replace it
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Old 03-14-2012, 08:30 AM   #21
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Can anyone post a step by step on how to replace the front inner seals?

What do I do once the diff cover is off?
Check here:

Stu Olson's Jeep TJ Web Site - N7QJP
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Old 03-14-2012, 08:43 AM   #22
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very helpful link, thanks!
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Old 03-14-2012, 08:50 AM   #23
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that link is awesome, thanks
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Old 03-14-2012, 08:54 AM   #24
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what do the shims look like???
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Old 03-14-2012, 09:25 AM   #25
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Like big flat washers of varying thicknesses.
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Old 03-14-2012, 09:30 AM   #26
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I am basically just learning about it (Thank you), I do not have a leak but I called the dealership and this is covered under the lifetime warranty if it ever happens.

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