Change your front diff oil

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Change your front diff oil

Postby TheProf » 13 May 2017, 22:34

as a warning to all syncro owners, CHANGE YOUR FRONT DIFFERENTIAL OIL!!
i changed the front diff oil in the trakka last october. the colour of the oil was not nice -- bronzy, deep brown slurry, not smelling of anything (i had changed the oil when i first got the trakka and just thought it looked well past time it needed changing -- so this was the second time) .. it was driving ok apart from a revs-dependent whine and some minor backlash clunk on changing gear that i thought could possibly have been linked to wear in the donut... nothing too serious i thought. (i was wrong!)

so, off to aidan for a gearbox and front diff renovation..
-- not good news.. the colour of the oil from the front diff was because of *rust*.. a long-standing water ingress problem leading to serious rust issues and wear which has basically destroyed the front diff, casing included..

- the internal spigot bearing had rusted up and damaged the end of the pinion shaft and the input shaft (pictures below) to such an extent that aidan will need to do some serious surgery to try and put one back together for me ...
(so if anyone knows of a half decent spare adm code box sitting around that can be used as a donor, please get in touch!! )

basically, water ingress will destroy your front differential, and these parts are nla. so if you have a fondness for wading and have not changed your front diff oil for a while, please do so now and take note of the colour.... and you might just save your front diff. .. unlike me ..

Image
This oil is only 6 months old

Image

Image

this pic shows the state of the internal spigot bearing in the end of the input shaft accounting for the damage and rusted material on the pinion shaft (next picture - and again -- note the reddy-brown state of the oil mixed with the rust..

Image
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Re: Change your front diff oil

Postby Winchweight » 14 May 2017, 07:47

Wow! Never occurred to me that you'd get water ingress.
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Re: Change your front diff oil

Postby clift_d » 14 May 2017, 09:14

Do you need to drop the diff to change the oil, or does it have filling / drain ports like the gearbox?
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Re: Change your front diff oil

Postby TheProf » 14 May 2017, 10:20

easy to do in situ.. though the filler plug is tucked away between the vanes, so you need to search for it, especially if you have been coating it in mud..
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Re: Change your front diff oil

Postby Syncrobaz » 14 May 2017, 11:38

Changed mine after some serious wading ( and gearbox ) both as clean as a whistle. 8)
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Re: Change your front diff oil

Postby TheProf » 14 May 2017, 11:41

Winchweight wrote:Wow! Never occurred to me that you'd get water ingress.

well the seals have to let go a bit, so after 20 odd years, have they deteriorated? -- so those travelling in northern european climes plunging into cold water might be more at risk .. :)

Syncrobaz wrote: Changed mine after some serious wading ( and gearbox ) both as clean as a whistle. 8)


:ok ... and an excellent practice worth copying!!
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Re: Change your front diff oil

Postby Syncrobaz » 14 May 2017, 13:58

And check the condition of the wading pipes :wink:
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Re: Change your front diff oil

Postby Wedgbury » 14 May 2017, 18:46

Baz the depth you went last time you went wading you need a periscope :rofl
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Re: Change your front diff oil

Postby Syncrobaz » 15 May 2017, 11:41

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Re: Change your front diff oil

Postby HarryMann » 22 May 2017, 22:15

Thanks Dave...

How deep you been wading :)
Were your breather pipes and seals all as should be ?

My original front diff on the Doka had about a pint of honeylike oil in it and stripped VC splines??? Boy did that shake the van at 40 mph !!i
I now know a BBC driver who knew my truck so we're trying to find a bit more of its history?
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Re: Change your front diff oil

Postby HarryMann » 22 May 2017, 22:25

PS. No issues since then (10 years) and a lot of wading and offroad miles!
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Re: Change your front diff oil

Postby silverbullet » 23 May 2017, 13:56

I can see how thin those splines are from here, despite the wobbly pic!
The VC from Nick "footstuck" TDi DoKa was much the same, splines worn to a razor and pitted. The VC had been tight for ages, he had fitted a DeCo some time back as a workaround. Don't know what the rest of the diff was like, Neil "axeman" assisted on that job.

I would add that if a VC has failed open i.e. no drive from prop though the unit, then that spigot bearing in the pic above will see full propshaft rpm if the front wheels aren't moving. Lubrication is marginal in there...
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