Rex's 2017 Tacoma had an annoying leak from the front clamshell area after a 529/elocker install
(60 BIG pics loading)
May 5 2022

That's the basic jist of it....another shop installed 529 gears and an elocker in the front 8" clam and Rex noticed a small gear oil puddle
every couple of days. The clam was removed and brought to my humble shop.
The tube extension and clam support arms were removed first.

The outer seal on the passenger-side tube extension flange was suspect but hard to say for sure.

There was gear oil spilling out but kind of expected it here. It will see a new factory seal.

The driver-side seal for the stub axle looks ok....a new factory seal will replace it.

The pinion seal does look perfect....don't think it was coming from here.

No sign of any oil.

This shows the bottom of the clam and the generic black silicon RTV makes me wonder if this is the leak.

Let's take out the inter-shaft...

2 heavy duty screwdrivers and a tap-tap in the middle will allow the axle clip to pop out.

Easy peasy.

A sloppy Ding mark....


A quick check of total bearing preload and it is very high...about 40 inch/pounds.

This clam made on August 30, 2017.

Seems like every clam I get with the elocker in it has no steel bushing welded over the hole for rubber grommet support.

This is the spot where I think the oil was seeping out...

Ohh's been mentioned before but there are 2 issues going on here.
1---the hole was "over-drilled" with a .500" drill bit....should have been .463"
2---No steel sleeve has been MIG/TIG welded on for sealing support.

To me, it looks like gear oil was seeping out here.

This is the spot where I will drill the .463" hole...left side of the rib is the Cow Pasture. 3" up and about 1 1/8" left of the rib.
Right side of the rib is the Valley. That hole is drilled way too high up the valley. Too close to the crown teeth.

The cow patty marks the desired spot :)

This is my humble "steel sleeve" that I have welded on many clams that get the elocker.
It's just a lug nut and when the .463" drill bit passes thru it, almost all traces of the threads disappear.

A quick check with the ohm meter shows about 4 ohms across the magnetic coil which is good.

Back to the teardown.....the lid has been removed.

Another simple tool for the clams....

Now the heavy center carrier can be easily pick up and moved out of the way.

That grommet is drilled very close to where the ring gear teeth are.

The rubber grommet basically came out with no resistance at fell out.
As can be seen, the wall thickness of the drilled hole is maybe 1/8"...
and the rubber grommet was really not sealing in the gear oil very well.

Draining out as much of the oil as possible....

A check of pinion preload shows maybe 13 inch/pounds which is a good solid number.
This means the carrier bearing preload is excessive with about 30 inch/pounds.
That will change shortly.

I don't think the shop changed out the factory seal....still the genuine part number and recessed the usual .120"

The pinion flange looked almost brand new.

The factory NOK driverside seal is coming out...

Almost no damage :)

Kudos to the shop for clearancing the 3 ribs properly.
This shown washer plate (.074") in the bowl was back to back with a .010" shim.
That shim resulted in excessive carrier bearing preload.
A washer plate (.078") was located from my collection that was only .004" thicker
and gave the proper CBPL with the right backlash.

Paint was applied to a few teeth and re-assemble it.

Backlash and bearing preload were spot on.

A tool that allows for doing good, easy to read paint checks.



Apply a small resistance to the pinion flange and turn the ring gear via the upper side gear.

Drive side....beautiful....the shop nailed it right on.
As shown in the pic above, this is the pattern for the quietest running gears.
It's not the left/right position that is the most important....
It's the up/down that is the most important parameter.

Coast is ok.

The pattern on the pinion teeth look great.




This is showing the part where the washer plate was pressed out......

....and the new washer plate that is only .004" thicker.

The filled in hole and the hole in the cow pasture with the 'sleeve' MIG welded on.

Last checks on backlash and all is good.

Lid is removed and cleaned of oils.

The factory orange FIPG is applied.

....and the 10 bolts are final torqued to 37 ft/lb.

Generally best to stay away from the generic seals that are supplied in the after-market kits. Factory is best.







A snapshot of the notes.