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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a small oil weep from my back axle. It’s not causing any mess on my drive, I only spotted it when the car was up having its brakes done with the engine running. The axle had a light-ish coating of dirty oil. I bought the car privately a couple of weeks ago, on the basis that it had only done 200 miles since its last Jag service. The seller, who seemed like a good bloke, has said he didn’t know about the weep. I’m expecting him to pay if this gets expensive.

My regular mechanic has ordered an oil seal and reckons it should be a straightforward fix, but he has put me on notice that there could be more problems inside the axle. He can’t do it for a week or so, and I’ve got 800 miles to do this week, so has anyone get any tips or any ideas about what’s caused the leak?
 

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Pinion oil seal is the usual culprit, I'd be inclined to top it up before the 800 miles.
 

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A tiny bit of escaped oil makes a big smear, I wouldn't worry too much if it is not "marking its territory".
 

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It's a Jag man, oil weep comes as part of the standard equipment.
 

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A tiny bit of escaped oil makes a big smear, I wouldn't worry too much if it is not "marking its territory".
+1 for this. A very small quantity goes a very long way! My previous landy had a slight weep for several years and lost next to nothing in oil level in the rear diff.
 

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A tiny bit of escaped oil makes a big smear, I wouldn't worry too much if it is not "marking its territory".
I saw on TV an "experiment" where they put a teaspoon of oil in middle of a big lake. It effectively spreads to a molecule thin and covers a vast area but also calming the surface; as surface tension is stronger than water. I just hope the oil was biodegradable...

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Had this on mine. They replaced the whole diff under warranty and said they had done a few.

I thought they did it as a whole because the seal may need special tools to remove it. Be interesting to see how easy it is for your man to change in situ.


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I think this "replace the whole diff for a front seal" malarkey is down to the way that first tier suppliers carry warranty costs.

Dealer would far rather indent for a whole diff replacement labour charge than a simple seal replacement, and JLR doesn't care because they are not picking up the tab.

Just my humble suspicion - I had a rear diff changed on the RRS, too, same reason. I didn't believe the "special tools needed" BS then because a Main Dealer should have had EVERY single last special tool needed to work on the cars they sold. 'Far as I know, it is part of the franchise deal. Anyone know different?
 

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My car was one of the original ones to have a faulty factory fitted diff, it was leaking oil within 3 months of new, the dealer just replaced the whole diff. Phil
 

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Well, mine has been 'marking its spot' on the driveway recently, I noticed it last week-end. The car is booked into the main dealer to have a look next week. I couldn't see any oil mist or evidence of drips from the driveshafts, so assume its the pinion oil seal. The service guy was pretty sure this would be the culprit - not uncommon.

I'll see how it goes and will post an update in due course. There are quite a few horror stories of new diffs being needed, which is a bit of a worry. The problem seems to run across all models and mileage does not seem to be a factor. My car has only done 25K miles, but some have failed a lot sooner than this.
 

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Not sure but diff may have a breather which has become blocked. When on the road pressure can build up in the diff and it will find a way out taking some oil with it..........
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
My mechanic topped up the axle oil before I went on my long trip. He said it looked like there were filings in the over spilled oil. I’m booked in for a repair later this week. I’m really hoping the bill isn’t too painful..
 

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I think this "replace the whole diff for a front seal" malarkey is down to the way that first tier suppliers carry warranty costs.

I didn't believe the "special tools needed" BS then because a Main Dealer should have had EVERY single last special tool needed to work on the cars they sold. 'Far as I know, it is part of the franchise deal. Anyone know different?
It was back in the late 80's. I worked at a franchised Subaru and Hyundai dealer and we had walls full of special tools on special painted racks to hold them all, very proudly. Mechanic never used them. Was much easier and faster to claim for a whole unit swap-out rather than strip and replace to component level, unless the UK importer insisted, which I can recall only happening once.
 

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Who really now a days on this country especially, can afford a repair? It probably would cost as much as replacing the new part. Working time is expensive in this country, who care about your diff? Just yourself.
If you had, time, tools and space it’s a job you could do yourself.
I had the pleasure to repair my old 240 diff.
The car sat in the garage for a month, it took to me half a day to remove the diff and longer to find a company able to repair it.
Not many company will give you warranty on the repair.
It took another full day to reassemble the rear axle.
Never found anywhere honest valuable mechanics. Just a bunch of pussy able to replace your oil and filter. Anything more complex and they will kill your car.
 

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My mechanic topped up the axle oil before I went on my long trip. He said it looked like there were filings in the over spilled oil. I’m booked in for a repair later this week. I’m really hoping the bill isn’t too painful..
If your diff really did have metal filings in the oil, it should be making some very obvious sounds of distress, I would want a diagnosis I could trust...……….
 

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Diff setup isn't hard, it's about getting the relationship between the bevel gears correct, wether this is achieved by shims or pre-load. The hard bit is getting the instructions for a particular diff and the required parts. Then spending hours getting it right. Often, as has been mentioned, special tools may be required to hold or access a part, though these can often be home made with some ingenuity. The days of a car garage with a knowledgable and experienced mechanic are now almost gone though. Their expertise wasn't passed on as more and more diagnostics are performed by electronics and error codes, coupled with the labour rates being extortionate to work to component level and with less skilled staff, whole large assembly swop-out is now easier, less skill required and easier for the garage to perform. The cost is borne by the customer, is of no concern to the garage or dealer and often means the end of a car that could have provided years more service. It's part of modern living I guess, or what some may call progress.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Diff setup isn't hard, it's about getting the relationship between the bevel gears correct, wether this is achieved by shims or pre-load. The hard bit is getting the instructions for a particular diff and the required parts. Then spending hours getting it right. Often, as has been mentioned, special tools may be required to hold or access a part, though these can often be home made with some ingenuity. The days of a car garage with a knowledgable and experienced mechanic are now almost gone though. Their expertise wasn't passed on as more and more diagnostics are performed by electronics and error codes, coupled with the labour rates being extortionate to work to component level and with less skilled staff, whole large assembly swop-out is now easier, less skill required and easier for the garage to perform. The cost is borne by the customer, is of no concern to the garage or dealer and often means the end of a car that could have provided years more service. It's part of modern living I guess, or what some may call progress.
Sounds exactly as my mechanic explained it. He said he hopes it will be an easy oil seal job, but if it isn’t, he doesn’t intend a replacement, but instead is going to rebuild my diff, and wants my car in over two days just in case. He’s got some old school help on stand by on the evening of day one.

I’ve used the same mechanic for 20 years because he’s extremely honest and trustworthy. He usually gives me the worst scenario, with a rough price, but pretty much always ends up doing less work and charging less. In other words, he’s had countless opportunities to cheat me, but has never taken them. And he’s never not done a job properly too. So if he says work is necessary, then I trust him to get it fixed.
 

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That's really good to hear, not often can a mechanic of this calibre be found. I really hate throwing good mechanical components away just because it's too hard a process to repair. A common issue with a diff is the nose oil seal can leak. To access (not sure if this applies to the Jag diff) the input flange has to be removed. The big nut holding this on often is tightened in such a way as to control the pre-load on the input bearing, sometimes using a crush sleeve. Undo the nut, pre-load is lost, the oil seal can now be renewed but the crush sleeve needs to be replaced, if available, or the gear lash may even need to be reset. Time consuming and fiddly even with the correct tools and parts but very satisfying to know you've saved the component for continued use.

I'm aware you mentioned your mechanic said the diff oil had filings in it. If a component has worn it could cause this, small metallic particles like very fine glitter in the oil. If it's a bearing there could be worse damage too as the gear lash would be lost and teeth mashing against each other isn't nice. Fingers crossed it's an easy and cheap repair for you, do let us know how it turns out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
That's really good to hear, not often can a mechanic of this calibre be found. I really hate throwing good mechanical components away just because it's too hard a process to repair. A common issue with a diff is the nose oil seal can leak. To access (not sure if this applies to the Jag diff) the input flange has to be removed. The big nut holding this on often is tightened in such a way as to control the pre-load on the input bearing, sometimes using a crush sleeve. Undo the nut, pre-load is lost, the oil seal can now be renewed but the crush sleeve needs to be replaced, if available, or the gear lash may even need to be reset. Time consuming and fiddly even with the correct tools and parts but very satisfying to know you've saved the component for continued use.

I'm aware you mentioned your mechanic said the diff oil had filings in it. If a component has worn it could cause this, small metallic particles like very fine glitter in the oil. If it's a bearing there could be worse damage too as the gear lash would be lost and teeth mashing against each other isn't nice. Fingers crossed it's an easy and cheap repair for you, do let us know how it turns out.
Thanks Alan mate, will do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Thank goodness. I’ve just picked my car up, all fixed and oil tight. My mechanic found no signs of damage other than a degraded oil seal. The diff had lost a small amount of oil over the last 800 miles, but close examination showed the oil in good health, with no filings. I’m £117 poorer, but a lot happier. Thanks for all the advice offered.
 
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