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300m - something dripping from inside front tire area

Discussion in 'LH: Large Cars, 1993-2004' started by MoPar~Man, Sep 16, 2017.

  1. MoPar~Man

    MoPar~Man Member

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    I'm seeing a small puddle of something on the garage floor, I guess where the inside edge of the tire is. Front tire. I'm guessing that it's not brake fluid. I will take the tire off at some point soon and have a look. If it's not brake fluid, I guess it would have to be differential fluid? Is this what a CV-joint problem looks like?
     
  2. ImperialCrown

    Level III Supporter

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  3. Tomguy

    Tomguy Well-Known Member

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    Smell it. If it's the transaxle leaking gear oil you will know if you've ever smelled gear oil before. Same with brake fluid.
    Possibilities that are not water from the AC system:
    ATF (more likely to occur on the driver's side, the coolant lines are there)
    Brake (more likely to occur on the driver's side, the ABS pump is there)
    Coolant
    Engine oil (more likely to occur on the passenger's side, the coolant lines are there)
    PS fluid (could be PS fluid or ATF +3/ATF +4 depending on if it was ever serviced). More likely to be driver's side because the reservoir, pump, and most lines are on that side; the cooler is in the front and mine's been replaced 3 times now for leaks.
    PAG Oil. Mine left a PAG oil spot when the evap went bad. Left the spot where the AC would drain.
     
  4. MoPar~Man

    MoPar~Man Member

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    This is on the front passenger side. '00 300m. The only other place I park the car for 4, 6 hours at a time is $dayjob, and I don't see any such leakage spots there. Only on the garage floor, and just enough to make a dark spot. It's not a lot. I should have my order of 3 subframe bushings from rock auto delivered on monday, so as I tackle that job I'll be looking around for the source of the leak, what-ever it is.
     
    ImperialCrown likes this.
  5. MoPar~Man

    MoPar~Man Member

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    Lower part of the sway bar is wet with something. So is the lower joint of the sway bar link. The drip is happening from the bottom surface of the link joint. I'll know more when I have that side jacked up and the tire off.
     
  6. Tomguy

    Tomguy Well-Known Member

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    The brake line could be leaking at or near the fitting and that would wet the sway bar I believe, in the way you describe.
     
  7. MoPar~Man

    MoPar~Man Member

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    It seems to be the shock absorber. The lower plate that the spring rests on is slightly tilted towards the back (this is normal) and the lowest part of the lip is where the oil is accumulating and dripping down and this is where the sway-bar link is. The link is getting wet, oil running down and soaking the lower link joint. I guess during driving the lower part of the sway bar (where it bends down to join the link) is also getting wet.

    I have been hearing a new squeeky-sound during driving lately, almost like a very squeeky rubber-on-rubber or even metal-on-metal, I thought it might be because of the worn subframe isolator bushings, but it's probably something going on inside the strut now that it's losing oil.

    I managed to replace both the front and back subframe bushings on the passenger side (the side with the leaky shock) and while doing that I managed to put a small tear in the inner CV-boot. How drivable is the car given a tear in that boot?

    I figure since I'm going to be taking out that strut very soon now, this will make it easier to replace the rubber cover. Yes? Haven't looked at the service manual yet for that.

    Does (or can) the differential fluid run down inside the transaxle? Would I lose differential fluid through a tear in one of the boots? Or is the transaxle a sealed component?
     
    #7 MoPar~Man, Sep 18, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2017
  8. Bob Lincoln

    Bob Lincoln "CHECK FAULT CODES"
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    The boot cover must be replaced, or the entire axle. It has grease in it that will leak out, and eventually the CV joint will self-destruct dramatically. Might take weeks or months, but best to fix it soon.
     
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  9. Doug D

    Doug D Virginia Gentleman

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    Easier to replace the axle than to replace the boot cover. Bob's right, with a tear the grease will leak out and the CV joint will eventually fail.
     
  10. MoPar~Man

    MoPar~Man Member

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    I've ordered a new boot for $15 (it seems to come with ring clamps like it should, but I don't know if it comes with any lube). I don't have the proper clamp compressor so I'll have to improvise. If I can't manage to replace it properly then it looks like I can get a new axle for $87. I've also ordered a new strut (complete strut, ready to install) for $150. I should have both of those tommorrow. Car will just sit until I get the parts.

    I guess taking the strut out will make it easier to take the axle out? Will I have to take out the front wheel hearing? Does the axle just slide out of the differential?

    Is a leaky shock is somewhat uncommon? This was a replacement, don't quite remember when I installed it - 4 to 5 years ago approx.
     
  11. Bob Lincoln

    Bob Lincoln "CHECK FAULT CODES"
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    Struts can and do leak over time. Some are gas-charged, some oil.

    It's as much work to replace the boot as it is the axle. You don't take out the wheel bearing, you pull the hub outward after removing the ball joint. Then the axle pulls out of the differential, and you will lose fluid there. Be sure to top it off. Don't tug on the outer part of the axle to get it out of the differential - tug on the inner end, or else you'll damage the CV joint.

    The axle nut is torqued to about 150 or 180 ft-lbs, and you will have to stomp with a big breaker bar to get it loose; or have a really good impact wrench. I seem to recall 32mm as the nut size, but check that.
     
  12. Tomguy

    Tomguy Well-Known Member

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    The transaxle doesn't lose fluid when the CV is pulled on the LH (at least 2nd gen). The stub axle coming out of the transaxle is male splined with a retaining circlip. The FSM does say to replace the circlip when pulling the CV - I think some LH owners don't replace this part, I did because it's cheap enough.

    I was not able to break the CV hub nut loose with a breaker bar. I had to use an impact. I bought a HF one for $75 with a coupon that works surprisingly well. If you don't have a compressor and/or impact, you might want to take it to a shop to have the hub nut broken loose, then re-tightened. You can then take it off when you get home. 18 years of corrosion is a bear to remove without an impact.
     
  13. movinyou

    movinyou Active Member

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    Decent quality reman axles are around $70.00. To me, that is the better way to go as you don't have the mess from the rebuilding process and, with a reman axle, you'll get a warranty of some kind. And, take the old one with you if you can as that will save on core charges.
     
  14. MoPar~Man

    MoPar~Man Member

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    See the post I made in the "Replacing inner CV boot (300m)" on Dec 3 (the last post in that thread). I sealed the cut in the boot with Permatex gasket material and the seal is still holding (more than 1250 miles later).
     

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