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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

I'm starting this thread in advance so that once I get this project started in a few minutes I don't decide I'm too lazy to post a decent writeup. For those who haven't seen my other thread, I have a leak in the rear differential due to rust. I will be attempting to repair it using JB Weld or a mig, depending on how the metal looks.

I will post pictures later on after I've made some progress.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Progress report.

I've found one place where it looks like there are two pinholes, I can't find any other leaks at the moment although based on where the oil was it seems like there should be... anyway...


A shot of the diff before any work was done. You can see the oil covering the bottom and up the sides.


CIMG3583.jpg

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Put the truck on jack stands and lowered the spare tire so that I would have room to sit upright on my creeper. Much more comfortable that way. Soooo close to making it all the way down :rolleyes:

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Removed the parking brake cable so it wouldn't be in the way. Just had to pound out this little pin, which was harder than it seemed. I used a ball peen hammer with a sledge to back the blows. Used a little wd-40 to make things a little easier.


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You can see how the cable would be in the way.

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The pin removed. I put the cotter pin back in and put the pin on top of the leaf spring so it wouldn't get lost.

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The pivot where the parking brake attaches to the rear axle is removable with a 12 mm socket. Just helps get it out of the way a little better.

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Scraped/tapped the loose rust off with the ball peen and a screwdriver.

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Initial wire wheeling

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Assorted progress pics. Can you spot the pinhole(s)?

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CIMG3600.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #4
well? .........waiting.......
Why don't you drive out here and help me then? :p

A few things I forgot to mention:

Power tools make things a lot easier. If you use them, wear eye, ear, and mouth/nose protection (a face mask). Rust and hunks of oxidized metal will fly everywhere. I have a coating of it all over my clothes, skin, in my hair, and in my mouth/nose. Also, mechanics gloves are nice.

If you don't use power tools, this will take a very, very long time.

It's not as bad as I thought it would be, I was half expecting oil to start pouring out at any minute :eek:

I'm 75% thinking of welding at this point.
 

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Yeah... I've left it alone for this long because my mechanic told me about the pinhole rust problem, and I didn't want to uncover any holes that were being sealed by oxidation. I can't wait to look under there and see a shiny black axle :) . Thinking about painting the flares and running boards black and doing a strip of black along the bottom of the rocker panels, we'll see.
 

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I had this issue a few years ago when I had my T100. I went the JB Weld route. It worked for a while...I ended up grinding everything off and doing a better job before selling it. Talk about salt belt! It was a mistake purchasing that one. Wish I could do it all over. Anyway, let me try to find some pics.
 

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Looks like I didn't take any pics of my stab at it. I'd recommend going the welding route. Only speaking from my experience, especially if you are keeping your truck long term. The diff fluid started to leak behind the JB pretty quickly. My second try, I pushed and smeared the stuff into the areas after a serious soak with a can of brake clean and even heating up the area with map gas to try to burn off gear lube residue. Good luck and take a bunch of pics!
 

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Good job on the repair so far. What a pitiful design the one piece rear axle housing is.

I've been wondering whether a mechanical fix would work - say a stainless steel closed-end pop rivet.
 

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I would weld it, no question. You will burn through the metal around the pin holes but this isn't thin sheet metal and you'll be able to fill it easily. You can always put some JB over your welds too.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I think I can weld it at 35 amps no problem. Just gotta practice on some scrap first. I will still cover everything with the JB to reinforce it and fill in any missing metal that corroded away.
 

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I noticed some signs of corrosion on my Tundra, so when the dealer did the frame coating, I asked them to hit the diff cover:
 

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The welding is done. Still blew through even at 35 amps but I managed to get it all filled in. I will warn you, my welding was not pretty at all, but it's solid. The wire feed on my welder was acting up making it difficult to keep a bead going. I basically just added metal around the hole, ground it down, added metal again, etc until it was covered. I have the JB Putty/Steelstik setting up on there now and in a little bit I'm going to recoat with normal JB Weld.
 

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The first three pics show how much oil leaked out overnight. Much, much more than had been leaking before I removed the rust

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My crappy weld job. Should work though.

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Covered the weld and heavily pitted area on the back of the diff with JB Weld putty/steelstik. You have to work fast with that stuff as it cures quickly. You can feel it get hot from the chemical reaction taking place. I used half a stick and used the other half on a loose exhaust joint that had previously just been clamped.

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I then slathered all of the rusted areas with JB Weld epoxy. I used one tube of the "steel" and one tube of the hardener.

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I got this light for christmas. Works pretty well, in addition to the bar light it has a spot light / flashlight on the end. Works while charging!!

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Once the JB cures I'm going to sand it smooth then coat the axle with POR15 silver the topcoat with black.
 

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That is why I couldn't find 100% success with JB. I couldn't get the metal clean enough for the stuff to really bond where I needed it to the most. Yes I drained the diff and let it sit overnight but the residue just wouldn't go away.

Thanks for sharing! I'm sure people will benefit from your experience here. Cause we know there are quite a few more that look like ours did!
 

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That is why I couldn't find 100% success with JB. I couldn't get the metal clean enough for the stuff to really bond where I needed it to the most. Yes I drained the diff and let it sit overnight but the residue just wouldn't go away.

Thanks for sharing! I'm sure people will benefit from your experience here. Cause we know there are quite a few more that look like ours did!

In this picture I had left the oil in the diff overnight so I could make sure that was the only place it was leaking. However, I can see how the JB by itself wouldn't hold up for a long time in this application. Maybe with the amount of prep I did it would be ok, but idk.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
The axle is prepped and just about ready for POR15. I sanded the JB this morning and filled the diff with amsoil 75w-90 severe gear oil. Took almost 4 quarts. Sprayed the whole thing down with brakleen, let that dry, sprayed it with the POR15 metal ready, rinsed it off, and am now waiting for it to dry completely before painting. It's a bit humid here but not as bad as it has been (65%) and it seems to be drying quickly enough. I've been going over it with the electric leafblower to remove any puddles/pockets of water and just help it dry. I also painted the brake drums after wire wheeling the generous quantities of rust off. Black of course. Letting those dry in the sun.
 

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First coat of POR15 is done. Phew. It's a good thing I decided to coat with silver first, otherwise I would not have the motivation to do a second coat! I can tell it's going to be worth it though, I could feel with the brush that the areas I had already done were getting very thick and sticky and resisted coming off, unlike other paints like spray paint where if you brush against it you can see bare metal again.

Two pieces of advice:

1.) I thought I was going to use more than I did. I filled a red plastic solo cup to about 1.5" from the top and I only used 2/3's of it, and I ended up coating a lot more than I thought I would to try and use it all.

2.) POR15 does not like red plastic solo cups. During use I kept thinking that the cup felt kinda flimsy, and then I looked down and saw silver POR15 oozing out the sides of the cup, in a perfect line at the level of the POR15 :eek: I quickly put the cup within two more cups and didn't have any more problems.


POR15 silver looks like unicorn blood from Harry Potter.

You can see what the POR15 prep spray does to the metal (the white chalky residue). There is some surface rust from rinsing with water but the POR15 will take care of that.

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Painted brake drums

CIMG3630.jpg

Finally done. Can you say BLING?

CIMG3631.jpg
 

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Black is done. Waiting for it to harden up before I put the wheels back on and get it out of the garage. I have POR15 on my arms and face. If you don't know, it doesn't come off.

The silver POR has eaten through the inner two cups and is working on the third. It's bubbling and you can see red in it from the cup. I put it in the woods in a little plastic bucket. I want to see what happens :D
 
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