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#4722315 - 04/10/18 12:51 AM New axle, now puking ATF. FWD Toyota/Lexus U150e
Oro_O Offline


Registered: 09/20/14
Posts: 1354
Loc: Seattle-ish, WA
So, for the first time in four years, someone else touched one of our cars (other than tires), and now it ain't right!

Our 2002 Lexus ES300 needed a new axle on one side. This is the U150e 5 speed Aisin as on 4.2 quadzilion Toy/Lex between 2002 and 2011. I was going to do it in a month or so when I had time; I order all the parts and lower control arms, ball joints, sway bar end links, etc. to do a thorough job on both sides (shocks, bearings, etc. are all very recent). She (it's her daily driver) misunderstood the urgency and knowing I did not have immediate time, booked it into her old mechanic from years ago. He replaced both axles. And it's not right. She thought she was spending a few dollars (he was not pricey about it - $300 to replace both axles - (my parts) - pretty good deal in my book) and doing me a favor. But it's not right - the left side axle is puking ATF out the joint between the axle and the transmission now a week later.

On the driver's side, it is puking ATF out of the seal at the ATF. From what I can gather, this means a torn seal. Underneath the car, cleaning everything up, the 6 o'clock on the inboard axle joint drips a HUGE drop of ATF every 5 to 10 seconds. It appears the solution is pulling the axle and replacing with a new seal. It drips enough that it leaves a big puddle anywhere it sits for long.

I lost a transmission, and had to rebuild it, in my SUV a few years ago from an undetected leak, so I'm paranoid.

I never saw the parts I ordered (moog 1/2 axles for each side); she took them to him (again, thinking she was doing me a big favor). It appears a new seal was not included and the existing seal was damaged in removal (she said he commented he used quite a lot of force and had a lot of trouble to get the axles out). Frankly I was shocked the job was done in a day since I know it is typical on these to need to soak them overnight with Kroil and then heat and a slide hammer to get a clean break. I suspect the seal was damaged in removal but not being careful. I don't want to create a stink and think the simplest thing is to buy a new seal and put it in myself.

It is leaking enough I showed her how to check the ATF properly/running and then top it up 2x daily and think it will manage a few days until I can tear apart the axle on that side. I still need to change the lower control arm on that side, so it's a decent enough of work overlap I can tackle both in an annoying partial-day job.

Thoughts?

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#4722318 - 04/10/18 01:16 AM Re: New axle, now puking ATF. FWD Toyota/Lexus U150e [Re: Oro_O]
The Critic Offline


Registered: 08/30/04
Posts: 19883
Loc: CA
Pull the axle and r/r the seal. Beware that aftermarket axles can also have fitment issues that result in fluid leaks.
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#4722321 - 04/10/18 01:29 AM Re: New axle, now puking ATF. FWD Toyota/Lexus U150e [Re: Oro_O]
clinebarger Offline


Registered: 12/19/13
Posts: 1990
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
Replacing drive axles does not include replacing the seals, It's not really standard practice.
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#4722340 - 04/10/18 02:58 AM Re: New axle, now puking ATF. FWD Toyota/Lexus U150e [Re: Oro_O]
mehullica Offline


Registered: 08/19/09
Posts: 565
Loc: Modesto,CA
Those axle seals are a pain without a decent seal driver. I've seen lots of aftermarket axles with poor snaprings letting the axle slide out & cause leaks

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#4722376 - 04/10/18 05:34 AM Re: New axle, now puking ATF. FWD Toyota/Lexus U150e [Re: Oro_O]
Char Baby Offline


Registered: 05/25/05
Posts: 10077
Loc: ROCHESTER, NY
It is my experience & understanding from others as well that with Lexus vehicles, if you don't use OE parts, you will be less than satisfied with the aftermarket parts. I was not satisfied with most aftermarket parts on our '01 RX300 AWD that we owned for 15 years. When replacing parts and using the aftermarket parts(except for brake pads & rotors), that the quality is terrible compared to OE parts.

IMHO, it is both a combination & a realization that Lexus parts are made that well and the that the aftermarket parts(for a Lexus) are made that poorly. In our minds, the largest reason for not replacing with Lexus parts is their cost. But, you get what you pay for.
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#4722453 - 04/10/18 07:46 AM Re: New axle, now puking ATF. FWD Toyota/Lexus U150e [Re: Oro_O]
Trav Offline


Registered: 11/20/06
Posts: 19314
Loc: MA, Mittelfranken.de
Were the originals totally hosed or just in need of one joint and new boots? Do you still have them?
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#4722723 - 04/10/18 12:37 PM Re: New axle, now puking ATF. FWD Toyota/Lexus U150e [Re: Oro_O]
Oro_O Offline


Registered: 09/20/14
Posts: 1354
Loc: Seattle-ish, WA
The right one was the real problem. I replaced the lower control arm on that side a few weeks ago. I found the boot about to tear/weak. It actually did when I manipulated the suspension. The bearing surfaces were deteriorating and there was some wear material from the races in the grease. I donít have them any more. The replacements were Moog - I needed the car in service and didnít have a local shop or time to take the OE ones to for rebuilding.

I imagine I will get a seal for that side and do it myself. I still need to change the lower control arm on that side. It iis not torn but itís cracking and has the same high mileage on it as the other side that tore recently and started this repair.

Thanks for all your advice. I havenít changed very many axles and none on a FWD car.

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#4722749 - 04/10/18 01:08 PM Re: New axle, now puking ATF. FWD Toyota/Lexus U150e [Re: Oro_O]
nthach Offline


Registered: 01/02/04
Posts: 3992
Loc: California
A lot of those Chinese axles don't have the right surface for the seal lip to ride on or the dimensions are off.

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#4723040 - 04/10/18 07:34 PM Re: New axle, now puking ATF. FWD Toyota/Lexus U150e [Re: Oro_O]
Trav Offline


Registered: 11/20/06
Posts: 19314
Loc: MA, Mittelfranken.de
Make sure there are no nicks or roughness on the stub where it goes into the transmission that could nick the seal, if there is you may be able to clean it up.
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#4726308 - 04/13/18 10:19 PM Re: New axle, now puking ATF. FWD Toyota/Lexus U150e [Re: Oro_O]
artificialist Offline


Registered: 09/23/07
Posts: 8598
Loc: Florida
A coworker of mine encountered a similar leak on a Chevy Venture van. The replacement axle had a smaller dimension where the inner CV meets the transaxle. I don't remember if it was a cheap rebuild or a cheap new unit from China. The result was fast transmission fluid loss. The solution was to get a used unit from the junkyard to match the van.

I wonder if that is happening here.
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#4741118 - 04/28/18 12:58 AM Re: New axle, now puking ATF. FWD Toyota/Lexus U150e [Re: Oro_O]
Oro_O Offline


Registered: 09/20/14
Posts: 1354
Loc: Seattle-ish, WA
Sorry it has been a little while, but I thought Iíd round out the thread with the results. Last weekend I had time to pull out the axle and sort it out.

The seal was damaged removing the OE axle and the mechanic didnít catch that. I installed an SKF seal from NAPA and all is good now. Lesson learned: for less than $10 for a new seal, donít ignore replacing it.

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