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Old 04-19-2017, 10:35 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Sincere Thank You to Currie

I posted a problem I'm having with my rear axle in my tj with the title "Currie 9" eating pinion bearings." I was thinking the problem was with the breather location on the housing. It is an older Currie "Truck Rear End" housing and it is purging oil out of the breather possibly causing oil starvation at the pinion bearings and I have gone through two sets of pinion bearings in the last couple months.

I realized this morning that my problem is not at all the Currie housing; but instead, the oil level required by the Yukon third. So I called Yukon to see if they could help me with the correct oil level to run so the pinion bearings would survive. After 15 minutes on hold, I was abruptly told my pinion angle is too high (17*) and I need a new driveline to reduce pinion angle or I'm going to keep eating pinion bearings. End of conversation. Thanks Yukon...

So I log on to see if there are any intelligent responses to my original thread that would help me. Turns out there are plenty. Thank you to KYODER, Beat95YJ, and several others. There is also a PM from Garrett at Currie telling me to call him.

So I call Garrett at Currie and he spends about 30 minutes going through possible causes and helping me every way that he can in addition to treating me with respect. Wow. Thank you John Currie and Garrett... I apologize for the original thread title which will be deleted.

Garrett explained the exact same things to try as the guys in the original thread... vent location and vent hose size. He also confirmed 17* is not an excessive angle for this setup and that this should not be occurring.

The only question remaining up in the air is how much fluid to actually run. Garrett said the fluid should not be above the bottom of the axle tubes because the outer axle bearings (sealed) are not designed to be bathed in oil. So my plan is to install new pinion bearings, fill it to the bottom of the tubes (however much that may be...) increase vent hose size, add a real catch can that will drain back in as it cools and see what happens..

Since I'm deleting the original thread, for informational purposes, it is a Currie housing, Yukon third with Daytona bearing support, 35 spline ARB on 37s.

Last edited by Dmgiff; 04-19-2017 at 10:40 AM. Reason: clarification
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Old 04-19-2017, 10:37 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Also thank you to Scott@Rockstomper and XJ ranger for your help. Scott, I will also see about the inner tube seals to get the fluid level higher inside the housing.
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Old 04-19-2017, 01:59 PM   #3 (permalink)
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The info Yukon gave you was technically correct. That's all I gotta say about that.
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Old 04-19-2017, 03:26 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Or install a set of inner seals and fill that bitch up.
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Old 04-19-2017, 03:42 PM   #5 (permalink)
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If the bearings are sealed, why would they care how much oil they are in?
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Old 04-19-2017, 06:12 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Or install a set of inner seals and fill that bitch up.
This^^^^^ Usual oil level is about the bottom of the axle shaft.
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Old 04-19-2017, 06:31 PM   #7 (permalink)
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and it is purging oil out of the breather possibly causing oil starvation at the pinion bearings .
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Or install a set of inner seals and fill that bitch up.
Filling it up won't work, if it just keeps blowing it out the vent tube.
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Old 04-19-2017, 09:27 PM   #8 (permalink)
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That doesn't surprise me with Currie, the times I have dealt with them their customer service is second to none, great company.
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Old 04-19-2017, 11:32 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Regarding YotaTieToo, I am completely in the dark on this as well. I assumed they are just not open to the elements like a tapered roller bearing. I'm not sure if that means they are actually completely sealed as in fluid cannot get past them or if they are just resistant to fluid or debris getting inside/past them.

Last edited by Dmgiff; 04-19-2017 at 11:33 PM.
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Old 04-19-2017, 11:39 PM   #10 (permalink)
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And the mystery continues: I pulled the pinion out of the pinion support this afternoon to take a look. Visually, the bearings appear fine. No pitting, discoloration, signs of excessive heat, and they roll smoothly in their races. The shims between the solid spacer and the bearing... Not so much. There appears to have been three different shims when it was assembled. Now two were worn completely away around half their circumference and were so thin, what was left crumpled like tissue paper. Thenthirdnwas more or less intact but pretty thin and scored. The spacer appeared ok... Near as I can tell, the shims wore away creating play in the pinion bearings/shaft. But I don't know why... Unless it could bethesame issue of not a high enough oil level. Perhaps the bearings were next, but shims went first?
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Old 04-20-2017, 06:04 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Years ago on some of the ARB installs, they asked you to drill a small "weep" hole near the bearing journal to allow oil in the tubes to drain back into the pumpkin. The seal housing blocked the flow of oil, the gears acted kind of like a pump and fluid just didn't circulate. Got stuck in the axle tube. Once you fill the tube, the only place the oil can go is up the vent hose.

I doubt ARB has the ability to try every third member combination to make this recommendation.

Your shim issue may just be a cause and effect situation. Low oil in pumpkin, heat build up, the pinion will expand length wise and then you get no preload on pinion bearings. The preload shims then have the ability to float, hence the wear you are seeing.

Ask ARB or search that "weep" hole concept. This was a problem years ago, not ARB fault just some axles and ARB's needed a little extra something to play nice together.
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Old 04-20-2017, 08:55 AM   #12 (permalink)
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perhaps you need an oil slinger at 19*. They are found on almost all High pinion diffs. Also is there any evidence of your race spinning? If you are still lost, try giving randys ring and pinion a call. Those guys really know their shit.
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Old 04-20-2017, 09:13 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Nope, there is no evidence of any of the races spinning. I will check into a slinger. I'm at 17* at rest.


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Old 04-20-2017, 03:10 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Filling it up won't work, if it just keeps blowing it out the vent tube.
That is why I said install inner seals.
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Old 04-20-2017, 04:32 PM   #15 (permalink)
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That is why I said install inner seals.
Then you would need a vent on the diff, no?

I feel like the vent should be as high as possible anyway.

Oil slinger is probably a good idea as well.
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Old 04-20-2017, 06:41 PM   #16 (permalink)
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The only question remaining up in the air is how much fluid to actually run. Garrett said the fluid should not be above the bottom of the axle tubes because the outer axle bearings (sealed) are not designed to be bathed in oil. So my plan is to install new pinion bearings, fill it to the bottom of the tubes (however much that may be...) increase vent hose size, add a real catch can that will drain back in as it cools and see what happens..

Since I'm deleting the original thread, for informational purposes, it is a Currie housing, Yukon third with Daytona bearing support, 35 spline ARB on 37s.
Curious as to what vent size fitting/hose you're running now, and what you plan to upgrade to? What about oil(viscosity and level of fill)?

Running into a similar issue, albeit in the rear end of a prerunner; I assume, excessive pressure is being built up, especially at high speeds (80+) and is potentially causing the leakage at the driver side seal

- I'm convinced the vent tube is too small and perhaps oil levels too high

Pulled the 3rd member (Currie) to see both r&p with chunks missing...but s.o.l on any help from Currie

I would have browsed through the other thread to see if I found answers to these questions but the threads no longer available.
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Old 04-21-2017, 12:20 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Vent is a 1/4" barb with about 22" of 1/4" rubber fuel line. Garrett at Currie said increase to minimum of 3/8" hose. I was using regular 75W-90 gear oil. Consensus is I should be using 80W-140. As for level, I filled it to bottom of pipe plug on side of third member which was maybe just slightly below bottom of axle tube. However, it then purged at least 18 ounces out from that level. If I rember, it was about 4 quarts, minus 18 ounces...
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Old 04-21-2017, 07:16 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Since I'm deleting the original thread, for informational purposes, it is a Currie housing, Yukon third with Daytona bearing support, 35 spline ARB on 37s.
Is this a high pinion application, or, a standard pinion application?
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Old 04-21-2017, 10:03 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Then you would need a vent on the diff, no?

I feel like the vent should be as high as possible anyway.

Oil slinger is probably a good idea as well.
I run a bellow with a small slit at the top. Zero issue. My vent is in the inspection cap right in line with the ring gear. Zero oil coming out of the bellow and they're filled well past the top of the axles.
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Old 04-21-2017, 07:07 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Is this a high pinion application, or, a standard pinion application?


Standard low pinion


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Old 04-21-2017, 08:21 PM   #21 (permalink)
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After reading your original post, here's what I'd do, if this were my rig. I'm using these following thoughts in my logic; You don't know if it's a 3rd member problem OR if it's a housing problem, OR, if it's a combination problem. [Edit; I don't see an oil slinger as needed, for a low pinion differential.]

1) Take the third member out, and take it to someone whom I trusted to rebuild the bearings. Specifically NOT the same person whom built (or repaired) it last time. This should eliminate the issue of poor assembly last time

2) While it's out for repairs, see if the Currie housing can accommodate an inner axle seal (like they have for front axle housings), and if so, install inner axle seals. They're inexpensive, and since you have sealed outer bearings, you simply don't loose.

3) Then I'd redrill, and re-tap the housing to install a larger vent fitting, and vent house. You want the hole the barbed fitting is installed into to match the now larger 3/8ths barbed fitting.

4) Reinstall the housing, and fill the housing until the fluid starts overfilling the fill hole. Use 90 to 140 weight, FULL SYNTHETIC fluid.

5) Install a new, 3/8 vent hose to an old milk jug, or whatever. (This is just for testing purposes, so it don't have to be fancy)

6) Test. If test fails, then 7.

7) Call Tom Woods, and see how much a new rear driveline (CV style) would cost, and matching output yoke for the transfer case. If not too much money, buy, and install, AND, roll the pinion back down on the rear axle.
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Old 04-22-2017, 12:36 AM   #22 (permalink)
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I'm planning to do all of those very things except I have two issues: everyone (Yukon, Currie, Interweb Wisemen) all recommend non synthetic. Secondly, how will a new cv shaft solve anything? I currently have a cv shaft. The pinion needs to point at the tc output... In my mind, the only way to get the pinion angle back down would be to lower the transfer case... And, well... That's not happening. I would ditch the 9 before doing that. I did consider a non cv shaft to lower the pinion but it was also said to be a bad idea.
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Old 04-22-2017, 12:39 AM   #23 (permalink)
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What did you mean by "not seeing an oil slinger as needed..." are you saying I need one and you don't see I have one or are you saying you don't see it being needed? I do not have one at this time. And you are spot on about not knowing if it's the vent location, pinion angle, fluid level, or gear install....
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Old 04-22-2017, 06:43 AM   #24 (permalink)
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I'm planning to do all of those very things except I have two issues: everyone (Yukon, Currie, Interweb Wisemen) all recommend non synthetic. Secondly, how will a new cv shaft solve anything? I currently have a cv shaft. The pinion needs to point at the tc output... In my mind, the only way to get the pinion angle back down would be to lower the transfer case... And, well... That's not happening. I would ditch the 9 before doing that. I did consider a non cv shaft to lower the pinion but it was also said to be a bad idea.
1. The Synthetic -v- non synthetic debate is for another place and another time. However, lots of manufacturers of high performance parts (like Advance Adapters) require synthetic. In my opinion, it handles heat and pressure better. But I'm thinking it's less likely to 'bubble' up the vent tube. So I'd try it. I cannot see any reason it's less durable (other than cost).

2. Did not know you had a CV driveshaft currently. Thought (incorrectly) that your 17 degree pinion angle was due a straight driveshaft, and (incorrectly) thought that you'd have access to lowering the angle by switching.

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What did you mean by "not seeing an oil slinger as needed..." are you saying I need one and you don't see I have one or are you saying you don't see it being needed? I do not have one at this time. And you are spot on about not knowing if it's the vent location, pinion angle, fluid level, or gear install....
[edit; I'm saying I don't see it being needed]
If you had a high pinion location, I could maybe visualize a lubrication issue. But my gut instinct is that it's not in a standard location.
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Old 04-22-2017, 09:22 AM   #25 (permalink)
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Cool, yeah I have no idea on the synthetic/conventional debate. Just going by what some of the manufacturers have said. The only reason I have been told is Dino "clings" to parts better. Regardless, I'm open to that.

As for the cv driveshaft, yeah it really confused me when Yukon said "get a new driveshaft" because that would have no bearing at all on my pinion angle... Unless I went to a regular driveshaft. But that doesn't seem like a good idea.
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