Rear Axle Seal Replacement . Toyota L Engine Guide

Rear Axle Seal Replacement

Rear Axle Seal Replacement

The facts

  1. The brake drum is wet with oil

  2. Brake lining is also wet with oil

  3. Brake fluid has no indication of leaking anywhere

  4. There are two oil seals in the rear axle, the inner oil seal and the outer rubber seal.


The video will show you the axle hub and outside and the inside or back of the brake disk.

I. Replacing the inner Oil Seal

Rear Axle Seal Replacement-brake drum
Wet Brake Drum


Rear Axle Seal Replacement-brake lining
Wet Brake Lining


Rear Axle Seal Replacement-brake system
No leak on the Motor Vehicle Wheel Cylinder
Rear Axle Seal Replacement-brake master assembly
Brake master assembly-no dissipation

The First Time

I noticed that the brake drum has been wet with oil. I have to see what’s really making this little thing. I detached the wheel and detached the brake drum. I was wondering why the inner part of the brake drum and the brake lining were totally wet with something like grease. But I don’t see leaks from the motor vehicle wheel cylinder and no dissipation from the brake master assembly. So what I did is wash everything and assembled it back and continued to use the vehicle.


The Second Time

They say, history repeats itself and it is true. I saw again that the brake drum was wet.  This time I have in mind what is possible since I disregarded the possibility that it’s from the brake system.


I removed the wheel, detached the brake drum, detached the brake lining and also the axle. I removed the oil seal and replaced it with a new one.



Rear Axle Seal Replacement-axle casing
Rear Axle Casing


Rear Axle Seal Replacement-axle oil seals
Rear Axle Oil Seals


Now, to test this and prove that what I did is the right thing, I will be fetching the young people from the Summer Camp in San Pablo City.  That is around 60 kilometers away from my place. So I will be running at 120 kilometers to and from.

To see this I will be giving an update tomorrow afternoon when I come back with eleven young people from the camp.


II. Replacing the Outer Rubber Seal

I promised to give you an update on what it took when I test the vehicle and see if what I did is the solution to the problem.

When I got home I did not bother to examine the thing until the following week. It seems the issue is lurking and I have to check it.

For the third time, I want to be sure if the issue has been resolved or is still lurking. Again, I removed one by one the parts and I saw that the brake linings and brake drum were wet with oil again.

Rear Axle Seal Replacement-brake lining
Brake Lining


Rear Axle Seal Replacement-brake drum
Brake Drum


In the rear axle hub, there are two oil seals and these are the images:

Rear Axle Seal Replacement-axle oil seal
Rear-axle oil seal


Rear Axle Seal Replacement-Rear Axle outer rubber seal
The Rear axle outer rubber seal



1. This first seal is placed here:

That oil seal is placed in the axle casing so it will fit in between that axle casing and the axle main bearing.

Rear Axle Seal Replacement-axle main bearing
Rear Axle Shaft and Bearing


Rear Axle Seal Replacement-axle casing
Rear Axle Casing
Rear Axle Seal Replacement-axle oil seal
Rear Axle Casing Oil Seal


When the seal is replaced and the axle shaft is put back to its place it will look like the image below. You can see the nuts and bolts tightened together to hold the axle casing and the axle hub.


Rear Axle Seal Replacement-brake disc fastened to the axle casing


2. And this outer rubber seal is placed here:

Now, as you can see above the first oil seal, in other words, the inner axle oil seal is replaced already and when you assemble it, that’s how it looks.

For this time let’s replace the outer rubber seal which is the second seal in the axle assembly. But don’t be confused this must be done first before the whole axle assembly is placed back to the axle casing. We have just illustrated how and where the inner seal is to be.

The outer rubber seal is placed in between the axle hub and the brake disc. This will seal oil that may come out or slip out of the axle main bearing.

If this outer rubber seal is installed it’s now time to assemble back the axle together with the brake disc where the axle main bearing is attached.


Rear Axle Seal Replacement-Rear Axle outer Rubber seal
Rear Axle outer Rubber seal



Rear Axle Seal Replacement-Axle with brake disc
Axle with Brake Disc


After it has been assembled it will look like the image below. It’s just a small part of the outer rubber seal is being exposed fitly in between the axle hub and the brake disc.


Rear Axle Seal Replacement-Axle hub and brake disc
Axle Hub and Brake Disk with new outer rubber seal

Concluding words

What we’re trying to solve are the facts below:

  1. The brake drum is wet with oil
  2. Brake lining is also wet with oil
  3. Brake fluid has no indication of leaking anywhere

We have tried our best to solve for the first time by replacing the inner axle oil seal but we did not succeed. Nevertheless, I am happy that it was replaced because I know its time has come and we have to shoot two birds in one stone.

We have come to our sense that oil leakage is on the brake disc, the brake lining, brake drum but it does not come from the motor vehicle wheel cylinder. However, the oil leakage is on the outer side of the brake disc not in the inner side.

If it’s in the inner side and the problem is the inner oil seal it should show some signs in the image below. Don’t worry what you can see now is not a leakage but a spill when I adjusted the brake.


We have discovered the fact that the outer rubber seal has been the culprit why the problem has been lurking after we have done all other things.

After we have replaced that outer rubber seal, now, we have the peace of mind and safer and better driving with the dry brake drum, dry brake lining.


Rear Axle Seal Replacement-brake system


Thank you for reading and please give your comments on the comment box below and I’ll be happy to get back to you and respond to the discussion.


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10 thoughts on “Rear Axle Seal Replacement”

  1. You do have a great website that is going to help a lot of people. You do explain everything in details, I’m a hobbyist that I do all the maintenance on my truck and I rely on people like you for help. Could it be the grease from the axle leaking out to the drum?

    • Thanks, Sam. Good to know you own a truck and your own car and you understand what it takes to check all matters pertaining to oil leaks and brakes.

      If it doesn’t affect the brake system I would not mind for it.  And if it will not eventually make a bigger problem on my driving and on car maintenance I would not bother myself about it. But it’s very important to stop the leakage of whatever oil and where does it come from.

      I’m sure about it that it’s the gear oil coming out from the axle because the seal is no longer working properly.

  2. I also like to know what made your brake drum has been wet with oil. Can I know hold old is your car? My uncle’s car has similar issue and it doesn’t seem the brake system is damaged. Especially since his car is rather new. It’s possible this is a defect from previous owner (his is used car). I will wait for your test result. Thanks

    • Hi! Alblue. My car is too old, it’s a Toyota L-the first of the L series and I really like that Japanese invention because until now it really works well.

      Yes, why not try to check your uncle’s car. If you are sure there are no brake fluid leaks on the motor vehicle wheel cylinder and it doesn’t dissipate on the brake master assembly then that comes from the rear axle seal.

  3. The oil seals can go in the rear axles and you might think it is a brake fluid problem as you did, but after you went through the process of cleaning everything up and the wet oil came back again, that was a sure sign that it was the seals. I have had this happen on my cars before, and fortunately, it is a repair that you can do from home. 

    The video you added was helpful to show your work to get the old seal out, and the image comparing that old seal to the new one really showed how the old one was shot. Hopefully, now you will not have any more issues with oil leaks, as that can be bad for your brakes.

    Is this a job that you would recommend doing yourself at home? I know that some people would not have the confidence to try, but it seems simple enough. In the old days, I would do a lot of this kind of maintenance myself to save money for other things. Good explainer post, by the way!

    • Hello, Dave. Thank you for your comment. I really enjoyed doing that thing because I want to save money. By the way, my car is old enough so the more I have the courage to use it as my specimen. I remember how the mechanic replaced the seal on the other side last five years ago so I did it myself this time.

      I am a risk taker and I use my own to discover and learn something. I am confident enough to share the experiences I encounter with the hope that I can help. I will update you after a few days.

  4. Hello!!

    This is really a helpful article. It is just like prescribing medicine to a patient whose diagnosis is not done yet.☺ Anyways. This is really amazing. I liked your thinking ability. Who can think about changing rear axle seal where there is no chance of leaking oil when there is the outer rubber layer. It is really needed for them using cars for there needs. our cars can break our working integrity at any time. These knowledge are really needed to help yourself any time. So thank you for your nice article.

    • Thanks, Touhidur. 

      Yes, it’s just like a trial and error. This happened because I thought immediately of changing the inner oil seal first without critical analysis of the situation.

      However, I’m glad I did all so next time I don’t have to worry about it. Most of the issues that come from this vehicle is a learning curve for me and I’m happy to share it with everyone in the world.

  5. Hi Accad

    Nice article on the rear axle seal replacement, particularly appreciated that you went to the effort of making the videos, makes it much easier to follow. I’ve had old cars most of my life and have often tried to do the maintenance and servicing myself to save a bit of money and sites like yours certainly help with that. 

    Given that you were doing the repairs yourself and still using the car are you even worried that you could have a larger problem if something goes wrong while you are out on the road? I tend to not use mine until I’m sure that the repair has worked.

    • Hi! Dominic,

      I’m glad you used old cars and you know the joy of working on the repairs by yourself. Maybe you are now using one of the modern cars and you are through and doesn’t do the repairs any more.

      Yes, I’m very keen on the safety of anyone including myself and I would not barter any life for it. It so happens that I can calculate the risk because I’ve used that car for a long time. But I will not do that in a long journey, it’s only for the near ones so if something happens I can easily manage everything.

      Thank you for reading and dropping your comment.


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