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Author Topic: Massive gook buildup on brake drum  (Read 9896 times)
Brian Diehl
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« Reply #15 on: November 09, 2006, 06:02:12 PM »

Brian,
Having just gone through a rear axle seal failure this summer I would agree with all the posters stating axle seal failure.  I ended up driving about 800 miles with a slow but steady axle seal leak.  I just took it slow and stayed very safe.  You can get home IF you are slow and careful.  Of course, keep your eye on the rate of leakage out of the drum... which leads me to another question ... Is there any lube leaking out the bottom of the drum?  If not, your leak is VERY slow.  If there is a lot of lube then you should consider being extra careful and checking the leakage rate more often on the way home.

-Brian
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larryh
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« Reply #16 on: November 09, 2006, 06:12:22 PM »

Brian

This has been going on for awhile check the gear oil in rearend and drive it home it got you down there and will get you home again. BK suggestion was a good one it will help you get home and discard that lining when you get home DO NOT TRY TO SAVE IT your family is worth more than a c note.

LarryH
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« Reply #17 on: November 09, 2006, 06:15:55 PM »

Brian,

If I were in your shoes, and you remember my fire deal Tongue

I would clean it off like BK suggested, take it for a short hop and shoot it with an infrared thermometer.

Dallas, TX  has got to have a HF or Sears if needed.  See whats going on temp wise.

After you clean it off it see if it leaks out heavy or maybe it has taken 2000 miles to get it to where it is now.

If no major temp issue or additional major leakage i would take her home and fix on your turf.

I would hit every rest area and do a quick temp check with the infraredand compare it to the good side,  until you feel comfortable with the results

Best of luck

Cliff
« Last Edit: November 09, 2006, 07:32:43 PM by FloridaCracker » Logged

1975 GMC  P8M4905A-1160    North Central Florida

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« Reply #18 on: November 09, 2006, 06:26:03 PM »

I think every one is on the money with the problem being your axle seal. The only thing I would add is replace the drum when you do the brake shoes, It will be near impossible to get all that grease out of the drum. You can clean it with brake clean and it will look clean but a castiron drum is porous and it will hold grease.
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TomC
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« Reply #19 on: November 09, 2006, 07:37:01 PM »

I don't believe there is such thing as a grease bearing rear end?  All full floating truck/bus type rear drive axles I've seen use the same lube oil in the differential.  So I'm staying with a wheel seal proble.  Brian-where are you?  Many Freightliner dealers handle the motor home and bus side also. I know we carry the big bus drums and linings.  Good Luck, TomC
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Tom & Donna Christman. '77 AMGeneral 10240B; 8V-71TATAIC V730.
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« Reply #20 on: November 09, 2006, 08:16:22 PM »

The GMC coaches rear axle lubercant fill plug is lower than the axle tubes.
GMC Coach maintenance manual states that.
The inter and outer bearings on the rear hubs MUST be packed with with wheel bearing grease.
Don't try to run the coach unless you pack these wheel bearings with grease.
jlv
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Buffalo SpaceShip
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« Reply #21 on: November 09, 2006, 08:34:41 PM »

I can't answer Stan's question about the axles, etc., since I don't have my frickkin manuals. But I did pop open the diff tonight and it's very full of gear oil.
I also went ahead and soaked down the drum with brake fluid for round one of the cleaning.

So, dumb questions:

Is it the axles (the splines they remove when towing) that are lubed by said grease or is it the wheels... or are they one in the same??

If it's a seal, is the offending one behind the brake drum or behind the plate of bolts that are exposed on the outside of the hub?

Is it possible to replace anything w/o removing the tires? That seems to be my biggest obstacle... that, and finding the parts!

Speaking of... I had a tire guy out earlier today (thanks Coach-Net!) to put on my spare tire for the trip home (see an old thread about my front tire wear... it's been one of those trips, I tell 'ya). So I'm pretty well versed now in what the front end looks like, sans tire... but I've never had the rear tires off. I feel like such a Rube! I might just need to break down and get a big IR impact...

Arthur/ Runcutter is in a suburb of North Dallas (maybe 30 minutes from here), and kindly offered me a gander at his 4107 manuals earlier this week, so I think I'm going to go copy some info with my digital camera if I can arrange it with him. Otherwise, my wife is back home and can start scanning things for me.

You guys are so kind to chime in here. Keep ideas coming, if you have more... and I'll try to pay it forward someday!
Brian B.
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Brian Brown
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« Reply #22 on: November 09, 2006, 09:00:36 PM »

I agree with the other posts that say it is rear end lube.

No GMC heavy duty axles I know of are intentionally lubed from the differential-a bunch are by leaky seals!

Rear end lube that is really old will become more like tar than heavy oil.

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« Reply #23 on: November 10, 2006, 04:10:20 AM »

Yes gmc buses came with either grease packed or oil fed rear brgs,I have the grease packed bearings on my 4905,if you pull the axel there is a seal over the axel housing end that prevents gear oil from getting into the brg area,my guess is that that seal is leaking and allowing oil into the brg area and leaking through the inner seal as I have  found that the grease and oil seals are diff.If this is your problem and it were my bus I would follow Bk'S ADVICE AND CLEAN IT UP WELL AND KEEP A CLOSE EYE ON IT AND STOP AND CHECK IT OFTEN,but since all we can go by are the pics you need to make the decision as to wether it is safe enough to make the trip     Mike
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Stan
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« Reply #24 on: November 10, 2006, 05:31:06 AM »

Since nobody seems to be sure which type of axle bearings that Brian has, I can only make an educated guess like everyone else.

If his bus has the inner seal and it is leaking, I would be concerned that the leaking seal is caused by an axle bearing failing.

If it is a packed bearing, there would not be a lot of grease leak out and  it would only leak if the bearing was running hot and the outer seal was damaged.

I wouldn't drive the bus long distance at highway speeds until I knew the source of the oil/grease. If it is simply too much grease shot into a worn cam shaft bushing, drive carefully knowing that you have less than 100% braking.

As for the people who think my question was stupid, you haven't seen everything in this world.
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larryh
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« Reply #25 on: November 10, 2006, 05:36:33 AM »

Brian

This is not a job you want to try on a trip like yours. You can make it back home from what I see you have lube in rearend and getting plenty into bearing so head on home and check temo by placing hand on axle housing and feel for any excessive heat if you don't have a infa red temp meter with you very few do carry such with them.

When you get home you can do a seal replacement on bus and check the rest of brake linings also from looks of picture your linings are about used up anyway so a good time to update and be good for your lifetime unless you travel 300k a year so enjoy your trip and relax.

LarryH
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and the love of a good woman.
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« Reply #26 on: November 10, 2006, 05:43:54 AM »

Morning Brian

Did you do the "SMELL" test yet as Tom suggested I don't know a mechanic yet that doesn't do that test first.

It would zero you in on the problem.   Very distinct smells
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Buffalo SpaceShip
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« Reply #27 on: November 10, 2006, 06:26:59 AM »

Hi Folks:

Yes, I smelled it. No burnt odor. It smells and feels almost exactly like chassis lube. I've never lubed this bus (yet), but hit the fifty-something zerks on my 4106 last year. Only difference is the color... this stuff is jet black. Maybe wheel bearing grease is a different color?? I've packed bearings before (on cars) with the red, hi-temp stuff. And most of it was concentraded on top of the drum, which seems kinda wierd. There's a distinct splash pattern around the inner tire, too.

My mom has a heavy equipment guy at her church that has a yard nearby. We're going to see if he can lat me come over there and borrow his impact and whatnot. I have the bottle jacks and cribbing, and darn near every other tool. Parts will be an issue, since most truck house look at you like you lost your mind when you give them a bus part #. And I don't even have the numbers, anyways. But maybe I can just re-pack and make it home before it all leaks out again.

I checked out Craig's gumpydog site. Having seen his pics really helps. Now, I have no idea how different his MCI is to my GMC, but maybe it's similar enough. Anyone done this kind of work on a GMC??

Thanks aplenty,
bb
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Brian Brown
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« Reply #28 on: November 10, 2006, 06:53:46 AM »

Brian,

I'm not familiar with the GMC, but if it's similar to the MCI, there's a good possibility when you get in there that you can get a number off the seal and take it to a truck parts supply house (freightliner, kenworth, etc) and they will be able to get the correct seal for you. You'll also need an axle gasket, if I recall correctly, but might be able to reuse the one that's on there or in a pinch, make a new one with some gasket material and a small ball pien hammer. You might find them at NAPA, also.

craig
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Craig Shepard
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buswarrior
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« Reply #29 on: November 10, 2006, 07:29:50 AM »

Hello.

In all these good posts is a recurring theme that bears mentioning out in the clear:

After the brake performance issue, you need to be thinking about the wheel bearings.

A failing bearing will run hot. A bearing that is not lubricated will run hot.

That is why you want to keep track of the temp of that wheel end in comparison to the other side, and have an idea that there is still lube in there.

Now, it doesn't look like yours is that far along in lube loss, but you need to know what the end result of doing nothing can be so you are making good decisions and paying close attention.

A hot bearing grows with the heat, making it tighter, which makes more heat.... which leads to lots more heat, which at its worst can lead to the wheel seizing while driving or the end of the axle snapping off, wheel, tire, drum and all bouncing off somewhere.

When you hear about some truck having lost a wheel, it is often the whole wheel end that is gone due to a bearing issue, not the work of the tire installer.

So, if the end of the axle stays close to the same temp as the other side, no worries!!

An infra red temperature gun is a relatively inexpensive tool when compared to the info it gives you about potential failure of so many systems on the coach. bearings, tires, rads, HVAC trouble, thermostats, the list goes on....
Around $100 US, sometimes less on sale!

They really should be thought of as a new addition to standard equipment.

Brian, we're pulling for you!

happy coaching!
buswarrior
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