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rear diff lock (ARB), oil at compressor

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  • rear diff lock (ARB), oil at compressor

    I have an ARB air locker in the rear of my shorty, and have just noticed that I have oil around the area where I have the compressor mounted under the bonnet. The oil is definately diff oil, has that very distinctive smell, its definately NOT brake fluid. The oil appears to be coming from the solenoid. Seems to defy logic, after all, its pushing air down the line. The compressor doesn't cut in and out so no serious air leaks anywhere. Any ideas what might be causing it?
    2005 MK Triton GLS 2.8TD manual, some fruit, much more to come.
    retired .. '94 NJ, GLS, swb, 3.0l

  • #2
    Its a fairly common problem. I had the same problem in my NP. It went back a couple of times for a fix.
    NS shorty 3.8l petrol with winch, front/rear E-lockers

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    • #3
      Check breather, the pressure build up in the diff could cause it ?
      Rick
      Old, NP Exceed 3.5 petrol, ARB Bull bar, Warn winch, Bush Skinz Bash plates ,2inch lift, Safari Snorkel. ***Now Sold***
      New, RG Colorado Dual Cab Tray

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      • #4
        Only way for that to happen is if the seal in the locker actuator is leaking and the diff is venting up through the airline past the seal from a blocked diff breather. Other then that I cannot fathom how it's getting up there
        97' NK 3ltr GLX LWB Manual | 3" lift | Wildcat headers | K&N air filter | 2.8 crawl gears | 4Terrain clutch | 2.25" exhaust | Factory locker rear | TJM 10,000lb winch | TJM snorkel
        97' NL GLS LWB Auto | 6G75 3.8ltr | Redback Headers

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        • #5
          checked diff breather rubber hose with compressor, poked wire up into cross member tube, all clear. Pushed soft elec wire down into diff tube where the rubber hose connects. went in about 5cm so assume its ok.
          Did a google search seems it all too common and no definate answer, but thought someone here might have found something that works.
          The diff isnt pressurising otherwise I would have leaks at the axles or pinion?

          Has anyone fitted the diversion fitting for the solenoid exhaust port where its coming from? Apparently one is available for compressors fitted inside the cabin under seat etc.
          2005 MK Triton GLS 2.8TD manual, some fruit, much more to come.
          retired .. '94 NJ, GLS, swb, 3.0l

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          • #6
            I am an ARB installer, and regularly install diff lockers and compressors. Its a normal occurance and u shouldn't be worried. see it on every second install. the diff builds up pressure and inevetibly some oil makes its way up the air line. and vents at the breather.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by rudegeorge View Post
              I am an ARB installer, and regularly install diff lockers and compressors. Its a normal occurance and u shouldn't be worried. see it on every second install. the diff builds up pressure and inevetibly some oil makes its way up the air line. and vents at the breather.
              That may be true (hopefully not every 2nd one though!), however it is usually because the install wasnt done properly or some part has failed. There is no need for people to accept that it cant be fixed & folks shouldnt have to have oil all over the place. The front locker in my NL hasnt leaked a drop since day 1 & that was over 5 years ago now.

              My advice is take it back to whoever installed it & get them to fix it!
              NS shorty 3.8l petrol with winch, front/rear E-lockers

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              • #8
                Originally posted by LanaB View Post
                I have an ARB air locker in the rear of my shorty, and have just noticed that I have oil around the area where I have the compressor mounted under the bonnet. The oil is definately diff oil, has that very distinctive smell, its definately NOT brake fluid. The oil appears to be coming from the solenoid. Seems to defy logic, after all, its pushing air down the line. The compressor doesn't cut in and out so no serious air leaks anywhere. Any ideas what might be causing it?
                Hi LanaB,

                Differential oil seeping from the solenoid exhaust port, other than a very fine mist that can easily be removed with a rag every few months is a fault and needs to be fixed. This may be caused by a wide variety of causes from bearing wear, physical damage to the diff housing or axles (usually bent components from off road competition or extreme use), improper installation, blocked breathers, or other factors.

                Improper installation or faults with the materials and or workmanship relating to an Air Locker are always covered by our warranty. This applies to any installer who is part of the ARB network of stores and stockists (as defined on our website and updated from time to time).

                You haven't mentioned the age of the locker or the extent of the seepage, but if you make an appointment with your local ARB store, they'll be able to assist you getting to the bottom of it.

                Cheers,
                Cass
                ARB 4X4 Accessories Head Office.

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                • #9
                  Hey Cass,

                  I always wondered why ARB don't install a one way valve in the airline so that no oil can ever get back up, surely that would be the go?
                  NS shorty 3.8l petrol with winch, front/rear E-lockers

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                  • #10
                    Ian,
                    I would think that since the exhaust is at the solenoid you couldn't have a one way valve in the line. It wouldn't allow for the air to escape and therefore the diff lock to unlock. Cass might have other thoughts
                    Cheers,
                    Paul
                    __________________
                    NM Exceed, 3.2DID, TJM T3 B/BAR, 9500lb Winch, TJM Snorkel, TC Lock Up, 3.15 gears, Lockers,
                    Cross Country TMIC, 285/75/16 GY Duratrac, 2" Lovells HD, 3" exhaust, DB Guards, Dual Batteries,
                    UHF, ARB Compressor, DP Chip, 60lt Waeco Frig, Lightforce 240 XGT.

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                    • #11
                      The locker was fitted as far as I know anyway at Warnambool 4wd centre. I bought the whole diff from a guy near Portland who wrecked his diesel Paj. The locker works great, can't fault it, in fact it got me off the beach today. It's just the mess around my brake master cylinder and air box that P..... me off, and the oil attracts sand!

                      So as far as taking it back, that's a no go. My car has had a super easy life, was a city commuter car, and only done 147000kms, and absolutely no damage.

                      So I can only assume the locker seals are leaking or weren't installed properly initially.

                      I have got a solenoid for my front locker yet to be installed, and have managed to get some airline into the breather. It looks to be threaded internally and as such, seals well. I am thinking of mounting a catch container to monitor how much oil I loose, similar to catchcans used on diesel turbo's. Any other ideas anyone?
                      2005 MK Triton GLS 2.8TD manual, some fruit, much more to come.
                      retired .. '94 NJ, GLS, swb, 3.0l

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Cass, (ARB 4x4 Accessories), I did actually email you guys after reading up on this problem on Google. The referrence came from "Sam" at ARB via 4WD Action forum pages.
                        2005 MK Triton GLS 2.8TD manual, some fruit, much more to come.
                        retired .. '94 NJ, GLS, swb, 3.0l

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Lana,

                          I had an airlocker in the front of my NT and a previous rear Pathfinder. Both units suffered the same problem, with oil misting from the solenoid upon unlocking the diff. The Pathfinder took almost 2 years for the problem to occur and the Paj just over a year.

                          Both times i contacted ARB in Brisbane and was told it is a common occurance and no fix is available, a complete crock! I am looking into lockers for my current vehicle and spoke to ARB at Coopers Plains to see if they have rectified the issue. NOPE...... The comment i got from the sales guy, was to disconnect the airline from the diff fitting every service and blow the oil out...WTF??? Why dont they fix the problem?

                          ARB dont seem to consider it an issue, but misting oil over my engine bay isnt my idea of a perfectly working unit. Needless to say i will not be fitting Airlockers to my current vehicle.

                          cheers
                          Geoff
                          GONE - 2010 VRX DiD Silver
                          NOW - 2012 Prado Kakadu V6 Auto. Opposite Lock bar, Runva winch, Front locker, Bilstein shocks & 2" Dobbo Coils, Lightforce 240's, Scangauge, Dual Yellowtop batteries with Traxide controller, GME 3440 UHF, Featherlite Awning

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by kibz View Post
                            Ian,
                            I would think that since the exhaust is at the solenoid you couldn't have a one way valve in the line. It wouldn't allow for the air to escape and therefore the diff lock to unlock. Cass might have other thoughts
                            yes that would be a probelm
                            NS shorty 3.8l petrol with winch, front/rear E-lockers

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              trying a solution to the mess

                              some might be interested in what I have come up with to firstly stop the oil mist and subsequent mess, but also to gauge how much oil actually is lost over a period of use. I trialled it today on the beach switching the locker on and off several times, and surprisingly no residue.... yet!
                              I made up a catch can style container using 100ml plastic bottle (yes I know it will deteriorate over time). I drilled a 5mm hole in the top for the blue hose, and a 2mm breather hole to the side. I cut some scourer pad to fit inside the top, and punched a 5mm hole using a wad punch.
                              The blue hose is a tight screw in fit at the breather on the solenoid after removing the gauze screw fitting.
                              Because it is just a trial, I only zip tied it to the car as can be seen, which will also enable me to quantify the oil loss. If it is successful, I will make a proper catch can and mount it properly.
                              Thrown in a couple other pics, the switch plate I made, and the beach today.
                              Attached Files
                              2005 MK Triton GLS 2.8TD manual, some fruit, much more to come.
                              retired .. '94 NJ, GLS, swb, 3.0l

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