01 Explorer leaking brake fluid from drivers rear tire??? | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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01 Explorer leaking brake fluid from drivers rear tire???


New Member
January 4, 2016
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City, State
Mount Airy NC
Year, Model & Trim Level
1998 explorer
i have a 01 ford explorer v6 4x4 its leaking brake fluid from the drivers rear wheel. ive changed the brake caliper and the brakes and its still just pouring out. it runs down the inside of the rims and down the bottom of the tire. the weird thing is though that the brake fluid resevior under the hood stays full? any help would be greatly appreciated!!!!!!!

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If the reservoir stays full, it not brake fluid leaking. Could be gear oil from a bad axle seal?

my brake light is on too? someone told me it was brake fluid? it smells like break fluid? im not sure how hard is that seal to fix?

Well maybe it is brake fluid. You mentioned that fluid is pouring out, and that the res is still full. Something doesn't compute there.
Best bet is to get under there and visually find the exact source of the leak.

You gotta pull the wheel and inspect the brake lines/connections to eliminate that possibility. Should be easy to identify where it's leaking if it's brake fluid. Hose connection at the caliper? Bleeder screw not tight? Split hose? Remember...it doesn't take alot of fluid to make a mess. Although, when you say it's "pouring out", that would indicate a lot. Likewise, I've never known an axle seal to allow gear lube to "pour" out, either.

I will update more after work when I can look at it again to see exactly where its coming from! thank yall

just a update: its my axle seal leaking. how hard is that to fix?

How exactly did you determine that?

just a update: its my axle seal leaking. how hard is that to fix?

Step one, read this thread SEVERAL times: http://www.explorerforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=214805 When I replaced mine last year I used Gavin's excellent write up.

I thought I was just replacing my brakes all around until I got to the passenger rear and found oil leaking. I found that I could move my axle up and down about 1/8".

I'll admit I just saw $$$ signs when I found the oil leak. After reading Gavin's write up the first time I kind of freaked out, I had never seen the inside of a differential in person before . . . I read it (and others) SEVERAL more times and convinced myself, I (a 57 year old couch potato) could do it.

Here's the axle bearing I used, I replaced both sides at once even though only one side was worn and leaking. It's a one piece unit, not seperate bearing and seal: https://www.napaonline.com/napa/en/p...559_0074208450

Basic hand tools handled most of the work, the few specialty tools were "rented" from AutoZone's Loan-A-Tool program. Buy them up front and return for 100% refund.

My cross pin bolt was already broken when I opened up the differential (post 185 in Gavin's thread). Buy one before you get started. Also buy this kit: http://www.fabbriassociates.com/kitinfo.html You might not need it but if you do, it's worth it's weight in gold!

I replaced the c-clips that hold the axles in. One of them was worn and that axle moved in and out about 1/4". I also replaced the o-rings that help hold the c-clips in place, one was missing and the other one crumbled when I looked at it. (I'll try to find the part number and update this)

I read many stories about what sealant works and what doesn't with gear oil. I ended up buying this reusable gasket: http://www.amazon.com/Lube-Locker-Fo.../dp/B008RAFJ38

I wish I would have replaced the differential cover at the same time but I did at least give the stock one a light sanding and a few coats of rattle can Rust-Oleum Black paint.

I did mine over the period of about a week after getting off work. I was working on a well packed gravel driveway, at least it wasn't raining.

10 months and 12,000 miles later, no leaks, no strange noises and hundreds of $$$ still in my bank account!!!

Good Luck,

If it's the axle seal, when you get to the point of removing it ( do both at the same time )
There's an old mechanics trick of using the "c-clip" end of the axle to quickly remove the old seal.

Limited slip rear ends in Explorers require synthetic gear oil w/friction modifier.

Also, go ahead an replace your parking brake shoes. MUCH easier with axle out of the way!! Good luck.

thanks guys. I didn't do it myself I took it to a garage. (a guy that does mechanic work out of his own garage) it costed me 135$ roughly to replace the seal and bearings. no more leaks!