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Leaking Diff?


MikeE

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Having had a fantastic trackday at Bedford on Monday I decided to give the SL a check over last night as I'm off to Folembray this Friday. To my horror I see there's a patch of oil on the garage floor under the diff.

 

So I get under the car and can see that one side of the diff is covered in oil as is the back of the petrol tank and the de-dion tube.

 

I couldn't see where it was coming from but it was obvious it was towards the top of the diff. So I take the boot floor our and discover theres actually a short (2" long) open ended tube coming out the top of the diff. I presume this is a breather and it's meant to be open. So it looks like the sustained thrashing it recived at Bedford on Monday has blow some of the oil out of the top of the diff.

 

As I had the car service (by Caterham Dartford) within the last month (a 12,000 mile service) I presumed that maybe they had over filled it a bit. So I decide to check the level by removing the top-up plug half way up the back of the diff. And to my surprise when I remove it oil starts running out (and yes the car was level).

 

So my questions are:

 

1. On a trackday is it expected that the diff may vent some oil?

2. Is this a problem?

3. How come the diff still has excess oil in it? (how do Caterham manage to overfill it? Several months back following a gearbox leak I checked the level on that as well and that was overfilled).

 

thanks,

Mike

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There was a thread a couple of months ago where quite a few SL owners reported leaky diffs. I think there may have been a problem with faulty seals. On the otherhand, I was told that "they all weep a bit".

 

Mad Manx

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There was a thread a while back advising people to overfill the diff to counter oil starvation on the inside wheel when cornering at speed. This was coupled with advice to extend the breather using a bit of pipe so thhat the XS oil did not leak out (too much). Alternatively carry on buying gear oil, or your lube of choice and top up after every track day. (the lube of choice discussion went on at length, and I mean AT LENGTH.)
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It´s recommended to fill the LSD DIff with aprox. 0.95 litres of oil. A little more and it should start to flow out of the refill-cap half way up the Diff.

 

No experience with more oil though. Mine started to spit out of the breather when doing anti-clockwise donuts even with only 0.9 litres in. So putting on a longer breather pipe is always a good job. Helps keeping the cars tidy... *wink*

 

Marius

 

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using my caterham ontrack has same effect - i have lengthened the breather pipe so it comes out by the petrol tank. Another idea i heard was to put small breather tank in the boot and route the pipe into that. That may not be appropriate for a road car though
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