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willysmjeeps.com :: View topic - M38 Front Axle Knuckle Seals, OEM Seals or Newer Style
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M38 Front Axle Knuckle Seals, OEM Seals or Newer Style

 
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BAJA_TYM
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Joined: Jan 15, 2018
Posts: 7
Location: Columbia, SC

PostPosted: Sat May 11, 2019 9:19 am    Post subject: M38 Front Axle Knuckle Seals, OEM Seals or Newer Style Reply with quote

BLUF: Should I use NOS front axle knuckle seals, newer style w/ felt, or pull the rubber out of the OEM aluminum seal housings or a hybrid with felt? I've seen a kit the comes with felt to do just this (additional details below).

---

Greetings all,

I'm preparing to reassemble my front axel, but before I do, I'm hoping to get some advice on which knuckle seals are best. I understand that, like most things, there are 1k differing opinions, that's exactly why I'm asking. I've never own a vehicle with these types of seals and would greatly appreciate any advice offered.

When I disassembled the axles my originally the OEM seals crumbled into bits, it was a true mess. I have replacement NOS seals on hand, but yesterday while researching knuckle lube I ran across a post where someone mentioned "felt" seals. This in-turn sent me on a tangent researching felt seal. While I found several posts where the felt seals are mentioned, I've not found any info relating to the pros/cons of either type.

Anyway, please advise on these seals. Thanks in advance -- James
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James

1951 M38
2014 JKUR

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BAJA_TYM
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Joined: Jan 15, 2018
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Location: Columbia, SC

PostPosted: Sun May 12, 2019 9:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Please? I take it no one has an opinion on this subject; has anyone switched from the original seal to the felt or have experience with both?

Iíve searched and havenít found anything directly relating to this subject. I guess Iíll install the original seals and see how they perform. My restoration is going slow, crawling, but Iíll post an update when I see how they perform.

Thanks ó James
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James

1951 M38
2014 JKUR

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wesk
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Joined: Apr 04, 2005
Posts: 14410
Location: Wisconsin

PostPosted: Sun May 12, 2019 11:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It helps to offer more detail about the item you are asking an opinion on. Folks usually do not prefer to guess exactly which items you are asking for opinions on.



I will guess you are referring to item "N" in this IPL illustration. The original was rubber on the M38 & M38A1 and other later (post 1950's Willys jeeps) MB/GPW and early 2A / 3A used felt. The thinner the oil in your knuckles the less likely that the felt will seal it well. The later seal being rubber tends to show an improvement over the years. However if you use ancient production NOS rubber seals they are usually well past their useable shelf life and will not perform well. If this is your dilemma I would suggest the felt just might be more reliable then your ancient NOS rubber seals. However my choice is new production rubber seals.

Midwest Military offers new rubber seals: https://store.midwestmilitary.com/product-p/7994778.htm

In your original post you refer to the felt as the newer type seal. This is not correct. Felt came in the MB/GPW and early CJ2A/3A thru 1950. The proper part number reference for this felt seal is Army Stk # 8080-17135X or Willys # A813 or Spicer # 17135X. The later (post 1949) rubber seal is ORD# 7994778 or Willys # 800095 or Spicer # 18593.
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BAJA_TYM
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Joined: Jan 15, 2018
Posts: 7
Location: Columbia, SC

PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2019 7:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I really appreciate the help Wes, I really do. I'll do my best to post as much detail regarding the component(s) I'm referring to in the future.

As to the felt, interesting to know, thank you for the little history. These vehicles are interesting beasts, there seems to be so much information (and misinformation) on the internet it's difficult to know what-is-what. I'll look into the replacement rubber.

Thanks again -- James
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James

1951 M38
2014 JKUR

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