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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Although this leak was on my 2009 Ram 1500, it could happen on ANY vehicle.
I just replaced my transfer case rear output seal for the FOURTH time in 80K miles. By chance, I found the source of the leak and it WAS NOT the seal.

As I laid the driveshaft on the bench, some trans fluid dripped onto my hand from the inside of the u-joint. Wait a minute... the leak wasn't that bad the trans fluid would be flying off the u-joint.

Closer examination showed a little "puddle" of trans fluid in the little cavity between the yoke body and u-joint! Apparently, after the yoke had the spline machined, a METAL PLUG is pressed into the yoke. The plug is just like a core (freeze) plug on an engine block. My leak turned out to be around the edge of that metal plug!

I checked with a local driveline specialty company and was told they have seen similar leaks a couple of times. They can supply a new plug that I can put some sealer on and press it in after knocking out the old one.

Hopefully this can save someone the trouble of dealing with this mystery leak.
 

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What's your thoughts on this?

I had a small leak in my rear differential so I thought, brought it to my mechanic and when I had the rear diff fluid changed I brought him a rear pinion seal cause I assumed it was that. turns out it wasn't. the leak was developing and showing in my u joints. but my mechanic swore it wasn't coming from the rear pinion.

Do you think this plug is on both ends of the drive shaft? my truck is in new england so does freeze good, haven't noticed the leak very much lately though, so thought new fluid may have solved it.

Should I be concerned or is that just assembly lube during production and no longer needed?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
No. That plug is only on the foregoing into the transfer case.
Your COULD BE leaking past the spline of the pinion gear. There needs to be RTV forced into the spline, under the washer and nut. Without it, gear lube can get under the nut and washer and eventually get out to the u-joint... even with a new seal.
 
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