I have a Force Gurkha 4 x 4 2017 model with 18000kms on it. A few days back, I was involved with flood rescue operations in my home state of Kerala, India. The car was driven in Bonnet deep water for many miles everyday. After the first day of running in water, the Transfer case had developed a whining noise, it was traced down to water in the transfer case which got in through the breather. We replaced the oil in the transfer case and the sound was gone, but now the car was leaking oil from the breather and a small puddle of oil is left on the ground when the car is parked after a drive. It took it to the service center, and found this

  • The transfer case oil, though was at the correct level was contaminated with water again but not as much as the first time (our guess is the remaining water in the last drain mixed with the fresh oil we put in)
  • The gearbox oil had not water in it, and was at proper level
  • The front diff oil was contaminated slighly with water and the level was a bit low
  • The rear diff was not contaminated with water and it had proper oil level

We topped up all the oils, and currently the car is running ok, but the gear shift is a bit notchy at times.

Please note: I experienced clutch hop after I got out of the water, you could feel the clutch grabbing and letting go during the initial engagement of the clutch, but this went away as the car dried out and after the clutch was engaged fully.

Also, the oil is coming out of the accumulator for all the breathers, A small metal cylindrical thing with 4 inlets where all the breather hoses are connected, and one outlet which is left free.

What is causing the oil to come from the breather hose? Is my diff overheating and causing oil to come out?

  • The oil is coming out of the open end of the breather, not where the breather goes into the transfer box? Where is the open end located? Did you make sure the breather was empty of oil and water? Did you totally empty the transfer box before refilling it to the correct level?
    – HandyHowie
    Commented Aug 29, 2018 at 7:08
  • The open top end is located just under the bonnet/hood. The leak is from the accumulator where all the breathers are connected to. The breathers where cleaned with pressurized air before putting in. The transfer box was emptied of oil water mixture, but not thoroughly cleaned. Commented Aug 30, 2018 at 5:08

1 Answer 1


Thoroughly flush the diff and transfer box - then refill with the correct type and amount of oil.

To prevent this problem - extend the breathers to either inside the cabin or the roof line. This was a standard modification on Landrovers that went wading regularly.

The issue is usually caused by the air cooling and shrinking when the hot gearbox gets submerged in cold water drawing in water via the breather.

Also check for any drain hole on the bell housing - Landrovers had a bracket with a special plug which was to be fitted for wading and removed as soon as possible after.

  • I have read this from another forum. Hi Pete. sounds like you have a damaged seal. Grease is made up of a "soap/oil mixture". So if one of those seals in your diff housing is damaged and leaks birf-grease into your diff pumpkin .... the "thrashing around" of your crownwheel & pinion will foam-up your oil making it come out your breathers. (The soap causes the foam.) I use molybdenum-disulphide grease in my birfs and when one of my seals went, this was also obvious from the very much darkened colour of my diff oil. Can this be the case. The oil is fairly darker on the ground. Commented Sep 3, 2018 at 10:19
  • This is the link to that answer forum.ih8mud.com/threads/… Commented Sep 3, 2018 at 10:21

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