Over 5 years ago (April 29, 2015 to be exact) I did my own version of the Rear Axle Vent Mod (click here for the How-To), and ever since the install I never touched it. Okay wait – there was one random time where I tool a look at it a couple years ago, but that was it. Fast forward now to about 5 years and 4 months (give or take) later and I thought I would do some maintenance and replace the breather and fuel filter I used. Here’s what the breather valve looked like before I removed it:
I took it to my workbench, wiped off the outside, then flipped it over and tapped the end to see if anything would come out. Guess what:
All of the dirt shown on the piece of paper came out of the breather valve. Mind you, the breather valve was originally pointed downward, approximately 2-3 inches lower than the fuel filter, so any debris that got sucked into the breather valve would have to have enough of a vacuum to move against gravity and into the fuel filter. Thus, anything that didn’t make it that far ended up settling at the breather, which is where all of this debris was.
With the breather valve inspected and examined, I then move to the fuel filter. Here’s how the filter looked on the truck:
…but once I removed it and wiped off the outside, take a look:
The filter element shown above was very clean considering it’s been there neglected for over 5 years! There were some dirt particles on the filter media (the exposed side of the filter media went towards the breather valve) but when I tipped the differential-side down and tapped it on the paper, there was NOTHING IN THERE. Zero. No dirt. Super clean.
At this point it’s plain to see that the breather valve/fuel filter mod did well. As far as I can tell it kept any dirt or debris from getting into the rear diff, and I could have just put the original breather and filter back on but the outer clear plastic housing felt dry and brittle, so I ordered some replacement gear, and here’s what I went with:
The Dorman 924-284 was the aftermarket replacement for the original Toyota OEM breather valve that I used, and it was priced slightly lower at $4.19 (I paid $5.27 for the Toyota breather). Visually it is exactly the same size and appearance as the Toyota breather, and it is also a two-way just like the Toyota breather:
For the fuel filter, I somehow ordered a larger-diameter Wix 33001 fuel filter, but it had compatible barb sizing so I knew I could work with it:
Starting with the fuel filter, I simply clamped it in the original Mann filter location. I had to bend the metal bracket slightly to get it to hold the new filter – no big deal, took 2 seconds with a pair of pliers:
…and finished up with the new Dorman breather valve at the end of the breather hose in the same spot as the previous one:
I’m due soon for diff maintenance so we’ll see what the actual diff fluid looks like, but judging from what I’ve seen with the diff breather mod, everything should be just fine.