why did you carry on when the oil was coming out ?
Like the poll said, we were in the middle of nowhere... I checked the final drive oil and it was still completely topped off. And since there was no grinding or any other syptoms, I was hoping to make it back to our base at a subdued pace. It appeared to be a slow leak. Apparently, the bearing had already started coming apart enough to tear the seal. Oddly, it was smooth right up to the moment it let go, and at that time, it was still full of oil. So I don't think a lack of lubrication was the issue. I did not realize the bearing failure would be so sudden. Lesson learned.