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Old 05-06-2009, 08:54 PM   #1
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differential leaking

my rear-end diff. is leaking....it looks like the seal is bad, so my question is, would it just be easier to take it somewhere to get it done, or just go to auto zone an buy a new seal and fluid and fix myself. If so, what type if fluid goes in there and how do you fill/drain old fluid? thanks for replies!

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Old 05-06-2009, 08:59 PM   #2
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there's a couple seals. but it sounds like your diff cover seal is leaking. very easy, do it yourself. to drain it, you take the cover off, thats the only way. leave the top bolt in but loose so the whole cover doesn't come flying off and you take a gear oil bath

the gasket is just rtv silicone sealer, and the gear oil is 80w90, you'll need to buy 3 bottles.

do not over fill it, it is full when the level is to the bottom of the fill hole.

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Old 05-06-2009, 09:02 PM   #3
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thats the red seal. feels like rubber, going around the diff right?
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Old 05-06-2009, 09:04 PM   #4
that's what she said

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x2. changing the diff fluid is really easy. i do my own. and i'm a woman, lol.
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Old 05-06-2009, 09:06 PM   #5
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here is a pic....its dripping at the bottom....
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Old 05-06-2009, 09:07 PM   #6
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thats the red seal. feels like rubber, going around the diff right?
ya, its red silicone on yours then. you don't have to get red. grey rtv is good, at the shop we just stock black and it works fine on the diffs.

remove the cover and make sure both surfaces are clean, then apply the silicone to the cover, and install back on the axle.
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Old 05-06-2009, 09:08 PM   #7
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that job will be really easy to do. just make sure that the diff isn't smashed from being slammed on a rock or something.
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Old 05-06-2009, 09:08 PM   #8
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ok, that round plug is where I add the new oil once I replace the seal right?
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Old 05-06-2009, 09:10 PM   #9
that's what she said

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yep.
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Old 05-06-2009, 09:11 PM   #10
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yepper, and like i said, do not over fill it. thats becoming a pet peive of mine. over filling causes problems. everyone thinks the more fluid the better...not so. don't put that plug back on till it stops pouring back out.
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Old 05-06-2009, 09:11 PM   #11
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is the front that easy? what about transmission, it easy too?
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Old 05-06-2009, 09:13 PM   #12
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front is the same, there's a tie rod in front of it, but no big deal really.

we gotta know if you have a manual or auto trans.
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Old 05-06-2009, 09:14 PM   #13
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i did the front and rear diffs, transmission, and t-case and they were all easy. the hardest thing about the job was filling them. you have to contort the bottle and find space the lift the bottle.
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Old 05-06-2009, 09:14 PM   #14
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does that rtv come in pre-cut shapes or is it a tube of stuff, or what?.....i have manual trans.
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Old 05-06-2009, 09:16 PM   #15
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toothpaste tube. manual trans is easier, it has a drain plug to drain, and a plug to fill. like jgano said, filling it is the harder part. great frist time wrenching tasks. might as well do the t case also, drain and fill. t case takes auto trans fluid.
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Old 05-06-2009, 09:17 PM   #16
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how much of the silicone do i apply?
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Old 05-06-2009, 09:21 PM   #17
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a bead all the way around, about about an eith of an inch or so, not too much, not too little.
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Old 05-06-2009, 09:23 PM   #18
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in the holes where the bolt goes through too?
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Old 05-06-2009, 09:25 PM   #19
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make the bead all around it, i put the bead in the middle, and then go around the inside of the holes.
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Old 05-06-2009, 09:28 PM   #20
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ok, two more questions, i promise, do you have to let the silicone set before you put it back on? also, do I need to torque or just hand tighten?
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Old 05-06-2009, 09:35 PM   #21
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by the way......thank you for your help!!
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Old 05-06-2009, 09:35 PM   #22
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put the cover back on no need to let the silicone set up. the torque spec is somewhere around 35 ft/lbs. you'd benefit from a repair manual, haynes or who ever, it will have all that info.

i really don't think you need to go out and buy a torque wrench for you diff covers. so they need to be just pretty snug. a 3/8 ratchet is the right tool, not 1/2" drive.
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Old 05-06-2009, 09:55 PM   #23
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Wow, that was a write up all in one thread. This should be stickied.
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Old 05-06-2009, 11:33 PM   #24
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Except that I think that his seal ain't leaking. I think his fill plug is leaking. The oil appears to be leaking from the plug and gathering at the bottom of the diff.

Check how much fluid you've lost.

If you are due for a lube change in your diff(s) then do it anyway, BUT you should also be in the market for a new drain plug too.
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Old 05-07-2009, 12:08 AM   #25
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Except that I think that his seal ain't leaking. I think his fill plug is leaking. The oil appears to be leaking from the plug and gathering at the bottom of the diff.

Check how much fluid you've lost.

If you are due for a lube change in your diff(s) then do it anyway, BUT you should also be in the market for a new drain plug too.

X2


the seal may or may not be leaking.... BUT by the pic, it looks like its just creeping out from the plug, and making its way down to the bottom.

my rear was doing the same thing after having the rear outer seals replaced. no biggie, they just didnt crank the plug hard enough.


if it were me.....

i would check to see if that rear diff needs fluid or not, im guessing it does, and top it off. then clean up that mess. (i like oven cleaner) also make sure everything is all tight and snug. give it a day or two, and see if there are any leaks. if so, well then youre no worse off than you were. just replace that seal. not to mention its a good excuse to change that fluid back there.

good luck! post some pics with your findings!
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Old 05-07-2009, 05:50 AM   #26
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how does that plug come out? just pop out or screw in?
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Old 05-07-2009, 07:16 AM   #27
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yes, the plug just pops out, and thats generally from being overfull. i saw the same thing, but it never hurts to change the fluid, most likely its due.

most common reason i see axle seals leaking is over full diff. all the axle seals i do, the diff was too full, and a bunch of fluid comes pouring out when i remove the plug. i never see a plug leaking, when the fluid is filled correctly.
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Old 05-07-2009, 10:03 AM   #28
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Yours is a dana 35 rear with the rubber plug as so it looks so yes it is going to pull out.
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Old 05-07-2009, 10:46 AM   #29
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Here is a little trick...

This winter; i replaced fluid in my Transmission (royal purple synchromax), Transfer case, and diffs.. The tranny and tansfer cases were very easy, but here is a trick on the diff(s):

Purchase your fluid in the gallon jug and make sure you store your fluid in the house the night before.. I didn't realize this and stored it in the garage overnight (February) and man it was an animal to pump out of the container.. This is thick stuff man (i used 80-90 gear oil), so give your forearms a break and let the fluid warm before you pump it back in.. Wish I would have known that little trick before I did my diffs...

Also, I am a noob as well and found that 4x4xplor.com - Jeep TJ Wrangler, JK, CJ and XJ Cherokee Write-Ups is the best resource for us noobs.. If I ever get the opportunity to meet that dude; I will buy him a couple beers!!
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Old 05-07-2009, 05:36 PM   #30
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My old TJ's D35 plug never leaked when I parked at a 45 degree incline and had lunch out on the trail.

My D44 on my current Rubi "leaks" out of the breather tube nearly everytime I go crawlin'. Good thing it's easy to fill. I don't pull my housing off everytime either. Just about once a year for a clean and inspect and unless I have a reason, just drain and refill or refill..

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