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Old 12-23-2013, 08:20 PM   #1
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Roar coming from the rear differential?

I have an 02 sport manual with stock gearing and and axles. I recently developed a roar coming from what appears to be the rear end. Also I seem to not all the power that I use to with my 4.0. Come to find out my rear diff was really low on fluid. Hoping for the best I filled it back up and I had no luck. I then removed the rear driveshaft and put in 4 high and drove round the block. As far as I can tell the roar disappeared. My jeep is running an aftermarket exhaust and 35" bfg ko so there is a lot of normal road noise so there may still be a slight roar, just can't hear it. I'm open for suggestions on what this might be or how to diagnose it. I'm still pretty green when it comes to wrenching on jeeps but I'm open to learning. I'm looking for help here guys and girls.

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Old 12-23-2013, 08:44 PM   #2
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My friend had a similar problem a few years back and the spider gears were chipped and beginning to wear out. I'm not sure if you have an open differential or some sort of LSD but that is the first place I would check just based on my experience. How may miles do you have on it?

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Old 12-23-2013, 08:49 PM   #3
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Mileage is around 115k.
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Old 12-23-2013, 09:44 PM   #4
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Pull the diff cover off and inspect the innards.
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Old 12-24-2013, 02:05 AM   #5
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I am going to guess that your pinion bearings are shot. They will do a dry roar/whine sound when bad.
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Old 12-24-2013, 06:58 AM   #6
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If it stopped after removing the rear drive shaft, is it possible that it's a driveshaft u-joint?
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Old 12-24-2013, 08:18 AM   #7
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Driveshaft u joints are good, no play. I had thought that it may be a bearing. I am going to put the rear end up on jack stands today and spin the tires to try to listen for any unusual sounds. If it is the bearing how tough of a job is that and how much am I looking at on parts?
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Old 12-24-2013, 10:55 AM   #8
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Axle bearings, when bad will sometimes have a low roar under load, then quit when coasting (which is what you would be doing without the ds). I would open the dif up, inspect gears and fluid for metal filings. Also pull the wheels and see if there's any up/down movement in axles, then pull the axles and check the axle bearings. You don't say what axle you have, but if it is a D35, also check the bearing surface on the axle itself.
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Old 12-24-2013, 10:59 AM   #9
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Yes it is a Dana 35.
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Old 12-24-2013, 11:40 AM   #10
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Yes it is a Dana 35.
I think the last axle bearing/seal set I bought for my D35 was about $25. It's not a hard job replacing them, if you have the right tools. You definitely need an axle bearing removal tool and a 5# slide hammer. You should also have access to a bearing and seal driver set to reinstall. The D35 is a c-clip design so the differential needs to be opened to pull the c-clip off the axle.

There's a write up on Stu Olson's web site on how to remove the axle. Just make sure that once the pin is pulled, you don't rotate the pinion or axle or it will rotate your spider gears out onto the floor. D-35 Axle Shaft Removal
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Old 12-24-2013, 04:27 PM   #11
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I think the last axle bearing/seal set I bought for my D35 was about $25. It's not a hard job replacing them, if you have the right tools. You definitely need an axle bearing removal tool and a 5# slide hammer. You should also have access to a bearing and seal driver set to reinstall. The D35 is a c-clip design so the differential needs to be opened to pull the c-clip off the axle.

There's a write up on Stu Olson's web site on how to remove the axle. Just make sure that once the pin is pulled, you don't rotate the pinion or axle or it will rotate your spider gears out onto the floor. D-35 Axle Shaft Removal
Thanks. I set the rear end up on jackstands and removed the tires. Sounds like there is a slight catch on the passenger rear axle near the drum breaks. I have not had a chance to take the diff cover off and inspect the inside yet.
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Old 12-24-2013, 09:02 PM   #12
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Try moving ur yoke back and forth where ur driveshaft connects to your rear differential. If your pinion bearing is bad the yoke will move back and forth and maybe even in and out.. If its your wheel bearings it should get louder when you turn. Most likely is your pinion bearing. Usually around a 300-600$ fix to get just the pinion bearing replaced. And also you said you are running 35s on a dana 35?!
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Old 12-24-2013, 09:16 PM   #13
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Try moving ur yoke back and forth where ur driveshaft connects to your rear differential. If your pinion bearing is bad the yoke will move back and forth and maybe even in and out.. If its your wheel bearings it should get louder when you turn. Most likely is your pinion bearing. Usually around a 300-600$ fix to get just the pinion bearing replaced. And also you said you are running 35s on a dana 35?!
Yes running 35s on a Dana 35. Jeep was already lifted with the tires when I bought it. Its a daily driver and I have not had the funds to regear.
could it possibly be an axle bearing? Does anyone know?
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Old 12-25-2013, 12:59 PM   #14
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By axle bearings do you mean wheel bearings at the end of the axle tubes or carrier bearings? But no its most likely the pinion bearing. Axle bearings only make loud noises when u turn. Most likely your pinion bearing burned up due to having a low amount of gear fluid in your differential
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Old 12-25-2013, 01:10 PM   #15
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Axle bearings only make loud noises when u turn.
Bad rear outer axle bearing issues do not only produce noise when you turn. They can do that, but it's not typical. As mentioned above, they normally growl under load, and mostly go away when coasting. Pinion bearings normally are higher pitched (because they are turning faster).
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Old 12-25-2013, 01:28 PM   #16
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Bad rear outer axle bearing issues do not only produce noise when you turn. They can do that, but it's not typical. As mentioned above, they normally growl under load, and mostly go away when coasting. Pinion bearings normally are higher pitched (because they are turning faster).
Well this is like a roar or a growl while under load either during acceleration or while downshifting. I do think it may be the outer rear axle bearing. As stated above I have removed the rear driveshaft and the sound has disappeared.
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Old 12-25-2013, 02:48 PM   #17
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I changed my wheel bearings a couple months ago because i had the same problem.. It ended up being the pinion bearing. Most likely its your pinion bearing. Like i said grab the yoke and try to push it in and out and back and forth
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Old 12-25-2013, 03:01 PM   #18
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It's your pinion bearing clear as day. If its there under load and gone when not, that's the pinion bearing. If it disapeared when you removed the rear driveshaft, then it's the pinion bearing. I'm going to be changing mine soon too, have had a him for the last 50k miles.

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