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Old 03-02-2011, 02:31 PM   #1
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#&!*%@ rear differential!!

The growling/scraping noise was my rear pinion bearing & probably the rest of the rear diff.

I've been all over East Texas this morning. Got 2 estimates today. $1500 from dealer for a R&P job. $1500 from a mechanic for an entire rebuild but he can't get to it fot at least 3 weeks.

I dropped it off at a 3rd guy who (supposedly) is very knowledgeable and good with differentials. The transmission guy here who has an unblemished reputation says he's the only one who he lets touch his differential. God only knows how much he's gonna charge.

My regular mechanic is good but I need someone who does this a lot because I understand it's precision work.

I also have the guy giving me an estimate on a new exhaust manifold. I know I can supposedly do it in my driveway in an afternoon but it I can't then I'm in trouble.

It may be in the shop for a week before the work is completed. He can't look at it until Friday then can't do the work until Monday (which means Tuesday in mechanic-speak). I may get it back Wednesday.

I figured it was best to leave it there rather than drive it any more and risk really screwing up more. There was play in the shaft and it was beginning to get a shake in 1st gear.

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Old 03-02-2011, 02:46 PM   #2
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I feel your pain. My rear diff made those noises right before it grenaded the internals into powder 4 months ago. It gave me an excuse to re gear the front and rear to 4.88 though.

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Old 03-02-2011, 06:52 PM   #3
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$1500????
I should open my own differential shop and put the 7 years I spent building those things new for Dana Cooperation to use!
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Old 03-02-2011, 07:18 PM   #4
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Wow, to replace bearings? Or are they going to rebuild everything?
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Old 03-02-2011, 07:24 PM   #5
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They're trying to screw you with that $1500 estimate. Really.

$500-$600 max is all I'd pay for that (which includes all parts and labor) and less than that if the pinion gear itself is ok so only new bearings are needed. It only costs $1000-1200 max to replace the ring & pinion gears and all new bearings in both axles. I paid less than $1100 for my last regearing for BOTH axles and that was in a high labor rate area. That included all new gears, bearings, shims, and labor.

Go to any 4x4 shop that regears axles and tell them you just need the rear differential rebuilt with new gears and bearings and tell them to only change the gears out if there is actually a problem with them that can't be fixed with new bearings. You might get away with just new bearings which is not a major job. Worst case you also need new ring & pinion gears so the worst case $$$ should be no more than about $600 total for the rear axle.
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Old 03-02-2011, 07:51 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry Bransford View Post
They're trying to screw you with that $1500 estimate. Really.

$500-$600 max is all I'd pay for that (which includes all parts and labor) and less than that if the pinion gear itself is ok so only new bearings are needed. It only costs $1000-1200 max to replace the ring & pinion gears and all new bearings in both axles. I paid less than $1100 for my last regearing for BOTH axles and that was in a high labor rate area. That included all new gears, bearings, shims, and labor.

Go to any 4x4 shop that regears axles and tell them you just need the rear differential rebuilt with new gears and bearings and tell them to only change the gears out if there is actually a problem with them that can't be fixed with new bearings. You might get away with just new bearings which is not a major job. Worst case you also need new ring & pinion gears so the worst case $$$ should be no more than about $600 total for the rear axle.

Crap.

My estimates:

Dodge dealership:
83504946 - pinion seal $14
4720895AB - pinion nut $13
5252508 - pinion bearing (front) $46.70
5252507 - pinion bearing (rear) $56.25
J3175779 - sleeve $5.50
J8126500 - side bearings $79.50
4761678AB - R&P kit $604.10
oil $60.00
sealer $8.00
Labor (8 hrs @ $75/hr) $600
Tax $23.34 w/out gears or $73.17 with gears

Shop #1:
R&P $300
pinion bearings $150
side bearings $130
oil & sealer $100
seals $30
labor (6hrs @ $65/hr) $390
After telling him I saw light pitting on the rear spider gears when I changed the oil this weekend, he said to allow $1500. He can't get to it for at least 3 weeks. Yes, 3 weeks.

Shop #2:
The 3rd guy hasn't looked at it yet. He assumes he can fix it early next week once he looks at it & we discuss things.

I live in a VERY rural area and choices are slim when it comes to someone who knows what they are doing. We have a lot of mechanics out here but few specialists. Sometimes I think people out here (not just mechanics) overbid harder jobs because there is so much easy, low-hanging fruit that they don't have to mess around with the harder things.

I'm frazzled at the moment and, frankly, tired of being screwed.
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Old 03-02-2011, 07:54 PM   #7
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As suggested, just take it to a 4x4 shop since most of them do a lot of axle work like regearing axles which is more than your axle needs. Even 4Wheel Parts should not charge all that much and I know they have shops in Texas.

Heck you can buy an entire used but excellent condition axle ready to install for way less than $1500. I sold my old Dana 35c axle that was in EXCELLENT condition for $300 which would have bolted right into your TJ.

That $1500 is just outrageous, they are rubbing their hands together hoping for a big payday from your job.
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Old 03-02-2011, 08:24 PM   #8
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Like they said, I was quoted 1350 for re-gearing front and rear. So that's about ~650 an axle. Hard though to shop around when the rear end is about to crap out. Good luck!

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