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Old 07-29-2013, 11:02 PM   #1
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Bad AX5, D35 or both - Diagnostic help, please?

Hi,

My "new" 98 Wrangler SE 2.5L has some gremlins (to put it lightly).

When driving I get a whine/roar that increases with speed and disappears when you step off the gas.

Normally I'd guess it was the differential, but I only get the noise in 3rd, 4th and 5th and the higher the gear the worse it seems to get.

I've scanned the forums and despite the multitude of complaints against the AX5 and it's crappy counterpart the Dana 35, I cannot find anything that resembles my issue.

I did find a fair bit of what looked like fine bronze in the diff oil, but the gears didn't appear to have any obvious damage and the pinion didn't appear to have any slop when moved by hand.

I haven't checked/changed the AX5 oil yet.

I was considering dropping the tail-shaft and going front wheel drive in order to test the rear axle.... Does anyone have any better ideas to help me isolate which one is at fault?

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Old 07-30-2013, 06:59 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by brooce View Post
Hi,

My "new" 98 Wrangler SE 2.5L has some gremlins (to put it lightly).

When driving I get a whine/roar that increases with speed and disappears when you step off the gas.

Normally I'd guess it was the differential, but I only get the noise in 3rd, 4th and 5th and the higher the gear the worse it seems to get.

I've scanned the forums and despite the multitude of complaints against the AX5 and it's crappy counterpart the Dana 35, I cannot find anything that resembles my issue.

I did find a fair bit of what looked like fine bronze in the diff oil, but the gears didn't appear to have any obvious damage and the pinion didn't appear to have any slop when moved by hand.

I haven't checked/changed the AX5 oil yet.

I was considering dropping the tail-shaft and going front wheel drive in order to test the rear axle.... Does anyone have any better ideas to help me isolate which one is at fault?
Classic symptoms of a bearing failure in the rear diff. Get it taken care of assuming it hasn't ruined the rest the parts already. I know from experience having currently being on my 3rd Dana 35. Two blew up off the trails ironically and one bearing failure with the above symptoms. Pull the cover and look at the oil color, for metal shavings, and any teeth missing or rounded teeth. Then turn the yoke and try to replicate the noise. Once it has been diagnosed we can all further instruct you.

Nick

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Old 07-30-2013, 12:30 PM   #3
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Cheers Derp,

There was a lot if dissolved metal (both bronze colored and gray) in there and the oil was dark brown but not milky.

The gears don't appear to be damaged... Did you just repack your diff or replace the gears as well?


The AX5 shifts fine, no crunches in any gear. Still haven't checked it oil though - 10w 30 motor oil, right?

Brooce
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Old 07-30-2013, 07:33 PM   #4
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http://www.nagca.com/forum/showthread.php?t=28003

That axle is a ford 8.8 but it's design and procedure is the same as your Dana 35. I personally use molar gear oil in my diffs, I would do all bearings and seals, then refill the diff. If the gears are bad they will fail and let you know promptly. No sense in dumping money into a new set if they're good. Good luck with the repair.

Nick
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Old 07-31-2013, 03:11 PM   #5
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I don't have the facilities to repair anything much right now - living in an apartment downtown....

Anyone got a usable D35 they want to sell in the Phoenix, AZ area?
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Old 07-31-2013, 04:11 PM   #6
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I don't have the facilities to repair anything much right now - living in an apartment downtown....

Anyone got a usable D35 they want to sell in the Phoenix, AZ area?
Check in the classifieds and on craigslist. Usually they're easy to find and most will give then away or sell for price of scrap
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Old 08-06-2013, 06:34 PM   #7
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Getting the D35 rebuilt today, couldn't find a lower cost solution.

Once I replaced the timing chain and obliterated tensioner it was easy to hear that it was all in the back end.
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Old 08-06-2013, 06:56 PM   #8
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Getting the D35 rebuilt today, couldn't find a lower cost solution.

Once I replaced the timing chain and obliterated tensioner it was easy to hear that it was all in the back end.
Good to hear, I'm glad its working out for you. Rear ends are a real big can of worms, no harm in having a shop take that job and ensuring its done right.

Nick

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