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Old 04-04-2010, 02:47 AM   #1
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Dumb Girl+Rear Pinion Seal Leak=Dumb Question.

Sorry in advance for this; I'm sure y'all get tired of dumb questions from newbies, but I couldn't find an answer using the search tool.
I took my new (to me) TJ to a mechanic to get it checked out, and he said that the rear pinion seal is leaking. I've gathered from the forum that this is a common problem, and from my dad that it has something to do with the rear wheels (or something like that).
So, my question is, what exactly does the rear pinion do? And while we're on the subject (at least, I think it's kind of the same subject, but I could be misunderstanding something), does it make sense to have a Dana 30 front axle and a Dana 44 rear axle? My Jeep is a 2003 Sahara, and the previous owner had the 44 option installed at the factory. It seems to me like they should match, but what do I know? I don't get axles. Or anything else mechanical, for that matter. Anyone feel like tackling this? Thanks! Oh, and Happy Easter!

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Old 04-04-2010, 03:39 AM   #2
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Very simply put, most stock jeeps come from the factory with a dana 30 front axle and a dana 35 rear axle. The rear axle does most of the work and needs to be stronger since the front is only working when you put your jeep in 4 wheel drive. The dana 44 rear axle you have is a stronger axle thean the standard dana 35 and is considered more desirable. The axles can be different models as long as the gears inside are the same ratio which makes them turn at the same speed. The pinion is the part of the rear axle that the drive shaft connects to and turns and the gears inside the axle which in turn spins your wheels. The seal leak is a problem because the gears create lots of friction and need to be well lubricated to prevent them from wearing and breaking. If your fluid gets low it can mean a very expensive repair or replacement.
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Old 04-04-2010, 03:42 AM   #3
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The pinion is inside the axle(s) and turns the ring, hence the term "ring and pinion." These items and many others are inside your differential housings along with the axles which turn the wheels. I'm sure Jerry will jump in here and explain this much better.

The pinion seal keeps lubricant inside the axle housing where it belongs. Bad seal = leak. Usually an inexpensive, and common place for a leak.

Different axles are common. The reason is the rear axle takes a bunch more abuse than the front and manufacturers put the stronger 44 in the rear.

Now, the ring and pinion should match inside the front and rear axles so the drive train doesn't rotate at different rates at front and rear ends.

btw, asking questions is far easier than re-inventing the wheel.

Hope this helps, Joe
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Old 04-04-2010, 05:43 AM   #4
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...and a D44 on a Sahara almost always has limited slip! If so, there may be a tag on the D44 housing telling you to use an additive.
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Old 04-04-2010, 11:44 PM   #5
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...and a D44 on a Sahara almost always has limited slip! If so, there may be a tag on the D44 housing telling you to use an additive.
Limited slip? Additive? Sorry, I'm lost, lol.

Thanks for the responses, everyone!
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Old 04-05-2010, 12:00 AM   #6
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Limited slip means if one wheel loses traction, the differential will send power to the wheel that still has traction...so say your pass. side tires are in a muddy ditch and your driver side tires are on a nice dry road. With an open differential (standard), your pass. side tire will lose traction and begin to spin while your wheel that has traction doesn't budge and you are effectively stuck. With limited slip, when your pass. side tire begins to spin, it will send power to the other tire and you should be able to get it out. There's a long and complicated response, but that's the short version...lol

If you have limited slip, when you change your differential oil, you also need to buy a tube of additive (aka friction modifier) from the dealer...it's cheap...and add it to your fresh differential oil. Without it, your limited slip may turn into an open differential...which I'm sure is bad on the components.
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Old 04-05-2010, 04:45 AM   #7
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........

If you have limited slip, when you change your differential oil, you also need to buy a tube of additive (aka friction modifier) from the dealer...it's cheap...and add it to your fresh differential oil. Without it, your limited slip may turn into an open differential...which I'm sure is bad on the components.
Without the additive, you often get a chatter noise or feeling from the differential.
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Old 04-05-2010, 07:14 PM   #8
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If you all would reread Jerrys posts you will see where he has said that Jeep LSD are gear controlled, not clutch! Therefore you don't need an additive.
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Old 04-06-2010, 08:08 AM   #9
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If you all would reread Jerrys posts you will see where he has said that Jeep LSD are gear controlled, not clutch! Therefore you don't need an additive.
Which post is that? Mine sneeds an additive.
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Old 04-06-2010, 07:40 PM   #10
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You can go one of three ways: 1. PM Jerry. 2. Use the "search" up by where you log in and type "additives". 3. Look for posts by name - Find a post by Jerry, click on his name,and on the drop down "find more posts......."
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Old 04-07-2010, 06:32 AM   #11
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Which post is that? Mine sneeds an additive.
Sneeds an additive? ...and I need a new keyboard!

From the 2001 service manual....

REAR AXLE
194–RBI . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1.66 L (3.5 pts.*)
216–RBI . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1.89 L (4.0 pts.*)
* When equipped with TRAC-LOK, include 4
ounces of Friction Modifier Additive.,
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Old 04-07-2010, 07:53 PM   #12
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Try to PM Jerry. If I'm wrong, then I apologize. I know I saw it on this forum someplace. I'm short on time now, but I'll check tomorrow.
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Old 04-07-2010, 08:02 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by 03 RUBI View Post
If you all would reread Jerrys posts you will see where he has said that Jeep LSD are gear controlled, not clutch! Therefore you don't need an additive.
That must have come from a different Jerry.

The factory limited slip differential, called a Tracloc (Trac-Lok, etc.) is indeed clutch-based and it does ineed a friction-modifier additive. The good news is that most gear lubes suitable for our axles already contain the additive.

The aftermarket Detroit Truetrac limited slip differential is gear-based and it does not require any kind of an additive.
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Old 04-08-2010, 03:16 PM   #14
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My humble apologizes to all, especially Jerry. I must have confused the words "Trac-Lok" with "True-Trac". Again, sorry!

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