new rear diff pinion bearing == totally new rear end?? - Jeep Wrangler Forum

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Old 04-05-2012, 02:54 PM   #1
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 1
new rear diff pinion bearing == totally new rear end??

One thing my '98 Jeep Wrangler has taught me is DIY is possible and sometimes fun.

I recently took my Jeep in to a mechanic that changed the transfer case about 1.5 years ago. The linkage seemed off and wasn't engaging into 4WD.

While I had it in I asked him to check the rear diff as I'm getting a somewhat hallow grumble back there. Claims it's the pinion bearing in the rear diff. But then told me nobody typically just replaces the bearing but the entire rear end when that happens.

The first two letters that crossed my mind was "B" and "S". So two questions:

1) BS?
2) If indeed BS, on a scale of 1-10, what's the difficulty level on that job?

My experience so far has been changing stuff like the water pump, tension pulleys, etc. This no doubt is a little bit higher on the complexity level. This guy wanted to charge $1800 for an entire rear end.. just for a new pinion bearing??

If he's right, tell me what I'm missing. I changed the diff fluid a few months back. Slightly silvery so there's definitely some micro shaving going on. But that may also just be wear over time. No telling when the fluid was last changed as it was my first time in the few years owning it.
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Old 04-05-2012, 03:11 PM   #2
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Location: Sonora, CA.
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If there is metal shaving in the rear end, he is correct. You wouldn't replace the entire rear end though, but would more than likely replace all the bearings and possibly the ring and pinion(depending on the wear pattern). On a scale of 1-10 i would personally put this kind of job at a 10. Rear ends require special tools to set up, I would recomend having a person with experience do the job.

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Old 04-05-2012, 03:13 PM   #3
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Location: Tucson AZ
Posts: 658
Find someone with experience setting up differentials, go from there. A ring and pinion job is usually in the $500 range. A new pinion bearing will add some. But not $1800


If you were thinking about a locker, now is the time. Save some $$ on labor.
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Old 04-05-2012, 03:14 PM   #4
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Location: Sonora, CA.
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The reason I say you would do all the bearings is to do the pinion bearing you would do a complete tear down of the rear diff.
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