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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I currently have my JKU with Dana 44 rear, 3.73, limited slip in the shop for repair. I noticed a clunking noise develop in the rear over the last few weeks. I popped the rear diff cover to take a look. The attached images are what I found. No metal chunks or shavings in the fluid or stuck to the magnetic drain plug. The dealer looked at it today and said my bearings are bad, that metal was present from the bearings and they are replacing under warranty. When I asked about the ring and pinion, he said they found no problem with it.

I'm no expert, but the chip in the ring gear is not good and the pinion does not look good to me. What do you guys think?
 

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Your pictures and description of the ring and pinion don't alarm me, but the pictures aren't the clearest either. What DOES concern me is the lack of "No metal chunks or shavings in the fluid or stuck to the magnetic drain plug."
If the bearings were truly bad, there should have been a gross of fine metal on the magnet. The magnet should have looked like it had hair sticking to it. The other thing that concerns me is your statement; "I noticed a clunking noise develop in the rear over the last few weeks." If the noise was coming from the differential, I would be suspect of the Limited Slip mechanism. Not having heard the noise, I can't say that with any authority though. The noise could be from something else. Hopefully, they will check out the axle bearings while it is apart. One of them MIGHT be your noise.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I'll clarify the noise and behavior a little. The noise occurs when I've stopped and am starting to accelerate forward. It's a single clunking noise like there was a little slop that finally engages when moving forward. I put it up on jack stands a couple of weeks ago, put it in neutral and rotated the rear drive shaft by hand, back and forth. I could rotate the shaft in either direction and reproduce the noise. Also, while doing this the wheels would not move until I rotated the shaft a fair bit. The dealer did say they found metal when inspecting the rear yesterday. I'm glad the bearings are being replaced, I just feel like the ring and pinion should be as well, and maybe even more.
 

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If there is too much slop in the gear set, my guess is, the clunk will still be there when you pick it up. Unfortunately, sometimes when getting repairs under warranty, you have to let them do it their way, and stay on them. I'm not saying the bearing isn't bad, like Smith, I'm skeptical.

Of course without seeing it in person, I don't have a clue.
I'm guessing one of a few things here: the dealer doesn't have someone that is extremely good at setting up/measuring ring and pinions (many sub this work out), he is the only one so they don't want to take him off another job, or FCA requested the order of repairs. Probably the latter.

Watch some YouTube videos on setting ring and pinions, so if it comes to it, you understand the terminology.

Again, I'm just guessing here, I don't have the Jeep in front of me, and I while I've seen it done, I'm not able to set up ring and pinions either :happyyes:
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
So I picked my jeep up from the dealer on Friday and they said the repairs are complete. They did not mention the ring and pinion after I specifically asked them to look at it. I even showed the service manager the photo I posted here. I still feel like I have some slop in the differential but they say it's good to go. I may drive it for a couple of weeks and then take it back. Here's what they listed on the work order for parts and description:

Differential bearing failure verified excessive play in differential. Removed cover and inspected. Found excessive metal in fluid. Disassembled and inspected. Found differential bearing bearing failure and damage to pinion bearings due to metal debris. Replaced pinion and differential case side bearings. Verified repair.


1 4746733 Bearing-Differential Side
1 4864210 Bearing-Drive Pinion
1 4746979 Bearing-Drive Pinion
1 5183525AA Spacer-Drive Pinion Bearing
1 68003265AA Seal-Drive Pinion
1 5191197AA Nut-Pinion
2 68218657AA *Lube-Axle
1 4318060AD Lubricant-Axle
1 68065196AB *Cleaner-Brake-Aerosol

It doesn't make sense to me that metal shavings were found in the fluid but they noted no problem with the ring or pinion. In my photo the ring clearly has a nick in it.
 
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