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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all,

I own a 97 TJ, 6cyl, 4.0L, 5spd, Sport. I recently developed a rear differential issue. The area around the pinion seal is leaking fluid, though the seal was just changed, fluid topped off and the rear driveshaft has some up and down play in it as well. My mechanic mentioned that he checked the outer bearing when he replace the seal. It was good, but he suspects the inner bearing may be the culprit. The rear end does seem to whine a bit on acceleration as well.

I've also noticed that I have a Dana 35 differential on the rear and a Dana 44 up front. Is this normal? How do I check my gearing? I'm not quite understanding the numbers on the differentials. I'm running 31" tires year round with a two inch coil spacer lift and I notice semi-slow pickup on the highway and struggling to maintain higher speeds when in 5th gear. Anyone out there that can help, or has any suggestions, it would be much appreciated. Thank you for your time!
 

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You have a D30 front.. Only TJ/LJ's to get a D44 front were the Rubicons and they had D44 rears as well..
 

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make sue the nut that holds the yoke to the pinion is seated and torqued, if not if leaves room for play in the housing, that might let fluid by , also the play could be the noise you hear.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
You may be right, my front differential could be a Dana 30, I just thought with the metal bolt in the cover instead of the rubber one in the 35, meant it was a 44. The housing on the front sort of resembles a 44. However a 30 obviously makes more sense.

Regardless, my issues are with the 35 in the rear. The nuts have all been checked and torqued. Still play in the driveshaft up and down, not rotationally. Any ideas, please let me know. Thanks!
 

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dont know if you pulled the drive shaft, but you would have to to torque that big nut that is in the yoke..
 

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if it's not a loose pinion nut, it's the pinion bearings. how many miles are on your jeep? if you replace the pinion bearings you might as well replace the carrier and outer axles bearings/seals.
 

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Dont take anyones word for it, check diff for yourself. You may have Dana 44 in front if previous owner replaced front axial. Metal plug is Dana 44, plus diff cover is different but then Dana 30. Hope this helps!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
The pinion nuts were tightened I'm pretty certain, I think the pinion bearings are probably the issue. How difficult a job is it usually to change out all the inner bearings? Is it usually really expensive? Would it be more worth it to find another Dana 35 rear end to swap in? I'll take a pic of my front differential later on today and post it to see what you guys think it is. Thanks or all the help!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I'm pretty certain the front diff is probably the 30. It doesn't seem to be leaking at all like the rear end. I googled some pics of the Dana 30 cover and found it with the same metal plug. Anyone with ideas of what it should cost me to fix the rear 35 pinion bearings and so on, please let me know. Thanks!
 

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Dont take anyones word for it, check diff for yourself. You may have Dana 44 in front if previous owner replaced front axial. Metal plug is Dana 44, plus diff cover is different but then Dana 30. Hope this helps!
Nicely Done! As with everything, trust but verify. Nothing better than putting your eyes on it. :punk:
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Ok, so I've taken some pics. The first is a pic of the front differential. Pretty sure it's a Dana 30. Let me know!

The second pic is of the rear end near the pinion seal that was just replaced but is still spitting fluid.

If anyone can let me know what it would probably cost to replace pinion bearings to fix the up and down play in the driveshaft and probably the leak, please let me know! Thanks!
 

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