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Discussion Starter #1
Our rear differential has developed a slow leak at the bottom. The dealer says the lip is bent from dragging across something and so it can't be fixed under warranty.


They want $472 to repair it including parts and labor, but we'd like to buy something stronger and potentially do it ourselves. I've never worked on a differential before, so a few questions:


1) What should look for in replacement covers for more toughness?
2) How hard it is it to replace a cover in the driveway with basic hand tools?
3) What additional parts are needed? I'm assuming it has a gasket of some kind.


Thanks in advance for any help or guidance.


Added - I forgot, this is for a 2017 JKUR
 

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1. There will be a lot of argument about this one about what is best. The bottom line is that just about every aftermarket replacement cover is night and day better than the factory cover. Some are stronger than others but in the end, they're all better than stock. Find one you like for the money you want to spend.

2. It is trivially easy:

* Open drain plug near the bottom of the diff off to one side. Let it drain. I believe it uses a 3/8" socket drive so just a socket wrench and an extension will be all you need to get the plug out.
* Remove cover bolts. Leave one of the top ones loose for when you break the seal so the doesn't drop on you.
* Get a knife or small screwdriver in to pop the cover free. The place where it peeled back at the bottom is a good place to start. Then take the last bolt out and set the cover aside.
* Examine the inside for any chunks at the bottom (very unlikely). If you find them, you may need more repair work. Stop here and ask more advice with pictures of the gears.
* Clean out the diff with brake parts cleaner or something like that. Let it dry.
* Use a razor blade to scrape any remaining gasket goop off the surface of the differential. Do a final clean.
* Using a Lube Locker brand gasket (the hands down best on the market), put the new cover in place. Torque to spec.
* Make sure the drain plug has been put back in. And clean off everything in the area before you put it back in. No sense accidentally putting dirt in the differential.
* Fill the differential with the correct amount of fluid. If you got a cover with extra capacity, it will tell you how much to put in. Otherwise fill with the stock quantity.
* Enjoy
* If you remember, check the torque on the bolts in a couple of weeks.

3. As stated above, do yourself a favor and buy a Lube Locker brand gasket. They can't be beat. You can find one at Amazon or most of the places where you can buy the cover.
 

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Our rear differential has developed a slow leak at the bottom. The dealer says the lip is bent from dragging across something and so it can't be fixed under warranty.


They want $472 to repair it including parts and labor, but we'd like to buy something stronger and potentially do it ourselves. I've never worked on a differential before, so a few questions:


1) What should look for in replacement covers for more toughness?
2) How hard it is it to replace a cover in the driveway with basic hand tools?
3) What additional parts are needed? I'm assuming it has a gasket of some kind.


Thanks in advance for any help or guidance.


Added - I forgot, this is for a 2017 JKUR
There are lots of HD diff cover options. Pick the one you like best, based on features, looks, etc.
Cast covers are common and are a lot tougher than the stock cover. But then, a beer can is likely tougher than the stock cover.
It is easy to replace the cover, you do need to drain the diff oil out and replace with new. Draining oil from the diff is not really any different than draining engine oil, you are only draining fluid into a pan. The one issue with the diff is the fluid stinks. I mean, it smells bad. I know people who will pay someone else to do the diff oil so they don't have to put up with the smell. But aside from the smell it is easy. The next hardest part id the old cover is glued on with silicone glue. So, it is a little hard to get the old cover off. You can glue the new cover on again, or you can get a lubelocker gasket. The lubelocker gasket is a little easier to deal with, but either way works. Once you get the old cover off you also need to clean off the old gasket goo. That can be a bit of a pain, and that is why I use a lubelocker gasket. But some prefer the goo.
 

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Ballpark costs for DIY, $70 to $120 on a differ cover, $20 for fluid, and $20 for either gear oil rtv or gasket.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Great feedback as always - thanks everyone! I forgot to mention that we changed the fluid ourself around 15k. Well, to be completely honest, my wife did it herself. :)


And I totally understand about the smell - she made the mistake of not bagging up everything when she was done so the inside of our trash can forever smells like diff fluid.
 

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Poison Spyder covers are quite popular, I love mine. $110 powder coated black.
But other brands of nodular (cast) iron covers are fine too.

I've scraped and bumped mine on New England granite for 5 years now, never leaked or cracked.

Make sure you get the right one for your axles (Dana 44 front and rear since this is a Rubicon) Recommend you do both axles.

Super easy job with basic tools - a torque wrench helps so you don't over tighten those bolts.

Here's a video (not mine) there are tons of them on You Tube.

 

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No Whining now....
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Warped or not???

I ordered two poison spyder covers and painted them prior to install. Only problem is that prior to installing the rear, it looks to me (and mechanic) as if it's warped.

Please cast your opinion based on the video below:


no whining now....

(but seriously, isn't this supposed to be flat?)
 
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