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Discussion Starter #1
So, since I'm going to be towing a 3500 lb trailer this week, I figured I'd check all fluids. The rear was BLACK and I found 2, maybe 3 shards of metal. Not sure when the fluid was changed last, but here's what I found. There was a lot of filings on the drain plug, which I wasn't too surprised about, but it was the solid metal pieces I found that are concerning. I haven't taken the cover off to Inspect it. I feel they are small enough pieces that it shouldn't be an issue towing our trailer. There is no noise or clunking from the rear end at all
 

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Take off the cover, drain, clean the gears with brake cleaner and look for damage on the ring gear and pinion; it's the only way to find out if everything is ok.
 

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Same here, pieces of metal came off from what I believe is the "side gear" on my son's Jeep. It was covered under the drive-train warranty. Common problem with D44.

 

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Needs to be replaced. There is no real preventative maintenance when the stock parts are junk. Get it rebuilt and consider replacing the traclock with something else.
Yeah, I figured - My question was really in response to the statement that "the earlier you catch it, the better".. seems like the outcome is the same no matter when you catch it.

Though I suppose it's much better to catch during maintenance than on a trail.
 

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Yeah, I figured - My question was really in response to the statement that "the earlier you catch it, the better".. seems like the outcome is the same no matter when you catch it.



Though I suppose it's much better to catch during maintenance than on a trail.


For whatever it’s worth, there have been countless threads on chipped spider gears and worn out clutch packs on the limited slip. But I cant think of a single one that resulted in a catastrophic failure.

But yea that still doesn’t mean it would be smart to find an issue like this then roll the dice hoping it doesn’t get worse. So in that sense, the earlier the better.



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Discussion Starter #12
Since I am leaving Thursday early am, I just did a drain and fill for now. When I get back, I'll pull the cover and do a proper inspection and hope for the best. I'm feeling lucky that we'll make it back. And then I hope it's not a major component and not too expensive. Thanks for the reply folks!
 

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Took my JKU on vacation last year to Colorado. Changed fluids before the trip and several pieces came out of the rear diff like the picture in the original post.


Filled it and no problems since, no odd noises etc... 10,000 or so miles. Not going to have the dealer fix it because the plan is to re-gear sooner than later.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Took my JKU on vacation last year to Colorado. Changed fluids before the trip and several pieces came out of the rear diff like the picture in the original post.




Filled it and no problems since, no odd noises etc... 10,000 or so miles. Not going to have the dealer fix it because the plan is to re-gear sooner than later.
I am a bit nervous only because of the mountian pass I'll be going through. But there are no noises coming from it now. Fingers crossed
 

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I've had a few very thin but somewhat long metal shavings, but nothing so chunky looking as that picture. But I don't have the limited slip, which seems to be the culprit for those spider gears falling apart from what I gather.
 

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By the way, need to clarify the picture I posted on #4.

The Jeep ran perfectly fine for months like that, no need to panic. Also, it has been modded and wheeled hard, that factory D44 differential is not as weak as some people believe.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
By the way, need to clarify the picture I posted on #4.

The Jeep ran perfectly fine for months like that, no need to panic. Also, it has been modded and wheeled hard, that factory D44 differential is not as weak as some people believe.
I think I'll be fine for my trip. I will do an inspection when I get back for piece of mind tho.
 
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