03 2wd Rear diff failure
I bought my truck less than a month ago. I have already replaced upper and lower balljoints/shocks/tie rod ends and now the rear end is shot. I heard it whinning for about 15 miles and when we pulled into the driveway I felt a jerk. I smelled rear end fluid and saw it leaking from the front pinion seal. I pulled the cover and metal shaving were all in the oil. I have rebuilt GM 8.5 before and this seems to be the same setup minus the threaded adjusting nut for the carrier bearings. I looked down into the holes for the adjustable nuts and saw alot of damage. I still have to take it apart but it looks like one side has damage to the actual hole. It is elongated and something is ground off on wedged in there. I imagine the pre load was wrong and caused bearing failure. The bearing failure caused the carrier to rotate incorrectly causing the pinion to track wrong. This is what I think destroyed the pinion seal leading me to my epic discovery. There is no telling what I will find as I pull it apart. My concern is if the housing is damage from the adjusting screws I will not be able to use the housing to rebuild. That would mean I would have to get a junk yard housing (at least 500 to a 1000) before I even start buying parts.
I am weighing my options and wonder who has an opinion. I could clean the housing up and just replace bearings, seals and the clutch pack for the lsd. That is the cheapest but I imagine using the orignal stuff I am looking at failure 15 to 50 thousands miles down the road. I could sell it though. I could rebuild it proper with a Yukon Duragrip and 4.10 gears but that is going to cost 700 to 1500 depending on what has to get replaced. I could get a complete package but that will run 2500 dollars or more. It would be a quick swap and get me back on the road.
The thing is I have alway had GM but I needed a bigger truck for the kids. I bought the truck to have a daily driver I did not have to work on but I am always working on it. I like the truck alot but so far Chrysler is proving my original concerns about buying a Dodge correct.
Well a used diff around here is about $300... i paid $75 for the MOPAR corporate diff in my '56 F100... non-LS.
You really don't know what you've got to deal with until you pull it apart. There should be aftermarket support for that rear so you don't have to buy expensive parts from the dealer... that should save you a bunch.
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