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Well Worn Differential


rangerpilot

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How bad is it that I have had a whine coming from the rear differential for several years. It actually started when my transmission was replaced but the shop didn't hear the "new" sound and said all was ok.

Anyway, I just had it looked at for another reason and they said it was about to go. Quoted me $1200 (well, reduced it to $1000) for a used assumbly (full axle) or $1600 for a rebuild (just the differential).

I asked what could happen if not repaired. They said anything from locking up on the highway to snapping an axle and blowing through the truck bed.

So should I worry?

1999 Ranger 4.0
5-speed manual
4x4
250,000 miles

Replaced differential fluid 4-5 months ago ... I don't know what I am looking for but the gears looked immaculate ... didn't look bad at all but that is very unqualified opinion.

How severe is this to keep driving?
 


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adsm08

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A whine could be bearings going. That can be bad. If it is just gear whine it probably won't break anything but the gears. A bearing failure can take out the whole assembly if it is bad enough.
 

KnockKnock

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I don't believe a differential rebuild would help if it's an axle bearing, and at 250K, it's time for a full rebuild or replacement, but a recycled rear assembly of questionable origins leads to weighing options. What kind of a warranty are they talking about? It can be a gamble when there's a party that stands to profit from an early failure.

How mechanically inclined you are can be a determining factor here too. Can you pull the rear end yourself, and pay for just a "bench" rebuild, or pay removal and installation at one shop, and take it to a reputable trans & axle place for a rebuild? How much would it be if you buy the parts and bring them in for either case? I can be a bit of a nuisance at shops, but 99% of the time, you can get exactly what you want done at a great value if you know how to work the system, even just a little bit.

Whatever the case, I wish you luck with it. Keep everyone posted on the verdict. Kk
 

rangerpilot

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I too am very skeptical of repair shops ... even some of the more branded ones. I took this to AAMCO which has done a lot of work on this truck in the past and also overprice and "work with you" if you sound like it is too expensive of a repair (hence $1200 being reduced down to $1000).

I don't doubt I need to do something to the rear end...I just have the "I can't afford but want to get something newer itch" and don't want to spend $1000 on the truck if it will last another couple years.

If I have the appropriate equipment then yes, I am mechanically inclined and would much prefer to save the money and do this myself if I could get the parts. Where/How do you support the truck if you are dropping the rear?
 

swynx

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My local junkyards sell complete rear axles for 200$. Id go that route.
 


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