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Unread 07-01-2012, 11:21 AM   #1
macinmypocket
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1997 XJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Palatine, Il
Posts: 14
1997 Cherokee Dana 35 Cover

Hi everyone!

I've got a question about the rear axle cover on my Dana 35. It's leaking like a seive right now, and I'm looking for a new one. On Rockauto (under Jeep -> 1997 -> Cherokee -> 4.0L I6 -> Drivetrain -> Differential Cover, sorry I can't link straight to it) there's a cover for sale for the AMC Model 35, and as best as I can tell, it looks the same. Is this cover usable on my D35C differential?


Thanks for the help!

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Unread 07-01-2012, 11:44 AM   #2
sbxj
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Join Date: May 2003
Location: Oz
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Are you sure you need a new cover?
Did you damage yours?
might as well get this one
http://compare.ebay.com/like/1406834...Types&var=sbar

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Unread 07-01-2012, 12:15 PM   #3
N8N
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1999 XJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Sterling, VA
Posts: 224
Did you bend it somehow? I was surprised how beefy the stock 30/35 covers are when doing gear oil change on my 99. Lube locker gaskets and proper torquing = no leaks for me. I also electrolytically derusted them and painted semi gloss black before reinstalling because i like stuff clean.
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Unread 07-01-2012, 01:40 PM   #4
macinmypocket
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1997 XJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Palatine, Il
Posts: 14
Well, technically I haven't actually damaged it myself, and it's problably not cracked, it's just incredibly rusty and I'm pretty sure almost all of the fluid has leaked out of it by now (I'm not currently driving it until I fix it). Best guess, it's all seeped out through either the RTV gasket that's currently there and through the fill plug. I'll look into lube locker gaskets and perhaps just wirewheel the old one clean. I'm not 100% sure when it started leaking, I just noticed it when I was checking my rear brakes.

Thanks for the input, and if there are any suggestions out there for a better way to seal the drain plug I'd be happy to hear those too. Now to search for a pre-made gasket...
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Unread 07-01-2012, 01:55 PM   #5
N8N
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1999 XJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Sterling, VA
Posts: 224
I had a little trail of fluid leaking out of mine at the rubber fill plug, but carquest hooked me up with a new one for just a buck or two. My pinion seal was also leaking but that's a different issue. These covers appeared to have used RTV from the factory; I have no record of the fluids having been changed in mine prior to my ownership, the front was a special female dog to get off, cover was gasketed with some sort of ultra-adhesive orange RTV, had to beat it off with a hard rubber hammer (actually ended up ruining the cheap hammer) and I thought that I was going to have to use a metal hammer and hope for the best.

I had a theory that the hole for the rubber plug for the 35 would be the same size as the threaded NPT plug used on the 30 front cover but after looking more closely it appears that it's iffy if you can thread that hole and get a threaded plug to fit properly. I just used the new rubber plug and it's been dry as a bone since.

This is how I cleaned up my covers (and how I clean up pretty much any under-car or under-hood bit that I remove that doesn't need to be reinstalled immediately)

http://www.stovebolt.com/techtips/ru..._derusting.htm

lube locker gaskets:

http://www.quadratec.com/products/pr...E+LOCKER&srt=h

yeah, they're expensive but then again I don't even have to bother sourcing new gaskets when I get around to changing the lube again. My front cover was so rusty (probably from road salt/sand/debris wearing off the paint early in the vehicle's life) that it had to cook in the derust tank overnight before I could paint it, but it's back on and leak free now as is the rear. Really unless you see actual damage to the cover and/or you want a HD cover to prevent off road damage or to support the bearing caps (and if you want that, should you really be running a 35?) I'd spend the money on the reusable gaskets, a new fill plug, some primer and paint, and some good synthetic gear lube (I like Redline Heavy Shockproof but there are other good options out there as well) not a replacement cover that you probably don't need.

good luck!
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Unread 07-01-2012, 04:03 PM   #6
macinmypocket
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Location: Palatine, Il
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I read through the electrolytic derusting page and it sounds like fun. I think I'll do that instead and paint the cover with some high-temp gloss paint to try and curb any new rust (at least for a little while), then get myself a lube locker gasket. Any suggestions on getting RTV off the cover and housing without scratching them up too bad?

Thanks for the suggestions N8N and sbxj!
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Unread 07-01-2012, 04:12 PM   #7
N8N
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1999 XJ Cherokee 
 
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I just use a razor blade and ball of my thumb. Also brakleen on a rag for final wipe down. should be all you need.

I (heart) electrolytic derusting so much. Makes you do stupid stuff though, brake jobs take 10x as long as before (well, you have to derust the splash shields and then spray them with cold galvanizing compound... can't have nice new rotors with ugly *** splash shields behind them...) but it's sooo easy, and you can sit inside and drink beer while it's working, instead of getting little bits of wire wheel flung into your face.

Protip: clean the parts with oven cleaner before dumping them in the electrolytic tank. Oven cleaner does a great job of cutting through all the grease. Also I like using the red body shop scotchbrite pads for final cleanup after running through the tank (taking off all the scaly rust that's barely hanging on) and finally windex makes an excellent final post-primer wipe down. With that stuff and a good touch with the spray bomb you can make some real ****e look like new and impress all your friends. My theory is that also when I do have to take my vehicles to a mechanic they see all the shiny painted stuff underneath and hopefully understand that that means I take care of my stuff and expect them to fix everything right, not just "good enough" and also to take care and not do stupid **** like use a pipe wrench on my tie rod sleeves etc.
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