Rear-diff Troubles and Solutions -
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post #1 of 4 Old 12-25-2012, 04:35 PM Thread Starter
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Rear-diff Troubles and Solutions

Hi there,

New forum member (long-time reader) and pretty unintelligent when it comes to the inner workings of a car. Forgive me in advance.

99 Jeep Cherokee Sport. Having some pretty good vibration throughout the car starting at about 70-72 mph. I've had car aligned, wheels rebalanced. The joints have been checked out, don't think it's that.

So I am out of ideas. I take the jeep to a garage and they lift it up and run it at high revs and show me the rear-diff is vibrating and making some noises. Seems like the diff is the culprit of the vibration/shaking.

I don't want to pay $800 right now to get that rebuilt. I can put the jeep in 4-wheel high and disconnect the rear drive, essentially turning my jeep into a front wheel drive. Here is the question, what are the longer term impacts of doing this? Could it cause other damage to the car?

I live in LA so its not like I really need 4WD. Any and all thoughts on this are welcome. Such as:

- Can a rear-diff issue really cause vibration throughout the car, going in a straight line down the freeway at 70?

- Cost, ideas on rear-diff repair?

Thanks in advance for the forums help. As a Jeep owner for the past 10 years I have used this forum often to get ideas and tips on little repairs which have kept my car running great throughout the years.

Hope everyone is having a great holiday! Cheers!


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post #2 of 4 Old 12-25-2012, 04:44 PM
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2000 XJ Cherokee 
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Location: out in the garage - Minneapolis
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Visit at least two more shops, including a clutch and drive line shop. Have them inspect and diagnose. Say nothing of previous inspections/diagnostics. IMO, driving with the front axle is very short term solution, as in a few hundred miles or less.

If in fact, your rear differential needs a $600 - $1,000 rebuild, your most inexpensive solution is to buy a complete axle and install it yourself. You can swap axles in your driveway with simple hand tools in about 4-6 hours.


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post #3 of 4 Old 12-25-2012, 05:57 PM
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1999 XJ Cherokee 
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Location: New york
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Correction greased SPLINE

I was getting vibration felt like rumble strip. Was advised to check for binding universal and dry spline. Grabbed driveshaft and found no play in any direction but had never greased spline so I took back universal apart. Universal was binding and spline was dry. Greased spline and changed u joint. no more vibration. Just saying.

Last edited by BlkCat; 12-28-2012 at 12:28 AM. Reason: Correction-Part
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post #4 of 4 Old 12-25-2012, 07:05 PM
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It's probably got the OEM u-joints in it. That's where I'd start. If you pull the rear driveshaft, I think the oil in the transfer case will run out through the seal when driving it. Pull the diff cover and take a look. If you have to put in a used rearend,make sure to get the right gear ratio. Most are 3:55's,but not all. I've done 2 swaps with a buddy in the driveway with some power tools in 4hrs. Piece of cake.
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rear diff , rear differential , vibration

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