How f'ed is my D44a rear axle? - JeepForum.com
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Unread 06-21-2013, 09:54 PM   #1
leftfield6
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How f'ed is my D44a rear axle?

1998 5.9 Limited, with the Trac-Loc D44a rear end. I've been slowly working my way through the issues with this recent purchase, and now it looks like my rear axle wants to be the next thing to suck money out of my wallet.

Since I bought the JGC a few weeks a there has been a whining sound coming from the rear axle, so I figured bearings or something, but now I'm wondering it it's more. I pulled the rear cover a few days ago, and changed fluid, but no change in the sounds. Yes I'm sure I used the right lube with the friction modifier. The old lube didn't seem to have a lot of metal in it. I mean, there was a little metal-flake in the old lube, but not much.

So tonight as I'm pulling into my driveway, as I take the slow right angle turn, it seems like I'm getting a binding sensation or feel from the rear. Almost like scrubbing the tires but not quite.

Oh, the viscous coupling was replaced a few weeks ago, this really seems like a rear axle thing.

Ideas? I know diddly squat about rear diffs.

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Unread 06-22-2013, 08:36 AM   #2
PolkaPower
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Probably the carrier bearings and the track lock needs a re build. The is the most likely scenario. I didn't have the tools or time to do mine so I took it to a shop back in Vegas. For everything total was around 700. Labor was the biggest chunk of that. Parts were maybe like 300. It's been like new ever since.
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Unread 06-22-2013, 02:55 PM   #3
leftfield6
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Thanks for the reply. I don't have the tools and expertise to tackle this, so I'll be taking it to a shop as well. If I can get out the door for $700 and have a good as new rear axle, I'll be happy with that.

Thanks again.
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Unread 06-24-2013, 05:27 AM   #4
leftfield6
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Dropped her off at the shop last night, so hopefully this week I'll know what the deal is.
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Unread 06-24-2013, 05:46 AM   #5
Candymancan
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My rear axle on my 5.9 has been making weird grunting noises at highway speeds 65-75mph it sounds like something is grinding almost.. It goes uhhnnnn uuhhhnn its weird... BUT it has been doing it for 24k miles now 3 years since day one I got it and only at those speeds... above 70-75mph it goes away and below 65mph its gone too.. It is quiet as can be in the city which is where I put most of those 24k miles... So I don't even think about it.. Im sure something is worn out in the rear but I dunno what...

All I know is its the last major thing I need to fix on my 5.9 but I am deff not doing it I don't have the tools and if I can get a shop to fix it for $700 ... f it ill do it.. With all the work I've done to my engine, and viscous coupler... polka knows... im just sick of working on it.. the plenum was the latest..
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Unread 06-24-2013, 06:01 AM   #6
leftfield6
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I hear ya. My noises seemed to be getting worse over the last week or so. Thought I'd better address it. Plus I have about a grand $ on hand to spend right now as a result of selling some non-Jeep parts.

You're ahead of me on the plenum repair, I haven't tackled that yet.
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Unread 06-24-2013, 06:29 AM   #7
Candymancan
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I've done too much on my Jeep lol.. so its really just my axle that needs attention and im DONE, screw my sunroof I sealed that up lol and my a/c ill just keep recharging it when it needs it

Waterpump
Timing cover gasket and timing chain
Power steering pump
Intake manifold plenum
Viscous coupler in transfercase
Nutral safety switch. twice...
O2 sensor
TPS
Low speed fan sensor
All my cooling lines
Automatic tensioner
Idler pully
3 drive belts (dont ask lol)
Electric fan motor
CV front axle shafts..
Front lower control arms
transmission mount
ignition coil
My 150A alternator died
Sunroof broke right after replacing my alternator its still broken..
rear axle needs new bearings..
A/C leaks slowely..
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Unread 06-24-2013, 06:55 AM   #8
98ZJOKC
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I had the whining sound coming from my rear axle of my 5.9 (180K). Was quoted $2,700 from one shop for a brand new rear end because my pinion bearing was shot, my carrier bearings were shot, my wheel bearings where shot, blah, blah. So obviously I left. Took it to another shop and I asked them to only replace the wheel bearings and inspect the axles. They replaced both wheel bearings and one axle and it cost right at $800. $300+ dollars of that was parts for the axle. My suggestion is to find a source for used axles on craigslist ahead of time from someone who has upgraded theirs and just wants to get rid of the old ones. If the shop tells you that you need new axles, then tell them you already have replacement axles and then go pick them up from the CL guy.

All the noise is gone now and the shop I ended up using said everything they could see looked fine inside the differential. I don't use a shop for much, but I won't crawl under a vehicle suspended only by jacks, so they get my businesses from now on for those kinds of repairs.
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Unread 06-24-2013, 09:30 AM   #9
leftfield6
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Ha!! If they come back with a $2000 plus estimate. they will NOT be doing the work! If that's what it needs, there will be a project 5.9er up for sale!!
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Unread 06-24-2013, 12:48 PM   #10
robertflake
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I had the SAME thing happen to me, I'm not an expirienced car mechanic but i decided to change the axle myself... $175 D44 axle at the junkyard, and about 16 hours is what it took, my car works perfectly now...
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Unread 06-25-2013, 04:21 PM   #11
speedbucket
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With the binding I would guess its just the track lok clutches needing rebuilt. The clutches can wear thin enough that they krinkle or fold or break and bind it up which essentially acts like its locked. Friends that run LSD on their trail rigs use a couple of old clutch plates to thin the stack enough when rebuilding them to be able to add an extra plate making the LSD really tight to where it acts like a locker on the trail
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Unread 06-25-2013, 04:33 PM   #12
leftfield6
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And the answer is.......pretty f'ed up. Actually the answer is almost of the above. Pinion bearings, yep need em. Carrier bearings, yep need em. Whell bearings, yep need em. Track Loc clutch, yep needs rebuilding. Good new is my ring and pinion was good and the axles weren't scarred. Should be ready for me to pick up tomorrow.
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Unread 06-25-2013, 04:36 PM   #13
98ZJOKC
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You're going to love not hearing that RarrrrrRarrrrRarrrrRarrrr when you're driving down the road.
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Unread 06-25-2013, 05:10 PM   #14
PolkaPower
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Yea you are going to think you are in a Cady how quiet it's gonna be without the axle noise.
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Unread 06-25-2013, 05:29 PM   #15
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Trac-Lok clutches cost about $65 and all you need to change them are a couple of grade 8 bolts and nuts and a few washers. I found a site on the internet describing how to change trac-lok clutches in a chrysler 9.25" diff. The Dana 44a is about the same. It takes about 30 minutes and is not really hard to do. Note that trac-lok clutch sets are only good for about 50,000 miles. So they really need changing a lot more often than people normally do.
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