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Unread 06-18-2012, 07:48 AM   #1
niero
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Rebuild Rear Differential? - Minneapolis, MN

Hi,

I'm brand new to Jeeps. I just bought a used 1997 Grand Cherokee, 199,320 miles.
I'm finding out it needs a new rear differential. It has a grinding noise coming from the back when accelerating. The bearings have been replaced (not sure what that means). I'm not mechanically inclined at all.

Is there anyplace in Minneapolis, MN that you know and trust to rebuild a rear diff? The best estimate I've gotten is $1500. I've read online a lot of people get one from the junkyard and have a mechanic do it. I knew an older vehicle would need some work, and I wanted a Grand Cherokee. I don't mind spending some cash to get her runnin' right, but $1500 for one repair is out of my range.

Any advice would be most appreciated.

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Unread 06-18-2012, 08:20 AM   #2
ajmorell
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Iron Rock might be willing to do it (I don't know if they do normal maintenance repairs like that or not), they aren't far away. I would call them up and ask.

http://www.ironrockoffroad.com/Merch...tore_Code=IROR
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Unread 06-18-2012, 08:29 AM   #3
niero
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Thanks for the reply. I will give them a call.

Right now it's at the dealer, awaiting an estimate. So far I got $1000-$1200. Or if I supply one from the junkyard, $600+ in labor.

Are you in MN? Where do you get your work done?
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Unread 06-18-2012, 08:37 AM   #4
ajmorell
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No, I'm in New Mexico....I just knew that IRO was located in MN
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Unread 06-18-2012, 09:10 AM   #5
JohnnyZJ
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do you have a V8 grand cherokee?

your axle a D44a? if its already been rebuilt with new bearings than the housings probably warped so its eating bearings at a fast pace.

if its a D35, well, they are crap axles too....... but theres 100s at the junkyard.
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Unread 06-18-2012, 09:12 AM   #6
niero
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnnyZJ View Post
do you have a V8 grand cherokee?

your axle a D44a? if its already been rebuilt with new bearings than the housings probably warped so its eating bearings at a fast pace.

if its a D35, well, they are crap axles too....... but theres 100s at the junkyard.
It's the inline 6 cyl.
I'm told there are several different kinds of diffs that can go back there. Locking and non-locking.

1. Which one is OEM?
2. What's the difference?

Thanks
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Unread 06-18-2012, 09:31 AM   #7
niero
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Ok, a little bit more info.

Just bought this Jeep two weeks ago. Guy was a mechanic (don't know how good, but seemed pretty knowledgeable.)

He says the axle shafts and bearings were replaced in the rear less than 1000 miles ago. Says the rear end is perfectly fine. But there's still a grinding noise.
The last thing I want to do is drop several hundred to a grand on a repair that wasn't needed.

Any ideas what it could be?
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Unread 06-18-2012, 09:35 AM   #8
PolkaPower
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Have you checked that the e brake isn't rubbing on the rotor?
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Unread 06-18-2012, 09:42 AM   #9
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Hey I wanted to chime in here as I have quite a bit of experience on the subject as I had mine rebuilt 3 times. 1st time was not a complete rebuild and lasted ~40,000 KM. 2nd was a complete rebuild and lasted less then 10K. My mechanic never put any additive into the diff so it blew out mighty fast. I took it back to him, instead of making me pay the $1200 again, he did it for parts plus a bit of labor ($500)... This lasted and was quiet until I scrapped it, another 15,000KM's.. Previous post could certainly be correct as the housing is probably out of spec, causing bearings to fail prematurely. However, usually when bearings go bad its a loud howling, rather then a grinding noise although they can/will go hand in hand when the rear end goes bad. To me it was more of a 'scraping' noise inside the cabin, with a lot of howling. Try taking it on the highway and see if it gets louder with speed, acceleration and deceleration. And yeah, check your brake pads, rotors, ebrakes too!!
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Unread 06-18-2012, 09:50 AM   #10
CJ7-Tim
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The Dealership is the last place in the world you want working on your Jeeps. They are very expensive (parts and labor), and their technicians are often less than talented mechanics.

If needed, simply find and buy a good used axle with the correct gear ratio and install it yourself. You can buy all the tools you need, and a large stack of used axles for $1500. The last time I was at the local Minneapolis U-Pull www.upullrparts.com/ they had at least 10 ZJ's to choose from. Complete axles are $96 each.

As suggested, make sure the noise is not from any other source before you start any rebuild, repairs, or replacement.
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Unread 06-18-2012, 10:24 AM   #11
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Mine is making a scraping/grinding noise with no howling. I did my wheel bearings and brakes. I suspect it is the carrier bearings. It sounds just like a bad bearing with sand in it turning round and round.
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Unread 06-18-2012, 10:38 AM   #12
niero
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cuttysark View Post
Hey I wanted to chime in here as I have quite a bit of experience on the subject as I had mine rebuilt 3 times. 1st time was not a complete rebuild and lasted ~40,000 KM. 2nd was a complete rebuild and lasted less then 10K. My mechanic never put any additive into the diff so it blew out mighty fast. I took it back to him, instead of making me pay the $1200 again, he did it for parts plus a bit of labor ($500)... This lasted and was quiet until I scrapped it, another 15,000KM's.. Previous post could certainly be correct as the housing is probably out of spec, causing bearings to fail prematurely. However, usually when bearings go bad its a loud howling, rather then a grinding noise although they can/will go hand in hand when the rear end goes bad. To me it was more of a 'scraping' noise inside the cabin, with a lot of howling. Try taking it on the highway and see if it gets louder with speed, acceleration and deceleration. And yeah, check your brake pads, rotors, ebrakes too!!
Thanks for the replies, guys.

This is a grinding/humming sound that stays about the same in volume driving in town vs. highway. I wouldn't describe it as scraping or howling.

1. You mentioned brakes. You mean pads could be rubbing rotors? That could be the only thing causing the noise?

2. How does the ebrake come in?

3. The guy I bought it from said that there was maybe a heat shield or something like that that rubbed on the axle once in a while, IIRC. (Or he thought it was that.)


CJ7-Tim,
A good idea, but I really have no clue about car repair. I would never want to drive something I put back together.
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Unread 06-18-2012, 10:48 AM   #13
KyBoy1991
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I had a spring turned the wrong way on my ebrake assembly...that made the grinding noise because out ribbed the rotor. Turns out my ebrake cables were shot and wouldn't release pressure. Cutoff be something really simple. Get a buddy and haver them help you listen outside the vehicle when it's moving slow to pin down where it it's coming from.
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Unread 06-18-2012, 11:12 AM   #14
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Bring an axle and the Jeep to my garage and I will only charge you $750 to fix it. Think of all the money you will save.
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Unread 06-18-2012, 11:26 AM   #15
niero
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CJ7-Tim View Post
Bring an axle and the Jeep to my garage and I will only charge you $750 to fix it. Think of all the money you will save.
If it needs a rebuilt diff I will probably take you up on that.
I called one place and said I needed a rear diff for a 97 Grand Cherokee and he said there are several kind.
Locking and non-locking? Is one better?

See attached pic. That's what I'm picturing.

If I went to a junkyard, what would I tell them I needed?
(Thanks for your patience, everyone. I know, it's like teaching the Jeep equivalent of 2+2.)
rear-diff.jpg  
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