I bought an '04 Limited with the 4.7HO earlier this year. I noticed that the driver's side rear axle was leaking and that the diff made a groaning noise on slow left turns (particularly in my work parking garage). It sounded exactly like
, only louder.
So I started changing fluids, I needed to anyway because I didn't know how long it had been. I changed the TC with the correct GM fluid, piece of cake. Then this past Saturday I tackled the rear diff. Since I didn't have a lot of time (or so I thought), I decided to just change the fluid and replace the seal later. The pan came off easily and I went to town cleaning it out and prepping for the new seal. I got the cover back on and went to fill it up.
Whoever said that you don't need to lift the body to fill the diff clearly never saw my Jeep. With the tires on the ground and the body as high as it'd go on my jackstands, it took me the better part of an hour to fill the damn thing. Even with the sway bar out of the way, the fluid bottle couldn't be "tipped" high enough to squirt into the fill hole because of the gas tank. I tried using rubber hose with little luck. All I could manage was about 1/4 of a bottle before it wouldn't squirt. I found the best bet was to just fill 1/4 bottle, refill bottle, and squirt in another 1/4. Repeat. What a pain.
Anyway... I got it all buttoned up and it doesn't leak. And it still makes noise.
I know I need to replace the axle seal and check that out, but now I'm worried that the diff itself is shot. I'd think that fresh fluid would help a lot, even if it was slowly leaking out. For the record, I used Mobil 1 LS 75W-140, with NO friction modifier.
I'll go ahead and add FM to the rear if it might help, but I think this problem goes beyond that.
What are the odds that I'm going to need a replacement?
For the axle seal, is it the same PN as the Dana 35? I can't find a kit for the D44.