I got the rear diff cover swapped today so I'll show a run down of the process. Anyone that's done this before knows what I mean when I say DO NOT pay a shop or dealer to do this! It is very easy and requires about 2 hours or less and some simple tools.
First thing I did was heed some good advice and hit the cover with 4 coats of clear in hopes to avoid premature rusting:
Then I assembled my supplies:
Torque and socket wrenches
3/8" and 1/4" allen sockets
some socket extensions
75W-140 full syn gear oil
(my QuadratracII does not require additive)
With the 13mm socket loosen all the bolts and remove all but the top bolt:
If replacing the cover with an aftermarket I would check to see that the hardware matches up before cracking the seal of the cover:
Gently pry the bottom of the cover w/ the flathead and let it drain into a catch pan:
Once the draining has slowed or stopped, remove the top bolt and take the cover off. This is what you'll see:
Give it a good wiping with some shop towels to sop up the remaining oil:
Then hit it with some brake cleaner:
And let it dry/evaporate then inspect your gears while you have everything exposed:
While the diff is drying out if you're putting the OEM cover back on use this time to clean the old rtv from the cover. A straight edge razor, flathead, and putty knife serve well here. Be cautious not to marr the inside surface of the cover - but get it as clean as you possibly can:
I was not reusing mine so I only halfway cleaned it and put it away.
Next go ahead and put a bead of rtv around the inside lip of the new cover being sure to encircle the bolt holes and make a continuous bead:
Let the rtv "skin over" for about 10 minutes. While you wait make sure the mating surface of the pumkin flange is clean of debree/oil. Then carefully place the cover trying not to smear the rtv and just snug the bolts down. Don't torque them yet and when you snug them be sure to use a star pattern just like your wheel lugs:
Let that sit for about 10 minutes. During this time you might want to jack the passenger side of the rig up so you have clear access to all the diff bolts:
Now torque the bolts to 30ft/lbs in a star pattern and let it sit for around 30 minutes just to make sure the rtv has set. I went ahead and added the Solid sticker to my collection and put some sealant tape on the diff cover drain plug while I waited:
When you're ready to refill it is easiest to put a clear tube, about 6" long, on the nozzle of the oil bottle:
Fill the diff with 70+oz of oil (according to WKJeeps). I filled mine with 78 ounces of oil just to cover the fact that the after market cover is deeper than the OEM. I don't know this to be a spec but it is what I chose to do. The key is not to fill too much. If you are putting the OEM cover back on then fill the diff just to the point that oil is beginning to ooze out of the bottom of the fill hole.
Lastly, I torqued the fill plug to 44ft/lbs:
And viola! Finished:
Adding this to my WK was easy, fairly cheap (although the gear oil is outrageous at 20 bucks a quart
) and IMO a much needed piece of armor.
As I said in the beginning, anyone needing to service their rear diff, or front diff and even xfer-case, need not pay someone else to do it - with a little time, patience, and basic tools you can do this for around half the cost that a dealer will charge you.
Hope this is usefull to some Jeepers out there
Happy Cinco de Mayo!
and until next time.............