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Unread 05-30-2009, 09:09 PM   #1
jcp_56
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Burning Differential Oil-Is the dealer to blame?

I started having differential problems this past week in my 98 Sahara. The Differential is running hot, grinding, and ultimately burning oil. (burning so bad that you can smell it while driving down the road). I pulled the plug and the oil has broken down to the consistency of water and is black as tar. I pulled my receipts from when I had the dealer do some service in my differential 6 months ago, I pulled the part number that they had listed on that receipt and noticed that they used synthetic 75W-140 and did not put the additive in. Anyone know if that synthetic oil without the additive would cause these problems. Because I am pretty sure that my rear end is completely trashed at this point and if the dealer is to blame for this they will most definitely get an ear full on Monday morning when they open.

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Unread 05-30-2009, 09:52 PM   #2
2000jeeper
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No the lack of the additive is not the cause more then likely. What was done by the dealer 6 mths ago? Sounds as if you have a bearing failure.
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Unread 05-31-2009, 11:09 AM   #3
Pillswoj
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X2 on the bearing failure and most synthetic diff oils already contain a NS additive.
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Unread 05-31-2009, 12:23 PM   #4
Boodyrider
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Additive is for limited slip diffs. Synthetic either contains additive or additive is not needed if you have open diff. You have a bearing failure... and dealer is not to blame.

Ever been through a stream or mud? YOU are to blame. give yourself an earful.

Also... consider getting the axle tube seals with the o-rings and double lips to keep mud/dust etc out of the tubes, it's a common problem for stock front axles. the stock setup is just a plastic disc that MIGHT keep gravel out on a good day, but will never keeep mud or water out. (Axle tube seal different than oil seal...)
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Unread 05-31-2009, 01:13 PM   #5
jcp_56
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No I've never been through a stream or mud. It's my daily driver and I don't exactly have the $$ to fix it by doing a lot of off-roading, so I tend to stay away from the trails. The reason I took it to the dealer is because I had a to replace my fuel pump, and I also had a slight leak with my rear differential so I asked them to look at it while they had it in the garage. Turns out that the reason for the leak was the differential plug needed to be replaced. they replaced the leaking plug and serviced my rear differential to kill two birds with one stone. also, thanks for everyone that posted's help.
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Unread 06-03-2009, 08:04 PM   #6
jcp_56
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so I took it to the dealer, they admitted fault (told me that they did not add the friction modifier causing the lube to break down from heat. once the lube broke down the barings and gears ended up getting chewed up). The dealer can not fix it because they are on the Chrysler close list due to be shut down on June 9. They did however, recommend me to another Jeep dealer that was not shutting down, but would not fix the mistake for free since it was not their dealer that did the damage. The new Jeep dealer quoted me a price of $2900 for parts, plus labor and freight. They wanted to replace the rear end with a used one (because they didnt know if the axle was ruined), the only used one they could find was located in CA, I live in GA. So, I decided to take it to a powertrain expert in my area that does work for Dana. They quoted me a price of $1500 covering parts, labor and freight. After tearing my differential down they determined that all the guts needed to be replaced, and my axles were still good.
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Unread 06-03-2009, 08:10 PM   #7
Jason
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Sue them?

Seriously, keep ragging the dealer that ruined your stuff. Getting them to admit fault is usually the hardest part.
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Unread 06-03-2009, 09:57 PM   #8
Stu Olson
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcp_56 View Post
so I took it to the dealer, they admitted fault (told me that they did not add the friction modifier causing the lube to break down from heat. once the lube broke down the barings and gears ended up getting chewed up). The dealer can not fix it because they are on the Chrysler close list due to be shut down on June 9. They did however, recommend me to another Jeep dealer that was not shutting down, but would not fix the mistake for free since it was not their dealer that did the damage. The new Jeep dealer quoted me a price of $2900 for parts, plus labor and freight. They wanted to replace the rear end with a used one (because they didnt know if the axle was ruined), the only used one they could find was located in CA, I live in GA. So, I decided to take it to a powertrain expert in my area that does work for Dana. They quoted me a price of $1500 covering parts, labor and freight. After tearing my differential down they determined that all the guts needed to be replaced, and my axles were still good.
The friction modifier is to prevent the clutch plates in the factory limited slip differential from chattering. It has nothing to do with the preventing the gear oil from breaking down. If it did, then I would have been replacing dozens of rear axles by now since I never add friction modifier.

Basically, your dealer is an idiot....IMHO. Sorry to hear you are getting so screwed. But since the dealer believes he is at fault, get it in writing and then go see a lawyer.....see what your options are.
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Unread 06-04-2009, 12:13 AM   #9
2000jeeper
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stu Olson View Post
The friction modifier is to prevent the clutch plates in the factory limited slip differential from chattering. It has nothing to do with the preventing the gear oil from breaking down. If it did, then I would have been replacing dozens of rear axles by now since I never add friction modifier.

Basically, your dealer is an idiot....IMHO. Sorry to hear you are getting so screwed. But since the dealer believes he is at fault, get it in writing and then go see a lawyer.....see what your options are.
X2 very much agreed. I used to work on axles when i was a tech for a jeep dealer. Lack of friction modifier wil not cause the oil to break down.
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Unread 06-04-2009, 01:32 AM   #10
eshew
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start hitting up craigslist and junkyards. Should be able to find a replacement axle for a few hundered dollars. Takes a few hours to put in, easy and faster then trying to get a dealer to warranty anything.
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Unread 06-04-2009, 02:30 AM   #11
CO_crawler
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I would contact the dealer again that is responsible for the problem. You could threaten lawsuit, have any lawyer friends? I would pop the diff cover drain it, rtv'er up and fill with some Royal Purple 75w-90. Should be fine. Is it a D35 or Dana 44? My D44 was grinding a bit rough, checked and was almost empty for dont know how long. Dumped rest of fluid and added royal purple 75w-90 (already has friction modifier) No more problems and runs quiet. Good luck.
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Unread 06-04-2009, 11:07 PM   #12
Cowboy1629
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I think I would contact the Chrysler regional rep and tell him/her what is going on and see if they will do anything first. But like others have said lack of additive didn't cause the problem.
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