I've got a 2005 TJ with approximately 14,000 miles.
The 8th VIN position has an "S".
Build date says 05/05.
Part in question is:
Part # 53010624AC
So does this mean this part will fail also?
How will I know when it is getting close? Do I head to the dealer ASAP?
Thanks for your heads-up to all Jeepers on this.
Keep in mind the OPDA is a two part problem with the unit itself. One being insufficient shaft bushing lubrication, the second being premature gear wear. The shaft issue may well increase the gear wear, but both can occur independent of each other.
Of the two, the greatest risk of abrupt failure is with the shaft seizing up due to lack of lubrication and busting up the gear which will then likely contaminate the motor with metal fragments. But, even though the lubrication with the unit is flawed by design, not all OPDA units are having shaft bushing issues. Some seem to operate just fine as is. Obviously if all were having problems, there'd be thousands of broken down '05-'06 Jeeps by now.
All of the units seem to have a gear wear issue in which the gear will continue to wear until there is enough slop to throw a code at which point the OPDA needs replaced. In some circumstances the wear can involve and include the cam gear itself which is a much more labor and cost intensive ordeal than the OPDA gear.
My rig has over 60k on it and the OPDA gear is at the point where it will need replaced soon before it wears to the point that it throws a code. It had no tell-tale signs of anything being wrong until I checked it. Shaft still spins fine.
The whole issue is not the end of the world, but it is indeed a problem that needs to be monitored at the least, and more likely replaced when needed and/or modified at most.
A re-design by the manufacturer would be the ideal solution.