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Unread 04-16-2014, 04:27 AM   #1
schmoe
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Jeep Newbie Questions

As the title states I am a "Newbie" to the Jeep. I inherited mine from my parent and am loving it, but I have recently ran into a problem. Recently I found out it needs a complete rear axle assembly. My mechanic has been looking for it at salvage yards and other places to try and find one around $500 or so, but has only been able to find ones in the $1300 - $1700 range. I know very little about vehicles, especially Jeeps, so I have been unhelpful in locating anything, and when I do look I don't understand what I am looking at. So a long story short, what am I looking for? I have a 2003 Jeep Wrangler with the 6 cylinder 4x4 automatic. I very very seldom use the 4x4 feature. No modifications have been done to it so it is strictly stock. I have been able to find rear axle assemblies for the cherokee and grand cherokee, would those possibly fit? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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Ol' Schmoe...

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Unread 04-16-2014, 04:52 AM   #2
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Two different rear axles are possible D35 or D44, more information is needed. Is this a Wrangler Sahara, Sport, Rubicon or? Does it have rear disc brakes or drum? Easiest way to tell is the fill hole on the rear axle is the plug metal or rubber? If metal its a D44. Why does the axle need to be replaced what are the symptoms? Let us know and I am sure someone will chime in with ideas etc. AND WELCOME TO THE FORUM!
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Unread 04-16-2014, 05:53 AM   #3
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I highly doubt your Jeep needs a "complete rear axle assembly", unless it's been in a wreck and the axle housing itself is bent. It doesn't sound like it has, so give us some more details about what exactly is wrong with it. You could replace every stock component in your rear axle for cheaper than $1300, so forget about finding a new one and lets work on fixing the one you have now. Ask your mechanic, very specifically, what is wrong with your axle, then come back and report.
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Unread 04-16-2014, 06:13 AM   #4
schmoe
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Thanks for the replies I will call him later this morning and report back.
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Unread 04-16-2014, 06:14 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jwinecoff00 View Post
I highly doubt your Jeep needs a "complete rear axle assembly", unless it's been in a wreck and the axle housing itself is bent. It doesn't sound like it has, so give us some more details about what exactly is wrong with it. You could replace every stock component in your rear axle for cheaper than $1300, so forget about finding a new one and lets work on fixing the one you have now. Ask your mechanic, very specifically, what is wrong with your axle, then come back and report.
X2 on this. Very seldom does the whole assembly need to be replaced, unless it's bent. Need more info.
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Unread 04-16-2014, 06:35 AM   #6
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Okay, just spoke with the mechanic. He tells me that the rear bearings went out, it had no fluids, and it tore up the case, therefore it needs an entire axle assembly.

2003 Jeep Wrangler Sport
Rear Drum Brakes
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Unread 04-16-2014, 06:40 AM   #7
JBTJ
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Put some fluid back in it and go to another shop. Don't need a new assembly just to do a rebuild. Which is all it needs.

Why did you take it there to begin with? Was it making a bunch of noise? Please tell us more about the problem you were having with it.
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Unread 04-16-2014, 06:44 AM   #8
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Ok, well his terminology is wrong. You don't need an entire axle assembly, you need the internals of your rear differential rebuilt. You're probably looking at a new ring and pinion, a master install kit (comes with all necessary bearings and shims), a new carrier and spider gears. That's probably close to $500 in parts, and you're probably looking at $200-$300 in labor. If you could score a stock D35 from a junkyard/Craigslist with the matching ring and pinion gear ratio of your front axle, you would definitely come out cheaper.
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Unread 04-16-2014, 06:46 AM   #9
schmoe
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It began making a noise while driving, now that I think about it was a sort of grinding noise, so I parked it for a couple weeks. I recently moved and so I decided I would use it to go back and forth to work for a couple days (about 3 miles round trip) before taking it in to be looked at. The second day on my way home i heard a loud bang and a heavy grind. It continued to drive but it didn't seem like it was shifting so I drove the rest of the way home, about 3 blocks, and parked it. The next day I had it towed to the shop.
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Unread 04-16-2014, 06:53 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by schmoe View Post
It began making a noise while driving, now that I think about it was a sort of grinding noise, so I parked it for a couple weeks. I recently moved and so I decided I would use it to go back and forth to work for a couple days (about 3 miles round trip) before taking it in to be looked at. The second day on my way home i heard a loud bang and a heavy grind. It continued to drive but it didn't seem like it was shifting so I drove the rest of the way home, about 3 blocks, and parked it. The next day I had it towed to the shop.
As Jesse mentioned, you just need a rebuild. Not a whole new unit.

Myself, I would not feel confident in the mechanics ability to work on this. Sounds like he wants to go the easy more expensive route.
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Unread 04-16-2014, 06:59 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by JBTJ View Post
As Jesse mentioned, you just need a rebuild. Not a whole new unit.

Myself, I would not feel confident in the mechanics ability to work on this. Sounds like he wants to go the easy more expensive route.
I got the same feeling which drove me to searching out alternatives, eventually leading me here.

Thanks for the assistance and the insight!
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Unread 04-16-2014, 07:00 AM   #12
Jwinecoff00
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JBTJ View Post
As Jesse mentioned, you just need a rebuild. Not a whole new unit.

Myself, I would not feel confident in the mechanics ability to work on this. Sounds like he wants to go the easy more expensive route.
X2.. As high as labor rates are, I wouldn't want in incompetent mechanic milking the clock on my Jeep.

OP - It does sound like he's trying to help you out finding a new axle, but it shouldn't run you $500. I just did a quick Craigslist search and found a couple stock D35's for $150-250. Double check you actually have a D35 before making a purchase though.
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Unread 04-16-2014, 07:11 AM   #13
schmoe
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When you say D35 is it a universal item? or do I need to have specific information such as gear ratio or something. Initially the mechanic said something about nonABS and he told me they would ask me a bunch of other questions that he didn't seem interested in filling me in on.
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Unread 04-16-2014, 07:16 AM   #14
Jwinecoff00
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Quote:
Originally Posted by schmoe View Post
When you say D35 is it a universal item? or do I need to have specific information such as gear ratio or something. Initially the mechanic said something about nonABS and he told me they would ask me a bunch of other questions that he didn't seem interested in filling me in on.
It's not a universal part, it just happens to be the most common rear axle. Most sport packages came with them. Read the Stock TJ Specifications thread below and educate yourself on what exactly your Jeep has. You need to know the axle type and gear ratio.

http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f9/st...ations-452871/
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Unread 04-16-2014, 07:19 AM   #15
JBTJ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jwinecoff00 View Post
It's not a universal part, it just happens to be the most common rear axle. Most sport packages came with them. Read the Stock TJ Specifications thread below and educate yourself on what exactly your Jeep has. You need to know the axle type and gear ratio.

http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f9/st...ations-452871/
I figured you beat me to it.
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