Help, on vacation with a leaking rear Dif Dana 44 - JeepForum.com
 2Likes
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 17 Old 01-29-2020, 09:20 PM Thread Starter
caliskier
Registered User
1999 WJ 
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 145
Help, on vacation with a leaking rear Dif Dana 44

Hi all,

I may have answered my own question just typing this out and thinking about it, but would be good to get some perspective.

Question up front: My rear dif has a small leak, can I drive it home in 96 hours (900 miles total over next 96 hours) without hurting the rear dif?

Thoughts and calculations: Dana 44 holds 4.75 pints. I assume it can leak down to 3 pints and still be ok under normal driving based on how much was in it when I drained it. There are ~9500 drops in a pint so if I am leaking 25 drops an hour that would be: 25 drops * 96 hours = 2400 drops or a half cup. For the heck of it I will quadruple it ~ 1 pint lost in 96 hours.

I think I am ok, but don't really know how much is leaking while I am driving. I put a big piece of cardboard under the car to get an idea of how much is leaking over the next 12 hours.

Background if you need it: So in late December in 60 degree weather I changed the fluid in my rear differential on my 99 WJ and used the lube locker gasket. I have had no problems with it leaking driving in 50 degree weather. Now I am at 9000 feet elevation in Colorado with the temps getting down to +4 degrees at night. 4th day here and I smell the fluid from the back of the vehicle. Sure enough it had drips hanging down.

I am thinking that maybe the temperature is causing it? Metal is getting cold and contracting? Dana 44 is aluminum the stock cover I believe is iron. I tried to get under it tonight to tighten the bolts but they will not move. I don't have my longer torque wrench I used to tighten it.

So again the question... I would really like to not mess with it and screw up my vacation until i get home. I will be here 3 more days driving about 50 miles a day and then 750 home on Saturday. Can it wait that long? ~700 lbs of cargo on board including people.

caliskier is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 17 Old 01-29-2020, 10:16 PM
Bigrigr
Registered User
 
Bigrigr's Avatar
2000 WJ 
 
Join Date: Jan 2020
Location: Near SLC
Posts: 185
Garage
All you have to do is keep the fluid topped off. Keep an eye on it over the next couple days to get an idea of how much you need to add. More than likely you can just top it off every morning before you head out? Worst case Scenario...Best case scenario, you have a really small leak, and like you said, you wont have to add any before you get home. I would say you dont ever wanna let the fluid get so low that you cant reach it with your finger bent at the first knuckle into the fill hole. Obviously, if you pull the fill plug and fluid runs out on its own,(trickle) thats ideal, no matter how much you think you have lost already....(daily drip guestimation)

'00LMTD-4.7l,242hd,D30,D44A,3.73's,True-trac front,Spartan rear,3"BBfront,2"BBrear,JK'sW/32's
Bigrigr is offline  
post #3 of 17 Old 01-29-2020, 10:38 PM Thread Starter
caliskier
Registered User
1999 WJ 
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigrigr View Post
All you have to do is keep the fluid topped off. Keep an eye on it over the next couple days to get an idea of how much you need to add. More than likely you can just top it off every morning before you head out? Worst case Scenario...Best case scenario, you have a really small leak, and like you said, you wont have to add any before you get home. I would say you dont ever wanna let the fluid get so low that you cant reach it with your finger bent at the first knuckle into the fill hole. Obviously, if you pull the fill plug and fluid runs out on its own,(trickle) thats ideal, no matter how much you think you have lost already....(daily drip guestimation)
Thanks,

I went back outside and put a little bucket under it to catch the fluid to really get an idea of how much i am losing. After an hour there were 3 drops on the cardboard. So really the question I need to figure out is am I losing more while driving.
caliskier is offline  
 
post #4 of 17 Old 01-29-2020, 10:43 PM
DougRz
Registered User
2003 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Posts: 115
3 drips an hour cold is so small. I wouldn't be concerned. Older Jeep owners, me included, live with puddles on the driveway catch sheets and don't top off but for weeks or months in between. Diff and TC in my case.

But easy to squeeze a few ounces in with a jug from wherever if you're concerned.

/l ,[____],
l---L -OlllllllO-
()_)-()_)-o-)_) 03 auto, Ford 8.8, 4.88, Tru-tracs
DougRz is offline  
post #5 of 17 Old 01-30-2020, 04:01 AM
Uniblurb
Web Wheeler
 
Uniblurb's Avatar
2004 WJ 
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Central
Posts: 10,058
If you get to a warmer place before the end of your trip the torque spec on those differential cover bolts is 30 ft lbs. But many just snug them up good and tight while I wouldn't be trying to re-torque them in those single digit temps. Another point is you don't need a very long torque wrench to just put 30 ft.lbs on those bolts.

96 4.0 ZJ Laredo, 2004 4.7L WJ Limited, 96 4.0 XJ (son's)


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
&
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
.
Uniblurb is offline  
post #6 of 17 Old 01-30-2020, 06:00 AM
Darnice
Registered User
2004 WJ 
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Windsor
Posts: 954
If your really concerned about it, just go to a garage/transmission shop where your at and get it fixed. Sure it may cost a few dollars but piece of mind and possibly saving the cost of a new rear end is cheap insurance.
Probably just have to pull the diff cover, put a little rtv on the gasket and reinstall. Heck it may be as simple as a retroque of the bolts.
Darnice is offline  
post #7 of 17 Old 01-30-2020, 07:48 AM
Double E
Web Wheeler
 
Double E's Avatar
2004 WJ 
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Raleigh, NC
Posts: 6,093
Also...once it begins to warm up, I bet the leak stops altogether. Even driving around in cold temps, it will heat up on its own. The test to me would be does it still leak immediately after a shutdown from warm or does it only drip once cold?
Either way, I think you're going to be fine for the duration of the trip.
Mattimus_LV likes this.

'04 Freedom Edition HO & '04 Overland HO (previous '00 Laredo 4.7)
Double E is offline  
post #8 of 17 Old 01-30-2020, 08:12 AM Thread Starter
caliskier
Registered User
1999 WJ 
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 145
Thanks all of you. Checked it this morning, hardly anything leaked out. I agree Doug RZ, 3 drops an hour is nothing, and I am hoping its just that. I appreciate that confirmation. I WISH I had my torque wrench with me, I don't but I did originally torque it to the spec (unless my wrench is out of tolerance). I may try to tighten it in Denver (70 miles away) if its warmer, like Uniblurb said. We are driving back to OKC saturday

I plan to throw my cardboard bucket test setup I have under it right after we drive it this morning like Double E said. I believe the real leaking if any is happening while driving. Its enough I can smell it, also when I looked under it yesterday there were two drips hanging off of it. We will see where its at after driving. If I have a real problem I may try to get a shop to top it off for me...

So a few questions...
1. I do not have access to the proper MOPAR fluids (Unless I stop in Denver). To get me home, what can I get at a WalMart or Autozone type place?
2. How hard is it to get that little rubber plug off? (originally I pushed it out of the cover from behind when I drained it) I do not have a lift kit on the vehicle and no way to raise the vehicle.

Thinking of Darnice suggestion it would be nice to find a shop that would just top it off for me with my fluid for $40 or something to have that insurance.
caliskier is offline  
post #9 of 17 Old 01-30-2020, 09:08 AM
Heeps_R_Us
Registered User
 
Heeps_R_Us's Avatar
2004 WJ 
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Posts: 83
Garage
Quote:
Originally Posted by caliskier View Post
Thanks all of you. Checked it this morning, hardly anything leaked out. I agree Doug RZ, 3 drops an hour is nothing, and I am hoping its just that. I appreciate that confirmation. I WISH I had my torque wrench with me, I don't but I did originally torque it to the spec (unless my wrench is out of tolerance). I may try to tighten it in Denver (70 miles away) if its warmer, like Uniblurb said. We are driving back to OKC saturday

I plan to throw my cardboard bucket test setup I have under it right after we drive it this morning like Double E said. I believe the real leaking if any is happening while driving. Its enough I can smell it, also when I looked under it yesterday there were two drips hanging off of it. We will see where its at after driving. If I have a real problem I may try to get a shop to top it off for me...

So a few questions...
1. I do not have access to the proper MOPAR fluids (Unless I stop in Denver). To get me home, what can I get at a WalMart or Autozone type place?
2. How hard is it to get that little rubber plug off? (originally I pushed it out of the cover from behind when I drained it) I do not have a lift kit on the vehicle and no way to raise the vehicle.

Thinking of Darnice suggestion it would be nice to find a shop that would just top it off for me with my fluid for $40 or something to have that insurance.
Removing the rubber plug is easy. Just grab a quart of valvoline synpower 75W-140 (you can run 75w-90 in the rear axle as well, but a quart of 75w-140 can serve both front and rear)
Heeps_R_Us is offline  
post #10 of 17 Old 01-30-2020, 09:29 AM
Bigrigr
Registered User
 
Bigrigr's Avatar
2000 WJ 
 
Join Date: Jan 2020
Location: Near SLC
Posts: 185
Garage
Yes, no crazy Mopar fluid needed for the diffs, just friction modifier for the Vari-loks. And if your just topping off, you dont even need the modifier then. Only thing that has the stupid Mopar fluid is the 247 transfer case.



Rubber plug just "pops" out with a flat blade screwdriver or something similar. Easy Peasy....
Mattimus_LV likes this.

'00LMTD-4.7l,242hd,D30,D44A,3.73's,True-trac front,Spartan rear,3"BBfront,2"BBrear,JK'sW/32's
Bigrigr is offline  
post #11 of 17 Old 01-30-2020, 07:19 PM Thread Starter
caliskier
Registered User
1999 WJ 
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 145
Thanks both of you for the answers... I think I can get home no problem. I do not see much leaking at all, 1 or 2 drops after stopping for 10 min. Also the car is not growling in the back like it was when it was leaking before, also no driving issues, goes pretty smoothly. Very difficult for me to get under the car out here to do anything to it.
caliskier is offline  
post #12 of 17 Old 01-31-2020, 11:03 AM
paulvon
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Posts: 207
Get a few bricks or cinder blocks and stack them up. Drive on top of the stack then you will have plenty of room.

Like shown below

___B
__BB
_BBB
BBBB

Cheap and easy

Sent from my SM-G920V using Tapatalk

1997 ZJ 4.0 L - Upgraded to heavy 93 sway bar
2004 WJ 4.7 L - 2 1/2" lift
2011 KK 3.7 L
paulvon is offline  
post #13 of 17 Old 02-02-2020, 12:42 PM Thread Starter
caliskier
Registered User
1999 WJ 
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 145
All Thanks very much for the guidance and advice. I did make it all the way home, no issues. I think the leak may be higher up on the dif and the driving causes the fluid to flow up and out. When I installed the lube locker gasket it got bent before I put it on, had to take it off and straighten it out. That kink or bent part of the gasket is on the side of the dif. Thinking that may be where the problem is.

Interesting that I had no issue with the lube locker on my transmission or the front dif, just the rear. I will take it apart next weekend and see how much was left in the dif.
caliskier is offline  
post #14 of 17 Old 02-03-2020, 03:26 PM
Bigrigr
Registered User
 
Bigrigr's Avatar
2000 WJ 
 
Join Date: Jan 2020
Location: Near SLC
Posts: 185
Garage
Glad you made it!

'00LMTD-4.7l,242hd,D30,D44A,3.73's,True-trac front,Spartan rear,3"BBfront,2"BBrear,JK'sW/32's
Bigrigr is offline  
post #15 of 17 Old Yesterday, 10:03 PM Thread Starter
caliskier
Registered User
1999 WJ 
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 145
Update, after being on a business trip and taking care of other life things i was able to get under the car yesterday. It appears the leak could be comming from 1 of 3 areas.
1. The pinion seal. Its a little oily, not real wet, but it could be leaking slowly from there
2. The fill plug. I think its this as there was oil underneath it, but can't be sure. I replaced this.
3. The lube locker gasket. Hard to say its this, need to drive it some this week to see if it shows up again.

I only lost 10 ounces the whole trip

Just drove it, its the pinion seal, going to start a new thread.
caliskier is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the JeepForum.com forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid e-mail address for yourself.



Email Address:
OR

Log-in











Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome