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Differential Swaps

Discussion in 'Stock 2002 - 2005 Explorers' started by mbrando1994, October 11, 2017.

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    1. mbrando1994

      mbrando1994 Active Member

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      I received a few diagnoses that both my front and rear diffs are on their way out, my options are either to rebuild them, or replace them with used parts found at a yard. I don't have the funds to rebuild right now nor do I have the money to pay for labor. I'm pretty experienced with auto repair but never tackled a job this in depth. How do I know if the diffs I pull off of a junk yard car will be the exact same as mine? Do they even have to be? Obviously I'll be looking for one with AWD, same year, model, etc. Are there any tips/tricks to help me out here, thanks!
       
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    3. IPcamper

      IPcamper Elite Explorer

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      Take a look at this post, http://www.explorerforum.com/forums...er-door-sticker-axle-codes-deciphered.309965/
      Basically you want to find a donor vehicle with the same door code for the drive train that you have on yours. If you choose to change your gear ratio, then be sure that the front and rear are the same! The only problem you might have is that the differentials you find may be worn out as well.

      Also, some years, the rear differential has a single speed sensor for the antilock bake system and other years used a speed sensor on each rear wheel. You should look for a differential that has the same sensors, or you might run into problems getting your antilock and/or traction control system to work properly.
       
    4. mbrando1994

      mbrando1994 Active Member

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      Interesting, so the code has to match exactly then? Hopefully I get lucky, I'm worried I won't be able to free it from the yard vehicle without air tools though
       
    5. IPcamper

      IPcamper Elite Explorer

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      It will make things easier if they match up. The gear ratio and speed senor set up are more important. If you don't want to go to a local salvage yard or pull it yourself, you can search on http://car-part.com for the exact part you want and see what is around you. Prices will range more, but you can get an idea of how many miles are on the part, general condition, and often a picture.
       
    6. TechGuru

      TechGuru Well-Known Member

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    7. mbrando1994

      mbrando1994 Active Member

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      Yes I've watched many of his videos, problem is, this car is my daily driver and I only have one. I would need to get a used diff and rebuild on the side before swapping, that way I minimize the down time. I've never rebuilt a part before, so I'm expecting it to take me some time
       
    8. mbrando1994

      mbrando1994 Active Member

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      My code is 45, so 3.55 NLS, What typically goes on these differentials when they do fail? I believe they were left run dry. Also, are the kits universal front and back? Or different ones for both?
       
    9. TechGuru

      TechGuru Well-Known Member

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      It's usually the bearings but then driving with bad bearings (causing mis-alignment) damages the ring and pinon gears...

      If you plan to do the front and back as a set at the same time I would upgrade to 3.73 or even 4.10 if you'd like to be able to do a lot of towing.
       

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