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Rear Diff ??

Discussion in 'Stock 1995 - 2001 Explorers' started by 2000XPLORERSPORT, May 10, 2019.

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  1. 2000XPLORERSPORT

    2000XPLORERSPORT Active Member

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    I have a 2000 explorer 2-door 4.0l ohv. i replace the diff fluid some years back just for maintance. well i have been noticing it looks wet & i can see little drips under the cover. i think it might be from when i jack the rear up i put the jack unger the diff and the jack head pushes up on the bottom of the diff cover. so i started hearing clanking & other sounds from there when i would accelerate. then once i smelled like metal burning. so i parked it a week today. i got a quart of Royal Purple Max 1 Quart 85W-140 Synthetic Gear Oil- https://www.oreillyauto.com/detail/...5w-140-synthetic-gear-oil/85140/4708212?pos=8

    Well i didnt know when i did it years back it took 3 quarts. i only put one quart in. so im going to get 2 more quarts.
    So my main ? is i used
    Permatex Black Silicone Adhesive Sealant

    https://www.oreillyauto.com/detail/...sealant/81158/4610245?q=Gasket+Makers+&pos=22

    I saw there is a gasket you can get also- https://www.oreillyauto.com/shop/b/...-gasket-11396/152631c3f606/2000/ford/explorer. should i use the gasket? if so, which one is best and should i still use the rtv sealent? sorry kinda long, just want to do it right this time. Thank You!




     
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  3. gmbroy

    gmbroy Elite Explorer

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    You can use gasket with thin coat rtv on each side of it . My concern is the damage thst has all ready been done to your differential do to lack of oil . Once you fill it up ,which means you add oil till it comes out of hole your adding it in , and try it dont be surprized if your rear end breaks .
     
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  4. BKennedy

    BKennedy Elite Loser Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    The only gaskets I would use are lubelocker.com. They are reusable and you don't need any RTV sealant. Much cleaner for trail repairs. I also fear your rear axle might be toast. I would pull the cover and take a look before spending any money on fluid. if its full of metal shavings, you got a problem that won't be cured with adding diff fluid.
     
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  5. CDW6212R

    CDW6212R Hauls the mail. Elite Explorer

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    Ditto, pull the cover and inspect the bearings. If there is much debris or the gears look less than perfect, it may have to be rebuilt or replaced. The total gear oil when you fill it will be about 2.5 quarts or so using the stock pan.
     
  6. BKennedy

    BKennedy Elite Loser Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    I forgot to add to the above post to look for blue discoloration on bearings and gears. Noise you heard could also be from the axle bearings at the ends of the tubes. They are lubed by gear oil. Low oil means no lubrication and they cook. Jack up the rear axle, put it on jack stands, wiggle the tires. If there is any real play the bearings are shot. You can also put the car in neutral, then turn the wheels by hand. If it doesn't turn smoothly, there is a problem.
     
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  7. CDW6212R

    CDW6212R Hauls the mail. Elite Explorer

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    Yes, it'll need the axle bearings and seals most likely, those are the weakest links in there. Look over the main gears and bearings first, if those are hurt at all, then you have to decide about saving that whole diff, versus a different one.
     
  8. 2000XPLORERSPORT

    2000XPLORERSPORT Active Member

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    Ok thanks for the great info guys! yea the day i heard the noises as i was accelerating and smelled the burnt metal, it stopped once i got up to speed. then i drove 18 miles after and i heard or smelled nothing. when i got home i jacked the rear up and got under it and felt the diff all around. it was warm which is probably expected. i mean the trans & engine oil/pan gets warm when driving. it wasn't hot, i was able to put my hand on it and keep it there. it probably helped it was in the 50's temp. wise with the air going to it as i drove. the truck is 19 years old, 158,000 miles so if the rear end was shot, depending on how much to fix or replace it, i would probably just sell it. but thats my last option! i have a lot of time & money in it and sentimental value in it. it would kill me to sell it for like $1000-$1500!

    but yea i will put the whole truck on jack stands level and pull the cover. i will clean out all the oil and even jack up one side of the axle at a time to get the oil out of the axles. wipe it all out with shop towels & inspect it. HOPEFULLY, its ok and i will put a little rtv on the cover and a gasket with rtv on the gasket. extra security. then i will buy 2 more quarts and fill it up until the oil comes out the fill hole, and i'll spin the wheels to get the oil spread around. take it for a test drive & cross my fingers!
     
  9. 2000XPLORERSPORT

    2000XPLORERSPORT Active Member

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    Ok i finished it up yesterday. I pulled the cover sunday and let all the oil drain. I checked the fill plug & there was a little bit of metal on it, not bad though. Same with the oil, didn't notice any metal shavings in it. The gears & bearings looked fine. I jacked up one end of the rear end at a time to let all the oil drain out the axles. I used blue shop towels to soak up all the oil & sprayed everything with brake cleaner. I ended up buying the fel-pro gasket- https://www.oreillyauto.com/detail/...ket/rds55341/4310909/2000/ford/explorer?pos=0
    And i put the rtv sealent on the cover, then gasket then sealent. Put the cover on, snugged the bolts & waited an hour to tighten all the way. Then i waited 24 hours to put the new oil in. I put 3 whole quarts of royal purple in- https://www.oreillyauto.com/detail/...5w-140-synthetic-gear-oil/85140/4708212?pos=8
    Now i heard the diff should hold between 2.5 to just under 3 quarts. Well i was able to get all 3 in & it didn't come out the whole. I'm thinking because i really took the time to get all the old oil out. I mean i absorbed/wiped out every bit of oil in the diff!
    So i believe i'll be good. I mean when i changed the oil about 10 years ago im pretty sure i only put 1 quart back in. I didn't go as far getting the old oil out as i did this time. But i was able to go this whole time with 1 quart plus what ever oil was in there that didn't get drained before. So with 3 quart's of new oil i think i'm fine. I used some teflon tape & blue loctite on the fill plug. Let me know if you think of anything i should do or any advice. Thanks guy's!
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2019
  10. BKennedy

    BKennedy Elite Loser Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    Sounds good, except for the Loctite and Teflon tape. Not necessary, and those fill plugs can be difficult to remove sometimes. All you can do now is drive it.
     
  11. 2000XPLORERSPORT

    2000XPLORERSPORT Active Member

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    Yea the plug looked like it had red loctite or something on it. I saw in a video the guy used some blue loctite. Yea the plug was hard as h*ll to loosen! I used a 18" long 3/8 breaker bar,lol.
     
  12. Mbrooks420

    Mbrooks420 High Voltage. Elite Explorer EF Vendor

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    Yeah, those plugs are taper sealed threads and can be a bear. I’d break it loose and re-snug it with no sealant.
     
  13. CDW6212R

    CDW6212R Hauls the mail. Elite Explorer

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    Loctite and thread sealants are helpful to avoid seizing bolts etc. But being tapered threads, those don't have to be tightened excessively. The Loctite is not a bad idea, but not needed unless the threads have rust in them from the parts being apart a long time etc. I wouldn't use the Teflon tape, but it shouldn't hurt anything inside even if a fragment got in, a diff, is very tough. Anti-seize wouldn't be a bad idea though.

    If the fill plug is really tight like it felt to remove it, then I'd also loosen it and redo that. I'd say about 15lbsft is plenty, maybe a hair more than tightening a spark plug.
     
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  14. masospaghetti

    masospaghetti Well-Known Member

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    If worst comes to worst, you can swap the whole rear end with one from the junkyard. Rebuilding the diff can be expensive and challenging but swapping the whole axle is a fairly straightforward bolt-in job. I replaced the axle on my Sport because I wanted a different ratio and I think I had it done in an afternoon, axle was about $250 from the local yard delivered.
     
  15. CDW6212R

    CDW6212R Hauls the mail. Elite Explorer

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    The age of these used rears makes them risky to buy now. More of them are not good than before, you need to carefully inspect one before buying it.
     
  16. 2000XPLORERSPORT

    2000XPLORERSPORT Active Member

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    Ok, i will break the plug loose and retighten it snug. Yea when i had all the bolts and fill plug out, i let them soak in brake cleaner for a couple hours. Then i peeled off any old rtv sealent that was on them. Wiped them off with a towel real clean. The threads were so clean i was able to tighten all the bolts snug with my fingers! Even the fill plug so far. Yea i would like to have a posi rearend. I thought i had a 3.73 gear ratio, but on the tab on the rear diff cover i saw 3 55. Sometimes both wheels will spin at the same time, mostly if its wet & slippery.
     
  17. masospaghetti

    masospaghetti Well-Known Member

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    Most yards will have a 90 day warranty (or similar). Sure you'll be out an afternoon if you get a bad one. But it's still a good option.

    FWIW, All three Explorers I've owned had good rear axles, and the one from the junkyard was also good. Two of the Explorers were obviously neglected. Just based on my own experience I think the odds are decent you'll find a good used axle if you need it.
     
  18. Mbrooks420

    Mbrooks420 High Voltage. Elite Explorer EF Vendor

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    You should have a pretty good clue as to it’s condition if you pop the cover. They are 175 here. I’d surely chance one over an expensive rebuild.
     
  19. CDW6212R

    CDW6212R Hauls the mail. Elite Explorer

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    You can get a general idea of the condition at the JY by checking the bearings and gears well. But it is a risk, and if you only get those that feel good and have no obvious appearance issues, then the chances are decent still. I think a lot of the stories we read here of people who pick them up at a JY, and the sellers "checked it out."
     
  20. Mbrooks420

    Mbrooks420 High Voltage. Elite Explorer EF Vendor

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    I’ve been seeing a fair slew of lower mileage SOHCs ending in at the pick and pull. Some have been partially tore down, I assume to see that the valves were bent. Some with really good bodies, though. If I had more room I’d probably find a good shell and drag it home. A 100k SOHC that had auto 4wd probably would be a decent gamble, provided it was full of oil, and not visibly worn.
     
  21. CDW6212R

    CDW6212R Hauls the mail. Elite Explorer

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    Ditto, I kind of hate to go looking, because I usually see lots of vehicles I'd love to have, plus way more parts than I have time to get, or space. I have a spare 98 3.55 rear, still at a friend's house, I need to pull the brakes and scrap the rest(got it for the axles). Keep reminding me of more stuff on my to do list.:rolleyes:
     






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