Grenaded rear end. Shop quotes $1300. Sound about right? | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Grenaded rear end. Shop quotes $1300. Sound about right?

Joined
September 16, 2008
Messages
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City, State
Torrance, California
Year, Model & Trim Level
1996 XLT Control Trac
Not sure if it was a result of some trails a few days before or just from 150k+ miles, but my rear diff is blown. Don't think I'm mechanically inclined enough to do the whole thing myself so I'm going to have a shop do it. They're telling me it'll be about $1300 with labor to get it all fixed up. From the pics, do you think this sound about right or am I being ripped off? They called me up before doing any work so I swung by to check out my parts.

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You're mechanically inclined enough to throw a new (used) axle assembly under there for less than $300. Its pretty straight-forward. I bet you could do it for less than $200.
 






Looks like only the spider (side) Gears are shot. Is anything else bad?
 






Yes, that sounds about right for a shop. But don't waste your money, get a junkyard axle and DIY, very easy job. I'm no pro but can still swap an axle in under 2 hours.
 






Junkyard axle-200 dollars
New Bearings-40 dollars at most both sides
Seals-15 dollars at most both sides
Oil if you want-30/40 dollars depending on what you get.

SAVINGS EQUAL-ALMOST A 1000 DOLLARS. well worth it my friend.
 






Everything else looks to be in pretty good condition. There are a couple nicks but as far as I can tell, doesn't look like too big a deal.

I'll go check out and see what I can find. There's a pick-your-part about 10 miles away.

Thanks guys, hopefully I'll save myself a bunch of money.
 






for $1300 i'm pretty inclined to do anything.... so unless you love wasting money and not learning anything, you should do it yourself, it's actually pretty easy.. and wont cost you a whole lot...

personally, what i would do is take out the old blown up spider gears (and that worthless trac-lok) and replace it with a locker, such as a lock-right (about $300) or whatever other locker you would like to use.... aside from the $300 for the locker, you'll need new gear oil (another $25) and some gasket maker, silicone, or a new gasket to put the cover back on.. the job itself isn't that bad (maybe half a days work)..

so you could either spend 1300 to have it back to crappy stock... or spend a quarter that, and 4 or 5 hours time, and have a locker. i know what i'd do.

if i had to spend $1300 every time i broke something, i sure wouldn't be doing much 4 wheeling (since i break something about every time i go, last time was a transmission, time before that was rear axle, both front hubs, and a leaf spring.. before that it was front spider gears)

oh.. and to answer you're original question, yes $1300 is an acceptable price for an entire axle rebuild (although i bet you could find somewhere to do it for less)
 






I would replace the whole assembly...

Even if you have never done anything like this before...If you don't have any tools it is time to buy them and save most of that $1300...

Back in the day when I had not ever setup a set of gears I paid a speed shop here the sum of $300 to install the gears... I watched them setup the gears and after doing that I never paid anyone to do that task for me...

$1300 is an awful lot of coin to rebuild a differential in my opinion...I called a local yard for an Explorer diff w/ 3.73 gears and LS earlier today and they are getting $250 for it delivered to me and we will be installing it in my friends V8 Ranger this coming weekend...
 






Everything else looks to be in pretty good condition. There are a couple nicks but as far as I can tell, doesn't look like too big a deal.

I'll go check out and see what I can find. There's a pick-your-part about 10 miles away.

Thanks guys, hopefully I'll save myself a bunch of money.

If all else is good, I think the spider gears are $40 from Ford. This can be done without removing the axel. You may want to give it a try before you go used. I am gussing the axel is already apart. Did the shop do that, and if they did how did you get it home?
 






I just did the same thing in 96 Explorer. The gears cost me around $120 and they were super easy to put in.
 






Holy...mother of... $1300??? The places around here charge $400-500 for rebuilds (including parts & labor)
 






This happened to me.
First I replaced the gears, it was a lot of work and it lasted 50 miles.
Then I bot a new rear-end from a junkyard for $50. (Some yards will even deliver!) Installation was easy. I have an air compressor and pneumatic tools though.
The satisfaction and cost savings made it worth it.
 






Quite expensive. As far as a junkyard diff goes..I'm always against it. You save money right away but who knows when your back in the same boat. If you want to send me a PM let me know what you need and I can get you out of this for much less. Even if you bought an entire rebuilt diff you'd save money. Looks like everything is good but the T/L.
 






had the exact thing happen in a buddies ranger, got some spider gears from ford, put them in and problem solved. The gears were ~100.00. Just doing the spider gears will save you tons of time and money. If the gears and bearings weren't making any sounds and they look fine just do the spider gears.
 






So yeah, I guess it's a really stupid idea to pay that much money to get the diff repaired. I'm just going to get new spider gears for now and see how that works.

I originally got towed to this shop after leaving my car in the middle of nowhere overnight. Paid the shop $150 to check it out, and that $150 would go toward any repair I do. They figured out it was the rear diff and I just told them to sit tight for a while. I'm going to have it towed back home so I can do everything else myself. This shop is only about a mile away from home so not a big deal. At least it's a good thing I had the shop check it out because I had no idea what the problem was. I honestly thought it was from my front end somewhere but that was way off.

Thanks everyone for all the help and suggestions.
 






This car really is a money pit....

Another big problem discovered: shop pulled out a bunch of metal from transfer case while they were trying to find my problem, I guess. TC worked fine before I blew the rear end. I'm guessing something may have happened during the tow to the shop? I had no idea if my problem was front or rear, and I couldn't get a flatbed truck for several hours so I decided to just get a regular tow truck. I was towed from the front, so the blown rear diff was spinning the whole way back to the shop.

Could the grinding and banging have made its way to the transfer case and FUBAR'd anything in there too? Or is this just a terrible terrible coincidence? And while I'm at it, about how much would I be able to find a decent BW 4405? Rebuilt or pulled from another truck, not sure what I want to do.

I love this truck so much but it just keeps having problems left and right :(
 






This happened to me.
First I replaced the gears, it was a lot of work and it lasted 50 miles.
Then I bot a new rear-end from a junkyard for $50. (Some yards will even deliver!) Installation was easy. I have an air compressor and pneumatic tools though.
The satisfaction and cost savings made it worth it.

i assume you mean you replaced the ring and pinion gears and they didn't work out.. this is a more difficult task than spider gear replacement, as there is backlash and pinion depth and stuff to set.

This car really is a money pit....

Another big problem discovered: shop pulled out a bunch of metal from transfer case while they were trying to find my problem, I guess. TC worked fine before I blew the rear end. I'm guessing something may have happened during the tow to the shop? I had no idea if my problem was front or rear, and I couldn't get a flatbed truck for several hours so I decided to just get a regular tow truck. I was towed from the front, so the blown rear diff was spinning the whole way back to the shop.

Could the grinding and banging have made its way to the transfer case and FUBAR'd anything in there too? Or is this just a terrible terrible coincidence? And while I'm at it, about how much would I be able to find a decent BW 4405? Rebuilt or pulled from another truck, not sure what I want to do.

I love this truck so much but it just keeps having problems left and right :(

IMO all cars are a money pit if you pay someone else to do the work. seriously this is a cheap, relatively easy job if you do it yourself....

you also mentioned that you offroad this vehicle, any time "offroad" is involved, stuff breaks, no matter how new or old, or what make vehicle it is.

i wouldn't worry about the stuff in the transfer case. just fix the rear end and see how things work.. if the t-case has problems worry about it then. it's extremely unlikely that anything wrong in the diff would cause problems in the transfer case or transmission... oh, and FYI it's bad for automatic transmissions to be turned while the engine is not running... the oil pump in the transmission is run off the crank from the engine, so it's not getting oil to lubricate the bearings and stuff, it's just being spun by the driveshaft.
 






Open diff ftl... Do you know what the front end gearing is? I'd take this as an oppurtunity to get a LS axle from a junkyard Explorer fyi :)
 






Rhauf: for what it's worth, I had the transmission in neutral when it was towed, so I should be good there. And it just seems like I'm breaking everything on this car that can be broken. Gotta love it.

Eric: luckily I have limited slip. No lockers but it's better than nothing right? I do not know my front end gearing... Only know that I have D4, 3.73 at the rear. How do I find out about the front, or is it the same?
 



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Rhauf: for what it's worth, I had the transmission in neutral when it was towed, so I should be good there. And it just seems like I'm breaking everything on this car that can be broken. Gotta love it.

Eric: luckily I have limited slip. No lockers but it's better than nothing right? I do not know my front end gearing... Only know that I have D4, 3.73 at the rear. How do I find out about the front, or is it the same?

Front is always the same numerically as the rear, and there are no LS in the the front. I'm curious, do you know if the fluid was ever changed? Was it ever submerged in water?
 






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