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Discussion Starter #1
Its a 2003 Durango that we have had for about 3 months now and put 2000 miles on it.
It is a 4x4 and has the 4.7 liter engine. Has 158,000 miles or so.

When turning a tight turn at low speeds, say in a parking lot, there is a whine from the differential, a varying pitched, oscillating kind of sound. Soon as it straightens out, its gone. Seems to do it more when hot. First start up of the day you can pull around out of the parking spot, and no noise at all.

Perhaps unrelated.....the 4x4 works fine and all, although I never really use it,,,but I have to back up a good bit when switching back to 2wd, or the damn thing acts like it wants to lock up. Someone told me that was normal for the transfer case I have, and its the better one anyway.

So, I figured I should change the differential fluid as a starting point for that whine.

There were no "shavings" but a few chunks. See below:





So, what the heck are these? The largest piece seems as if it may have been conical or tapered in shape when whole. What is my prognosis here? I assume it needs a rebuild at this point, but if I keep driving it what about that? I mean if I hadn't done this job today, I would have kept on going with it.

Sucks. If it totally locks, I figured Id drop the rear drive shaft, put it in 4wd and front wheel drive it on home. LOL! Lordy, I dunno. (I pull a boat with this thing once a week also!)
+

EDIT: Oh yeah the penny was not in there, it is provided for reference only. ;)
Also one of the bolts had a tag on it that said "35" ..is this an ID for the rear?
Any input would be appreciated!
Thanks,
Neil
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Instead of a rebuild, I think that swapping the whole rear with a junk yard unit would be an option, I live close to a pull it yourself yard, and I can get the whole rear for cheap. I guess while in the yard I could pull the cover and make sure there are no chunks in my replacement. I have heard that they had some problems with these things though. Then I would have to be darn sure I get the right matching rear.....I dont know what would be more difficult, swapping the rear or rebuilding the one I have. Ive rebuilt motors, replaced transmissions, I work on machines for a living etc so I am a terrific gearhead but Ive never rebuilt a rear.
 

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My guess is 35 means 3.55 rear axle ratio. Is this the 9 1/4" axle? They were tough axles but then in the late 90's they started having issues with them.
The axle in my 99 Dakota makes a similar noise and I have a junkyard one to swap in but I wonder if it will be any better.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Yes, it is the 9 and 1/4 rear.

The noise is a bit disconcerting, but I could live with it. Finding those chunks in there is a bummer. Im such a jerk I will probably keep driving it until it does something scarier than whine....I dunno. I looked up some rebuild kits and I did not see anything in the kit parts that looked like what I pulled out of the case. Looks like some sort of retaining clip and maybe some sort of bushing. It is a limited slip unit from what I understand.
I put oil back in the rear but I haven't driven it yet so I dont know if fresh oil will quiet it up or not.

I read somewhere about a recall on the rears from this era....this Durango has alot of miles on it but according to the carfax, it had been to the dealer all it's life for oil changes and maintenance and it sure runs out nice.

regarding the tag, I think you are right about the gear ratio! I saw that listed as a common one.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Hmm. Lovely.
There is a clutch pack kit I found on ebay and a bearing kit. I guess I wouldnt know which I need until I take it down if I go that route. I found a great web page about doing the rebuild on one of these. Im sure I could manage it.
I drove it some earlier. Nice and quiet. A time bomb I reckon.

Thanks for the info!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Yeah, the pieces I found are remnants from an "aligner clip" which is in the clutch pack rebuild kit....the clip looking thing used to be a part of that tapered looking thing.
 
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