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I live in Guam - which is pretty hard on our vehicles and makes repairs pretty difficult. My wife was driving our 2002 Durango when it came to a hard stop - the driveshaft rolled down the street. The pinion exploded through the front of the bell housing. It is now halfway out the hole with the other half lodged pretty solidly under the ring with metal everywhere.
The guys who towed it to my house said I'd need a new third member, the gears, and the housing. Wanted $3K for the parts. Said $2K for used + labor. I talked to my dad who is a mechanic, and he says it doesn't have a 3d member - no bolts on the front of the housing - just the ones on the back holding the cover on. I've never heard 3d member before so I'm not sure and my dad is a looooong way away.
Called another place today and to get a differntial assembly, it'll run 1700 plus shipping. I've found entire rear ends in the states online for $750, so it seems extreme to pay that much for a differential assembly. Is this way too much, or about right?
Also, I've looked through the manual and it says the axle shafts are pressed and welded into the assembly making one solid assembly. If so, can I use just the differntial assembly they are trying to sell me?
It's not going to be our vehicle for much longer...but I have to get it moving so I can sell it. What's the cheapest route to get this thing going again? Replace rear end, just the differential? If I do the rear end, I can do the labor myself - if I get just the differential, is that a job I can still do myself - or better for a garage? I'm not a complete newbie - I've worked on engines - but not drivelines.
Thanks for any input - I've never had a rear end blow up on me before.
2002 Dodge Durango - 9.25 / 3.55 ratio.
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Cheapest route will depend on shipping and what you can find out there. In my opinion, your cheapest route is swapping a similar rear end. Axles are cake to swap, as compared to complex engine work or electrical work. If you just find/purchase the guts, you will need an axle guy to rebuild it for you. If you find a complete rear end, you drop the axle/suspension, swap axles, bolt everything back up, and connect drive shaft. Assuming you bought a decent rear end, should be done after that (maybe some new fluid).
But this will totally depend on what you have available to you. I would bet certain dodge trucks and other dodge SUVs could be donors for your new rear end as well.
My honest opinion is that you should find a another used axle and just swap. It's easier to drop the leaf springs, unbolt the U-bolts/joints/brake lines, swap the axle and reconnect than it would be to rebuild the differential and alot cheaper.
MAKE SURE YOU GET THE RIGHT GEARING if you go a used axel housing and gearing from a junk yard or such.
The axels are not pressed in to the gearing. After you pull the cover off you can see that there are locking rings holding them into the gears. You take off the snap rings and unbolt the axels at the wheel and the axels will pull out.
I did a write up about this. I can't find it right now but I will look into it! You can search with my name and "axel" to try to find it.
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Thanks guys - yeah I read your write up. I did a search for differentials and read every page. Lots of info!
I found a salvage yard that has a rear end for $550 w/ a warranty - but shipping is going to run that up. But it's still cheaper than what I can find here on the island.
I had an extended warranty that would have covered this back in the states, but since the breakdown happened here, it's not covered.
I took the back cover off and I see how it connects in there, just didn't understand what I read in the manual. I can't even move the vehicle because the pinion is lodged in there tight keeping it from moving.