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View Full Version : has anybody had a rear Diff replaced?


robotross
03-21-2009, 07:00 PM
My sprinter is making a loud clunking noise when I go from coasting to accelerating and when I shift from forward to reverse or vice-versa. The dealship says is almost two inches of play in a pin that connects the drive to the rear Diff (if i understood them correctly) and they say they need to replace the rear diff and it will cost almost $4000, has this happened to anybody else and how much did it cost you?

I have an '02 316cdi
and the dealership is hinckley in Salt Lake City


I have heard people talk about gear ratios for better gas mileage on this forum. I don't know what my gear ratio is now but would this be a potential opportunity to make that improvement?

Aqua Puttana
03-21-2009, 08:59 PM
I can't help with your specific questions, but if you decide to go the rebuild route check this post.

http://sprinter-source.com/forum/showthread.php?t=4734

It may save you money on parts. I wonder why they didn't mention rebuild? Do they think the housing has been damaged? Hope this does some good. vic

abittenbinder
03-21-2009, 11:21 PM
I have heard people talk about gear ratios for better gas mileage on this forum. I don't know what my gear ratio is now but would this be a potential opportunity to make that improvement?

The rear axle ratio is encoded to the ECM when it is 'VIN specific' locked to its host vehicle. The rear axle ratio is NOT 'version coded' into the ECM (for example, cruise control is version coded), therefore it cannot be reprogrammed at will, even using the factory scan computer.

Changing the rear axle ratio would require replacing the ECM as well. The replacement ECM would then be coded with the new ratio and locked down. Doktor A

maxextz
03-22-2009, 03:05 AM
The rear axle ratio is encoded to the ECM when it is 'VIN specific' locked to its host vehicle. The rear axle ratio is NOT 'version coded' into the ECM (for example, cruise control is version coded), therefore it cannot be reprogrammed at will, even using the factory scan computer.

Changing the rear axle ratio would require replacing the ECM as well. The replacement ECM would then be coded with the new ratio and locked down. Doktor A

thats just crazy:crazy:, thats what i dont like about modern computer controlled vehicles, gone are the days of using your toolbox at the side of the road and getting going again then patting yourself on the back:smilewink: nowdays your stranded have to get towed and have a dealer shove his hand in your pocket and take all your money and then pat himself on the back:shifty: oh well.

Ciprian
03-22-2009, 03:41 AM
The rear axle ratio is encoded to the ECM when it is 'VIN specific' locked to its host vehicle. The rear axle ratio is NOT 'version coded' into the ECM (for example, cruise control is version coded), therefore it cannot be reprogrammed at will, even using the factory scan computer.

Changing the rear axle ratio would require replacing the ECM as well. The replacement ECM would then be coded with the new ratio and locked down. Doktor A

Just curious, how would the ECM know you changed the ratio? Maybe through the ABS thingie...
And what would happen if you would change the ratio without changing the ECM?

ECU
03-22-2009, 05:33 AM
A local fleet mechanic did a rebuild. Said it was easy.
Dealers don't rebuild. They only replace. That is why they are so expensive.:eek:

abittenbinder
03-23-2009, 06:07 AM
Just curious, how would the ECM know you changed the ratio? Maybe through the ABS thingie...
And what would happen if you would change the ratio without changing the ECM?

The transmission output shaft speed is not measured directly but rather is calculated by the TCM from rear wheel sensor signal data and the programmed rear axle ratio.

If you changed the rear axle ratio without changing the programmed ratio you would most likely set an immediate 'transmission slippage' DTC (2502, on a DRBIII) which will put the vehicle into a "controlled" limp home mode, and light the MIL.

A controlled limp home mode (as opposed to a 'permanent' limp home mode) in this case, would likely have the TCM place the transmission into 3rd gear and restrict it to 3rd gear only, for forward drive. Doktor A

briansprinter
03-26-2009, 06:18 PM
I've got an 03 2500 that the first diff went out at 36k. Dealer replaced under warranty with a factory reman entire axle.Since I did't take that one apart I can't say what exactly went wrong, but sounds like a similar problem to yours- blown ring gear. That diff lasted for 42k miles and blew up this January. Dealer nor Dodge rep would stand behind it and yes, they wanted 4,000 plus to replace it. When I got into the diff, the wimpy 4 way yolk had snapped, throwing all sorts of tidbits around. The ring and pinion luckily survived, enabling their re-use. The spider gears, 4 way and carrier bearings ran me about 600. Another 100 for cryo, 200 to a diff guru and a very cold set of toes land fingers later I put everything back under the truck.

If I were to do it again, I'd seriously consider putting one in from a boneyard. I cannot endorse these guys- but here's a link...http://www.qualitysprinter.com/sprinter_parts.shtml

Or better yet, have a real rear axle built for it that doesn't cost a minor fortune. Dyna....11"

SteinarN
04-07-2009, 11:30 AM
The rear axle ratio is encoded to the ECM when it is 'VIN specific' locked to its host vehicle. The rear axle ratio is NOT 'version coded' into the ECM (for example, cruise control is version coded), therefore it cannot be reprogrammed at will, even using the factory scan computer.

Changing the rear axle ratio would require replacing the ECM as well. The replacement ECM would then be coded with the new ratio and locked down. Doktor A

One more reason to stick to the manual tranny.

Ciprian
04-07-2009, 04:47 PM
One more reason to stick to the manual tranny.

I would have definitely bought a manual transmission if it was available this side of the pond. I would rather replace a clutch once in a while than a transmission.

abittenbinder
04-07-2009, 05:58 PM
I would have definitely bought a manual transmission if it was available this side of the pond. I would rather replace a clutch once in a while than a transmission.

It's not quite that simple. Expensive dual-mass flywheels, clutch hydraulics, synchros, etc enter the equation.

But the improved fuel economy and driver control over shift points are big advantages for the manual gearbox. Doktor A

robotross
04-11-2009, 03:54 AM
well, this debacle is finally over. Rebuilding the Read Diff cost me $3800 and 14 days without my precious van. The Dealership (hinckly dodge in Salt Lake City) had a hell of a time with the rebuild, they couldn't find the neccessary shim that facilitates proper alighneent of the driveshaft and had to reorder the part three times (aparently receiving the wrong shim each time) and call mercedes in germany before they got it figured out.

I live in my van so it was a long expensive 14 days without a home or transportation. I'm glad it's over but now the breaks are doing something that they were not when I dropped it off. if I press lightly on the breaks they make a clicking noise like ABS is engaging but the ABS light does not come on and when I press the breaks harder the noise and the Pulse feeling go away. At first I thought it was just rusty disks from sitting around for two weeks but i gave it a day of driving and even tried lightly riding the breaks and it has not gone away. any ideas?

briansprinter
04-11-2009, 03:26 PM
I have a thought or two on the brakes-

When the axles go back in, the airgap on the abs pickups have to be very very tight.If they are too close, they will rub on the plate and make a slight click as the plates are not 100%true. I set mine up too loose , which caused a fault in the abs system . It did not make any noise though.

The other thing could be as simple as a bent dust cover rubbing, they tend to get a bit banged up in the process of a rebuild.

Did the same tires go back on where they came from? I neglected once to put my spare into rotation and when I did have to use it ( 1 tire NEW, 3 50% worn) it played a role in the abs kicking in and making noise at low speed only.

Good luck, I'd bring it back to the dealer and have them scope it out. Heck, you just spent a bunch of money w/ them and I'm hopeful they will straighten it out for you.

robotross
04-11-2009, 10:07 PM
Thanks for the suggestions, the dealership is going to take a look at it.

I also forgot to mention that something sounds like it's rubbing even when I don't have my foot on the break pedal. it's a faint metal on metal noise that clicks or whines a little each time the wheel goes around and speeds up in pace as I speed up. sometimes it's louder than others and sometimes if I press the brake pedal down hard while stopped it does not make the noise moving forward until I use the brakes again.

I realize this is all very enigmatic but I will be sure to follow up with solutions when i find them.

robotross
04-12-2009, 03:29 PM
UPDATE: Just got back from a short drive this morning in which the ABS light and the traction control light came on and stayed on. When I pulled over and shut off the engine and restarted it both lights were out and did not come on again.

robotross
04-17-2009, 12:53 AM
so the dealership said it was two blown speed sensors in the wheels that are part of the ABS system. I;m probably not going to have them replaced right away... no money left after that rear diff job

sikwan
04-17-2009, 12:59 AM
so the dealership said it was two blown speed sensors in the wheels that are part of the ABS system. I;m probably not going to have them replaced right away... no money left after that rear diff job

:wtf:

I'd be suspicious on the sensor damages when the rear diff was worked on.

qkoop
07-11-2009, 07:26 PM
I just bought a 04 van with 170 000 miles and found a reciept in the glove box for a rear diff.$4600. from jasper transmissions.

Wileycoyote
07-11-2009, 10:38 PM
I had similar sounds coming from the rear end when switching from reverse to forwards and vice-versa. I found my u-bolts somehow had loosened up. I tightened them up and all was better.

312 diesel (closed)
07-12-2009, 11:20 AM
Surely it has to be easier and cheaper to source a used axle? I'd want a complete van for that kind of money:lol:

PubRider
05-22-2012, 09:39 PM
I guess no one has? :popcorn:

expcourier
05-22-2012, 10:35 PM
I have tracked my excessive drone to the the pinion bearings and perhaps the carrier bearings in my diff. After pricing out a new axle or new parts for the diff, I have decided to reuse my axle assembly from my parts van.

I intend to remove the rear axle assembly from the old van and then to determine whether or not everything inside the wheel hubs has disintegrated.

If the backing plates, tone rings and attachment points have gone beyond reuse, I was hoping to remove the axle shafts as complete units from the van with the bad diff and reuse them with the good diff. This way I won't have to disassemble the bearings to put new backing plates or tone rings on.

I'm hoping that the tone rings on the bad rear axle are in good shape.

I have bought new u-bolt nuts, new bolts for the bearing cap and new gaskets.

I have the Memorial Day weekend to do the job, wish me luck and may the sprinter gods look kindly upon my efforts.

lindenengineering
05-23-2012, 01:58 AM
Guys to date I have re-built 3 rear axle units.
Mileages have varied from 95K to 200K.

In each case the original complaint was quote "a strange growling screeching noise"!

All of the the three units I have torn down had pinion bearing failure with the inner bearing exhibiting "pitting and spalling", of the bearing surface which denotes a high bearing loads and lubrication shock load breakdowns.

The bearings in each case were Koyo Hi Cap units.
Now I confess I have always been a bit suspicious of Koyo bearings in other applications since someone in the bearing business told me that the component parts are often made in China and assembled in Japan.
So in each case I opted for Timken bearings and rebuilt the units.
I am keeping an eye on one unit (95K) since it operates in the Denver area and comes to my shop frequently for service.

On exchange units basis my local MB dealer quoted about $4500 for an axle.(Outright purchase)
Our nearby Dodge dealer quoted $2800 with a $1500 core charge.
In each case there was a huge waiting list Dodge was 28 days!

I fixed the last axle for $354 in parts and 8 hours of labor.

As with most differentials the trick is setting the depth of mesh taking account of case and ring gear/pinion correction figures, plus applying the correct pre loads and tooth contact patches.

So far I have managed to get away with "old tricks" on setting the pinion to the case but I have a plan to make up a depth setting tool so that I can calculate the exact shim, to set the depth of mesh. In short read the trick of setting a differential gears properly.

So as a tail piece if anyone knows of the vital dimensions of the case to pinion std depth or in fact the pt# of the MB special tools I would be grateful to get my now greasy hands on them. Otherwise I will have to get a bare case and start measuring!
Cheers Dennis

expcourier
06-11-2012, 10:09 PM
It turned out that the carrier bearing was not the culprit as originally thought. Although the bearing was noisy on removal, the real noise was coming from the pinion bearings and possibly the carrier bearings in the rear axle.

After looking into parts from dealer (expensive !! ) and a rear axle assembly ($4500.00....holy crap...). I instead looked at my 2002 organ donor and asked myself whether or not I felt I could switch it out myself.

Well the answer was that I could and did use my rear axle with 530k miles on it from my old van and the toughest part was removing the axle from my rusty NE vehicle.

It was great to "practice" on the donor vehicle without being committed to the repair on the working vehicle.

I wound up switching out the axle shafts from my non rusty van because the backing plates were destroyed by rust and the speed sensors were impossible for me to remove.

I would recommend that anytime you service your brakes that you remove and regrease the speed sensors to avoid having them frozen in their bores.

The rear axle has been replaced and my truck is quiet again, I am thankful indeed.

I'm going to hazard a guess and say that because the van was owned previously by a locksmith who drove the van loaded caused a premature failure of the pinion bearings, (possibly just the driver's heavy foot), but that's an uneducated guess.

SRT
06-12-2012, 02:32 AM
On my first T1N, (I personally drove it 500,000 miles before turning it over to one of my drivers) the rear began howling at about 320K miles.

Same news from the dealer, $3400 for the assembly plus installation.

I decided to drive the truck until either:

1:the rear end totally gave out, or

2: the howling noise drove me crazy.

I finally replaced it at about 450K miles with a used unit ($1600) to get rid of that cursed howling noise. It never did give up the ghost.

expcourier
06-23-2012, 11:37 AM
One final note on my rear axle changeover. My van is a high cargo and I thought that my poor fuel milage was due to the extra height. It turns out that the bad gears in the rear end were robbing me of 2 - 2.5 mpg. In the 25k miles I drove it with the noise I wasted 150 gals of fuel.

Prior to changeover, 21.0 to 21.7 mpg per tank

After changeover, 23.5 to 24 mpg.

Aqua Puttana
03-13-2013, 10:31 PM
This thread was mentioned in a recent post. I haven't reviewed the posts so I don't know if NCV3 came up.

For NCV3 owners:
The rear end ratio can be changed to a different value on the NCV3 models. That may open up some more possibilities for used parts replacement selection.

Some information is here.

http://sprinter-source.com/forum/showthread.php?p=155726#post155726

vic

lindenengineering
03-15-2013, 03:30 AM
Guys
Just as a footnote.
Referring to my quote "old tricks''

I tackled a "whiner" the other day; nothing really wrong with it just annoyingly noisy on light loads.
I got rid of it by tightening up the B/L to its minimum (well a thou too tight on the narrowest clearance taken at three points on the ring gear (that's a crown wheel if you are a Brit or an Auzzie)!:laughing:

And tightened up both the side diff bearings and the pinion to the highest pre-load spec.
With the right "syn oils" it did the trick.

It gone down the road delivering coffee.
I got a 5lb bag of Costa Riceana beans as a bonus!:thumbup: Hmm la pura vida
Dennis

Teknomadix
04-01-2013, 02:18 AM
Hello Dennis.

Can you offer a dum-dum some insight as to what the "B/L" is?
What is this term short hand for?



I tackled a "whiner" the other day...
I got rid of it by tightening up the B/L to its minimum:laughing:

pfflyer
04-01-2013, 02:49 AM
Freightliner originally told me they could not get parts only a whole unit for my 2002 2500. Bought it with 397,000 miles and knew it needed a rear end but didn't do my research very well and was shocked at 4k price tag. Got to know the service manager and he must of felt sorry for me because he found the parts I needed instead of a whole rear end. Depending on what is wrong they can find parts. My total bill was $2800 but that included tranny service, parking brake fix and some rear brake work. Hope they can find or are willing to find the parts for you.

Aqua Puttana
04-01-2013, 02:50 AM
Hello Dennis.

Can you offer a dum-dum some insight as to what the "B/L" is?
What is this term short hand for?

B/L??

Until Dennis checks in here to confirm or deny, I'm thinkin' he was referring to adjusting the backlash of the gears.

In another context my suggestion would be bikini line, but Sprinters don't generally wear bikinis in serious competition. :hmmm: vic

pfflyer
04-01-2013, 03:03 AM
Didn't notice this was an old thread.

sailquik
04-01-2013, 04:41 AM
Teknomadix,
B/L is an abbreviation for "backlash".
Whenever you set up a rear end gear set (Pinion and Ring gear) there is a specified pinion protrusion dimension, and then you shim or adjust (different ways to do this
on different rear ends from different manufacturers) the ring gear (sometimes the pinion) to obtain the specified backlash between the spiral bevel gear teeth on the pinion
and the spiral bevel gear teeth on the ring gear.
Once you have the backlash set, it's a good idea to take a tooth contact/engagement reading (using Prussian blue/Dykem red/blue/ or some gear tooth marking compound)
to tell if the tooth contact is high/low toe of the gear/heel of the gear.
The backlash can be good, but if the tooth contact patch is not correct it will be a noisy gear set and will wear out quickly.
Do a Google search on setting up rear differential gears.
Roger