LR3 Front Differential- Rebuild or Replace? - Defender Source
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  #1  
Old May 29th, 2015, 05:27 PM
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LR3 Front Differential- Rebuild or Replace?

At 150k, I've started getting a speed dependent grinding noise up front, best described as a rock-tumbler sound. I expect that it's coming from the front diff- does that sound correct?

My truck was used in a few Ohio winters and the outside is corroded with a black coating that is peeling off. I've read that this coating may be flaking internally as well...

Has anyone rebuilt or just replaced their diff? Any brands or places to recommend or stay away from?


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  #2  
Old May 29th, 2015, 05:31 PM
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Loic Fabro
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There is very little oil in the diff. I'd start by making sure there is still some in there and while at it, just replace it.
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  #3  
Old May 29th, 2015, 05:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MonLand View Post
There is very little oil in the diff. I'd start by making sure there is still some in there and while at it, just replace it.
Thanks.
I've had the fluid replaced every 20k or so for the past 2 years.
No reports of anything solid coming out of it...
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  #4  
Old May 29th, 2015, 05:42 PM
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Check if the diff's breather cap is functional. If clogged, it could be the root cause for a gear oil leak. It will be near the top of the radiator, left side. Thinking the dealer simply snips it off for the fix. Splash lubrication and only 0.61L to fill (not to the full plug).
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Old May 29th, 2015, 07:40 PM
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Are you absolutely certain its not the wheel bearings?
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  #6  
Old May 29th, 2015, 08:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jymmiejamz View Post
Are you absolutely certain its not the wheel bearings?
I was thinking of these the other day. Do you just wait for them to fail or should they be replaced as preventative maintenance?
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Old May 29th, 2015, 08:36 PM
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Obviously Jimmy is the expert on these, but my wheel bearings went like clockwork at around 75k and within a few k of eachother. Left me stranded once too... Seems like the 70-80k range is what others are reporting as well, fyi. Id do preventative...and will do them again at around 130k to be safe.

To the OP's post, I dont think his noise sounds like a wheel bearing imo. Both of my WBs sounding like grinding and not a box of rocks. I did replace the front diff breather cap in the engine bay near the radiator to the recommended replacement (cheap and easy) and plan on 25-30k intervals for fluid replacement. Sounds like most folks replace the diff when it goes.
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Old May 29th, 2015, 08:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SMac View Post
Obviously Jimmy is the expert on these, but my wheel bearings went like clockwork at around 75k and within a few k of eachother.
What noise/symptoms before(or when?) the bearings go? I also heard you can't buy the bearings but need to get the hubs instead. The reason I am asking: no bad noise yet, but uneven wear on the tires (inside of the tires), vibration sometimes (all with recent new tires, bushings, alignment).
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  #9  
Old May 29th, 2015, 09:06 PM
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Loic, I just had grinding noises and wheel wobble. Wheel wobble prior to grinding, but that was prior to Arm, Stabilizer, Tie Rod bushing replacement and with new tires. I seriously would do a preventative wheel bearing replacement every 70k miles on both sides. And my wife, who drove it primarily for the first 70k of its life, drives like a 55 year old lady. Truck was never off road either.

A lot of is have had good luck with Timken Hub Assemblies...got mine from Rock Auto for around $150. Genuine is about double if I remember at landrovermerriamparts.com (the best place bar none for genuine parts including NAS Defender). Yes, fronts are whole assemblies I believe.
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  #10  
Old May 29th, 2015, 09:11 PM
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I have a sparw one if you are looking for one.
Thought i needed it but ended up being the transfer case..
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  #11  
Old May 29th, 2015, 09:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jpc1818 View Post
I have a sparw one if you are looking for one.
Thought i needed it but ended up being the transfer case..
Ouch. Didn't know the TCase was a trouble spot.
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  #12  
Old May 29th, 2015, 10:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jymmiejamz View Post
Are you absolutely certain its not the wheel bearings?
Nope, but that's the first thing I'm going to check tomorrow when I install new rotors. Let you know

------ Follow up post added May 29th, 2015 06:41 PM ------

Quote:
Originally Posted by down_shift View Post
Check if the diff's breather cap is functional. If clogged, it could be the root cause for a gear oil leak. It will be near the top of the radiator, left side. Thinking the dealer simply snips it off for the fix. Splash lubrication and only 0.61L to fill (not to the full plug).
That's good to know (breather cap). I'll check into that tomorrow as well. Thanks
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  #13  
Old May 30th, 2015, 04:43 PM
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Wheel bearings check good. Fluid level good in front diff. Ordering breather parts. Besides finding metal particulate in the gear oil, any other way to diagnose a pending diff failure? What about a transfer case failure? Also, anyone have any experience with centurion differential out of San Antonio?
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  #14  
Old May 30th, 2015, 04:47 PM
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The dealer dies not simply snip off the breather. Its replaced with a updated part. Itwould be disatrous to leave that breather pipe uncapped as it points directly toward the hood from the diff. The updated part is cheap...
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  #15  
Old May 30th, 2015, 05:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SMac View Post
The dealer dies not simply snip off the breather. Its replaced with a updated part. Itwould be disatrous to leave that breather pipe uncapped as it points directly toward the hood from the diff. The updated part is cheap...
I cut them off for a long time before the updated breather was available. I wouldn't hesitate to leave it off.
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  #16  
Old May 30th, 2015, 05:34 PM
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Zack from RN got me the updated breather for short $ and it was a 3 min fix.
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  #17  
Old May 31st, 2015, 05:57 PM
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I've read that Lucky 8 offers rebuilt diffs. Anyone have any experience with a Lucky 8 or Centurion rebuilt diff?
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  #18  
Old May 31st, 2015, 07:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Holiday View Post
I've read that Lucky 8 offers rebuilt diffs. Anyone have any experience with a Lucky 8 or Centurion rebuilt diff?
In Richmond we had a customer supply a diff from Lucky 8. No issues with it as far as I know, but one thing that was odd about it was that it was the housing from a locking diff and had a blanking plate where the diff lock motor would go.
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  #19  
Old May 31st, 2015, 10:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jymmiejamz View Post
In Richmond we had a customer supply a diff from Lucky 8. No issues with it as far as I know, but one thing that was odd about it was that it was the housing from a locking diff and had a blanking plate where the diff lock motor would go.
Good to hear- I'll start with them tomorrow. Thanks
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  #20  
Old June 1st, 2015, 07:59 AM
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Ross, if you have time it probably would not hurt to give the guys at Great Basin a call. Bill I have found to be a great source of knowledge and wide variety of experience. IMO it's nice to support the indie shops. I see it as an indirect investment into this crazy hobby we've found ourselves obsessed with. .
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