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Oil leak on rear differential of Mitsubishi Pajero 3.5 2003 model

On a trip into the Namib my 3.5 Pajero 2003 SWB sprung an oil leak from the left rear CV joint connecting into the differential with some damage to the crown wheel and pinion (judging by the humming noise that developed) . I took it to a local vehicle repair facility - who did not stop the problem. His summary was that the inner CV moves out of the differential and the oil leaks out there. He finds nothing wrong with the istallation (suspected some locking arrangement like a circlip to be out ofplace/broken but found none), advised that I need to check it regularly on my trip back home (1800km) and push it back into the differential with some lever which I did and top up oil. I arrived home in the end and approximately 2.5 litres of differential oil added during the trip.

I will have to get the differential repaired for future trips, but would like to know what could have caused the movement of the CV joint and the resulting serious oil leak.

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  • Anonymous Apr 25, 2009



  • Anonymous Mar 26, 2014

    I have a leak coming from my rear differential, and the car has started to make a whining sound at higher speeds.

    I took it to a mechanic who said in order to access the differential they'll need to drop the rear frame of the car, making it an all day job, and estimated $700.

    Is that a reasonable estimate? I normally do most of the work to the car myself, but don't have a ton of experience when it comes to the differential -- is this something the home mechanic could take on?



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I had the same problem on a recent trip to Mozambique.I found a very knowledgable mechanic in Komatipoort! He says it is always the left rear CV that works hardest when towing a heavy trailer / boat etc. A circlip works loose inside the diff...he repaired mine in less than an hour and it cost me R450-00 including the new oil! He also bent the new circlip slightly oval to prevent future occurances.

Do not drive like this for a long period without having it fixed.!


Stan Westman

Posted on Jan 17, 2009


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