I need a complete rear differential for a 1997 Jeep Grand Cherokee. Mine is broken beyond economical repair. I am told it is a Dana 35 diff and the ratio is 3.73 ? It has coil suspension, disc brakes and ABS.
Where can I buy a new one ? Or a reconditioned one ? to further complicate matters I live in Cape Town, South Africa.
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If both tires stop, the car cant move, anyway! If you turn to one side and the inner wheel seams as it stops, maybe the you need to replace the clutch's in the read differential. The rear axle has two clutch packages that look the rear axle if one wheel rotates faster then the other side. It's also known as a limited slip differential, but on a JGC the axle has this clutch packs that avoid any slip in the diff. If these packs are worn out you need to replace them.
If it happens, try to roll back some feet and drive straight forward. If both wheels are rotating normal, replace this clutch's. If that don't work, remove the wheels, open the brake drums and look for broken brake shoes, loose springs or worn out bearings. Lift your car and try to rotated each wheel by hand and feel if there are anything that blocks turning. After half a turn, the clutch in the diff. will close, so the other side need to turn the opposite direction and you will find it harder to rotate the wheel. If it blocks complete... replace the clutch. Make sure that you fill the diff with the right amount oil and a special additive called "friction modifier". Don't forget this modifier, because your new clutch will be burned in minutes.
A few parts should be interchangeable. Most of them will not be however since the Grand Cherokee underwent a complete re-design for 1999. Some engines and transmissions will switch out. The rear axle in the 97 was commonly a Dana/Spicer 35. This was replaced with a larger rear differential in 1999 for increased towing capacity. The wheels should interchange ok, power steering system was pretty much the same and as long as the hydraulics (supports) on the hood are the same length they should work
If your familiar with this repair there are no tricks. It involves removing the rear differential cover, removing the spider gear lock pin and retainer clip from the axle shaft before removing the axle shaft from the Jeep.
If the driveshaft is turning then you need to check both axles to see if they turn. If you see that an axle is turning but the wheel is not, you have a broken "u" joint or c/v joint (I think either was available on that year.) If neither axle is turning then likely you have broken some gears inside the differential. To verify that remove the cover on the diff and look. Broken gears are obvious and you do not need to be too experienced to see the damage. Gear damage is expensive to repair and you cannot do that work yourself. You can replace an axle or the entire differential, end to end. Instructions can be found for axle and complete diff replacement in both chiltons or haynes manuals. Or you can try it without instructions ans ask me if you need help with any part of the job.
Sorry to hear that you spent that much money on just axles...Likely could have gotten a complete differential from a junkyard for half the price of one axle. But, as long as its back in service, that's a plus. I hope that they cleaned the differential center section of all bearing and axle debris though or you will certainly have a failure in there pretty soon.
You will need to remove the differential rear cover,drain fluid, remove wheel, brake drum, (rotor) . Unbolt center diff. pin, carefully remove (don't loose shims) push axle in remove lock keeper, then slide out axle, replace seal, put some grease on it, slide axle in reverse all to install.
call jeep and give them last 9 digits of your vin and ask for three things -Differential Type,Gear ratio, and Track lock- They will give you 1) Dana 35 or 44 2) Gear Ratio 3.31 or 3.73 3) Track Lock - yes/no
Your carrier bearings and possibly the pinion bearings are the source if the noise is a low pitched grumble or gravelly noise that starts just about 20 mph and up. If it is louder when quickly changing lanes to the left, it is probably the right wheel bearing, and if it is louder when changing lanes to the right, it is the left wheel bearing. If it is a whine that is really annoying at 45-65 mph, your ring and pinion are probably worn beyond their design specification limit. If your U-joints are OK, but you can hear a loud clunk from the rear when you get on and off the throttle, you definitely have play in your ring and pinion. Have the cover removed and you can sheck this easily. I have worked on several Jeep Grand Cherokee differentials, and the ring an pinion has needed replacing on them all. A few had bad bearings, too. You should probably replace the bearings and the ring and pinion, because the labor is nearly the same and the parts are just a bit more. If you look through the forums on the www you will find many people that replaced the bearings to fix the grumble, only to finish the job and find out they also have the whine.