2000 Jeep Wrangler Differential play

Tiny
ARKIE
  • MEMBER
  • 2000 JEEP WRANGLER
  • 4 CYL
  • 4WD
  • MANUAL
  • 73,000 MILES
I have a 2000 Wrangler with a 4" Rough Country


http://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/314750_Jeep1_006_1.jpg

lift and 1.5" lowering kit, 33X12.50 mudders.
When I start out there seems to be play in the rear diff or transfer case. Starts to spin then catches. Not much but enough to give me the creeps. Pulled the shaft and u joints are OK. Pulled the rear diff cover, no chips or fines but there is some play when turning the shaft by hand before it fully engages the gears. Is some play normal here?
The tcase has some play when in gear too when rotating by hand. Put it in neutral and all seems fine.
Can anybody give me some ideas here. I'm not sure where to head from here and my manual doesn't address this "end play" rotational issue.
Thanks 900 billion...not just a million
Pete
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Sunday, February 8th, 2009 AT 2:48 PM

4 Replies

Tiny
MECHCURT
  • MEMBER
It has a lift kit and a lowering kit? With the cover off the rear you would of seen metal or broken teeth if there was a major problem there. The bearings could be worn on the pinion and this would allow more slop or play in it. A Little play is not that big of deal so? But you say it spins and then catches. I would really of thought if it has this much play you would see missing teeth. Check good, they might of been removed by a previous owner? You could have that much play in the transfer case if the chain is worn out, pending on the t/c model. Not that many miles tho but with the lift it is possible if it was used hard. Dont have a great answer w/o knowing how much play you really have. Let me know what else you find out. Curt
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Monday, February 16th, 2009 AT 7:46 PM
Tiny
ARKIE
  • MEMBER
Curt,
The pinion gear seems to travel a bit before it engages the ring gear in the diff so I am going to try to use a dial indicator to measure the backlash and compare it to the tollerance listed in the spec. The backlash seems to propagate through the gear assembly in the diff to the axle. So I can't really tell what I have here. Have you ever adjusted the pinion gear depth on wrangler differential. I'm learning as I go so all of this is new to me. Once I'm satisfied that I've done all I can for the diff I'll turn my attention to the tcase. Thanks for your input!
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Tuesday, February 17th, 2009 AT 9:12 AM
Tiny
ARKIE
  • MEMBER
I held the ring gear in place and rotated the pinion gear by turning the drive shaft. There is very little play there. It seems that there isn't that much there to correct for.

There seems to be a lot of play in the pinion gear mate shaft. I've seen this before on other Jeeps. I may replace it to see if that makes a difference. If the pinion gears show wear I'll replace those too.
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Tuesday, February 17th, 2009 AT 11:38 AM
Tiny
MECHCURT
  • MEMBER
The Mate Shaft? You must mean the Spider Gears? Not sure the Pinion run's right on the ring gear which is bolted to the Pinion Carrier. The Carrier has two spider gears inside of it, one on each end of the axles. I have replaced alot of these but mostly do to breaking not wear. Interesting. Keep me up to date on what you find out, ok. Thanks Curt
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Wednesday, February 18th, 2009 AT 5:01 AM

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