Zorba's JeepOil and differential cover changed on the front. Ended up with a Teraflex cover this time, no sweetheart deal on an ARB like I got for the back; although I did save $15 by buying this one from "Amazon Warehouse" because it was an open box item and it had a minor paint problem around a couple of the bolt holes that I corrected. Not as fancy as an ARB, but just as good - you can't even see the ARB unless you crawl under the Jeep, but you can this one a little bit. Whoever did the last service on the differentials sure over did it with the RTV, but I'm a believer in the "LubeLocker" gaskets now! The old cover didn't want to come off, but with the help of a length of ½" pipe and a hydraulic jack, it was no problem. The bolt at the 1 O'Clock position is a bitch to get tight, but it was otherwise an easy enough job except it took all day because of the heat. At least I didn't get heat exhaustion like I did with the rear cover, but I kept on coming in to drink fluids and cool off! I wasn't horribly impressed with the tightness of the brass drain plug, so I used a bit of Teflon tape just to be sure!
Front Differential, Rear Swaybar Bushings.
Slight cosmetic issue with the paint on this Teraflex differential cover fixed with a rattle can.
Jack up the Jeep...
3 inch lift on front!
Old differential cover bolts removed, fill plug removed, it was a bit over-full.
It was also more than a bit glued on with RTV. Half inch pipe fits fill opening...
... which with the help of the hydraulic jack, popped the cover loose to drain.
"The bigger the glob, the better the job!" Way too much RTV was used here...
New cover with LubeLocker gasket.
Studs made from old bolts at 4 and 8 O'Clock positions.
This picture doesn't show the screwdriver slots. See text.
Pumping oil in...
All buttoned up.
Can be seen from the front, unlike the rear differential which is hidden behind the gas tank.
I used a technique I learned from a YouTube video about rebuilding old Caterpillar bulldozers. If you have a heavy piece to put on, make a pair of studs out of the correct sized bolts, then you can place the gasket and then place the part without having to juggle with the bolts. Add the bolts, then remove the studs and put bolts into their position as well. HOWEVER, the only correct sized bolts I had were the ones that held the old cover on - too short. But I made them work anyway by cutting their heads off, then cutting a slot into the end so I could remove them with a little screwdriver. They were barely long enough even then, I just put them in a thread or two, but it worked!
The drain plug leaked from day one, despite the above mentioned teflon tape. I drained the differential, and put more teflon tape on. That helped, but it still seeped. The plug just wouldn't tighten up, it was like there wasn't enough - or any - taper to the threads. So I went to the hardware store, bought another brass ¼ plug. This one looks like it has more taper, it tightens up quicker than the original (despite having less threads) which I'm pretty sure was simply bottoming out. In any event, I slathered it with Permatex, and pumped the oil back into it for the THIRD time.
Someone on the Jeep forum asked me to check track bar clearance to the new cover.
Here it is at full right lock...
...and full left lock. No problems!
Of course, I had to test the new cover...
Yep, it works! Rear one is similarly dirty.
Most ambitions "wheeling" I've done to date...
Even the nearby "bunny trail" gets you dirty. Time for a wash!
This happens to be the replacement wheel the dealer bought for
me. I'll lose track of that information once I replace the tires.
New (right) and old front differential drain plugs.
New plug in place, see text.
The bad part is this plug is vulnerable to being hit and damaged or even knocked off/out if a rock hits it the wrong way. So it isn't permanent, but will do for now - I'll see if there are any further leaks...
A replacement plug of the same type as original. Seems to be better than the original, and as
good as the square drive version I had in (above). I'm not thrilled with Tereflex's paint job either...
Time to change rear swaybar bushings...
Pretty much a re-run of the front as to what needed to happen.
The bolts were a LOT harder to get off.
View of new bushing in place. PB Blaster was used on bolts!
The rear swaybar bushings were pretty much a re-run of the front, except the bolts were much harder to remove, PB Blaster to the rescue! Unlike the front, I didn't repaint the bushing brackets as so much else needs to be repainted in this area anyway. I ended up removing the left rear wheel for better access to the bolts - the lower left bolt was particularly stubborn, and it went back in just as hard as it came out. I think the "nutsert" may be galled. I also noted that the swaybar links need replacing - they move and click when pulled on. No surprise there.
Read on for the next part!