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Old 05-23-2020, 04:03 AM   #1
leevanf
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Differential Had Water

So I just changed differential fluids, and when i did, color was a very off-white cream which probably meant water ingress in the past when i drove through some floodwater.

In hindsight i forgot that maybe I should have flushed it first with extra fluid but I forgot to.

So i just have two concerns:

Will not flushing again basically contaminate my new diff oil and harm my differential?

And i noticed my diff drain plug surface area was covered completely in metal powder. Ive been driving like this for about 7,000 miles. Was this a sign of significant damage?




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Old 05-23-2020, 03:21 PM   #2
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Iron powder on the drain plug is normal. Magnet is there to collect the wear particles over the life of the diff.


I'd drive, drain, and refill for good measure. If the diff doesn't leak or growl, drive on happily.
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Old 05-23-2020, 05:18 PM   #3
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As said change the fluid then check after 500mi. if still has white, do it again.
If it starts to clunk on and off throttle then there is a problem.
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Old 05-23-2020, 10:19 PM   #4
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Iron powder on the drain plug is normal. Magnet is there to collect the wear particles over the life of the diff.


I'd drive, drain, and refill for good measure. If the diff doesn't leak or growl, drive on happily.

Thanks! Must be getting paranoid because i was running it this way for a good 9 months or more


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Old 05-24-2020, 12:35 AM   #5
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I would do a flush, or use junk diff oil and change it several times over a month until the oil coming out looks water free then put in the good oil. The water probably caused extra wear, but what can you do about that now?
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Old 05-24-2020, 02:07 AM   #6
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Thanks! Must be getting paranoid because i was running it this way for a good 9 months or more
Shit, that's a long time. At least be prepared for the possibility of early failure. Keep listening to it and consider obtaining a spare from a salvage donor.
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Old 05-24-2020, 05:58 AM   #7
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Poor fucking design.. much like the brake calipers... I mean if the car is going to a country where floods are common you'd think that designer would install the diff away from the possible flood level.. stick it on the roof..

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Old 05-24-2020, 01:25 PM   #8
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Pft. Differentials can go a long time with water in them. It's not good for them, but it's not like water in an engine. Just change the diff oil and drive.
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Old 05-24-2020, 02:46 PM   #9
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cooling the diff quickly..ie quenching it in water, tends to suck water up the vent.






you might extend the vent line if standing water is typical. (transmission also.)
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Old 05-24-2020, 04:32 PM   #10
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I too would fill with fresh oil, drive a couple hundred miles, drain, lather, rinse, repeat until it comes out clean.
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Old 05-24-2020, 06:13 PM   #11
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cooling the diff quickly..ie quenching it in water, tends to suck water up the vent.

you might extend the vent line if standing water is typical. (transmission also.)
Leaky check valve, or just weeping through seals under vacuum?


My diff makes a nice sucking sound when I remove the fill plug.
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Old 05-24-2020, 06:28 PM   #12
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I too would fill with fresh oil, drive a couple hundred miles, drain, lather, rinse, repeat until it comes out clean.
wouldn't a thorough diff flush service do the same thing without the massive time sink of hundreds of miles of driving?
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Old 05-24-2020, 09:31 PM   #13
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As said change the fluid then check after 500mi. if still has white, do it again.
If it starts to clunk on and off throttle then there is a problem.
This. Change it again for sure. Or just disassemble, clean it and lube it back up and just let it rip.
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Old 05-25-2020, 06:19 AM   #14
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wouldn't a thorough diff flush service do the same thing without the massive time sink of hundreds of miles of driving?
I've never seen a diff flush service. I didn't know they existed, but yea, sounds good.
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