: Not always a bad differential! Hope this works for you!

04-19-09, 10:43 AM
Just like alot of people here, I had the dreaded "bad diff" symptoms when I got my 'Lade and everything that is mentioned on here about how a bad diff. sounds, etc. was on my vehicle and I got to believe that's what it was :(

Fast forward two months driving with whines, etc. I decided to change my front wheel bearings although nothing was really wrong with them when checking them ( the 6'o clock method of checking it, etc.) but I figured since they were old - I might as well change 'em since I was gettin some big heavier wheels.

First, I changed my driver side and instantly I noticed *some* of the whine was gone but MOST of it was still there which I really believed was the diff. So another week later when I got some spare time, I changed the other side and WOW, ALL the noise was gone. It was like I got a new diff!!

It WAS the wheel bearings after all and although they did not even show any sign of failing plus the noise sounded like it was coming from the diff and it was NOT. My SUV is dead silent now and I hope my experience might help some of you who think you have a bad diff. like I did. Do not listen to everything you hear lol :)

04-19-09, 11:12 AM
Any good trans or diff repair shop should be able to do a "free" estimate and be able to tell you if its your front diff or the hub assemblies/bearings.

What did both hub's cost you ?

I assume they are the 3 bolts bolt-on type rather then the press on versions ?

04-19-09, 12:42 PM
Yes they were the 3 bolt type and both hubs costed me about $170 (good to ask for discounts sometimes hehe) and btw when I last took the truck in to get a full check up, they said nothing was wrong with the wheel bearings and it is probably the transmission or differential....yeah ok.... :)

04-19-09, 01:39 PM
I went to a 4x4 specialty shop, $576 vs $1600 the dealer wanted.

I was certain it was my diff and not my hubs though, they just confirmed it over for me.

I always thought when the hub assemblies went, it started messing with teh abs as well from the noise/viberation making the abs come on when light braking or the abs light it-self on.

Hey whatever issue it is or was, at least your running quiet now. Night and Day difference when I got my lade back after the new diff bearings, seals, fluid.

Transmission is my next project !

04-19-09, 04:01 PM
and both hubs costed me about $170

Did you get two hubs for $170 or $170 each? AZ has the timken hubs for $155 which are the cheap replacements (although I've never had a problem with one). $170 for a pair is a heck of a deal.

04-19-09, 04:50 PM
Yes, $170 for both :) since it was the last two they had and wanted it gone! Kinda like gettin stuff at close out lol. They both came in different looking boxes but are the same identical part, etc :)

09-01-10, 08:46 PM
If you let go of the gas and you still hear the same noise it's probably the wheel bearings. If it quiets down a little then it's most likely the differential bearings.

02-23-11, 10:46 PM
Is there an easier way to tell if it is the diff or the wheel bearing. I just bought an 05' lade thought the noise was normal since I never had a SUV. But my wife pointed it out to me.

02-26-11, 10:56 AM
Great news, Mine was the diff, but it was the rear not the front like the mechanic thought. After getting it up in the air is when he discovered it was the rear. Unusual from everything I have heard and read. Just like the transfer case I replaced earlier. The T-case issue was from the previous owner owner running three different makes (same size) and all three had different amounts of tread. I have been told that even a difference of 5lbs of air pressure can make a difference and cause the t- case to go out. The saving grace with the rear diff was that the previous did purchase a BG service plan which are transferable and the $2400 bill only cost me $400. Look into it if you have under 60,000 miles. The warranty is good for 30,000 miles and there is no mileage limit as long as you get the service done every 30,000.