: Differential



beatz02
10-10-10, 06:14 AM
Is it possible to get the differential gear without the axles and simply swap out the housing portion of the rear end? I have a mechanic who will do it for me for $150 if I bring an assembled differential. He says he doesn't deal with differential kits and usually ships them out to be assembled before he installs them. And could someone please explain the difference between the housing and the pinion and the ring.. I think I need the housing, pinion, and ring, and not the axles, but if I buy the whole rear end I might as well install the new axles, right?




If you're interested, here's the story of how I got screwed out of $800 in the last 4 days.


So on Monday (10/4) I had oil leaking in the rear passenger side brake drum, and I assumed it was the cylinder. But it was axle gear oil. I also heard a humming noise coming from the rear and assumed it was the bearings.

My neighbor has been begging to do work on my car for the past year (he works on all the tenant's cars here) and the mechanic down the street told me to bring it back the next day (but I wanted it fixed the same day not the next day) so I went ahead and let my neighbor work on it; biggest mistake of my life.

First he says he'll do the bearing and the seal for $160, which was fine. Then he tells me my axle is cracked and charges me $120 for a "new" one. I told him I'd rather take an axle off another Fleetwood rather than using an aftermarket, but he insisted that he would install a rebuilt axle which was the same as new. I don't even know if there's a such thing as rebuilt axles!! What are you gonna do? Weld it back together? How is that the same as new?

He then calls me and says the car wont be ready until tomorrow (10/5) because he has to take it to another shop for a new differential. "So just bring me $250 for the differential and I'll have you set in the morning." Okay, so I bring him the $250 and he says, "cool, now you just need to bring me $60 for the labor, tomorrow when I finish." Fine. I just want my car fixed.

Tuesday night rolls around and he calls me and says the car is ready and to "just bring the $130 for the labor and you're all set." lol.. okay. So I get in the car with him and test drive it, and I can still hear the humming noise. He says, "oh, it must be the bearing and the seal on the left side. So give me $160 for that side and that should do it." I ask him if he's sure that's where the sound is coming from, and he says, "dude, I've been a mechanic for 20 years; this is all I do; work on cars. I know what I'm talking about."

So Wednesday (10/6) he calls me and says, "the car is ready. You just need a bearing on the front left side and you're good to go." Of course that translates to: "your car is still humming and I don't know what it is so I'll just lie and say it's the front tire that needs a new bearing."

To make a long story longer, I'm out of $800 and as of today, my car is still not fixed. I took it to the dealer and the technician drove it for 1 minute and knew off top that it was the differential gear. He said that when you de-accelerate and it vibrates and makes that noise, that's what gives it away. Of course they want $1800 to do the whole rear end but I've already wasted $800 so that's not happening.

I've told my neighbor to bring me my old differential and all the parts he replaced so I can see if he really did any work. He said he'll bring the old parts from the shop but when I said I'll go get them now, he insisted that the people at the shop wouldn't deal with me and that I just have to wait for him to go pick them up. I said they don't have to deal with me, just call them and tell them I'm coming and tell them to throw the old parts in my trunk. He insisted again that they wont do that since they don't know me...

Anyway, if I get my old differential back, I'm gonna put it back on and get my $250 back for the so called new one that's still making the humming noise. Then I'll use that towards a rear end and get this all squared away.

csbuckn
10-10-10, 10:10 AM
Wow...you should just go up to the shop without telling him and see what they say.

Anyway, you can change your ring, pinion and housing and still keep the new axles. Not sure if there is a such thing as rebuilt axles, once they wear, I dont think you can fix them. If the differencial was done and its still humming, it wasnt done right. To get the problem solved quickly, I would take it to small tranny shop(not a big chain store) that installs rings and pinions and have them do the work. A local shop here is going to charge me 150 to install my ring, pinion and carrier housing so I dont think a shop would charge more than that to adjust it. But if he really did the differential and its still humming, you may just need to have it adjusted.

beatz02
10-22-10, 06:09 PM
A local shop here is going to charge me 150 to install my ring, pinion and carrier housing so I dont think a shop would charge more than that to adjust it.

So how did it go?


Wow...you should just go up to the shop without telling him and see what they say.

He wouldn't tell me where it was, which lets me know that this whole deal is shady.



But if he really did the differential and its still humming, you may just need to have it adjusted.

I don't think they did the differential. I was talking to him and I don't think he even knows what the differential is. I went ahead and just got a used rear end off a '95 at a wrecking yard and had it installed for $150. My car is running smooth now.

I want to get the money back for the so called differential work that the first mechanic did (I think he only put some gear oil in it). I called him and told him I had the whole rear end removed. I told him to bring me my old parts so I can see exactly what he supposedly fixed. He hasn't even attempted to show me anything.

In the picture, the differential is the large center piece, right? This guy is trying to make it seem like the differential is just the hook that connects to the drive shaft. But I thought the differential was the whole center with the ring gear, anti-lock breaking system, carrier, and pinion.. What the heck?

beatz02
10-22-10, 06:12 PM
My ABS light and traction control light are stuck on now, too. The new mechanic said he plugged in all the wires so I'm thinking that the '95 I got the rear end off of had some problems beforehand?

RippyPartsDept
10-22-10, 07:42 PM
yeah that whole thing is the differential... some people might call what's inside there the differential but that's just getting technical

sorry to hear that you got screwed... there's got to be a way that you can get some resolution ... small claims court maybe?

Aron9000
10-22-10, 09:43 PM
yeah that whole thing is the differential... some people might call what's inside there the differential but that's just getting technical

sorry to hear that you got screwed... there's got to be a way that you can get some resolution ... small claims court maybe?

Baseball bat maybe????

Personally the whole thing sucks cause this guy is your neighbor and he knows where you live.

If you are going to sue the guy, you need some sort of signed statement from the 2nd shop that installed your new rear end saying the guy didn't replace jack on the old one.

sven914
10-22-10, 10:12 PM
Do the last gens have a transmission mounted ABS sensor or two mounted at the rear wheels?

If the ABS sensors are mounted on the axle, then the junkyard rear end might have had bad sensors, which would give you problems with the traction control.

beatz02
10-23-10, 06:04 AM
@rippy, If he continues on this path, not bringing me all my old parts so I can see exactly what he did, then I'll go ahead and consider small claims court. I just hate that we would still have to live in the same place afterward..

@aron, Baseball bat? lol.. To his car, or him? I definitely don't want to get on your bad side.. But as far as signed statements, I'm sure the Penske Cadillac/Hummer dealer wont mind helping me out. They were all devastated after I told them the story, and they went ahead and did the diagnose for free (saved $65). They gave me the print out below. And the new mechanic that did the work would testify for me any day. I've been going to him for 5 years and the only reason I didn't bring it to him in the first place is because the axle was cracked and I couldn't drive it down there. Now I know I should've just shelled out $40 and had it towed to him.

@sven, Two mounted at the rear wheels. They were lazy and just cut the rear end off the '95, so I'm gonna have to get under there and see if they cut any of the ABS wires. I can see one intact in the picture, but not the other side. I had to order an ABS sensor for the front right a year ago; cost me $100 for that little wire. And now since almost everything for my car is discontinued, it's probably even higher.

beatz02
10-23-10, 06:10 AM
The rear end off the '95: