Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Northern California
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Working on differentials is not a DIY shade tree job. It takes precision and tools which are designed to make sure you get specs right, not close enough.
Pull the cover. Check the fluid for metal. Differential fluid will ALWAYS have metal in it as there is no filter. You just want to make sure there isnt tons of metal and or any chunks or large debris in there. Check the bottom of the differential housing for big pieces. The level of material stuck to the magnet is sometimes an indication too since it will ALWAYS have metal dust on it but if there's a ton stuck on there then thats an indication of the fluid never been changed or there's some serious wear going on. Obviously this is dependent on service intervals and what the truck is used for.
If the fluid looks dark but not terribly sparkly then a swap out with some quality synthetic stuff might offer some relief.
'01 2500 Sport 4x4 5spd w/Fastcoolers, Mag-Hytec, EZ, RV275's, 4" w/o muffler, South Bend, Steering brace, aFe, 2 lo kit, Isspro Boost, FP, and EGT on pillar, Westach Trans/Diff temp gauge in dash pod, Raptor 100 w/ 1/2" line, Pac Brake, Rancho 9000, 285's