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How to remove rear diff cover?

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Anyone done this before? I was wondering what's involved.


Looks like the top two bolts are long and go through the rear crossmember, so I think I might have to disconnect the driveshaft and drop the diff to replace the stupid cover

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I was looking at mine the other day also im sure it will be a pita. The bolts going into the cross member from the cover on mine are pretty rusty so im sure ill have to drop the cross member to get the impact on them. I cleaned off my cover for now to see how bad its leaking.
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  • 7 months later...

The rear diff bolts are a biotch to get to on the 2nd gen. There isn't much clearance, so you'd have a really hard time getting the studs out and dropping the cover with the diff installed. If that's even possible... You'd never got to the cover bolts, never be able to do a good job cleaning the surfaces, applying sealant, etc.


The only proper way to do this job is to drop the diff. It's easy! Unbolt the driveshaft. Unbolt the two cover plate things that go under the rear axles. They go between the front and back of the subframe, probably stiffeners. The bolts on that will probably break off, they don't really HAVE to be there...

Take the two nuts off the back of the diff that hold it to the crossmember. Use a 6 point 17mm socket here. If those round off it sucks (sawzall is the only way to get it out at that point, ask me how I figured that one out ;) )

Next you have to unbolt the plate under the diff. I think it's four 14mm bolts.

With the diff unbolted and the driveshaft off, drop the diff down as much as you can, swing it to one side and pull an axle out, and then pull the other axle out.

Getting it back in is the same way, it'll take you a try or two to get it right just because it's an awkward place to work and the diff is heavy. Don't put too much force hanging the diff from the axles. Also, it helps to pop one axle lose before completely dropping the diff. Don't pop both loose otherwise you might not have enough clearance to get one out.


When you install the diff again, make sure the axles are all the way in, if you don't get them all the way seated and clipped in, it won't work.

Drain the oil before dropping the diff, otherwise the oil will drain itself out the axle seals while you're removing it. It will make an ungodly mess all over the place. It's amazing how much mess 1qt of gear oil can do.

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