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Rear Diff Cover Replacement

Discussion in '1st Gen Tundras (2000-2006)' started by SteveT, Jan 19, 2023.

  1. Jan 19, 2023 at 4:42 PM
    #1
    SteveT

    SteveT [OP] New Member

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    LugNutz
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    Hey all - so I was planning a spring project to replace/reweld (by a pro) a new rear diff cover, replace bearings, seals, drum backing plates, maybe even new leafs. I'm a 2nd owner of a 2002 4WD Access Cab in NE PA and mine is actually not leaking. It is quite rusty and scaley, but has never been wet. I want to replace my fluid, but I'm afradi to wrench on the filler plug until prepared to replace it - it just looks like I could possibly crack it open and cause a leak.

    I've read all the posts about POR15, welding, and new housings but the thing that has me puzzled is the actual replacement cover to buy. For some reason, the Dorman 926-958 which is the only one listed for the 1st gen Tundra claims it is not a fit for the 4WD rear. I even contacted Dorman and they confirmed. I still think they're wrong. Then of course there's the Barnes B4W0008K.

    Can anyone confirm if these are both a proper fit for the 2002 4WD SR5 w/ LSD Access Cab?

    Thanks in advance guys!
     
  2. Jan 19, 2023 at 7:10 PM
    #2
    NickB_01TRD

    NickB_01TRD You don't need less cars, just more driveway.

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    If going to do bearings, seals, and backing plates you may just consider a full housing replacement. By the time you do all that work to this one and have someone weld it, you may have just been able to buy a replacement housing for not much more.
     
    digitalferg likes this.
  3. Jan 20, 2023 at 5:35 AM
    #3
    SteveT

    SteveT [OP] New Member

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    Correct me if I'm wrong, but a new housing replacement is a blank shell at $1200 new with no other parts, and a used one (if it even came with axles) would probably need to have the axle bearings replaced anyway so really not cost similar. I can get the cover for $60 and have access to a free professional welder after I cut off the cover. I plan to do this with the housing removed.
     
  4. Jan 20, 2023 at 5:48 AM
    #4
    N84434

    N84434 In the Frozen Tundra

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    There have been a few guys that have used the Dorman cover, but without searching for the posts, I can't confirm if those were 2WD or 4WD trucks. I can't believe it would be different between the 2 drivetrains. Maybe a LSD diff would look different?
     
  5. Jan 20, 2023 at 5:54 AM
    #5
    N84434

    N84434 In the Frozen Tundra

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    DarkMint likes this.
  6. Jan 20, 2023 at 6:50 AM
    #6
    Mr Badwrench

    Mr Badwrench New Member

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    I would think any welder/fabricator worth his salt could make one, if you just need a cover.
     
  7. Jan 20, 2023 at 8:14 AM
    #7
    FiatRunner

    FiatRunner New Member

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    If you want to change your fluid before the spring, or hold onto the current cover for as long as you can, you should be able to fill the differential from the breather in the top. The breather threads into the top of the housing, and you could fill it from there, although it might take a while. I believe the rear diff requires just over three quarts of fluid.

    I'm planning on doing this in the next few weeks, I can let you know how well it works if you'd like.
     
  8. Jan 20, 2023 at 8:48 AM
    #8
    SteveT

    SteveT [OP] New Member

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    Interesting ... thanks for reading through my details! The more I've read about the dffis, I was actually going to replace the breather for good measure. That could be a solution as I believe the drain bolt should be workable based on its location. Good idea! Please keep this link posted or PM me with the outcome. The Amsoil squeeze packs could work nice for this job.
     
  9. Jan 20, 2023 at 12:15 PM
    #9
    Jack McCarthy

    Jack McCarthy Navigating the luminiferous ether to see the light

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    I fail to see how a rear diff could be so bad it would leak from changing the fluid.

    Those plugs have crush washers to them.
     
  10. Jan 20, 2023 at 12:52 PM
    #10
    SteveT

    SteveT [OP] New Member

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    I was just thinking that applying enough torque to break lose a rusted plug could crack a brittle cover that is not leaking.
     
    jimf909, N84434 and w666 like this.
  11. Jan 20, 2023 at 4:15 PM
    #11
    w666

    w666 D. None of the above

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    I had the same concerns, but finally one day I went for it. I used an impact wrench and that sucker just spun right off! I'm trying to preserve it as long as possible, so I've scraped, wire wheeled, and wire brushed all the loose rust off, followed by rust converter (I use Permatex, but there are other choices) and finally Eastwood Rust Encapsulator (same as POR-15, only different).

    It's an endless battle...every time I crawl under my truck I find some rust to be managed, but as long as I stay on top of it it should be good.
     
    txagg likes this.
  12. Jan 20, 2023 at 7:23 PM
    #12
    NickB_01TRD

    NickB_01TRD You don't need less cars, just more driveway.

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    You make good points. Used axle could be good too but have to find the right gear ratio. I'm not sure I've heard of anyone having a bad rear wheel bearing but it's possible. I've helped change a housing on another tundra before and we installed new bearings, backing plate etc. Just felt it was worth it to never worry about rust ever again, considering the truck had a new frame and that was the last rusty part left.

    I also thought you were going to pay a professional welder not that you had access to a welding machine. May be more economical the way you are going about it.

    Consider replacing the brake lines on the axle if they look bad. Toyota still sells them. The breather as well.
     
    w666 likes this.
  13. Feb 6, 2023 at 2:38 PM
    #13
    Arjaysea3

    Arjaysea3 New Member

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    Ive repaired my rear diff cover twice. Found it leaking, drained. Cleaned with wire wheel, sand paper to find rusted pinholes. Cleaned up, and pushed my awl into each hole to make it slightly larger & expose any hidden rust. Cleaned and pushed metal superglue into each one. Painted after cleaning again with POR. Refilled with gear oil. Lasted about 18months. Wash & repeat. Waiting for it to happen again, been 2 years.
     
    w666 and FrenchToasty like this.

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