rear differential noise, how to diagnose? - Page 2 - Toyota RAV4 Forums
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#11 (permalink) Old 02-13-2012, 11:06 PM
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Ok, unplugged 4wd module behind glove box and there was no change in the noise. I also backed up rather quickly, and no change in tone of whine was detected.

Looked again at the fluid I drained out of the rear end...no silver color or flecks, to suggest gear wear...so I am really leaning on the thought that a bearing is letting go in the differential itself, and that so far, it would seem the coupler is probably good.

I won't be able to get it hoisted up in the air for a couple more days...so I guess I won't know for certain that the differential is the problem, but so far, it appears all things are pointing to it.

Again, I appreciate all the help!
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#12 (permalink) Old 02-22-2012, 10:23 PM
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2009 rav4 base model with whining rear

i bought it at 39k miles, and in a year have reached 67k - right out of warranty, naturally....

my tranny oil was pitch black so i took it to toyota to change it.
$206, tax included...

i told them to drive it to hear the whine, but they heard nothing, so as soon as i drove away and heard it i went back.

they claim the rear diff can make that noise if the breather tube has an issue of the diff oil is almost gone.

is it really worth the $110 for them to change the rear diff oil?

i have to admit, even tho i didnt buy the car from this dealer/service center, they are friendly, seem honest and they dont mind taking my money for repairs!

thanks in advance.
bronx ny
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#13 (permalink) Old 02-23-2012, 09:36 AM
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Interesting....were they able to fix the whine once you pointed it out again? If they did, was the rear end low on oil, or was it trouble with the breather?

Our's is going to be getting a used rear differential put in just as soon as it shows up, and I can get it up in the air a bit. Cheaper than either part, and it has a one year warranty on the parts.

I believe the pinion bearing is going bad with our's, so I figured I can throw the used differntial in, and fix the original and shelf it for when the used one goes out.
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#14 (permalink) Old 02-23-2012, 09:59 AM
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noise and ring gear

The foam part leaves me to question the relationship of the crown and pinion. Are you using 80-90 weight do you have LSD additive in the hypoid oil base?
Drain it all out but this time run the oil through a filter paper, a cloth towel to visually see if materials come out. look for steel bits, if the plug is magnetized look at it for residue.

Worst thing is you just change the oil again which is a good thing every two years.

Check the venting to the diff., if it's vented the hypoid could be migrating up the gear set and foaming as it hits down.

Stick your baby finger in as far as possible and feel in the lower part of the pumpkin for a slime skin, you may have to rinse out that chamber.
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#15 (permalink) Old 02-23-2012, 10:57 AM
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they seem to think it is the breather and/or low oil level....but they still "didnt hear it"

i could also see him hemming and hawing about it being out of warranty......
gotta love it.
i guess i'll do the rear diff oil on my own. i cant really see paying them 110
+ for a 20 dollar job.

any particular things to do when checking and cleaning the breather?
its just a tube like on all the other old blazers - correct?
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#16 (permalink) Old 02-24-2012, 05:59 PM
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The rear end breather is as you describe, mine255, and dirt get in and plugs it up along with hypoid oil vapors that condense. When you find the vent opening wash it out with solvent but be careful not to get wet solvent into the vent as it can dilute hypoid oil.

At the worst, dump the hypoid oil, it may be entrained with tiny bubbles of air. Let the draining continue as you take a coffee break. Top up the pumpkin with 80 or 80-90 wt oil, if you have LSD then use LSD hypoid oil before you put in new oil, before and after you wash out the vent, if you have a compressor blow low pressure air into the vent and listen near the diff for air rush. This verifies the vent is open. Would be a good time to check rear brakes and bearings and seals for hypoid oil leaks.

As a PM and since hypoid oil is cheap I change it out every other year. Helps clean fragments if any from wear and tear and at the same time check venting, if you have vents.

Save the old hypoid oil, let sit undisturbed, then when done working on the car run you finger to the bottom of that old oil container and feel for fragments. Lts of dusting then change you diff more often, no fragments to see or feel, then keep changing as you are doing.

I am sure you will have dusting of brass, steel particles with the darkened oil. The hypoid oil darkens with age and contaminants and if the older oil is darker than the new it's not a waste of your time. Make it a regular PM.
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#17 (permalink) Old 02-26-2012, 02:56 PM
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rear diff

local service center asked me NOT to change the oil.
after some unfriendly discussion, they will take a look for free.
i guess, i then get an oil drain and fill for the rear diff no matter what.
(so they get paid either way)
im hoping they are honest enough to tell me if they find anything in the oil.

their mechanic said simply changing the oil wont make a difference, so wait for them to look.

i remember owning older trucks and the rear diff breather was always caked with dirt and dried oil, but it never seemed clogged and certainly never whined.

i am recognizing the whine as a similar issue to one of the earlier posts in this thread from DATsa Noydb. his rear diff whined and turned out it had run dry and the bearings were then shot.
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#18 (permalink) Old 02-27-2012, 11:29 AM
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Well figured I'd give a little update on my project. Had the Rav up on the rack, and sounded like it was the carrier, not the coupler. We picked up a used, complete carrier ( coupler included) and installed it this weekend. Now it's nice and quiet.

Toughest part was disconnecting the axles from the differential. Manual says to take tire iron and pry out...I would like to seethe stock tire iron hold up to what it took to get them out.

Anyway, haven't pulled the old rear end apart yet, but sounds like the pinion bearing went south.
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#19 (permalink) Old 02-27-2012, 12:25 PM
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Thanks for the resolution info. I had to look up what a carrier is; its the blue part in this illustration: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Differe...ical_device%29 Input torque is applied to the ring gear (blue), which turns the entire carrier (blue). The carrier is connected to both the sun gears (red and yellow) only through the planet gear (green)

2009 V6 4wd Base
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#20 (permalink) Old 02-27-2012, 12:35 PM
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Wingrider,
Glad you found it.
On getting the axles out: I forget what car it was but I had a friend over when we were trying to take one out of his transmission. He pried and pried on it with a bar and got nowhere. I used the same bar but just held it in place and gave it a solid hit with my other hand. It popped right out. Has worked that way for me many, many times.

Carbon,
The only part not in your diagram is the pinion gear, the one that drives the outer gear on the carrier - and the one he thinks has bad bearings.
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