Broken diff repairable?

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Lawrence
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Broken diff repairable?

Unread post by Lawrence » September 9th, 2015, 1:18 am

Hi guys. I had some cracks on my front diff housing a couple months ago. I haven't four wheeled in a while so I had plans to weld up the cracks recently. Anyway, I went on off road recently (not bad enough to need four wheel drive). By the time I reached my destination, I came out and saw the front wheels were pointing in a slightly different direction. I checked the diff and saw a huge crack on top and on the bottom by the passenger side tube right beside the pumpkin. I hobbled to a welding shop later in the day.

Question is: if welded properly, will it be good enough to keep the diff or will I have to source another? They are not common here.

Peter Aawen
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Re: Broken diff repairable?

Unread post by Peter Aawen » September 9th, 2015, 7:07 am

Just re-welding it where it's broken probably won't be enough, but if it's braced or laminated properly, it should be good. Your vehicle is a Patrol, isn't it? If so check out the brace kits that Snake & Superior sell, even if you can't/don't want to get one of them, they provide a pretty good idea of the sort of bracing/lamination that'll be needed to 'repair' your diff housing.

Good Luck :thumb:
An Ex-Service person is someone who thought enough about their country & how great it is, how lucky we are to live here, to write a blank cheque made out to 'The People and Commonwealth of Australia' for the value of 'Up to & including my Life!'

Lawrence
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Joined: April 11th, 2006, 4:50 am

Re: Broken diff repairable?

Unread post by Lawrence » September 9th, 2015, 8:05 am

Thanks Peter. Going to get some new shocks tomorrow as the current front are blown. Seems riding on them to the welder took its toll. They did need replacing anyway. That may have been why the diff was cracked in the first place. Oh, and yes its a gq wagon.

Peter Aawen
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Re: Broken diff repairable?

Unread post by Peter Aawen » September 9th, 2015, 8:56 am

Want to know a little secret?? If you ever go off the bitumen onto dirt that is anything but polished smooth & shiny hi-traction stuff, then it is going to be easiest & safest for you & your car if you DO select & use 4WD, taking it out of 4WD whenever the traction is sufficient for you to feel it beginning to trend towards wind-up rather than the other way around..... which means that by doing some '4WD'ing' that was "not bad enough to need four wheel drive" could well have been the final straw for your front diff housing!! And if you'd actually used 4WD instead of pushing the front end into stuff that it would've been better pulling itself over, you probably did the final breaking when you may well have avoided it!! :(

Not using 4WD on any surface that a loosely swung foot will leave a mark & throw up debris is just foolish & harder on your vehicle than it needs to be, sorta like not using your brakes at all when driving in the city!! Sure, if you try it probably can be done, but it's not the healthiest thing to try, & it is far more likely to end up damaging something than not - it's just that by not using 4WD it's not quite as easy to see the damage you are likely doing.... to the ride, handling, & safety of your vehicle & occupants; to the driveline, running gear, tyres, body, & chassis of your vehicle; and to the track as well!! The front shocks & front diff housing are some of the components that take much more of a hiding once off the bitumen if you DON't use 4WD than if you do, so yeah, it really sounds like you did bring all this about, the diff cracks & the shocks, sooner than it may have occurred if you'd only used 4WD whenever you left the bitumen instead of trying to avoid it. :ooh:

But at least you caught the damage before it became catastrophic!! I've seen a vehicle 'accident' half way along the Ann Beadell that pretty much happened solely because the driver chose not to use 4WD on the corrugations, & he'd obviously chosen to stay in 2WD often instead of making it easy on the vehicle (& himself & the tracks) by slipping it into 4WD, cos not only had the front end (axle tubes & shocks) collapsed entirely, but the body & chassis was seriously cracked as well, limiting it's ability to protect the occupant..... so when he hit a 'bigger'n the rest' corrugation, instead of the front wheels (in 4WD) pulling the front end up & over, cos he was in 2WD they were pushed into it & the often stressed parts finally gave up, breaking & dumping the whole weight of the vehicle onto the top of the 'corrugation' (they breed the buggers big out that way!!) so that the vehicle minus front wheel support ploughed into the track, went on & over the lump, & flipped the vehicle over so it slammed the cabin/top of windscreen onto the track as it went!! Not just me, but also the cops in the accident investigation team sent out there were pretty sure the whole thing would've been far less damaging if only he'd been in 4WD - which was scant comfort for his bereaved family after the fact!! :o
An Ex-Service person is someone who thought enough about their country & how great it is, how lucky we are to live here, to write a blank cheque made out to 'The People and Commonwealth of Australia' for the value of 'Up to & including my Life!'

Lawrence
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Joined: April 11th, 2006, 4:50 am

Re: Broken diff repairable?

Unread post by Lawrence » September 9th, 2015, 9:06 am

Wow Peter. A lot of interesting info there. The next time I go to that location (or any off pavement), I will definitely put it in four wheel drive.

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