Front Differential cracked - 99 Ranger - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


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Old 11-24-2014
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Front Differential cracked - 99 Ranger

Hello,

The front differential on my 99 Ranger XLT 4x4 developed a crack and lost all fluid. Smelled burning oil in 2WD on highway and discovered the leak, which was large and must have just happened. There was no disturbing sound or clunk. Thought i may have picked up a rock or something but it looks to be from within (see pics below). I checked the manual hubs - one was locked, one was not, so the axle was turning. Unlocked the hub and continued on my way with no problems (other than gear oil all over underside).

I have since tested the diff by manually turning the axles and also the 4wd crankshaft and everything seems to turn/work without any weird noises or action. Engaged 4x4Hi and drove forward and back a few feet with same positive results and it disengaged properly when switched back to 2WD.

Only recent thing i can think caused this is we mildly 4 wheeled it just a week ago and it did have a prob getting back into 2WD from 4WD low but finally got it back over.

Any insights as to possible cause/internal damage? If there is no problem in there, would it be possible to get this welded as a first step rather than replace it or is that the only option to get 4WD working again?

thanks much



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Old 11-24-2014
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From the way it looks, welding it probably won't even help. Just replace it.
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Old 11-24-2014
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something inside the diff has failed and popped that hole in the case

pull the cover off and inspect inside carefully
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Old 11-25-2014
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Yes ^^^

Looks like an inside out crack to me as well
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Old 11-29-2014
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thanks, fellas. i'm going to see about getting that front cover off, but there isn't much room and maybe point if something obviously popped in there. going to see if i can get quote for a changeout with a junk yard replacement as i can't handle this kinda thing.

any thoughts about going with the fixed axel with the locked hubs? these vacuum ones (even with the manual mod to them) have never worked that great.

thanks
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Old 11-29-2014
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go with manual locking hubs ( not the manual modification )

rugged ridge makes them for the ranger
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Old 12-02-2014
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i got a quote from a recommended wrench for $200 too swap it out plus junkyard part cost. the sticker on the door says it has an R6/3.73 gearing ratio, so i guess we'll seek out one of those (i assume they the front and rear should be the same)

The tires on it are new - the former owner put on 225/75r15 instead of the recommended 235/75r25, but not sure if that figures into it other than a little faster rotation/lower mpg.

Last edited by chester burnett; 12-02-2014 at 01:12 PM.
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Old 12-02-2014
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The front and rear differential ratios must be the same or you will have a serious problem. I have heard of some mud runners that like to run different ratios in the mud pit but that will not work most situations.

Slightly shorter, narrower tires will cause your speedometer and odometer to read a little fast but not a significant problem. If you use your odometer to calculate mpg, it will appear to be better with the shorter tires because the odometer will tell you that you are going more miles. You actual mpg may not change at all.
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