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Old 05-17-2012, 04:29 PM
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Bolt found inside front differential

Thought I'd pass this along for everyone's enjoyment. I was slowing down for a stoplight this morning, and right at the moment the tranny downshifted I heard a loud BANG. Loudest noise I've ever heard come out from under a vehicle. I thought I had just dropped my tranny on the road. Pulled over and the tranny clunked hard when I shifted out of Drive. Checked things out a little underneath, drove off cautiously, and starting hearing a thumping noise that correlated with speed. Drove straight to the dealer and dropped it off. Dealer just called and said they found a bolt inside the front differential. They said it was an "external" bolt that held the diff together and they have no idea how it got in there, but it could have been in there since the Jeep left the assembly line. (My Jeep is 1 year old with 18K miles). The bolt got wedged in the diff gears and did a fair bit of damage, so I'm getting a new diff. Service manager said everyone in the shop was standing around looking at this wondering WTH happened. He sent me the attached pic...
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Old 05-17-2012, 04:54 PM
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Re: Bolt found inside front differential

Damn lucky it didn't happen at high speeds in a expressway!
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Old 05-17-2012, 07:27 PM
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Re: Bolt found inside front differential

Wow! Make sure they check the entire driveline for possible other damage as this bolt was being chewed up, possibly sending shocks though the system. Sounds like your dealer will be on top of it, with all their experts looking at it.
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Old 05-18-2012, 09:35 AM
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Re: Bolt found inside front differential

I'll be asking them for every detail when I pick the Jeep up. Given all the torque generated in the front diff, I bet it's unlikely that the bolt could have gotten wedged in the gears permanently, seizing up the diff entirely. But if it had I could have been in for a wild ride. Crazy stuff.
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Old 05-18-2012, 12:09 PM
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Re: Bolt found inside front differential

Wow. But sounds like a decent service dept.
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Old 05-18-2012, 06:12 PM
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Re: Bolt found inside front differential

Ouch, glad they figured it out.
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Old 05-30-2012, 11:34 AM
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Re: Bolt found inside front differential

To close the loop on this story, I just got the Jeep back today. It was at the dealer for 12 days while they waited for the front axle assembly / diff to come in. The service manager said the bolt was definitely in the differential from the time of assembly as none of the necessary bolts were missing. Just did the 15 mile drive back from the dealer and everything seems OK so far...
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Old 05-30-2012, 02:23 PM
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Re: Bolt found inside front differential

Quote:
Originally Posted by swampass2 View Post
To close the loop on this story, I just got the Jeep back today. It was at the dealer for 12 days while they waited for the front axle assembly / diff to come in. The service manager said the bolt was definitely in the differential from the time of assembly as none of the necessary bolts were missing. Just did the 15 mile drive back from the dealer and everything seems OK so far...
That's great.
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Old 05-30-2012, 07:07 PM
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Re: Bolt found inside front differential

Quote:
Originally Posted by swampass2 View Post
To close the loop on this story, I just got the Jeep back today. It was at the dealer for 12 days while they waited for the front axle assembly / diff to come in. The service manager said the bolt was definitely in the differential from the time of assembly as none of the necessary bolts were missing. Just did the 15 mile drive back from the dealer and everything seems OK so far...
Excellent! I hope that it stays that way.
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Old 05-30-2012, 07:45 PM
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Re: Bolt found inside front differential

That's crazy. It looks like it was floating at the edge of the gear teeth somehow, and they slowly ate away at the bolt threads. The teeth then munched on it to the point where the bolt got skinny enough to jump through to a different area then cause some real damage.
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Old 06-01-2012, 10:27 AM
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Re: Bolt found inside front differential

Wow. Glad its fixed
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