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Old 03-18-2011, 04:18 PM
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So whats the deal with the 2004 rear axle leaks

Hi everyone.

Im just trying to gather quick knowledge about this rear axle seal issue on this Grand Cherokee. Picking one up next week 600 miles away with a known leaky rear axle. Its my sons first car purchase and up to now, he has driven a Toyota, so he is used to just adding gas.... I will check the rear dope numerous times enroute but once back, then what... Are there any upgraded seals, bearings etc for this 2004 that are more reliable than what came from Chrysler...or do I just buy the cheapest stuff and prepare to do axle work every so often... This 2004 is a 1 owner, 80,000 miles and never off pavement, go figure. What about axle swaps to something more reliable...

Thanks for your input.
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Old 03-18-2011, 06:02 PM
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Re: So whats the deal with the 2004 rear axle leaks

I know I haven't seen a WJ yet that the front pinion seal didn't leak some but not the rear. Anyhow the leaks usually look way worse than they really are.
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Old 03-23-2011, 10:27 PM
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Re: So whats the deal with the 2004 rear axle leaks

The rear axle seals leak on almost all of them. I've owned two and they both have been exactly the same. I have the seals to replace mine but still haven't gotten around to it yet. Most don't leak too bad (enough to be an imed. problem) but they will cause havok on your breaks and rims. As far as I know they aren't any upgrades for them but don't quote me on that. The best thing I can suggest if the ones on yours are leaking is get the oem replacements and like you said be prepared to do some maintenance every so often. Hope this helps.
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Old 03-23-2011, 10:46 PM
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Re: So whats the deal with the 2004 rear axle leaks

Wow...I had 184,000 miles on my 04' WJ. I never had one single problem.
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Old 03-24-2011, 12:12 PM
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Re: So whats the deal with the 2004 rear axle leaks

From what I've been able to research, the rear end leaks are caused from the weak design of the D35. The axles are flimsy and flex. Body roll also causes excess flex/wear on the shafts and the seals give out before too long.

If that's the case, I would say the only way to prevent this (besides rear end swap) would be to upgrade the sway bars to prevent body roll.
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Old 03-26-2011, 11:06 AM
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Re: So whats the deal with the 2004 rear axle leaks

Hey Folks:

Just an update. The GC up in Virginia was a total POS = totally misrepresented.

Ended up buying a 2004 CG in Florida, 103,000 miles 1 owner and drove it home 3/24. No drivability issues on drive home
but when I got out of the truck in my driveway, I immediately noticed a burning smell coming from the rear axle area. It was 830 at night and I had to get ready to go out of town the next morning so I havent done anything with it yet. I did notice that the diff cover has been off before so Im assuming that the axle seals have previously been replaced but no paperwork to verify this. So I guess its axle time again?...
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Old 03-26-2011, 01:41 PM
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Re: So whats the deal with the 2004 rear axle leaks

You have to take the diff cover off to change the fluid, so if you see some red or black RTV around the cover, thats normal. It is at least no reason to think that the axle seals where done before. Just check the fluid level before you start driving again to be sure that its not low.
If you don't know the maintenance history of the car, its also a good idea to change all oils, fluids and filters to start from 0.
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Old 04-07-2011, 08:41 PM
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Re: So whats the deal with the 2004 rear axle leaks

I have 156000 miles on my 04 have not had a rear axle leak. Is this leak common on the V8;s as well as the six cyl.
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Old 04-10-2011, 07:32 AM
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Re: So whats the deal with the 2004 rear axle leaks

I think that's why I've never seen this.The v8s use a Dana 44 instead of a 35
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OK, fine...I'll admit...some amber lamps are good, and necessary.
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Old 04-10-2011, 12:53 PM
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Re: So whats the deal with the 2004 rear axle leaks

When filling the the rear axle how do I determine if it is full? some say to put your finger in the hole and reach down and if oil gets on the tip of your finger it is ok and others say to fill to the top of the hole with the Jeep on level ground. Which is correct and if it is overfilled will it leak out the seals?
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Old 04-10-2011, 02:35 PM
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Re: So whats the deal with the 2004 rear axle leaks

You just fill it until the fluid starts to overflow from the fill opening, with the car on level ground. In that way you can not overfill it. Its also good to check the breather hose that its not blocked somewhere, otherwise there could be a pressure buildup inside the axle due to heating and that could cause leakage.
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Old 05-03-2011, 11:49 AM
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Re: So whats the deal with the 2004 rear axle leaks

JUST had this diagnosed by the guys at belle tire, who rotated my tires. The way they made it sound, my Jeep is ready to fall apart. It's $750 worth of repairs! Labor is more than parts, but they said everything is saturated and needs to be replaced.
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