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Old 01-20-2021, 10:05 PM #1
hankd hankd is offline
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replace or rebuild front diff

hi all - not a post i am thrilled to make here haha. my front end has been making noise for the last few days and when the shop looked at it, it seems some water has gotten in the front diff and the axle seal is leaking. the shop is fixing the axle seal tomorrow and doing a drain/fill on the front diff, but they are not confident the noise is going to stop. it really isn't too bad, mostly a whoom-whoom-whoom sound as i get up to 20mph or so. i have the 4wd v8 so the front diff is engaged constantly. the noise only happens under load and they are confident the problem is inside the diff. my front wheel bearings have been replaced recently so we've ruled that out.

the shop says the vehicle could possibly be driven for years like this and the diff is unlikely to grenade (thoughts on this anyone?). that said, i would like to get it repaired. i've been going through the forum for a few hours and the shop isn't able to say conclusively what is wrong without starting to tear things apart.

i can source a front diff rebuild kit on rock auto for about 300usd. the shop estimated a 7 hour rebuild job. but i've been getting some feedback from various car friends that it may be easier and cheaper to just find a used front diff.

i am wondering how i would go about sourcing something like this and how do i know if the part is compatible? is there a certain salvage website that everybody uses for this type of thing? are front diffs from other vehicles compatible with my 4runner? i'm in canada.

thanks as always
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Old 01-21-2021, 10:46 AM #2
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good luck. i might have the same issue and its so troublesome for me ive decided to ignore it, wheel it hard, and let my financial decisions really kick me in the arse down the road.

all because i had a feeling about this and everyone tells me it is fine and ignore it, before i ditched it for a more offroad freidly vehicle (in theory, like a $3000 XJ or a TJ or JK rubicon) and now i spent a few grand on a winch and front bumper so i am stuck with it basically. fn IFS
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Old 01-21-2021, 01:54 PM #3
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I wouldn't buy a used front diff unless I was guaranteed it was in GOOD working order. I would check out some youtube videos on rebuilding/replacing the front diff, you probably only want to do this once! Then decide which way you want to go.
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Old 01-22-2021, 11:44 PM #4
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hey thanks for the replies - it hasn't gotten worse over the last 500km or so but i just don't trust it. i can't do the work myself so i'm having a shop do this for me. has anybody replaced their front diff and possibly know if other trucks use a compatible part? is this something that has a toyota part number? i also don't know the actual name of this part. totally clueless over here haha
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