Differential Growling AFTER fluid change - Chevy Colorado & GMC Canyon

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Old 07-09-2011, 11:22 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Differential Growling AFTER fluid change

The following is on a 2007 Canyon WT, 2.9 L, Stick Shift.

Last week we changed the fluid on this differential and put .5 quart of Lucas Oil Stabilizer followed by another quart and change of lucas fully synthetic 75w-90. We didn't RTV the gasket but torqued the bolts to 240 in/lbs (20 ft/lbs). This seemed really light to me but couldn't find any other figures on it. We didn't put loc-tite on it if that matters?

My dad drove the truck home 60 miles away and it was fine the first 3 or 4 days after we did it. As soon as I borrowed the truck I started hearing this noise develop. It was very quiet at first grew into an audible growl.
The noise is a mix between a growling and a cracking.

It makes the growling noise in the following situations:
- Not in first gear (I don't think the diff is moving fast enough)
- While you're accelerating in any gear
- Especially when you're already in a gear(coasting) and then press on the gas




So we drained it and I've come up with three potential probems of what it could be but am unsure about where to go.
1. The differential wasn't agreeing with the Lucas additive
2. The differential was low on fluid due to bad torque settings or lack of RTV
3. Something metalic was rubbing on the differential from the outside
- A brake line?

Also, do you think these wear lines are normal on the inside of a differential? I'm worried that these lines in the differential were somehow linked to the grinding noise I was hearing. Any light that can be shed on where to go from here or the cause of these lines would be greatly appreciated.

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Last edited by bp4131017; 07-09-2011 at 11:31 AM.
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Old 07-09-2011, 09:00 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Any insight's on any aspect?
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Old 07-10-2011, 01:37 AM   #3 (permalink)
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It looks as if something was left in the housing floating, like a nut or something. The gouge marks in the case are definately not normal.

There are 2 metal tabs that hold the brake line to the outside face of the Diff Cap at the top of the housing. Are they still present, or did one perhaps fall into the housing on dissassembly?

Also your fluid looks really burned on the bearing caps. I would recomend a thorough rinse with some break clean, and replace with fresh fluid.

You mentioned no RTV was used, did you re use the stock gasket? It is reusable, but definately worth replacing for 12$.
These also have a specific way they orientate on the housing, perhaps it's installed wrong?

Was there oil leaking from the housing, or low fluid in the housing when you checked it again? If you did not use a gasket or RTV you most likely lost fluid too.

Perhaps a tooth chipped ? Check your gears for any sign of wear or chipped teeth.

Something was definately in there grinding around. Hopefully a flush and oil replacement will solve the issue. I recommend the Royal Purple, or Mobil 1 synthetic.
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Old 07-10-2011, 10:06 AM   #4 (permalink)
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As far as the burning on the bearing caps- would that happen due to too much heat just breaking the fluid down to the point where it's starting to cake those caps and bolts that hold them on?

I'll be working on it a little later and I think my steps are to:
1. check how much fluid we drained
2. brake-kleen the crap out of the inside and feel around for any kind of scrap metal (or maybe poke around with the magnet)
3. seal her back up and put 2 quarts of synthetic in.
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Old 07-11-2011, 01:42 AM   #5 (permalink)
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The burnt oil is indicitive of high heat. If there is not enough oil in the housing, the gears will run hot, and thus the burnt / caked on oil. It doesn't look that bad, and I don't know how many miles you have on your truck. I have 60K on my 06, and I just put a new carrier in mine last week, and my bearing caps were clean and the oil was clear. I would still like to know what kind of gasket you used, and/or the condition there of. Your cap should have a magnet on the inside of it to catch any metal shavings, chipped teeth, etc. Is the magnet still present on the diff cover? If that fell off into the gears that would definitely give you some chatter. Hopefully the flush and fill will smooth it out. Keep us posted...
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