Possible differential problem?

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  #1  
Old 05-15-05, 05:06 PM
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Possible differential problem?

My 95 Pathfinder has 114K miles, and we use it to occasionally tow a 3000 lb camper. After 15 minutes or so of straight-line driving (no towing) like highway, when I perform lower speed turns the rear end feels like the wheels are having difficulty rotating on their own. Almost like when 4wd is engaged and you try turning on dry pavement. It makes a regularly repeating FUMP-FUMP-FUMP sort of sound in the back.

I took the fill plug out of the differential and the level was slightly low. The oil was a honey color and smelled strong, not burnt, but similar to lower unit oil userd for outboard motors.

Does my problem sound like the rear differential? If so, would it make sense to do something simple like top off or drain/refill the oil? I hope it is not anything more serious. Thanks.

-joe
 
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  #2  
Old 05-15-05, 05:12 PM
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Does it a limited slip rear?. (sound like it is) try to drain them all out and replace with new fluid (for limited slips) , then do figure 8 (dozen of times) in an empty parking lot and see if it helps.
 
  #3  
Old 05-15-05, 05:18 PM
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Yes, it is limited slip. There is a little sticker above the fill hole that says LSD Oil Only.

I'll try this, but wonder: is the oil color and odor correct? Is this something that goes bad after a while?
 
  #4  
Old 05-15-05, 05:24 PM
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LSD fluids does smell very bad but not as bad as LSD additive that Dodge use in their read diff., they're very unpleasant smell specially in summer time.
 
  #5  
Old 05-15-05, 07:08 PM
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Read the owners manual. Use only the fluid the factory calls for and add their friction modifier if it calls for one. Don't cheap out and use brand X. Drain & refill and you will probably get rid of the chatter. If the limited slip does fail it will just operate like a standard non limited slip differential. Try to save it though as they can be very good to have on slipery surfaces.
The owners manual will probably tell you it needs to be changed every xxxxx miles.
 
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