Has anyone hit a rock so hard the diff separated a little? (Warning!!! GRAPHIC AXLE DAMAGE INSIDE)

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So I went for a drive Sunday to get the Christmas tree from the mountain. All is snowy and fun and BAM!! A frickin rock smacks the bottom of Beast mode. I think nothing of it, until driving home, the steering is pulling to the right. OK, alignment issues are what I need to fix. I can do that pretty well. I'll handle it.


Well I drive to work this morning and get a message from Dear Wife. She sends me a picture of what appears to be gear oil on the floor in the garage.

I go out and look under the car and see this horrific site:

IMG_1145.JPG


Oh the HUMANITY!!!!!
So I think I've punctured beast modes differential.

But under closer inspection, I don't see much actually leaking from this area. I see it running down the seam in the back of the (front) differential:

IMG_1142.JPG


I can get a 0.05 feeler gauge about 1/2 inch on one side (the side of the leak):
IMG_1144.JPG


So.

How Screwed am I? For the record, I don't see much in the way of steering damage or bent stuff.

Is my Axle bent?

Should I just try to tighten down the nuts on that side of the diff? It seems to be pretty flat, no visible warping.

Still can't explain the steering being thrown off (it was quite centered before, now my 12 o'clock is closer to 1:30, wanting to go to 2)

Please help!
 

BadReligion

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I think you may have gotten kind of lucky. A little more force and that diff housing may have been pushed into the ring gear. Time for a 8" pipe cap diff guard.

The impact probably broke apart the seal/gasket between the third and axle. Pull and reseal/retorque.

The steering wheel angle has me more concerned. If nothing is visibly bent...$100 you twisted your sector shaft.
 

cartercd

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It is possible that the bolts connecting the 3rd member to the axle housing had loosened slightly over time, then when you smacked the rock it created the separation you see (or the bolt stud threads gave way). You could tighten the bolts back up, but your differential gasket might be toast at this point. I would be inclined to pull the 3rd member, inspect for damage, replace the gasket and studs as needed, and and button it back up. I would then address the steering issue separately.
 
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OK, so I backed off a all the bolts a turn and retorqued them. I don't see any active leaking that I can discern, but will check in the morning. I will need a new gasket, but that will have to wait a bit. What the frick is a sector shaft? I looked again at the steering and it seems to be ok, but I will for sure be doing some alignment work this week. I topped off the gear oil and it was a bit foamy, so I need to for sure do a change on it. I guess I like running through water too much. Sector shaft? Is that next to the the Johnson rod?
 
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Sector is the shaft that the pitman arm attaches to.
 
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Like, inside the steering box?
 
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Read through this thread:

 
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Broski

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I don't think it's the sector shaft.
The sector shaft gets twisted when the tire hit's something not the diff.
Is the steering wheel off center or is it just pulling to the right ?
 
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I'm not sure if there was a separate incident. When I was coming back down the road, my hubcap was next to the rock I had hit. I am surprised there isn't more damage under the truck from what I can see.

Anyone have a part number for the gasket for the third member, or do I just use sealant when I go in for the repair this weekend?
 
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I think it's this part:

42181-60170
(I have lockers)
 
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You could have bent your panhard bar as well as your drag link that goes from the steering gear to the right knuckle. That minor of a steering alignment can be adjusted with the drag link by one or two turns.
 
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If you hit your front diff that hard, look for a bent tie-rod, which ties to left to the right knuckle. I once backed over a tombstone shaped rock that scraped up the back of the axle housing and bent the tie rod upward, causing severe toe-out. I had to fix it on dirt before I could drive it on pavement or my tires would have been ruined. It turned out to be a pretty easy fix, just straightened it up with a tow strap pulling it down into position for the ride out, and then Kevin's shop to pull it out and use an arbor press to straighten it properly. Good luck,
 
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So I'm trying to remove the third member for a gasket replacement but can't get the housing to separate. Am I doing something wrong? I have 11 nuts off with the 2 bolts still holding on the actuator on. Do I need to lock the diff or some crap? Also I have 2 plugs pulled off the actuator, but can't figure out the last one, which looks like a straight black wire. I can't figure out how to disconnect it. I'm 4 hours into this S### and am starting to lose my mind!!!!! Please help.
 
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Axle Shafts are pulled? Or at least 6” per side.
Ehhhh, Of course :bang: Do you think I've never done this before? (Kicks self in between legs) Somehow I knew that.


Ok No, I didn't.

Anyway the second half of the question. Where does the third wire connect on the actuator?
 
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OMG, is there a way to do it without doing the wheel bearings/ preload and all that stuff?
 

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