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Rotting out rear differential cover fix help

Discussion in '1st Gen. Tacomas (1995-2004)' started by jayvp77, Jun 17, 2020.

  1. Jun 17, 2020 at 4:22 AM
    #1
    jayvp77

    jayvp77 [OP] Member

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    So, I noticed a wet area on my rear differential cover the other day. I also noticed that the drivers side axle seal is leaking again after I replaced both of them last summer :mad:. I figure that if my differential cover is rotting out that my housing is soon to follow and instead of taking all the time and effort of removing my axle to cut off the housing to weld on a new one I should just replace the entire assembly. Do you all agree or will the axle housing far outlive the cover? If replacing the entire assembly is the appropriate route to take, do any of you have a reliable resource for sourcing this part? This is for a 1st Gen TRD 4X4 with diff lock.

    Image from iOS.jpg
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  2. Jun 17, 2020 at 4:32 AM
    #2
    Constant K

    Constant K Well-Known Member

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    I have a leaking/rotting diff housing as well. I ended up buying a whole new axle assembly From a salvage yard in Washington state, instead of refurbishing what I had. If you need your truck for work like I did, then I vote you buy a used assembly and swap it in. But if you have the time to remove the old one and clean it/weld a new cover on, then go for it. You’ll certainly save a lot of money going with the old one.
     
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  3. Jun 17, 2020 at 4:45 AM
    #3
    gusto11071

    gusto11071 Well-Known Member

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  4. Jun 17, 2020 at 5:01 AM
    #4
    onakat

    onakat Well-Known Member

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    If your rear diff housing is rusted through, there is chances your frame may have a few rust holes as well. I would take some time to check the condition of the frame if I were you. Especially where the leaf springs attach to the frame, right behind the cab, as this is one of the first areas to rust through.
     
  5. Jun 17, 2020 at 7:15 AM
    #5
    jammer

    jammer 2003 Toyota PreRunner 3.4L

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    Damn. That looks like something Bob Ballard found right next to the Titanic.
     
  6. Jun 17, 2020 at 7:19 AM
    #6
    Noelie84

    Noelie84 What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

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    I used this on mine. If the frame hadn't followed the diff cover in the Rust Journey I'm sure it would have lasted for several decades. I had the e-locker so it was the heavier version, but even the standard cover is pretty beefy.

    WITH e-locker:
    https://www.barnes4wd.com/Toyota-Pick-Up-Heavy-Duty-Differential-Cover_p_228.html

    WITHOUT e-locker
    https://www.barnes4wd.com/Toyota-T1...ndra-Heavy-Duty-Differential-Cover_p_359.html

    Grind the old one off, weld the new one on, and fill her up with gear oil.
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2020
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  7. Jun 17, 2020 at 7:29 AM
    #7
    Clearwater Bill

    Clearwater Bill Sometimes when I close my eyes, I can't see.

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    Based on your pics I'd be more concerned with the pending breakage of your frame than the loss of your diff fluid. If pics are an indicator...........

    Although either will leave you stranded and have the potential to create an accident, dependent on when and how it happens.

    Before spending a dime on the rear, you really need a careful frame inspection as @onakat calls out above. If it 'seems' solid after beating and probing, a look inside the boxed areas is in order, because they rust inside out. A camera attached to your smart phone is adequate if you can't borrow a borescope somewhere.
     
  8. Jun 17, 2020 at 7:31 AM
    #8
    ToyoTaco25

    ToyoTaco25 Well-Known Member

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    YIKES! Do you give that thing a salt bath everyday?
     
  9. Jun 17, 2020 at 7:31 AM
    #9
    LocoLocal

    LocoLocal Aspiring Polymath

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  10. Jun 17, 2020 at 10:29 AM
    #10
    jbrandt

    jbrandt ......LOADING

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    Dude, it's not just your axle housing you need to worry about.

    I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but every other piece of metal on the under side of that truck is almost guaranteed to be just as rusty, if not more so. As others have said, you really need to inspect your frame.

    I mean, did you not notice your drum brake housings are about to fall off?
     
  11. Jun 17, 2020 at 11:22 AM
    #11
    Kwikvette

    Kwikvette My 4R identifies as a Tacoma

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    Notices minor leak on rear housing; completely misses an entirely rotted out underside.
     
  12. Jun 17, 2020 at 11:26 AM
    #12
    Wyoming09

    Wyoming09 Well-Known Member

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    It is your Truck .

    Depending just where the Truck lives Finding a housing in better shape might be days out Southwest ??

    What ever option works better in your case .

    If you can`t let the truck sit for a period of time go for swapping the housing
     
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  13. Jun 17, 2020 at 11:29 AM
    #13
    six5crèéd

    six5crèéd Naw

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  14. Jun 17, 2020 at 11:31 AM
    #14
    TenBeers

    TenBeers Well-Known Member

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    That's some rust! And lots of wheel weights, too.
     
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  15. Jun 17, 2020 at 11:33 AM
    #15
    EatSleepTacos

    EatSleepTacos Well-Known Member

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    I have a friend with a 3rd gen 4runner with a diff (and brake backing plates) that looks similar to yours OP. He had a pinhole leak like that while we were 700 miles away wheeling. JB welded it to get him back home, and then he welded on one of these below VVVVVVVVV The back where it rusted through it pretty thin, so I'd say the rest of the axle is probably salvegable with some rust repair love. Depends how much work you want to do really.

     
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  16. Jun 17, 2020 at 11:43 AM
    #16
    jayvp77

    jayvp77 [OP] Member

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    Thank you all for the insight and sarcasm, much appreciated! For the record, this is my first truck/first build. I'm learning a ton and I am now a Tacoma Man FOR LIFE! I'm going to learn and push this truck until it rusts back to the Toyota Gods. Then, I'm swapping everything to a new-to-me 1st Gen Tacoma and continuing the process until I can no longer find a living Tacoma frame on this planet! Special thanks to @EatSleepTacos @Wyoming09 @Clearwater Bill @Noelie84 @Constant K @gusto11071 @onakat
     
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  17. Jun 17, 2020 at 12:16 PM
    #17
    gusto11071

    gusto11071 Well-Known Member

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    Well said!
     
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  18. Sep 24, 2020 at 9:42 AM
    #18
    jayvp77

    jayvp77 [OP] Member

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    see above to get a look at what I'm working with @BlackPearl
     
  19. Sep 24, 2020 at 12:27 PM
    #19
    Wyoming09

    Wyoming09 Well-Known Member

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    I gotta ask the ubolts look new You never noticed the housing when you did the springs .

    The bell cranks also look new .

    Just curious ??
     
  20. Sep 24, 2020 at 12:43 PM
    #20
    ROAD DOG

    ROAD DOG Well-Known Member

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    its apparent there is severe corrosion

    yet from cursory examination of photos provided

    other components other than the ' cover ' are effected to the extreme

    i wouldnt have confidence in the structural integrity of any component pictured

    brake axel backing plates

    the axle housing itself

    they could fail
     

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