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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Ugh - Changed rear differential fluid and fluid is metallic brown. Differential failure, including photos & video

I started a new thread because my previous thread was focused on the AOC.

Symptoms:
>72,000 miles on odometer.
>Changed the rear differential fluid and the old fluid was dark, metallic brown. Ugh. Put fresh fluid and drove it. The noise is still present below 30 mph coasting in 1st or 2nd gear, same as before. Goes away under any throttle.
>very low pitched growl under heavy throttle (50% or greater) at highway speeds (>70 mph in 6th gear).
>AWD still works and no error codes (DEM is OK).
>Rear differential is leaking and dripping on exhaust pipes.
>Can repeat noise while car is on lift (all four tires off the ground). Gently accelerate to 30 mph in 2nd gear (otherwise it throws the traction and spin control into a tizzy) and let off throttle.

It looks like I get to replace the rear differential. As many people have said, Volvo differential failures are a rare occurance, so finding a used one should be relatively easy and inexpensive. I would prefer to replaced with used (rather than new $$$) and that is where I could use some help from you. Would you please let me know of some used parts dealers or dismantlers that you have used or recommend? I know many have suggested V&S Auto Dismantlers. Toronto area R owners have used Volvo-Guys.com.

Also, I will likely pay my indy mechanic to change the differential. If any of you have had the differential replaced on yours, can you give me an idea of how many shop hours it took or you were charged? I have had one indy shop quote me three hours, which sounds pretty good. I plan to get some more quotes.




 

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FYI one of the Ford lines like the five-hundred or fusion (can't remember) used the same exact rear diff, so you could broaden your search for those too!
 

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Question of my own, is the rear diff fluid just another name for Angle gear oil? Also, how did you do this? My mechanic (non-volvo) had originally thought that they'd have a drill a hole in the case to access it, then plug it after. I have an 06 SR...

Any thoughts?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Question of my own, is the rear diff fluid just another name for Angle gear oil? Also, how did you do this? My mechanic (non-volvo) had originally thought that they'd have a drill a hole in the case to access it, then plug it after. I have an 06 SR...
Any thoughts?
Drain plug is located on rear of diff on the vertical surface; looks like an oil drain plug. When removed, fluid should be up to the bottom of the threaded hole. Need a siphon to drain the fluid and a pump to fill it. Fill it until it can't hold anymore, i.e., fluid runs out.

I have the actual fluid info at home and can post that later.
 

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Erie Vovo is a good place for used Volvo parts.

http://204.10.107.131/index.html

Also Volvo & Saab Dismantlers...http://www.vandsautodismantlers.com/more_info.html

they can look in their database for parts at other yards.

If you do get a Diff. from any other model than an R, make sure it has the EXACT SAME gear ratio, or you'll be singing the blues the second you try to drive away...with front wheels geared to different speed than the rear wheels...
 

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ears ago my diff was leaking s well and my indy resealed it for 500. just make sure it is not something else though there were not too many diff falures recorded among r owners

and i beleive someone else mentioning that ford 500 had similar awd parts.

makes me think though, I have propeller shaft removed, perhaps i could remove the whole diff with rear axle shafts and sell them. not sure if that is possible with all haldex connections
still there and if that would mess with car electronics.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Question of my own, is the rear diff fluid just another name for Angle gear oil? Also, how did you do this? My mechanic (non-volvo) had originally thought that they'd have a drill a hole in the case to access it, then plug it after. I have an 06 SR...

Any thoughts?
Drain plug is located on rear of diff on the vertical surface; looks like an oil drain plug. When removed, fluid should be up to the bottom of the threaded hole. Need a siphon to drain the fluid and a pump to fill it. Fill it until it can't hold anymore, i.e., fluid runs out.

I have the actual fluid info at home and can post that later.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Also added photos & video to initial post.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
I should conclude this thread by saying it was the rear differential making the noise. After calling many parts sources, mainly dealers, I learned differential failures on Volvo AWD are quite rare. Some dealers' parts guys had never had to order one in all the years they have been ordering parts. Couple that with my independent mechanic's 20+ years of working on Volvos and saying the same thing, led me to look for used differential. He found one from a XC70 and quoted about three hours to change it. I gladly paid him as I don't have lift, impact wrench, and a myriad of other tools he used. He was spot on with his estimate - three hours. It involved dropping the exhaust, the rear sub-frame, rear lower suspension links, anti-sway bar, half-shafts, etc. The driveshaft (prop shaft) coupling was swapped also, it is larger diameter on the R compared to V70 or XC70. I think the most helpful tool (aside from his experience/knowledge) was his foot-operated, hydraulic transmission lift. It would have taken a rather strong person to lift the assembly in place and bolt it in place without help!

Although it was diagnosed as the differential, the used one came with an AOC and DEM attached. We first tried swapping the whole assembly (AOC, DEM, & Diff), but got an error code when we test drove it. So, we installed the DEM programmed to my caR, drove it, and there was no error message.

Success!

Here are some photos.

Mine on the right; used one on the left.


Rear differential removed. Left rear suspension disassembled. I am quite happy how clean and rust free the undercarriage is, considering I had 74,000 miles on the odometer.


Right rear suspension disassembled.
 

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:thumbup:

glad too see everything worked out for ya.
 

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Glad this turned out okay for you. These are great pics for someone to photoshop some arrows for which bolts are the differential or AOC fill holes.
 

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Here we go, thanks for the tips. Bought 2001 V70 XC one month ago. Service light was on and me dumbass ignored it. Whine getting louder especially when decelerating.
Will keep you posted. Bought the sweet ride for only $4,500 for 2001 with 133k so I am not toast, but disappointed in myself and that it came with defect...but 133k WTHeck?! Not a big deal-e-o!
Barry
 
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