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Thread: '97 Grand Cherokee Differential

  1. #1
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    Question '97 Grand Cherokee Differential

    Hi guys!

    I've been looking all over Google and searching throughout the forums, but I've only managed to get myself more and more confused.

    I've got a 1997 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited V8 5.2L with QuadraTrac. It's pretty much stock and isn't lifted at all, and I don't do any towing to speak of. The seal on the front differential is leaking, so I'm going to flush and fill the differential this weekend. Here are my questions...

    First, and most important, which oil should I use? I don't have an owner's manual or service manual, and I've found several different answers online. It seems 75W140 is the most common, but a post in another thread mentioned that might be too heavy for northern climates. I live in southern Michigan, and it looks like it might be a nasty winter.

    Second, should I use a traditional gasket, or PermaTex RTV silicone? The price difference is negligible, so is one better than the other? I noticed there are about nine million different varieties of RTV silicone, so which one is best for this application?

    Third, if I'm removing the plate to replace the gasket, would it be worthwhile to perform any other maintenance on the differential? While I've got the plate off, is there anything else I should look for while I'm in there?

    Fourth, friction modifier! The general consensus seems to be to throw in a bottle. Is there any reason why I shouldn't use friction modifier? Is it easiest to get it from a stealership? How much does a bottle of it cost?

    Fifth, pumping apparatus! I can only get my car 16-18" off the ground, so I think a hand pump will make things a lot easier. Where can I get one of these? Would an auto parts store be likely to have something like this?

    Thanks for helping a lowly newb!

    -James

  2. #2
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    Anybody want to weigh in? I'm thinking about ordering the RTV/gasket and lube tomorrow.

    Thanks!

    -James
    1997 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited 5.2L
    2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland

  3. #3

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    I just did mine on my 97, researched, called manufacturers, and settled for the Royal-Purple 75-140.
    You must buy one that has the friction additive in it !!!! Which quadra trac grand cherokees do !!!

  4. #4
    Registered Billy Ray's Avatar
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    For street use 80w-90 or 75w-90 would be fine, use synthetic 75w-140 if you tow or do more than mild off roading.

    You can use dino spit for mild use although synthetic fluids are superior. You can get a gallon of dino 80w-90 for $8-$9 per gallon, the synthetic is usually $9-$15 per quart depending on brand and weight.

    Depending on the axle combination you have you will need to buy 3 or 4 quarts of lube. A pump like the one pictured below is available just about any any auto-parts store for about $10 or you can use a length of plastic tubing and save a few dollars

    When you mention a 'Seal Leak" do you mean the RTV or Gasket on the cover or where the pinion exits?

    You can get differential cover gaskets and some places although almost all use RTV including the factory. Probably the most commonly used nowadays in this area is the Permatex 'Ultra Blue", it is a lot better than the stuff we used a few years ago...

    You will want to inspect things when you have the cover off, brake cleaner spray and a roll of paper towels will make the job...... less messy...

    Check the magnet inside the cover, it probably will have a metallic covering but should not have any shavings or chunks and the lube should not look like a milk shake (water emulsification)

    Friction modifier is only necessary if you have Jeep's posi of that day (Trac Lok?) Some synthetics already include FM, some don't.... read the label

    Re tighten the cover bolts to 30 ft-lbs in a criss cross pattern

    While you are under there you may want to change the lube in your transfercase. Always remove the fill plug first A light coating of anti-seize on the threads will make the next service easier.
    -br

    Helping one another is why we are all here on Jeeps-Unlimited, or should be.
    http://s112.photobucket.com/albums/n171/Billy_Ray_2006/

  5. #5
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    Thanks for all your help! I bought the pump you recommended, and it made things far simpler. I serviced both the front and rear differentials while I was at it, and it wasn't too difficult (but very, very dirty!).

    Thanks again!

    -James
    1997 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited 5.2L
    2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland

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