Diff job from hell.....

Submitted: Friday, Nov 07, 2003 at 21:54
ThreadID: 8371 Views:3903 Replies:3 FollowUps:3
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I have been a bit quiet lately...

Got a Detroit locker in the back of my Prado a few weeks ago - very happy with it. Decided to get a Truetrac in the front. Got it and went for a bit of a drive - seemed OK but seals soon started to leak. Took it back for a free fix, and then the fun started....
A bearing was stuffed - must be my fault, they said, because they didn't go near that area. Pointed out that it was fine before the job, and they do in fact remove the shaft that the bearing sits on - point conceded. They couldn't remove the universal cup from the diff centre on the other side, and proceeded to damage the housing and diff centre trying to get it out. Couldn't. They got a complete diff from a wrecker to get me on the road, and sent the problem item to Sydney. The distributors got their local diff shop to get it apart, put a new truetrac in, set it up as best they could and sent it back - no charge for their labour. Booked it in for the big fix - sounds not too bad so far, a few problems, but these things happen.
Picked up the vehicle in the afternoon - horrible noise immediately from front diff. Drove back - what's the noise? Don't know, drive it around and see how you go.... (!!). Next day, talked to distributor, who recommended I go to a specialist they knew of to check it out. Went the same day - he agreed the noise was not good and started to look at it straight away. I went home on the train but only got two stations away when the phone rings - they hadn't put any oil in it.....! Little wonder there was a bad noise. Crown wheel and pinion both stuffed with bits broken off. It gets better. They had also mismatched the crown wheel and pinions from the two diffs in play - not a good idea either. And there's more... The secondhand diff they had used to get me on the road was a different ratio - 4.3 vs the rear at 4.1. Because they had mismatched the parts, couldn't use them to recover the diff, so had to get one from Toyota ($$) Toyota were supposed to have one in Sydney but didn't, so had to get the only one in Australia - from Darwin..... Eventually the bits arrived and I now have the vehicle back - except the battery had gone flat while the diff joint had it for a week and a half - and then the car wouldn't idle, kept cutting out. Don't know why, adjusted idle up to see if it's battery charge related.
There is a silver lining.... I have not paid a cent more than the original cost of getting the diff. The fitter may have been incompetent in some ways, but they have stood up and paid for their mistakes, and for that I'm grateful. Lost the car for a couple of weeks, but otherwise no damage to the pocket... That's why I didn't put their names in here....
The lesson to learn? No, not buy air lockers, although I'm sure they're good. Detroit stuff is good too, and I've had nothing but outstanding support from them. If you're gunna get aftermarket diffs fitted, go to a diff specialist. I know who they are for Detroit in Melb and Sydney, and can let you know if you want. These blokes out there who stock diffs should stay away from things they don't know about. After this episode, I believe Locked Drive Systems will recommend just that to their stockists.
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Reply By: Truckster (Vic) - Friday, Nov 07, 2003 at 22:13

Friday, Nov 07, 2003 at 22:13
The lesson to learn? No, not buy air lockers

Lesson.. Buy Airs, and get fitted by ARB...

Who was the shop that did the work? Yes please let me know who they are, so I can never go near em - Good service? Wrong ratios, leaking seals, shagging the diff, NO OIL??? Good Service???
AnswerID: 36574

Follow Up By: Member - Russell - Monday, Nov 10, 2003 at 12:31

Monday, Nov 10, 2003 at 12:31
Bzzzzzzzzzz... yourself! Air lockers or Detroit, personal preference, nothing wrong with either. I do think ARB would do a more consistent job, since they're also the supplier as well as the fitter.

Last time I saw you, you didn't have lockers on the mighty patrol - are you planning to get them or would air lockers be your choice if you did??

As far as the good service goes, I wasn't talking about Mob A who caused all the problems. They were no good, but like I said, they did stand up and pay for their mistakes, which is more than can be said for a lot of others who try to avoid their responsibility. Locked Drive Systems were excellent, as were Bayswater Diffs, who finally got it all right again.Russell S
Prado RV6
FollowupID: 26552

Reply By: Goodsy - Saturday, Nov 08, 2003 at 20:36

Saturday, Nov 08, 2003 at 20:36
Russell. I would like to know the specialist of melbourne. I am considering a Detroit for the rear of my lux. Thanks.

You got lucky here Russell.
AnswerID: 36626

Follow Up By: Member - Russell - Monday, Nov 10, 2003 at 12:34

Monday, Nov 10, 2003 at 12:34
Bayswater Diffs (Burgess St, Bayswater, just off Canterbury Rd near Dorset Rd) were recommended by Locked Drive Systems, and I'm very happy with their work, although I'll have to wait with my fingers crossed to see if the seals leak!Russell S
Prado RV6
FollowupID: 26553

Reply By: sundance - Saturday, Nov 08, 2003 at 21:20

Saturday, Nov 08, 2003 at 21:20
russell it sounds like you have had a real taste of bad luck and bad workmanship. I HAVE FOUND OVER THE YEARS THAT WHEN IT COMES TO SETTING UP DIFFS transfer cases or gear boxes it pays to use a specialist. It was good that you didnt have to pay any extra whitout a fight. you will find the detroit and truetrack great in the bush they will get you places that you would,nt have tried before. they can be a bit harsh and or noisey with day to day driving . like around roundabouts but thats no real problem you get use to them . happy four wheel driving.
AnswerID: 36631

Follow Up By: Member - Russell - Monday, Nov 10, 2003 at 12:38

Monday, Nov 10, 2003 at 12:38
Interesting, the harsh and noisy bit. I've hardly heard a peep out of the rear - I think they're heaps quieter than they used to be, without giving up any/much off road ability. The front makes no noise, but makes the steering a bit heavier - towards what an air locker will do, but not as bad or it wouldn't be driveable. I've only been out once with both fitted, but I know what you mean. Where most others will scrabble, spin and carry on, I can just burble on up with no worries. Very good indeed.Russell S
Prado RV6
FollowupID: 26554

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