Big Bear Preparation 2021

Getting ready for a trip to Big Bear, CA. There’s a lot to do!

Front Differential:
The front diff was still leaking when I got it back from the shop. They told me there was a big gouge in the housing and that it would probably drip a little from now on.  Between that and the front locker not engaging there’s a possibility I may need a new axle to get everything right.  But that’s another story. 

For now, I cleaned all the oil off the cover and housing.  Then I inspected it and found plenty of significant scrapes, but no serious gouges.  When I torqued the bolts, I found the three at the bottom were a bit loose, one was about a ¼ turn loose.  So, those are all torqued now and hopefully that will take care of the leak.  Later today I’ll give it a quick coat of paint so I can tell what scrapes are new from Big Bear this weekend. 

I’m a little disappointed in the shop.  They didn’t check the diff cover bolts.  They were supposed to go through and check ALL the bolts on the Jeep to make sure they were tight, mark them, and grease anything that needed greasing. 

The bottom most diff cover bolt was full of debris, slightly out of round, and loose.  There were at least two other bolts that were also a bit loose.  This indicates they never checked those bolts.  I’ll mention that to the shop next time.  Maybe they were just slammed and forgot, but if that’s the case, what else did they forget to do?

Oil level in the diff is good and the oil looks clear.  That’s good!  I’m not worried about the differential itself.  But I am a little worried that whatever is wrong with the front locker might get worse and start to interfere with the gearing.  I guess we’ll see.

Technical Notes:
ARB Diff cover screws: use a ¼” hex bit, tighten to 34.5Nm [25.4ft-lb. (305.35 in-lb)]
Dip stick plug: 8mm Allen Key

Air Bag Light:
The air bag light has been on since the Dusy Ershim trip.  I tried to reset it using the ignition on/off sequence.  But it was still on last I fired it up.  When I take it out in a while to get gas and run a few errands hopefully it goes off.  If not I’ll try the pull-the-fuse reset method.  If that doesn’t do it then it goes in to the dealer next week to look at. 

Control Arm Grease Nipples (Zerk), Front:
The grease nipples on the front control arms are broken and need to be replaced.  They are also mounted pointing down.  It seems to me they should be able to be pointed up which would protect them.  Something to put on the list.