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2002 Durango, 5.9L w/ 127k miles. Rear end started grinding from stop and in reverse when hot. Changed fluid and found some remnants of what looks to be limited slip spring cage and other pieces. I don't have the cash for a shop to rebuild it or tools to do it myself, so thinking of doing an entire rear end swap (hub to Hub) from a donor.

Is there a year/make/model that would be a direct fit that was built sturdier? I hear that this is a common problem in gen 1 and gen 2 Dodge Durango/Dakota.

Thanks!
 

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No, this is not common problem on these trucks. Negligence and abuse are the reason that the rear diffs have problems.
My 94 8.25 rear axle was still in good shape when it was traded in with 327K+ miles with the original differential. They can last but you have to change the fluids every once in a while.
Now, there really isn't anything stronger than the axle in your Durango now, because Dodge would not want to put a weak axle behind a 5.9. Your axle should be the 9.25 but there is always the possibility that someone put in the wrong axle at the factory. While possible, I find it highly unlikely and would be more likely if the vehicle was bought used, either from a dealer or from a previous owner.
 

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Thanks Primus. Had a mechanic tell me they've seen quite a few wear out at the 100-140k mark, hence my comment. I bought the truck 3 weeks ago, and I am unaware of its maintenance history.

With regard to the size, I believe it's the 9.25 (I counted 12 bolts when I changed the gear oil). 3.55 (if memory serves that's what was stamped on the ring gear).

In your opinion, should I be good with a donor rear end of the same generation/gearing, provided I can find one with low miles? I truly believe that's my cheaper option here, unless you have information to the contrary.

Thanks for your input!
 

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Actually it is a common problem and has nothing to do with negligence or abuse. It's a shitty clutch pack design that is problem. I put in a powertrax locker in mine with around 80k on the clock and found chunks of the clutch pack and several broken clutch discs when I did it. I did regular fluid changes on my rear diff using synthetic fluids and the proper friction modifier. It still broke. It's just the nature of the best. You will be hard pressed to find a limited slip in a 9.25 in a 97-03 dak/did that isn't broken at 100k miles.

Have had my powertrax in two different trucks for over 14 years and over 100k miles with no problems other than regular fluid changes And replacing the springs which is normal maintenance. And I installed it myself in my driveway with basic tools.
 

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My boyfriend has a 1989 dodge dakota 4x4 3.9 v6 n he swapped out the front end & suspension along with the rear end & suspension and put front n rear off a 1995 dodge dakota sport 4x4 318 v8 n everything bolted up fine
 

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Actually it is a common problem and has nothing to do with negligence or abuse. It's a shitty clutch pack design that is problem. I put in a powertrax locker in mine with around 80k on the clock and found chunks of the clutch pack and several broken clutch discs when I did it. I did regular fluid changes on my rear diff using synthetic fluids and the proper friction modifier. It still broke. It's just the nature of the best. You will be hard pressed to find a limited slip in a 9.25 in a 97-03 dak/did that isn't broken at 100k miles.

Have had my powertrax in two different trucks for over 14 years and over 100k miles with no problems other than regular fluid changes And replacing the springs which is normal maintenance. And I installed it myself in my driveway with basic tools.
Thanks for this info. I'll look into the PowerTrax and see if I can swing it, both budget and technical. Is there a specific model you recommend? I see several on their website.
 

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Thanks for this info. I'll look into the PowerTrax and see if I can swing it, both budget and technical. Is there a specific model you recommend? I see several on their website.
There is only one option for the 9.25 with limited slip, and that's the no-slip traction system. You just remove the spider gears and clutch packs and install the powertrax unit. No special tool requires as you don't have to remove the carrier.
 

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There is only one option for the 9.25 with limited slip, and that's the no-slip traction system. You just remove the spider gears and clutch packs and install the powertrax unit. No special tool requires as you don't have to remove the carrier.
I'm seeing that. About 450 plus shipping. Plus another 50 for more oil and stuff. *gulp*

Was hoping to avoid a $500-600 repair. I bought the truck for $2500 3 weeks ago and may also be looking at a PCM replacement. And it needs tires & shocks soon. Already spent about $160 on various sensors, gaskets and fluids. Hope this doesn't become my biggest mistake this year....

Rode like a dream on my 2 test drives. :/

Now I'm just bitching. Thanks for your help!

Side question - am I going to have to do this to the front diff soon too?
 

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Thanks for this info. I'll look into the PowerTrax and see if I can swing it, both budget and technical. Is there a specific model you recommend? I see several on their website.
There is only one option for the 9.25 with limited slip, and that's the no-slip traction system. You just remove the spider gears and clutch packs and install the powertrax unit. No special tool requires as you don't have to remove the carrier.
I found this one - is this the right setup? http://m.autoanything.com/drivetrain-differentials/powertrax-grip-ls-limited-slip?kc=ffprod&k_clickid=668d9f74-5bde-499e-bfb4-0c8dd5e30f26&adgroupid=5399&k_trackingid=274x79111114902&kpid=10845-12613-6228934&productid=79111114902&gclid=Cj0KEQjwztG8BRCJgseTvZLctr8BEiQAA_kBD6FOGU04p0hadyLm48L-2859mqtpsjHfbJK9wbIEea8aAif08P8HAQ
 
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