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  #19  
Old 20-11-2014
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You may need to ask here for more feedback on decent mechanics specializing on jeeps in SA.
Tell them you'll only give them 30 min if labour cost MAX!! Otherwise you'll contact Fair Trading.

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  #20  
Old 21-11-2014
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Well, I'm back at home now with my beloved Jeep and I'm pleased to say all did end up working out for the best. I must admit that in my darkest hour I was most pessimistic but to my great relief they ended up coming through for me and I have to say things ended up working out remarkably well. After thinking things over and discussing things here I did call them in the morning to say not to go ahead with replacing the solenoid and it was all back together ready to be driven off that afternoon.

I haven't mention it but the front tail-shaft was also making a horrible noise when in 4WD and I was pretty confident the universal joint or something would need replacing. I didn't mention it here as I didn't want to confuse the discussion too much but in the end they did end up replacing the universal joint and cleaning (but not replacing) the solenoid as well as adjusting my handbrake for me. As it was the bill came to $561, and covered the diff inspection/cleaning, replacing the universal joint and handbrake adjustment which is an amount I was happy to pay -in fact it was an amount I was pleasantly surprised to pay . The day before they had estimated between $600 and $700 to replace the uni and reassemble the diff and I have to say this is the first time I have ever had a mechanic charge me less than they estimated

The solenoid is once again working as it should but they say they have no idea how long it will last. Apparently the oil in the diff was pretty mucky and had a lot of mettle filings (and I think he even said gravel???) in there, so hopefully after having a bit of a clean and oil change the solenoid will continue to work for a while yet. If it does fail again I'll probably look at putting an entirely different diff in rather than replacing the solenoid anyhow.

So all in all I have to say it has worked out remarkably well, and despite my concerns in the middle it turns out I'm quite pleased with how it all finished up.

Last edited by S.Bartfast; 21-11-2014 at 11:48 PM.
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  #21  
Old 21-11-2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mudpig View Post
Realistically how long does it take to drain and open the diff for an inspection? 10-15 min. Then 15 min to inspect? 30 min total to see what's happening in a diff?
Mate, I'm sorry to say but i think you've encountered one of those mechanics we keep hearing about on A Current Affair.
To be fair I dare say the $300 inspection involved more than removing the rear plate. I believe it also required removing the axle and disassembling the hemisphere which is quite possibly a reasonable amount to charge for such work (I wouldn't really know). What I was annoyed about wasn't so much how much they were charging for the inspection itself but rather that the inspection was done at all given how unaffordable the fix was going to be if it was what they expected. I mean given I really wasn't prepared to spend $3000 on a new solenoid (or $2500 on a used one) why do the $300 inspection in the first place?

Now that it's all over I think they really did have no idea how impossible it is to replace those solenoids on their own and they probably did do the inspection not realising it was pointless. I'm not sure if they ended up wearing some of the cost of that inspection themselves or not but the amount I ended up paying was not too dissimilar to what I would have expected had the inspection not been done, so for me it all ended up being fine.

Last edited by S.Bartfast; 22-11-2014 at 12:02 AM.
  #22  
Old 22-11-2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by S.Bartfast View Post
Yeah, I have wondered this myself. Also I would have thought a faulty solenoid would be more likely to prevent a locker from engaging rather than prevent it from disengaging but after looking into it for a bit all I have been able to learn is that I really don't understand lockers at all. I thought what ever happened in a locker was fairly straightforward but tell you what, it's all black magic in there. Honestly there's more information out there on what goes on inside an H-Bomb than what actually happens inside a locker

Anyway, the locker had actually begun to function normally again by the time I dropped the car off and the workshop are confident they will be able to re-assemble the diff in the unlocked state for me without any trouble.
Not diff specific but I have and do work with pneumatic and hydraulic systems controlled by lektricity thru solenoids so putting this in for general info more than anything.

Solenoids are normally a fairly simple bit of kit really, they are electrically controlled but mechanical in nature. For a 2 position (like your diff would be) they are normally spring return to what is the "normal" position which is decided by the application for numerous reasons which could be either a fail safe or for lower power consumption or many others. And an electromagnet moves it to the other position as needed when current is applied and return to the normal position without current. There are 2 was to find out how it operates, a schematic or get out a multimeter and find out for yourself.

Because of the mechanical nature and tight tolerances it is possible for them to bind up with minimal contamination which could be introduced into the solenoid via a bad seal or from wear or a failure. It is also possible for whatever they control mechanically to also bind up from contamination depending on what it is so the solenoid could be functioning perfectly but the function it controls not. I'd have to personally look at the setup to get a better understanding of exactly how it works and how complex the whole system is. Now that its been given a birthday I'd run with it as is and see how it plays out, if the shop didn't find anything obvious and given the intermittent nature contamination would be my best guess as they generally either work or they don't work so you might be lucky.
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  #23  
Old 22-11-2014
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If you are in Radelaide and it goes and need a whole axle I have a rear Dana44 with 4.10s and e-locker that I brought over with another set of Rubicon axles I have built. Will be easier than bringing one across or getting any workshop in Adelaide to work on it as I found out.
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  #24  
Old 2 Weeks Ago
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In a 2006 Commander you can pull fuse 25 in the box under the bonnet. That will stop it locking up but your dash lights up.
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