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Old 12-19-2011, 07:12 AM   #1
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Low Oil in Differential

My 2008 Bounder had 2700 miles on it when I got it last March. As soon as I got it home I took it to the nearest Fleetwood dealer to have the oil changed, chassis lubed and generator serviced. At about 7,000 miles I began to hear a whine under load at 55 mph and up. It still has 11 months left on the Ford warranty. No Ford dealer in this area is equipped to work on it. I called Ford warranty and they set me up with a Ford truck repair shop in Dallas. Dropped it off last week and got a call Friday from the service manager. He said there was only 4 quarts of oil in the differential; he said he thought there was supposed to be 16 quarts (I read 12 somewhere). He said the differential looked OK but the wheel bearings are shot due to low oil. He said there is NO sign of oil leakage anywhere. They are replacing the bearings and seals under warranty and I should pick up the Bounder tomorrow.
Question is IF Ford serviced the differential when built where did the oil go? Did the Fleetwood dealer check the differential when they changed the engine oil and greased the chassis? I will be checking the dealer service paperwork when I get the Bounder back.
I will be doing my own servicing from now own.

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Old 12-19-2011, 10:02 AM   #2
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Hmmm...I just helped a friend with a 2004 Fleetwood he just bought. When we checked the differential fluid, it was 2 quarts low. We couldn't figure out where all the oil went either. He's been driving it since, and no leaks have been observed. I think dealers often do the minimum on the lube jobs. "Minimum" means whatever the customer doesn't see doesn't get done.

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Old 12-20-2011, 05:52 AM   #3
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They drained the diff. oil then went on break, went home etc. and forgot to not put more in.
Full Timers.
2015 Fleetwood Discovery 40E on a Freightliner XCS chassis with a Cummins ISL9 pulling 1 and/or 2 motorcycles, '07 Honda Accord OR a 17' Runabout Boat.
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Old 12-20-2011, 07:12 AM   #4
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Just sort of a side note....my Dad bought a 1965 Ford Ranchero with the 6 cylinder and 3 speed on the steering column new in '65. He drove it a hundred thousand miles and then I drove it a few thousand more miles like it was a hotrod. I was 16. Then the transmission went out on it. Come to find out the internals of the gearbox were just dust, there had never, ever, been a drop of oil in it! It had lasted 106,000 miles. Dad wrote a letter to Ford and they replaced the trans for free. I wonder if that could happen today?
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Old 12-20-2011, 09:37 AM   #5
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I suspect Ford did not completely fill it. The installer probably started filling it and the break horn sounded so he stopped, he was late returning from break and the line moved and no one caught it. I have seen things like that happen. But we can only speculate, we will never know.
Why didn't the Fleetwood dealer I paid to service the chassis catch it?
Update from the Ford repair shop. The bearings did not get ordered Friday, got ordered Monday, but did not ship until today. A little frustrating, only because I have a rear track bar I want to install and a front window shade switch I want to relocate.
On the up side the service manager called me to give me the status and was very apologetic. He assures me the Bounder is being kept indoors and secure, kinda hard to move it outside with the axels removed.
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Old 12-20-2011, 09:57 AM   #6
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Hipshot, make sure you write down what brand and weight oil they are putting in the diff so you can top it off later if required with the same stuff. On my Monaco they use synthetic differential oil at it goes for around 250,000 miles before it has to be changed.. Ford has an outstanding synthetic differential oil they use in their cars and trucks. Here is a tech tip. The rear axle wheel bearing hubs have a small hole to let the oil flow into them from the main axle area. The procedure when filling a drained axle is to raise one side of the axle only to let the oil flow into the lower side then switch and raise the other side to fill the other lower hub then top of the differential. This comes out of the Dana Spicer tech manual on rear axles. They most likely are not going to do that so you need to recheck that differential oil after it has been driven some and when the oil is warm and top it up so it is barely flowing back out of the inspection/fill hole. It can't be a 1/4" or a 1/2" down it has to be all the way up so the wheel bearings get lubricated correctly.
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Old 12-20-2011, 10:08 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Fiesta48 View Post
They drained the diff. oil then went on break, went home etc. and forgot to not put more in.
Starting in the late 90's Ford went to syn. rear end oil. It is lifetime oil. No changing or draining of the oil unless the chassis has been submerged in water. I believe the factory never filled the rear end. Actually the paperwork says to check for leaks at the axle and rear ens. If no sign of leakage do not disturb the rear end.

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