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DIY Guide:How to Handle Ford F150 Rear Differential Problems[2022]

There is no doubt that the Ford f150 is one of the best pickup trucks out there. For this amazing pickup truck, parts such as the rear differential are vital.

But, from time to time, the rear differential might break down. When that happens, you will have to endure lots of trouble and setbacks.

To avoid such a situation, we believe a proper understanding of Ford f150 rear differential problems is highly valuable.

So, in this post, we hope to teach you all the issues and fixes that come with Ford f150 rear differential.

Having said that, it is important to know about the role of the Ford f150 rear differential. So, let us check that out.

What is Ford F150 Rear Differential Unit?

You can locate the rear differential unit close to the rear axle. The rear differential unit is the last stage for power to go through to reach FORD f150’s rear wheels.

Most vehicles are equipped with an open differential which permits one wheel to spin freely.

However, this type of differential unit will not be good for off-road driving. For that, choose a slip differential unit.

How Do You Know If Your Rear Differential is Going Out?

Identifying rear differential issues is not that difficult at all. There are several signs that point to a bad rear differential unit. So, here are some of those signs.

  • Less oil efficiency than the usual
  • You will have to replace Ford f150’s tires more often
  • Loud and disturbing rear differential noises
  • Difficulty Steering
  • Oil leakages
  • Constant vibrations and it will increase if you accelerate
  • Out of balance driveshaft

Bad Differential Causes and Fixes

There are reasons for Ford f150 rear differential problems. In the following table, we will give you the causes and the fixes. We will discuss each item later in the article.

Reason for Differential Problems How to Fix
Dirty or rusted rear differential issues Grease the rear differential unit
Faulty rear differential unit Replace the unit
Leakey differential pinion Properly seal the pinion
Broken differential gaskets, gears, and bearings Replace


Rear Differential Leak Issues

There are several types of leakage for a rear differential unit. Here are those types.

Type of the Leakage How to Fix
Differential gasket Seal it properly
Differential pinion seal Seal it properly
Differential side seals Seal it properly


Ford F150 Rear Differential Problems – Everything You Need to Know

For each Ford f150 rear differential problems, you must follow a different type of solution. Some issues can be fixed easily.

On the other hand, some issues might give you a headache while trying to fix them. That does not mean it is impossible. So, let us check out how you can fix each of the above pointed out issues without much trouble.

01. Dirty or Rusted Rear Differential Issues

A dirty and rusted rear differential unit can be a big problem and it will make various kinds of noises too.

Besides, this is one of the most common Ford f150 rear differential problems that Ford users faces. However, there is a quick and easy fix for this.

How to Fix the Dirty or Rusted Rear Differential Issues?

The best solution is lubrication, and the rust will break away quickly. Besides, the lubricating rear differential unit is an extremely easy task and will not take that much time. To lubricate the rear differential unit, follow these steps.

Step 01: First, find good high-quality lubricant oil. Remember, you are using this lubricant on the rear differential unit and its surrounding. So, try to get a suitable oil for Ford F150.

Step 02: Apply the lubricant oil to the rear differential unit. Make sure to cover bearings, pistons, and gaskets.

Replace the Fluid

Apart from that, you can replace the fluid too. It will make your rear differential unit run more effectively and smoothly.

Note: While changing the fluid make sure to wear the appropriate safety gear.

02. Faulty Rear Differential Unit

A broken rear differential unit can be a huge trouble for you. So, you will have to replace the broken one with a new rear differential unit.

If you are planning to hire a professional, you will need some extra cash too. Most mechanics charge an insane amount of cash for simple rear differential unit replacement.

So, if you can do it yourself, it will be great. Besides, it is not that difficult at all. Therefore, follow these steps.

Step 01: First, you need to get a proper repair kit. Using a repair kit comes with many benefits such as a faster replacement process, effortless parts separation, and more. Also, a repair kit comes with seals and bearings.

Step 02: Use a lifting jack to raise your Ford f150. Now, remove the driveshaft that is located at the back of the f150.

Step 03: Then, go underneath the truck and remove the emergency brake cable. You will need pillars for this process. In there, you can find an ABC sensor cable and disconnect it too. Then remove the main brake line.

Step 04: Next, remove all the big bolts that are holding the rear differential. Before starting this step, double-check the status of the jack. You should jack it properly. Otherwise, the rear differential will fall out.

Step 05: Now, separate the training arms, shocks absorbers, torsion bars, and bolts. Then, lower the lifting jack.

Step 06: After that, position the new rear differential unit in the old differential’s place. Connect the training arms, shock absorbers, torsion bars, and bolts. Then connect the big bolts.

Step 07: Then attach the brake calipers and brake line. Remember to add the fluid after fixing the brake line. Now, connect the emergency brake cable and the ABC sensor. Finally, remove the lifting jack.

03. Leakage Issues

If you can spot oil traces on the rear differential unit or the ground, it is a clear indication of an oil leak.

Apart from that, you might hear a whining sound while shifting gears which is an indication of not having enough oil.

While dealing with the rear differential unit, you might encounter three different leakage issues. Here are some details about those three leakage issues.

Differential Gasket

These gaskets are used as rear differential housing and made from rubber or silicone. After some time, these gaskets might wear out, and that could occur leakage issues.

Differential Pinion Seal

The driveshaft is attached to the rear differential by a york. To protect this york, there is a seal that is made from rubber.

So, this seal might get damaged due to regular wear and tear. Over time, it could develop leaks.

Differential Side Seals

Differential side seals are the only thing that prevents the differential fluid from leaking. These differential side seals are made of rubber, and with time, they could get damaged. Eventually, it will lead to leakages.

How to Fix Differential Pinion Seal Leakage

Most Ford f150 user struggles because of the faulty pinion, and it is one of the most common Ford f150 rear differential problems.

So, we hope to bring you a step-by-step guide on how to fix a differential pinion seal leakage.

Step 01: First, you will have to locate the pinion correctly. Usually, it is located near the driveshaft underneath your Ford f150.

Step 02: After locating the pinion, inspect the cover of the pinion first. If you can spot breakouts or holes, those locations need proper sealing.

Step 03: Use a lifting jack to raise the Ford f150 and go under your truck.

Step 04: Then, find the piston and remove the driveshaft. Remember to remove the nuts of the driveshaft too. To remove the driveshaft, you will need a rubber mallet.

Step 05: Now, go to a location that has proper light and start applying the sealant agent to the driveshaft. Makes sure to use a high-quality sealant product and seal all the holes and damages. Finally, reattach the driveshaft.

Broken Differential Gaskets, Gears, and Bearings

Sometimes the problem might be the surrounding parts of the rear differential unit. For instance, if you own an old Ford f150 model, the gaskets, gears, and the bearings might be the issue.

Because of that, the rear differential unit might be malfunctioning. So, the best way to avoid this is to replace all these old parts such as the gaskets, gears, and the bearings.

First, go under your truck and inspect for any broken or damaged gaskets and bearings. If that is the case, replace those broken parts immediately. Sometimes, it might fix the Ford f150 rear differential problems.

Different Types of Parts of Ford F150 Rear Differential

If you ever had the chance to inspect a rear differential unit, you know that the surrounding of the rear differential unit has many parts. So, here are those parts.

  • Driveshaft
  • Drive Rear Axels
  • Bearings
  • Rear differential Gear and other parts
  • Rear Axle housing
  • Rear differential case half

While checking make sure to inspect all the above parts for any damages. If any parts need a replacement, do it soon as possible.

Ford F150 Rear Differential Replacement and Cost

After checking properly, if you need a rear differential unit replacement, you should know about the cost too. So, in this section, we are going to talk about the replacement cost.

If you are planning to rebuild the rear differential unit, it will cost you around $600. The cost entirely depends on the amount of the damage.

Sometimes, it might cost $200. However, if the damage is too high, you will have to replace the rear differential unit. For that, you will have to spend around $1450. Sometimes even more.

Ford F150 Front Differential Replacement and Cost


The cost of the Ford f150 front differential replacement is the same as the rear differential replacement cost. It will cost you around $1450.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the Role of the Rear Differential?

The rear differential assists the engine to send power to your truck’s rear wheels.

In other words, the rear differential is the reason for power changes while you are turning the truck. So, it is extremely vital for the engine.

Can I Drive My Ford F150 with Bad Differential?

Even though you can drive with a bad differential unit, it is not recommended by many experts. For instance, you might end up damaging the differential unit more.

Also, it could affect the performance of your Ford f150 and might cause accidents too. Because of the lack of power, you will not be able to change directions quickly.

So, it is a serious situation and if you notice any Ford f150 rear differential problems, fix them soon as possible.

What are the Signs of Failing Rear Differential?

If your truck’s rear differential has issues, the truck might show some obvious signs that indicate the rear differential problems.

Tire Damages

If you can detect strange damages on the tire’s outer tread or sidewalk, it could be a result of a rear differential problem.

Handling Issues

Most handling issues related to the rear differential will come up during cornering. Besides, this situation is highly dangerous and could lead to an accident.


When the joints of the rear differential are worn out, the other parts might start to vibrate. For instance, this worn-out issue affects the driveshaft, and the vibration will increase during acceleration.

Whining Sounds

Whining noise is one of the most heard about issues related to the rear differential.

This issue occurs due to a lack of lubrication. So, check the rear differential for any fluid leaks and execute a proper lubrication method.

Gears Grinding

Low rear differential fluids and worn-out gears can cause humming or grinding noise. If you detect these noises, check the rear differential soon as possible with the help of a professional.


We hope that, with this post, you were able to get a good idea about the Ford f150 rear differential problems.

Whether you are dealing with a faulty rear differential unit or fluid leakage, after going through our guide, you will be able to fix that.

But remember, if you detect any kind of issue, try to fix it soon as possible. You should never drive with a bad rear differential unit.

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