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Old 11-10-2013, 10:21 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Typical Cost for Differential Rebuild?

I recently took the 9" differential from my 1970 Mach 1 to a local shop for a rebuild. (It has over 250,000 miles on it with the original gear oil.) It's an independent transmission shop where I've had work done before. Their work is top notch and they have a knowledgeable guy who specializes in differentials.

I talked to the differential guy when I dropped off my 9". I told him in addition to the rebuild, I wanted him to install a Detroit Truetrac and 3.73 gears. (My diff is single track with a 3.0 gear.) He was really cool and said he could take care of that, no problem. He even offered to paint it for me so it would look like a brand new, factory differential.

When the shop called and gave me the price, I was little surprised. They want just over $2000. That does include absolutely everything, to include tax and a 12 month, 12,000 mile warranty. But I still thought that might be a little high considering I found completely rebuilt differentials online for not much more. Here's an example:

Just Rear Ends - Product Display

Now, I understand the Truetrac unit is about $500. And I know I must also pay for the new gears, bearings and whatever else goes into the rebuild. But does $2,000 seem reasonable? I've never worked on a differential. That's why I took mine to a shop. So, I really don't know how much work is involved.

I would appreciate thoughts and experiences here so I can understand and figure out if I'm being overcharged. Or, shoot, they might be giving me a great deal. I honestly don't know. That online differential could be junk and I expect shipping would not be cheap. I don't mind paying a little more to a local shop I know and trust and who can do warranty work, if necessary.
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Old 11-10-2013, 10:27 AM   #2 (permalink)
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If I had the removed diff in front of me . . . I can do it for $200 plus you supply all materials. If I am doing the entire kit and kaboodle , ordering parts, picking them up etc etc and you want a warranty, then it will be more. But I can disassemble, clean and reassemble with all clearances set in 3 hours .
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Old 11-10-2013, 10:29 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Try calling Bill at Western Drivetrain in Aurora 303-364-8098. He is a rearend expert and has been in business for over 25 years and is also a mustang guy.

I have had Bill setup 2 rearends for me an 8" and a 9" and both are still going strong years later. I don't know if he can beat the price you were quoted but a phone call will get you an answer and he is relatively local to you.

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Old 11-10-2013, 10:30 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I had one rebuilt near Houston about 6 months ago. It was about $650 or $700. I had new gears and bearing put in, but I already had a trac lok. I would say $1000-$1300 would have been my price if I had to add the traction unit.

I would go to a 4x4 shop and ask who does their differentials. I did this and found a guy that did great work for a reasonable price.
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Old 11-10-2013, 10:36 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Thanks for the replies. I'm already committed to the local shop doing the work. It should be done sometime this week. I wanted to get an idea about typical rebuild prices. If they are charging me a lot more than they should, I'll try to negotiate the price down. If they refuse, I simply won't go back to this shop again for anything.
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Old 11-10-2013, 10:37 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I had my '70 Mach 9" rebuilt at a local race/machine shop - same work as you - I provided a rebuilt Trac-Lok that I wanted installed, they provided all other new bearings and labor - total cost $424.00
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Old 11-10-2013, 01:05 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Ken at BAD SHOE PRODUCTIONS has many great DVD's one is rebuilding the 9", I'll be doing my own when ready.

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Old 11-10-2013, 01:09 PM   #8 (permalink)
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The prices of the parts are going to be roughly:
- TrueTrac - $600
- Gears - $200
- Install kit - $100

or about $900. $1,100 for labour is a hosing on a huge scale.
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Old 11-10-2013, 01:31 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pprince View Post
The prices of the parts are going to be roughly:
- TrueTrac - $600
- Gears - $200
- Install kit - $100

or about $900. $1,100 for labour is a hosing on a huge scale.
Yeah. That's what I was thinking.
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Old 11-11-2013, 10:39 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pprince View Post
The prices of the parts are going to be roughly:
- TrueTrac - $600
- Gears - $200
- Install kit - $100

or about $900. $1,100 for labour is a hosing on a huge scale.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Israel View Post
Ken at BAD SHOE PRODUCTIONS has many great DVD's one is rebuilding the 9", I'll be doing my own when ready.

Bad Shoe Productions How To Video Series - Ford Transmissions & Rears

Buy the DVD and you and Mrs. Klutch can make it a weekend date,....
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Old 11-11-2013, 11:16 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Israel View Post
Buy the DVD and you and Mrs. Klutch can make it a weekend date,....
Mrs. Klutch would rather watch NCIS.

You know, I'm doing almost everything myself on this project. I removed all the rusted sheet metal and welded in new panels myself. I had my engine block, crank and heads done at a machine shop. But I assembled it myself. I thought the one thing I could have a shop do was the differential. But, apparently, that's yet another thing I should have done myself!
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Old 11-11-2013, 12:36 PM   #12 (permalink)
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when I had my first diff apart I was going to have a shop do it, they quoted me anywhere from 3 to 500 bucks for labor depending on what all had to be done (it was a dana 44 so not quite as simple as a 9 inch). This was with me supplying all the parts and everything already apart (shafts pulled, axle drained, and cover off) and I thought THAT was high. If you weren't already committed to the shop doing it I would say get on youtube and google, learn how to do it, double check it, then take it to them to have them double check your backlash and pinion depth just to be sure. Once you learn how and get good at it. you can even make a little side money with the skill. Its really not black majic like some people think.
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Old 11-11-2013, 01:36 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pprince View Post
The prices of the parts are going to be roughly:
- TrueTrac - $600
- Gears - $200
- Install kit - $100

or about $900. $1,100 for labour is a hosing on a huge scale.
Yeah but don't forget that shops like to add a markup on parts - sometimes a RIDICULOUS markup...
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Old 11-11-2013, 03:08 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I rebuilt my differential myself for around $1000, which included a new limited slip, new gears, and all new bearings. That number could vary by a couple hundred dollars depending on the brand of the parts or type of differential. I would say that the $2000 figure is about $1000 of parts and $1000 of labor/warranty.
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Old 11-11-2013, 07:13 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Did the quote price include new axles? Seems like that would be the only way it could get that high from a shop.
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