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I was under my 03 Tundra (4x4 V6 Auto,110K miles ) and greasing the drive shaft. I have been having a low vibration noise that comes and goes. Thought that was it. While underneath, I went to pull my creaper along by grabbing the rear differential and noticed that it was very warm. I had just got home from a 15 mile 60 mph drive before I put her up on the ramps. I unscrewed the filler plug and there was oil in there to a level just below the filler plug like it is supposed to be. I changed it about 6 months ago. I am wondering why the heck is the rear differential so warm. I am worried. A friend of mine had to replace his on his truck this past winter, like $2,600, youch. It was a Dodge ( Cheap) and he could only get a new one from the factory. Mine is a Toyota and should last for over 300K with proper maintainence. I don't get it. Other than pulling a 21 foot boat a dozen or so times in all these years, the truck never sweated a day in it's life. I noticed this morning that there was no low vibration noise, but that was only a 15 mile trip. I'm not happy yet, a few more trips with the noise gone will give me a smile. Still worried about the warm pumpkin ball though.Any ideas? Thank you.
Rich
 

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I'm no expert, but I never once assumed that it shouldn't be warm... the differential is working hard and it is metal-on-metal working there... I doubt that should be an issue. If you had some kind of clanking sound or slipping when in gear, there would be more cause to worry, but I think you're good.
 

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Just a Herbicidal maniac.
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Last summer I took an infrared heat gun to the rear diff after pulling our 26', 4,600 lb travel trailer down the freeway for 30 miles and mine was reading 185 degrees. I'm not running synthetic as the earlier 1st gens axle seals weren't designed to handle synthetics. So like the others have said, not to worry. :tu:

On the other hand, I saw a lifted Ford, big tires, etc at a used car lot and the paint was peeling of the rear diff! :eek: I bet he didn't regear and it was causing a huge amount of heat back there. I'm running 4.88's with 35's so I'm geared a little lower than stock, all things considered.
 

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You are fine, it's perfectly normal. Your diff was pushing over 4k lbs at 65mph, I won't do the math to find out how fast it was turning, but you have nothing to worry about. If you don't abuse the diff, don't worry.
 
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