Interim diagnosis: Differential bearings?

With another massive storm bearing down on us here in DC, I decided it might be a good idea to have my mechanic have a listen to my truck and tell me if it's safe to use 4WD over the weekend.
So Kenny takes it for a spin. I do think he's trustworthy, but also like to get verification when I have no knowledge of what a person's talking about :)
He told me that when u-joints go out they tend to squeak? Or something similar. That kinda got lost in what he said next - he thinks it's the bearings in my differential? Or, possible, the transfer case since that has bearings as well... he said he can't know for sure until he opens things up, but that he'd expect to find "shards of bearings all over".
A bit of googling says that noise on deceleration can be the pinion-bearing preload has loosened (which means nothing to me); or a failed pinion bearing - Kenny didn't mention this but he may have been trying to keep this in layman's terms.
He highly recommended that I not use 4WD this weekend. Said it'd be a multi-day repair and might cost me $1500 depending on what's wrong.
So... what do you think? Does this sound plausible?
So I'm really bummed. I LOVE going out when the weather's so bad it scares everybody witless (and believe me, most here are in a frothy panic at the moment). Big storm, snowy roads, everyone staying home and... damn, so am I. Grounded!
Hopefully I can get the thing in on Monday. This area simply doesn't have the number of snow plows needed to clear the roads quickly after a really big storm, so we might be housebound for some days. Especially since there's another storm predicted for Tuesday.
I might even make some ccc's this weekend just to make me feel better, and to stave off cabin fever.
Anyone else here battenin' down for the big storm? I'm figuring since everyone's well prepared for this one, it'll be a Big Fizzle. Innit that how things usually work?
jmc
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On Thu, 04 Feb 2010 18:16:41 -0500, jmc

Yes, mine squeeked when they failed... So I'll agree with him there.

But, it's possible that it still could be U joints. (IMHO!)

Again I'd agree with that, it makes sense. But... I've put many a thousand miles on a diff that had 'failed' and/or had bad gears/bearings. Always made sure the oil level was up where it belonged, and turned up the radio. What finally killed the vehicle was not the diff, but something else (massive rust on the frame, actually).

To get out of a stuck situation I think you would be OK. Not for general driving, however.

Plausible, perhaps, but not 100%. There's no such thing as 100%. Even cookies...

I think it will miss us in NH! Thank goodness, I'm sick of snow (and cold...) and salt on the roads, and frost heaves, and...
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Suddenly, without warning, jmc exclaimed (2/4/2010 6:16 PM):

<snip>
Although there's quite a lot snow - we got 29" - they're doing a superb job of clearing the roads and getting to my mechanic was no problem. Was a problem for him, coming from quite a bit further, and he has hardly any staff today. So prolly tomorrow before the truck gets looked at.
So, we'll see. Meanwhile, since he doesn't do loaners, I walked across the street to the rental car company, who gave me a nice discount, enough that I could rent a PT Cruiser. Figured a slightly bigger car was in order, with more weather movin' in.
Yup, another storm, tomorrow, when we've hardly dug out of this one. One forecast suggests we might get another foot of snow.
I'm officially tired of snow for this hear. Please stop now. ::whimper::
I'd be a lot happier about the snow if Truck was working properly. Everyone cross your fingers that it's an easy, one-day repair!
jmc
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I told you that your being punished for not making Denny and I any cookies.<G>
We have a "in" to the snow fairy. You may get more snow next week if the cookies are not forthcoming.<vbg>
Roy
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I'm not too surprised to hear you and Denny have an in with some sno-fairy. Just a bit surprised you would admit it in public.
FMB (North Mexico)
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Why? I believe in the tooth fairy and Santa too.<g>
Roy

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We don't want to hear any comments concerning snow from those who have wimped our and become Floridians!
beekeep
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wrote:

Listen to you guy's! You get one snow storm in 50 years with a foot or more of snow and you and Jodi are crying. Before I went to FL we got that storm about every other year.Time for Jodi to make the cookies and you to keep shoveling. <bfg>
Roy
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Suddenly, without warning, Roy exclaimed (2/9/2010 6:42 AM):

One storm? We had some inches before - no big deal to this ex New Yorker - we got 29" on Saturday, are expecting 10-14" today/tomorrow, and there's another storm rumored for next week.
I like snow in places that are equipped to deal with it. Here, they're not. They haven't/will not plow our side street - it's already snow packed to a couple inches of ice. Should be fun with more snow on it.
The PT Cruiser is doing better than I expected on the iffy roads.
Just got a call from the mechanic - they've narrowed it down to the gears in the differential (I thought we knew that already but ah well) and he says they have to "take the front end of the truck apart" to find out what's wrong. And order parts. And, of course, all his mechanics live in the mountains (what, is that an interview question? "Do you live nearby? No? Sorry - NEXT!"). Might not see The Truck for a week or more. Might have to trade the Cruiser in for something cheaper once the weather clears - if it ever does.
jmc
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wrote:

Might be cheaper looking for a low mileage used one.
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Suddenly, without warning, Roy exclaimed (2/11/2010 5:27 PM):

You're probably right, but I really like my truck. Did you see my posting on the older thread?
"Well, yup, it is something major. Transfer case needs to be completely rebuilt, driveshaft also needs to be replaced, and some peripheral bits will need to be replaced 'cause they're so rusted they'll break when removed (Thanks, England).
He said the differential is fine - the transfer case was, well, transferring the noise to the diff.
::sigh:: Probably around $2400 all told.
Chris says he's sort of surprised the truck was driving as well as it was. Expensive fix, almost what the truck is worth probably, but still a lot cheaper than buying a new one..."
When I go pick the truck up, I'm going to talk to them about the rust/corrosion in the underbody, and whether it affects the frame in any severe way (on the phone: "not yet"). If it's not going to last many more years, I'll need to start looking to replace it before something even more expensive happens...
jmc
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wrote:

I meant a low mileage transfer case out of a boneyard as opposed to the labor of pulling yours and rebuilding it.
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Suddenly, without warning, Roy exclaimed (2/11/2010 7:42 PM):

ah. Yeah, it's a good idea but I think it's already been sent out to be rebuilt... and I'd not know the difference between a good one and bad one anyway.
jmc
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Drove all over looking for diesel fuel today and found none. Tractor has a 1/4 tank left not that there is any place left to push the snow. I'm just planning on hibrinating for a while.
beekeep
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On Tue, 09 Feb 2010 22:28:51 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@radix.net (beekeep) wrote:

Huh, you must be in an impoverished area! <g> Every station around me carries diesel, it is a staple fuel... (Ever seen a diesel stapler?)
Of course for a tractor, maybe #2 heating oil? That's what I'd use, if "push came to shove".
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