Differential plug gone

I purchased a 2004 Dakota 4x4 about a year ago. Put about 11,000 km on it since then. Currently has about 48,000 km.
Noticed today that the plug/stopper from my rear axle differential was
missing.
Don't know where it went or how long it's been missing. The truck is always road driven.
I cannot touch any fluid when I put my finger into it, but a piece of wire comes back with some oil on it. I haven't noticed any excessive noise, but then again, I haven't really been listening for it.
The truck still has power train warranty for a couple of years. I made a couple of anonymous calls to dealers today explaining the situation and asking if warranty would cover it if anything was wrong. Both service departments said I would have to talk to the manager. Both also said they have never heard of a plug falling out.
I'm freaking out and terrified that this may somehow void my warranty. I purposely bought this truck because it had warranty.
What the hell do I do now?
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Put oil in the diff, buy a plug, put it in. drive....

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michael wrote:

I don't think it's likely that it fell out without some help. Do you ever get your oil changed at one of those Jiffy-Lube type places or had any work done at a Midas shop? Some of them do a free "courtesy inspection" on all your fluids hoping to sell you more than what you originally came in for. They might have checked the fluid level and never re-installed the plug. For piece of mind I think I'd change the gear lube when replacing the plug.
--
Ken



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I would pull the cover and take a look see for any damage. If the metal shavings etc are minimal I would clean it out and replace the plug and fluid. If they are more than minimal and everything looks and sounds ok then I would do the same and change the fluid again in about a month.
beekeep
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Nobody got this right. I would check for a damaged or plugged vent for rear axle as it may have plugged up and over pressured when it warmed up and popped the plug out.
wrote:

----------------- TheSnoMan.com
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SnoMan wrote:

I think it would pop the vent hose off before it blew out a threaded solid steel pipe plug. I could be wrong but I just don't see it happening.
--
Ken



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over pressures and poped the plug out(your nuts snowman) how can a threaded plug pop out the only way it can come out is if the threads were gone or was not tight and it would unscrew and fall off not pop out under pressure also if it built up too much pressure it would blow the axle seals or pinion seal first not blow the plug.
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Come on, the answer came from Snoman, it MUST be right! Snoman, is this answer based off your vast technical abilities? The same abilities that you told Roy he lacked? The same abilities that led you to tell a poster to trade in a truck due to a bad $30 sensor?
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wrote:

God I hate to do this but in SnoIdiots defence it is a rubber plug that just pops in. "BUT" I do think he's full of shit about the vent plugged and the heat and the resulting pressure forced it out. That is stuff for Grimm's Fairy Tales. Somebody just forgot to put it back in when they checked the level.
To the original poster, get a quart or two of fluid, fill it up and put and new plug in it. Drive on and be happy. If there was any damage you would have heard the noise.
Denny
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I was not refering to the pop off valve Denny. BUT yes, if the only thing in question or debate here was the vent valve then yes, all said would be logically correct. However, from what has been indicated it sounds like the fill plug was what was/is missing. Sorry, but the amount of force (read pressure) that would need to be created to blow out a properly inserted (threaded) fill plug would have likely damaged the diff housing. SO, like you and others have indicated, the OP should buy some diff lube, making sure he gets the correct type, as he may or may not have an LSD, fill it to the proper level and put in a new fill plug. HOWEVER, at this point, the locigal thing to do would be to pop the diff cover off and inspect it as there is no indication how long it has been like this.
But all is forgiven Denny, since you and Snoball are such great friends. I won't hold this against you. <bg>
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wrote:

Neither was I. I'm fairly sure the fill hole just has a rubber plug stuck in it. But that's ok Larry, I know you and the snoidiot are like brothers..... <GBMFG>
Denny
BUT yes, if the only

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Last I checked, the fill plug was a threaded plug.
Thanks for causing me to chuck my lunch, f#$%ing wabbit! <BG>
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wrote:

Larry, don't forget that the friggin' rabbit and the Idiot are neighbors. IIrc the wide ride spent a few day's of his vacation sorta shacked up with the Idiot and "the machine". Ya gotta expect that after the serious bonding that took place, there is lot of admiration flowing between them.
<GBMFG>
Roy
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then they must have changed it between 2000 then back again to 2007. My son's old 2000 Dakota, current 98 Dakota, and my 2007 Dakota all have rubber plugs. I've never looked at the 2004 though.
wrote:

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azwiley1 wrote:

Last you checked on what, a 2004 Dakota? Your Chevy? You never know what you're talking about.
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I never know what I am talking about huh? And you know what I do all day every day to make that statement? I know that you suck on Snoballs dick every day. :)
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wrote:

And how exactly do you know that?!?!?!?!?! :-0
--
If at first you don't succeed, you're not cut out for skydiving



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wrote:

My '97 Dakota has a rubber plug that just pushes into the hole on the differential cover.
Ken
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Every 9.25" rear differential I've seen has had a rubber plug in the diff cover.
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Don't know if it's a 9.25, but my '03 Dak has a rubber plug.

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