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2001 Tribute - TSB: Rear differential leak

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Bulletin No.: 003/00R
Issued: 10/04/00
Revised: 10/18/00


Applicable Model/s:
2001 Tribute


^ This bulletin supersedes 03-003/00, issued 10/04/00. The REPAIR PROCEDURE has been revised.

All 2001 Tributes with All-Wheel Drive, produced from May 22 through August 10, 2000.

Some vehicles may exhibit a leak at the joint between the rear differential and the rotary blade coupling (RBC) housing. This may be caused by an incorrect bolt tightening sequence during the installation process of the mass damper, which is attached to the rotary blade coupling housing.

All affected vehicles should be inspected.

1. Raise and support the vehicle.

2. Wipe clean the seam between the rotary blade coupling and the differential housing. Check for fluid seepage at the seam.
^ If no signs of fluid are found at the seam, no repair is required.
^ If signs of fluid are found at the seam, proceed to STEP 3.

3. Position a safety stand under the propeller shaft center bearing support.

4. Remove and discard propeller shaft center bearing support nuts. Lower the center bearing support from the studs, approximately 50 mm (2 inches).

5. Mark the propeller shaft and differential yoke. This will aid in maintaining correct driveline alignment during reassembly.

6. Remove the bolts and straps securing the propeller shaft to the differential. Discard the bolts.

7. Separate the propeller shaft from the differential. Support the end of the propeller shaft with a length of mechanics wire.

8. Disconnect the electrical connector from the rotary blade coupling.

9. Remove the mass damper.

10. Position a drain pan under the differential assembly.

11. Remove the six bolts then remove the rotary blade coupling.
^ Make sure the mating surfaces of the rotary blade coupling and the differential housing are clean and free of oil before applying silicone sealant. Do not use abrasive cleaning pads. The inside of the differential housing must be covered when cleaning to prevent debris from entering the differential.

12. Clean the gasket mating surfaces of the rotary blade coupling and the differential housing with metal surface cleaner (Permatex Pro Strength Brake & Parts Cleaner P/N 82606 [U.S.) or 29214 [Canada] or equivalent).
The rotary blade coupling must be installed within five (5) minutes of applying the silicone, or new silicone must be applied. If possible, allow one (1) hour before refilling with lubricant to allow proper curing/drying of the silicone.

13. Apply a continuous bead of silicone sealant (Permatex The Right Stuff P/N 25223 [U.S.] or 25892 [Canada] or equivalent) to the mating surface of the rotary blade coupling. Make sure the bead covers 360 degrees around each bolt hole. Make sure the rubber wiring grommet does not touch or damage the new silicone bead.
The rubber wiring grommet must be guided into the slot on the differential housing during installation of the rotary blade coupling.

14. Install the rotary blade coupling.
Tightening torque
Tighten bolts to 32 Nm (24 ft-lb).
^ The proper torque sequence must be followed when installing the mass damper. Improper sequence will create a leak at the seam between the differential housing and the rotary blade coupling.
^ The initial torque for the damper rear bolt should NOT exceed 4 Nm (35 in-lb).

15. Install the mass damper and finger tighten the bolts. Torque the damper as follows:
^ Step 1: Torque rear damper bolt to 4 Nm (35 in-lb) MAXIMUM.
^ Step 2: Torque front bottom damper bolt to 48 Nm (35 ft-lb).
^ Step 3: Torque front top damper bolt to 48 Nm (35 ft-lb).
^ Step 4: Torque rear bottom damper bolt to 48 Nm (35 ft-lb).

16. Connect the electrical connector to the rotary blade coupling.

17. Align the marks on the propeller shaft and the differential yoke to maintain driveline alignment. Install the straps and new bolts to secure the propeller shaft to the differential yoke.
Tightening torque
23 Nm (17 ft-lb)
^ Install new propeller shaft bolts or damage to the vehicle will occur.
^ Propeller shaft must be bolted to the differential before center bearing support nuts are installed.

18. Raise the center bearing support onto the studs.

19. Install new nuts to the center bearing support.
Tightening torque
48 Nm (35 ft-lb)

20. Remove the safety stand.

21. Remove the fill plug from the differential cover.

22. Fill differential with approximately 2 pints of rear axle lubricant (P/N 0000-77-80W9-CA). Fluid level should be between 6 mm (1/4 inch) and 14 mm (9/16 inch) from bottom of filler plug opening.
Tightening torque
27 Nm (20 ft-lb)

23. Lower the vehicle.

24. Verify repair

Part Number
Retainer bolt​
Rear axle lubricant​
2 pints​
Case of 12 quarts​
Retaining Nut​
^ Permatex Pro Strength Brake & Parts Cleaner (P/N 82606 [U.S.] or 29214 [Canada]) and Permatex The Right Stuff (P/N 25223 [U.S.] or 25892 [Canada]) can be sourced through your local Permatex dealer.

To locate your local dealer, contact Permatex at:
U.S. Dealers - (877) 376-2839
Canada Dealers - (800) 924-6994

Warranty Type
Symptom Code
Damage Code
Part Number Main Cause
Operation Number / Labor Hours:
YY238XRX / 0.2 Inspect only
YY129XRX / 1.0 Inspect and repair​
^ This information applies to all affected vehicles covered under normal warranty. Refer to the SRT microfiche for warranty term information.
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Based on this it seems like the RBC just ubolts and slides off and can be bolted back on?
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