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My 2004 Titan 2WD SE Rear Differential went out about a week ago. It is currently at a mechanics shop and I am waiting on the mechanic to decide what to do. I have been reading about the differential problems on our early titans and it looks like I have a few options so I need your help deciding.

Option 1: Get a used 2004 rear end from a junkyard with a 6 month warranty for $750. Can I replace the rear end myself since it is a direct replacement? Can I install a TruTrac later? My gear ratio is 2.9
Option 2: Get a used 2008 or newer rear end with better design from a junk yard. Can I replace the rear end myself? Will I need to make modifications?
Option 3: Order a Dana 60 modified rear end from Arizona Differentials. Can I replace the rear end myself?

I do not have the option of rebuilding the gears or installing a TruTrac in the current housing because something blew up inside and blew a hole through the case. Any advice or information would be much appreciated. Thank you.
 

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Option 2: A 2008 2wd rear axle would reportedly bolt up w/o any problem and you could have a TruTrac installed later. 2wd and 4wd apparently have different pinion angles and spring perches.



"Can I replace the rear end myself?"

Depends on your skills and available tools. Sections RFD and RAX of the service manual cover the topic.


Would logistics costs of towing the disabled truck home and getting the junk yard rear axle delivered obviate any DIY savings?
 

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If you plan to keep the truck I would go for the 08 or after market if you plan to get some real use out of it.

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