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Ok this is the second time in a month this has happened. The bolts that hold the ring gear to the rear diff keep backing themselves out! When it happend the first time a bolt shot through the diff cover. I pulled it apart and cleaned everything with brake cleaner. After it dried I put it back together with red locktite on all the ring gear bolts and a new cover. Now about a month later my rear end locked up. I got it unlocked but was still making noises. I pull it apart again, to find the same problem! A bolt had backed itself out and was lodged between the diff and the rear housing. And all the other bolts were loose, as in I took them out with my fingers with no effort. Why the hell do these bolts keep loosening up? Should I put JB weld on the threads this time since the loctite isnt working? Please give me some help if you had this or a similair problem, thanks.
 

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There has to be something else wrong with that diff. Those bolts shouldn't be backing out, ever. Either there is a bad bearing or a worn part/missing shim. Thoses noises are telling you that there's a real problem. You should really get the diff out and tear it down and check all gear lash and spaces. Otherwise, if it's too much trouble to repair, look for another pumpkin on dsmtrader. I once had a 3-bolt rear that had gone through a few axles during launches, soon it began acting up real badly. I swapped it with a 4-bolt and life was good. Since this diff is a 4-bolt, replacing it won't be an upgrade for you, but it would solve your problem right away.
 

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I wonder if maybe the bolts got over tightened at the factory and lost their stretch. The torque spec. is 58 to 65 ft lbs. in a star pattern. I'd suggest trying some new bolts and putting them in oiled.
 

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I know that this is WAY WAY old and dead, but the same thing just happened to my rear in a 95 Tsi awd. I think that it may have something to do with our welded center diff. Did you ever find a way to fix the problem? I just ordered new bolts from the factory. Surely I hope this doesn't happen again. We had to drop the whole rear subframe also, and we need to get new rear mount bushings that cannot be found anywhere.
 
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