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Kia Sportage Diff swap question #1009921 10/02/10 10:21 AM
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 4
M
mazmutt Offline OP
Need a Spot
Ive got a 2001 Kia Sportage and my rear differential is making a slight whining noise so Im figuring on a replacement or repair soon. I did a little research, the carrier for the front and rear diffs are the exact same part number, the only difference is the front has a 7" ring gear vs the 7.5" ring gear of the rear. The Mazda Rx7 guys like to use the front diff out of the kia for a tighter gear ratio, its a bolt in deal on some eighties and nineties mazda rx7s and miatas, and the ring and pinion is a hot swap into the honda S2000. While I would love the benefits of a limited slip diff, Im just curious if anyone on this forum has swapped a front diff into a rear axle on their sportage. If this swap would work, it seems like an rx7 or miata limited slip would work too and open up a whole lot more options for upgrading the axles in these trucks. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif" alt="" />

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Re: Kia Sportage Diff swap question [Re: mazmutt] #1009922 10/02/10 11:44 AM
Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 2,243
DamKia Offline
Kia Moderator
MANY posts on this subject in this section.

The carriers are different sizes.

The Mazda Miata 7" diff has been fitted to the Sportage front but will not fit the rear (ring gear PCD different and locating seat not big enough). Earlier Miata's had a 6" diff.

7 1/2" rear diff is same as some early RX7's, an LSD for the Kia is already available on some ex-factory. There are some gear type LSD that may also fit the Kia from various Mazda racing parts suppliers.

Most significantly though the spline count of the front is 26 and rear is 28 on most Spotages built after 1997, so there is no chance of any interchangeability front to back.


2002 Sporty , Ironman 2.5" spring, 2" body, 15 x 7 ROH wheels, K&N, 15 x 10.5 Simex Centipedes, Powerchip 91.

"Never argue with an idiot. They will bring you down to their level then beat you with experience!"
Re: Kia Sportage Diff swap question [Re: DamKia] #1009923 10/02/10 05:23 PM
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 4
M
mazmutt Offline OP
Need a Spot
the cheapest aftermarket LSD Ive come across is in the $250 range, a tad pricey but not entirely out of the question. Is there a good bolt in junkyard replacement thats known to work? The few rx7s at the junkyard Ive come across seem to have a much longer carrier housing than the kia, The miata is very close in total length but has the small ring and pinion like the front diff and the mazda b2200 looks like the closest fit so far, but due to the age and reliability of those trucks Ive not seen one at the wreckers with less than @140k miles.

Re: Kia Sportage Diff swap question [Re: mazmutt] #1009924 10/03/10 01:32 AM
Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 2,243
DamKia Offline
Kia Moderator
Quote
the cheapest aftermarket LSD Ive come across is in the $250 range, a tad pricey but not entirely out of the question. Is there a good bolt in junkyard replacement thats known to work? The few rx7s at the junkyard Ive come across seem to have a much longer carrier housing than the kia, The miata is very close in total length but has the small ring and pinion like the front diff and the mazda b2200 looks like the closest fit so far, but due to the age and reliability of those trucks Ive not seen one at the wreckers with less than @140k miles.


Re-read my post above...all is explained.

By "carrier" I was referring to the tophat/diff center.
Note that there are differences in what people refer to items as, so it helps to be absolutely specific (what bolts to it, and what it bolts into) about parts. I am at fault here too.

The R&P and third member ("banjo") are separate issues.


2002 Sporty , Ironman 2.5" spring, 2" body, 15 x 7 ROH wheels, K&N, 15 x 10.5 Simex Centipedes, Powerchip 91.

"Never argue with an idiot. They will bring you down to their level then beat you with experience!"
Re: Kia Sportage Diff swap question [Re: DamKia] #1009925 10/03/10 02:10 AM
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 4
M
mazmutt Offline OP
Need a Spot
I see. My idea is to replace the whole rear chunk, carrier, differential/tophat and ring and pinion as a unit from a sportage front axle or a miata/rx7 rear axle. I have never replaced actual differential bearings and I am a little wary of setting up ring and pinion clearance on my own, but id feel okay removing and replacing the unit as a whole, Ive done that before. I know there is a downside to using a smaller ring and pinion as well as the risk of using used parts, but all the sportage rear axles Ive checked at the junkyard have the same issues as mine and seem to have lots of wear and play in the spider gears. I dont think I drive like a loon but the torquey little 4 banger in our trucks makes it easy to spin tires on turns and no doubt adds extra stress to the differential.

Re: Kia Sportage Diff swap question [Re: mazmutt] #1009926 10/03/10 02:16 AM
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 4
M
mazmutt Offline OP
Need a Spot
as far as spline count goes, didnt the early pre 97 sportages come with 26 spline rear axle shafts? The axle housing for all years seems to be the same part number, but the wheel bearings and axle shafts are different part numbers.

Re: Kia Sportage Diff swap question [Re: mazmutt] #1009927 10/03/10 05:47 PM
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 66
M
minydigger Offline
Getting the Wheeling Fever
Has anyone ever looked into swapping geo tracker axles in I know the rear end has 5.13's and is the same lug pattern.


94 Zj custom suspension and other stuff
01 F250 tow hoe 5" exhaust
00'sporty 3" lift 235's

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