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Hello. Welcome to Just Answer. Please allow me to assist you. Please clarify for me if the guy replaced anything, I am not really clear on your request and I do not want to be incorrect. Thanks
If the bolts are not damaged, he did not change the differential. Most likely, he changed the entire front end (if he really did what he claims). It is very difficult to just change the carrier, and most mechanics will search out a unit that is correct for the vehicle and replace the whole thing. If this is so, the differential cover bolts will not be disturbed. I would check the other bolts that holds the entire axle housing in place.
There is supposed to be a silver aluminum the on the axle housing. It has the part number and serial number on it, but usually the tag rusts off over time. Without knowing the original numbers, the tag is no help. If he did not have both wheels off he did not change anything at all, other than the wheel bearing.
There are arms that holds the axle assembly to the frame. That is where the bolts are. He SHOULD have checked the teeth and changed the oil. In fact, if the differential gears are incorrect (if they do not match the rear differential gears, the transfer case will break in half when you put it in 4WD.
The tag is under one of the differential cover bolts. There is no way to know the original number without the build sheet from the factory. Axle numbers are not part of the vehicle history, as it is a manufacturing item.
There should be clear evidence on all of the bolts (there are at least 10 or 12) that holds the axle assembly to the frame and the front suspension.
However, it the axle leaked all of the oil out and ruined the gears, you would have oil residue under the vehicle (on the bottom of the floor pan)
All you have to do is get a strong light and examine the heads of the bolts and the nuts. Bolts and nuts that have just been removed will not be dirty. They will have a shiny appearance on the part where the socket fits. It is easy to tell if a bolt has not been touched. The rust will be disturbed; there would be readily identifiable appearances. Take a picture of some of the big bolts and upload them here if you are not sure. I can tell you./
http://www.cherokeeforum.com/f2/front-suspension-basics-101-a-157714/ Look at the metal arms outline in orange
At least 10. If he gives you grief, get a lawyer.
Without a lawyer, you really are in a bind. Sorry but that is the only way to do it....Perhaps he can lift it up and show you the bolts. If he is honest he will do so in a heartbeat.
It is easier and less expensive to change the entire thing. It costs a lot more to set up a differential. And most people cannot do it.
No, not really. The old unit is scrap iron which the junk yard sells to metal recycling places. It is common to trade in the parts. Plus he gets a discount.
The junkyard may or may not confirm they sold him the part. Depends on the laws where you are. SOme states require invoices, some do not.