So get this gents... I see this estimate, and then ask the service rep if I could talk to the mechanic to see how bad the diff was leaking to tell if they topped it off (he said they did not as the fill plug was inaccessible, HA), and to ask questions about what it means when a release bearing goes bad on a clutch. The other dealer specific sheet that had my airbag recall info on it says "can hear release bearing making noise when vehicle is cold, see attached sheet."
I basically just wanted to know if I can buy myself a little time with these issues, or if I need to do something ASAP.
Service rep goes and gets the head mechanic, says "this is THE GUY you want to talk to." I speak to him a minute, he immediately goes in the back to get a flashlight and is laying on the ground under my car while it's in the service bay ready for me to take home. Says, Yup diff leaking from pinion seal, between a weep and a gush, but def not a gush and has fluid, and explained that if it goes bad and has a catastrophic failure, it happens while driving, so just make sure it has good fluid and do it as soon as you can. Told him I had an entire diff fluid change kit at home with both plugs and was going to top off today. OK, fine.
Then I make him listen to the "springy" noise my clutch makes when depressing and releasing, in neutral, or in gear, happens all the time. He listens, gets in the car, shifts into first and goes forward, putting some pressure on e-brake then goes backwards and immediately says "that's not the release bearing, that would make a high pitched sound that gets better as soon as you depress the clutch and it is always there." He tells me he's almost certain that it's the fingers or the springs on the clutch plate that have rusted a little and are now somewhat creaky because the car has obviously spent a lot of time sitting with PO, but basically nothing to worry about as clutch operation is fine. Maybe it gets better over time, who knows. I only hear that noise when it's super quiet and the car is off, as soon as it's on, I never hear it, so nice, $4700 off that bill, HA! (P.S. that was "worst case scenario" clutch job, with clutch kit, flywheel, and labor).
So as of right now, I have the rebuilt driveshaft with center bearing installed on it's way to me (thanks to the guy from the recent thread who installed this without dropping the exhaust for that business hookup!). That will be here Tuesday. I will attempt to replace the diff pinion seal while the driveshaft is out of the car, and am now gathering as many lifetime FCP parts as I can for this job.
Two questions: Is #6 here the front differential bushing?
Second question, does anyone have any idea why there is a comment on #11 here (securing plate - seems like this is the flange nut you need to mark and remove and reinstall in exactly the same spot) that says "Important! Drive flange and nut must Not be replaced!" ?? Should I NOT replace this flange nut? It's covered in grease so I'd assume it's fine to re-use.. just trying to figure out all the parts I should replace while I do this. Currently from this pic I have: #12 and 14 (what is #13?)