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Front Differential Problems- Have you seen this before?

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Today I began dissembling the front axle to replace the axle seals. Upon removal of the half shaft I noticed something peculiar. Now, on top of the front axle seals leaking, my truck will not engage into 4WD. The pushbutton lights on the dashboard indicate that the truck is in 4WD, but the front differential does not engage. I believe I have found the problem...




This is how the washer was when i pulled the shaft out of the differential.



Does anyone have an idea how this could happened? Is it preventable in the future? 


Also, the needle bearing inside the splined shaft that comes out of the Diff are shot. Can I replace the bearing or do I need a new shaft.


Any insight would be appreciated. 


more pics too follow.....



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