Differential noise after warming up?
Took a ride today in my Nova and after about 30 miles through back roads and small towns, the rear differential was making a grinding noise when starting out, maybe the first 10-15 feet, then quieting. I pulled off the road and checked the brakes and differential for heat. The right brake plate seemed a little hot, could keep my fingers on it for about 5-6 seconds, left was a little cooler. The axles were slightly warm to the touch, but the differential was very warm. Couldn't keep my fingers on for more than a couple seconds. Having never touched these parts before, I don't know if this is excessive heat or not?
When I got home and the car cooled, I pulled the right rear wheel and checked the brake pad adjustment, and they were off as I just installed new pads a few weeks ago. I checked the fluid level in the differential and oil dripped slowly when I removed the plug, so I would assume the fluid level is fine. What else should I look for, or what other checks can I make?
As usual, all assistance is greatly appreciated.
Thought this may help, the rear gears are 4.11's and my average speed was in the 50-55mph range, making 2,500 - 2,700 rpm's.