What are these rubber pieces on my 2007 tahoe rear diff fill plug?

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dpx2

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I have a road hum when I drive my 2007 Tahoe (rear end is a G80) so I thought I'd check the read diff fluid. When I pulled the fill plug, I found about five 1/2" rubber pieces that are about as thick as pencil lead, stuck with some grease/sludge on the fill plug. They are definitely flexible. Any idea what these could be from? I know the truck had a pinion seal replaced at 78k miles, long before I bought it. It now has 173k on it. I didn't drop the cover yet, but plan to.
Any idea what these pieces might have come off of?
 

Blackcar

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If they used RTV on diff cover what squeezed to the inside may of broke loose.
 
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dpx2

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I didn't see an o-ring on the fill plug, so maybe that's it. The pieces don't look like they were ever round tho, straight as an arrow.
 

Geotrash

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My money is on RTV. When it gets laid down in an even bead with a caulking gun like a shop uses and squeezed out between parts, it’s often in a perfect toothpick-like shape.
 
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dpx2

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I guess when I pull the cover I'll know if there's a gasket or rtv was used. I'm hoping gasket so I can re-use it. Otherwise I'll have to clean it up really good and use RTV to put it back on, which I've never done. And, it'll be in a cold garage - which I read you should only use RTV in temps 65 degrees or higher. That might be April before I can use it..lol..it's going to be only 25 degrees for a high for awhile here in Nebraska...
 

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