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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
1990 W 250 4x4. 5spd. 140k original miles.
I have quite a bit of free play in the rear axle. 3.51 ratio. Open. (not limited slip.) Pulled cover and inspected. Noticed play on splines where axle meets spiders. Pinion seal also leaking. I'd like to do a total rebuild, new bearings for the carrier and pinion. New spiders. New axle shafts. Basically everything except the ring and pinion gears.
I can purchase all of the parts, but need help setting up the gears/shims, ect.
Can anyone in the eastern us help or suggest a good axle shop? I'm a pro welder/fabricator, and can barter. I'm located in NJ and will travel.

Thanks!
 

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4 wheel parts can do some pretty amzing work dpending on whose working in the store.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
4 wheel parts can do some pretty amzing work dpending on whose working in the store.
Thanks Big Blue. Where are they located?? Do you have a weblink?

Thanks
 

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If you're not replacing the ring and pinion there's no shimming/adjusting required other than preload on the pinion. The shims (other than pinion bearing preload) are specific to that housing and gear set, not to the bearings. If you're somewhat handy you can do it yourself. We can walk you through it here. You need a press and a bearing splitter.

A lot of shops don't like that you bring your own parts and either won't do it or charge a higher labour rate. We tell people that our labour rates are set with an assumption that we're making a certain percentage on the parts. If we're not making it on the parts the labour has to be higher.

Steve g
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
If you're not replacing the ring and pinion there's no shimming/adjusting required other than preload on the pinion. The shims (other than pinion bearing preload) are specific to that housing and gear set, not to the bearings. If you're somewhat handy you can do it yourself. We can walk you through it here. You need a press and a bearing splitter.

A lot of shops don't like that you bring your own parts and either won't do it or charge a higher labour rate. We tell people that our labour rates are set with an assumption that we're making a certain percentage on the parts. If we're not making it on the parts the labour has to be higher.

Steve g
Thanks Steve.

I know someone with a press. Not sure if he has a bearing splitter, but I'll ask. What speciffically do you need that for?

Thanks for the advice. Ok, so you know what my objective is. Any recomendations on exactly which parts to get, and where to get them?

Thanks!
 

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I normaly get my axle parts from this place. I have delt with them for almost a decade. Every time i have ordered the parts were shiped the same day.


DTS - Drive Train Specialists
 

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The carrier brgs and the rear pinion brg are pressed on tightly against the carrier and pinion head respectively. The splitter has a "knife" edge that when tightened between the brg and the shoulder it's pressed against will wedge itselve in so that you can press the brg off (or attach a puller to the splitter and remove it that way). In a pinch and if you're very good with a torch you can cut them off. Take a pair of side cutters and cut the cage off the brg. Now take your torch and cut a flat along the remaining cone, being sure not to cut right through to the bottom or the end at the shoulder. Even if you haven't cut it all the way through the heat and loss of material will usually loosen it enough you can tap it off. Be very carefull not to damage any shims under the brg.

When are you doing this? I'm doing one this coming week for my 91. I can't remember if the 70 uses a crush sleeve or shims to adj pinion brg preload and whether the carrier has shims or threaded adjustments. Once I get this one apart I can tell you a little more, maybe even post a pic or two.

Steve g
 

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I can't remember if the 70 uses a crush sleeve or shims to adj pinion brg preload and whether the carrier has shims or threaded adjustments.
It uses shims and so does the carrier.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
The carrier brgs and the rear pinion brg are pressed on tightly against the carrier and pinion head respectively. The splitter has a "knife" edge that when tightened between the brg and the shoulder it's pressed against will wedge itselve in so that you can press the brg off (or attach a puller to the splitter and remove it that way). In a pinch and if you're very good with a torch you can cut them off. Take a pair of side cutters and cut the cage off the brg. Now take your torch and cut a flat along the remaining cone, being sure not to cut right through to the bottom or the end at the shoulder. Even if you haven't cut it all the way through the heat and loss of material will usually loosen it enough you can tap it off. Be very carefull not to damage any shims under the brg.

When are you doing this? I'm doing one this coming week for my 91. I can't remember if the 70 uses a crush sleeve or shims to adj pinion brg preload and whether the carrier has shims or threaded adjustments. Once I get this one apart I can tell you a little more, maybe even post a pic or two.

Steve g
Thanks Steve.

So I guess we will need to know how much the pre-load is. Does anyone know how much/how to do this? Is it just a matter to tightening the pinion nut to a specified torque?
 

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Its installing shims and setting the preload. I'll have to look in the FSM for the preload spec.

Install a new pinion nut. Do not reuse the old one. Buy a regular nut for doing the setup. When your done then install the new nut and forget about it.
 

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Here's a link to the Spicer service manual.

Ready for downloading.

They show 20 - 40 ft lbs, but I'm pretty sure that's a misprint and should be inch lbs. All the diffs that I have ever done were measured in inch lbs, 24-32 in lbs for 10 bolt GMs and 15 to 32 for the older Corvettes according to the manuals I have on those. Hopefully Philip can get the specs out of the FSM. You're probably going to be okay just using your shims. That's what the manual tells you to do as well, install your old ones and check it from there. It may be a little difficult without a gauge style torque wrench if you don't have a "feel" for what the preload on the pinion bearings should feel like, but essentially no play at all and a small amount of effort to turn the yoke just with your hand.

The manual refers to a alot of specialty tools and gauges, but you can do it without them. The housing spreader is a nice to have, but with a lot of caution you can get it apart and back together without one. There's a lot of info in the manual about setting pinion depth and carrier preload and backlash, but don't let it scare you. Just using your old shims with new bearings should keep you fine. With the very small variance in the size of the new brgs and the fairly broad range you have for preload, it's quite unlikely that new bearings with old carrier, crown, pinion and housings is going to put you out of range. Not once have I ever had to change shims when just replacing brgs and seals in a diff (and I've done a fair number in my day).

Steve g
 

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Steve your right that torque setting is way high. Those bearings wouldn't last a week most likely at that setting.

FSM says orginal bearing preload of 10-20 inch pounds. New bearings 20 to 40 inch pounds.

Buy a pinion install kit also. If your orginal carrier has very many shims in it. Most likely it might have spit some out over the years. Its better to have a kit on hand and not need it. The install kit will have a new pinion nut with it also.

Do not use the pinion nut washer with that kit. It is a lot thinner than the orginal washer. Reuse the orginal washer.

When your doing preload checks leave the pinion oil seal out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
When are you doing this? I'm doing one this coming week for my 91. I can't remember if the 70 uses a crush sleeve or shims to adj pinion brg preload and whether the carrier has shims or threaded adjustments. Once I get this one apart I can tell you a little more, maybe even post a pic or two.

Steve g
Let us know how it goes Steve.
It may be a while before I can do mine. I need to do a clutch job in my TDI first, so cash is going to be tight for a while.

Additionally, I can't find the identifying number on my axle tube, (no tag either. don't ask!) so the guys at DTS service said that I'll need to take the unit apart to give them the specific numbers from the ring gear and pinion. So, that will mean major down time..... between taking it apart just to get part#'s and then waiting for the parts, ect.

Looks like splines on the pinion/yoke are toast too, got oil leaking from around the pionion nut, and I can see free play in there (no, it's not the seal).
So, this probably means I'll need a new pinion and ring gear, as well as the spiders and axle shafts too. Dammit! Not looking forward to this expense, but I hate the free play, and I don't want to risk a catastrophic explosion of gears.
 

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If the yoke is loose on the pinion the splines may be damaged ( it's unlikely), but that's not your problem. If the yoke is for sure loose on the pinion, your pinion nut has come loose. If the yoke is tight on the pinion but the pinion and yoke are loose in the housing, one or both of the pinion brgs have gone south. The pinion nut is to be torqued to 470 ft lbs, that's like your most trustworthy friend with both feet on the brake as hard as he can and you with a four foot bar on your socket pulling damn near as hard as you can. Even if there were no splines on the pinion and yoke you could probably still drive it with it that tight on there. That also explaines your pinion seal leak, at the seal from the loose yoke and at the threads from the loose nut.

Are you absolutely certain your axle splines are loose in the axle gears? That would be extremely unusual. There is always a fair amount of play in the spider/axle gear setup. If you hold the pinion and one axle solid from moving you should be able to rock the other axle back and forth a fair amount. In any event, it's quite easy to check all of that with the diff in and the cover removed. Take out the spiders and axle gears (axles as well of course) and look for wear in the washers behind the spiders and on the pin they ride on. Make sure they haven't worn into the carrier.

I'd be willing to bet that all that slop you feel when driving it is the loose pinion. Don't drive it anymore like that or you will be buying a new crown and pinion.
Steve g
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Damn, you're good Steve. Check this out:

By co-incidence today, I went to remove the yoke and the pinion nut was way loose, like hand tight! So I removed the yoke and put silicone sealant on the splines. (the dts guys advised this to kill the oil leak) Put it back together and torqued it down to 250 ft lbs. (this is what the fsm says!) This made a huge noticeable improvement with the backlash. I’m guessing the pinion was moving around with the nut too loose?? (The yoke and pinion are not loose in the housing after tightening the nut. However, I did not take notice if they were sloppy before I took it apart...I wasnt speciffically looking for it. Too bad I didnt see your reply first!)



Regardless, It’s so much easier to drive now.





So I was also talking to the dts guys today: DTS - Drive Train Specialists They said it’s normal to see play in the splines between the axles and side (spyder) gears. Like 3 thousandths. The said the tolerance is essential to allow oil to get into the splines/lubrication.



I think I’m still going to rebuild the axle at some point, but I’m not feeling that it’s urgent now.
 

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Replace that pinion nut. It will come loose agin.

Another thing to look at. Between the rear springs and the axle. Does you truck have 4" or
6" blocks. If you have the 6" blocks there is a TSB out for drive line vibration on take off.

For the other people reading this it is for $X$ only. No 2WD's had 6" blocks from the factory.
 

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I've been looking for a spicer service manual everywhere. Do you know where I can find one online. tried the link steve G left above and it isn't working.

I need a breakdown pic, and specs, set-ups for my spicer 70....

my pinion bearings went out and I purchased a used posi-loc with a mated ring and pinion with all the bearings and everything intact.

so now I need to put that posi lock and everything into my housing. but I need a manual, specs, and a little studying to do so.

while I am at it I am also doing a disk brake conversion
 

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Thanks for the link 921stgen that pic is exactly what I needed.

well I planned on paying my friend that knows what he is doing to put my rear end back together, but I cant wait any longer to get my truck going.

I purchased a used posi-lock carrier and ring and pinion with the gear ratio I needed off of craigslist. Thing is it is a little different. The one that came out of my truck has a gear type thing on it and the other does not. what exactly are these differences and does it matter? (pics displayed)

Also, does anyone know the torque specs for the carrier bolts, axle bolts, pinion, spindle bolts etc?

also, since this is going into a new housing I assume it will have to be shimmed to the new housing? are there any articles or anything that explains the prosess of setting up the ring and pinion? pics are great.


the one I bought



the one that came out of truck



 

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any help? suggestions?
 
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