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Thread: Clunk in diff, not mustache or u-joints

  1. #1
    Registered User 59ghia's Avatar
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    Default Clunk in diff, not mustache or u-joints

    I have a clunk, Its coming from the diff where the axle bolts to the diff itself. If I grab the axle theres alot of play where it goes into the diff. I was looking thru my VB catalog and noticed they sell a diff bearing race and seals. I believe these are the culprit. Is this bearing race a complete bearing? Has anybody replaced these? Any tips or tricks to doing this? Its not the u-joints.

    Thanks Dave

    p.s its a '72 w/r180

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    Before you pull it apart to change the side bearings, you might want to take off the back cover to check to see if it may be the ring and pinion itself that is causing the clunking. It is entirely possible this could be the problem and the noise is just being transferred to the side of the case. Or it could be worn spyder gears which would transfer directly to the axle shaft. It might even be a pinion bearing. A little more investigation would be a good idea before you disassemble it, just to be sure you have the right parts to repair it.

    I haven't changed the output shaft bearings, but if I'm not mistaken I believe you would need to remove the flange retaining bolts and use a slide hammer to pull them. Shouldn't be too difficult, but to be safe you should at least pull the rear cover to look inside and see if the problem goes any deeper into the diff, if they have been bad for a long period of time they could have caused other damages inside.

  3. #3
    Registered User 59ghia's Avatar
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    2many,

    The play is not rotating play, ie if i grab the inboard u-joint and twist, i get movement. But when i grab that same inboard u-joint and move up and down, or horizontally I get movement. Does that make sense? If i move it up the gap on top gets smaller and the gap down low gets larger.

    I will definatly go-ahead and pull that rear inspection plate and investigate deeper.

    Thanks for the input!
    Dave

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    Peon Phacade's Avatar
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    Default Simple

    A good rule of thumb here is to relace the rear diff mount, the strap over the top, the bushings, the moustache bar bushings, u-joints. Usually this will fix it. Sometimes the gears inside have worn or settled in your diff, open the rear inspection plate an examine. Smell it. I know its weird but sometimes a fould odor can evident a problem.
    "Go into emptiness, strike voids, bypass his defences; hit him where he does not expect you" -Lao Tzu

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    Well, it definately sounds like the side bearings and races are the cause of most of the problem. However, if it has been like this for any lenght of time I would definately check it out. It may have caused some problems in the spyder gears. If the ring gear and pinion don't show any abnormal wear you may be OK there, but the spyder gears may have taken a beating. I'm not trying to be the bearer of bad news, only trying to make sure you check more than the obvious problem so you don't have more in the future. No sense in spending money to fix one problem and have damage that will end up defeating what you are doing now.

  6. #6
    Registered User 59ghia's Avatar
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    I have no idea how long this has been a problem, when the guy gave me the car he said it had been doing this for awile. When I changed the fluid prior to putting the car on the road it came out kinda thick, as in pudding! Well the first few ounces came out like real 80wt, the rest I had to scoop out! I guess I should have assumed at this point I could expect problems. I'll drop the rear end this weekend replace all the bushings and see whats up. If I'm lucky I'll be ok with the side bearings and seals. So you say a slide hammer is all I need to pull these? Is the inner race a press fit on the axle stub? (inboard).

    Thanks again,
    Dave

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    I believe all you need to remove them from the case is a slide hammer on the flange. As fas as the bearing being pressed on, that part I'm not sure about. I know the bearing is pressed on the pinion shaft, it would seem these would be too.

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