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Old 05-09-2005, 07:20 PM
Redman Racing
 
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clunking one legger

I am noticing a slight clunk coming from the rear


i have a 85 olds cutlass 442 8.5 3.73 open all original parts

i took the cover off and noticed that there was no play with the ring and pinion but did not look at the spider gears. checked the u-joints by prying but got no play (that is original what I thought it was). then I had the car up on one side and was turning the wheel by hand and noticed a lot of play I will be honest about my abuse of the rear. I have done huge one legger burnouts ( i love to put out way more smoke then my 2 legger friends it's great).

but to the question Will worn spider gears make a rear sound like that?

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Old 05-10-2005, 01:50 AM
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You smoke, you break

Yup! I'd say you have damaged the carrier to the extent that your spider pins can move inside it. The clunk is the pins allowing the spiders to move relative to the drive axle - should break soon. Your one legger will smoke better because the spider gear action allows the driven axle to rotate at twice the input speed as soon as you lose traction. Oh well it looked good while it lasted!
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Old 05-21-2005, 07:02 PM
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all old open rear end have a clunk, i never broke one, but it dont mean i wont
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Old 05-23-2005, 05:58 AM
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I disagree with the last two answers, but won't get into that.

They didn't get into finding out the exact problem and overlooked the main cause of the problem, which you stated in your post. I seriously doubt you hurt the carrier at all.
Is it a single clunk and done, or several smaller clunks?
Is it when the transmission is shifted to reverse and back only?
Does it happen all the time, more on turns, or intermittantly?

If it is the spider gears, you can get a replacement set for less than $100, and it is a do it yourself job.

From reading your post thoroughly, I can honestly say that you have a very well worn set of spider gears, a very good possibility of the axleshaft splines having more than normal wear, and a good possibility of the gear lube having metal from the spider gears wearing- going through the teeth on the ring and pinion gears also.

Check the R&P gears for wear marks (they should all be pretty much smooth), look between the ends of the axleshafts and the center pin and have someone move one tire at a time in and out to see if there is any movement (only a couple thousandths is acceptable- it is just enough to notice movement and nothing more).

The next thing is to remove the center pin and visually check it for damage where the ends of the shafts contact it, if none- check the C-clips, if worn- replace as they are cheap, check the axleshaft splines for wear- if it looks like the splines aren't perfectly straight from one end to the other or there is enough wear for the new spider gear to allow movement on the shaft, replace the axleshafts too. If no wear is present on the center pin, C-clips, or ends of the axleshafts, or axleshaft splines, then replace the spider gears and be happy it wasn't more.
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Old 05-24-2005, 12:57 AM
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Might also check the ends of the pinion shaft where they fit in the carrier. I saw a 7.5 that had seen way too much torque and/or shock, and the holes where the shaft rides were not nearly as round as they had once been.
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