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Old 11-13-2005, 07:29 AM
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Differential side bearings???Help???

My son's '86 S10 2WD with 285K has bitten the dust. It started with some play in the rear axles, I had replaced wheel bearings/seals a couple of years ago, and progressed to a whinning noise. Well, he called and said, no go! So I pulled the cover and sure enough the pass. side diff. bearings were in the bottom of the case. Can I pull the axles and then pull the diff. and replace just the side bearings on the diff.? Do I have to pull the pinion yoke also? If I don't disturb the pinion, will the setup still be the same? I have a shop press and a bearing puller set from harbor freight. My son has a '56 chevy p'up we've restored with 350/350 and a camaro clip welded in for pwr steering, so we've done quite a bit of "hotrodding" here and there. I have a '66 mustang 289 I have restored, but never got into the differential stuff. We had a guy that works on hotrods only (retired old fellow, the best kind) rebuild the '56 rear-end with new stuff and he did an outstanding job...He's kinda hard to get to do this newer stuff, though so I need to tackle this if I can....thanks...gary.

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Old 11-13-2005, 08:32 AM
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You will want to pull the pinion gear anyway. All that "Trash" from the failed bearing will be in the pinion bearings too.

Generally speaking. If you replace the side and pinion bearings with the correct pieces, reusing the pinion shim and "crush" sleeve. You should not have to re-set the gear pattern. I am sure the r&p won't be in perfect condition, but useable.

Many guys will argue about using a new crush sleeve. But, I have been reusing good, old crush sleeves, since the sixties. I use loc-tite on the pinion bearing/pinion surfaces, set my pinion rolling torque and never had a problem.
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Old 11-13-2005, 09:08 AM
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Hey, thanks Bob. Are the bearings hard to get out of the diff.? I have a press to put them back in. Will a regular slide hammer type bearing remover, get them out??? Thanks again...gary.
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Old 11-13-2005, 09:18 AM
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Nope. They can be a ****** to get off. On really tuff ones. I take a cut off wheel across the inner race, almost thru the race, then smack it hard with a big chisel and a three lb. hammer. Race will split and fall off. Then clean everything up and press the new bearing on.
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Old 11-13-2005, 09:33 AM
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Thanks bob, I have a dremel so I will giver 'er a shot and get back to ya'll when I finish. I hope to do this on tuesday...thanks again! P.S., If this turns out good, I may try to rebuild the 8" in my 66 mustang as the pinion is a little floppy even though I have tightened it. I saw an article someone posted in a link to the 8" rebuild.
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