Originally Posted by big gear head
Are you using a axle shaft in both sides when you are checking this? If you don't have a shaft in the side with the split gear and clutch hub then the break away torque is going to be much less because these two parts must have a shaft to lock them together.
Ya know? I did not! I just had the pinion-side axle in a vise and nothing in the clutch side. I guess when it slips like this, it throws off the alignment between the side gear and clutch hub... Thinking back, it was pretty tight when I had both axles in it and was (trying to) turn the assembly using the tires as handles. But I'm pretty weak in the arms right now so thought it may have been me. Got an appt. with the shoulder doc Wed to at least get a diagnosis. I did find a diagram of the factory tool with dimensions, so may make one to try out.