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  1. #1

    Default '88 10 bolt 8.5" ring gear differential question

    Hello, I am in the process of putting my differential back together. This is what I have done so far: I replaced the pinion bearings and races. I reinstalled the pinion gear and bearings and tightened the pinion nut to a preload of 19-20 in lbs. All seemed well and the pinion yolk turned smoothly. I inspected the carrier bearings and bearing caps and they still looked good so I decided to reuse them and the 2 spacers, one on each side. I intalled the carrier and tightened the bearing cap bolts to their specified torque. Now, the pinion yolk is so tight I can only turn it with a crescent wrench. What did I do wrong? Will it get better with gear oil in case and a break-in period to seat the new bearings and races and get everything back into line? This project has taken a couple of weeks to complete, so most of the oil has drained from the carrier and bearings. Or do I need to tear it down and start over again? Your help and expertise will be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2


    That doesn't sound right to me. When I have had a diff open (oil drained obviously), the R&P has always rotated freely.

    I have never rebuilt a differential or set up gears, so I'm mostly talking out of the side of mouth from hearsay and other forms of guesswork. I would guess that in installing the pinion gear, you got the pinion depth off (if that is possible, I know it is part of setting up the gears when installing new R&P), or you got the carrier shims installed on the wrong sides, or something else to throw off the R&P set up parameters.

    As I said, I have never set-up an R&P, so I can't speak to the nuts of bolts of doing it. I have a basic overall grasp of what is involved, but the devil is really in the details when it comes to this. I would guess that your next step is going to be carefully going through the art of setting up the R&P to make absolutely sure you are getting it set up right.
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  3. #3


    Hi Im new here didnt want to start a new thread but I have some questions about setting up a different rearend in my truck also.
    Currently I have 8.5 10 bolt open rearend with 3.08 gears.I recently bought a 95 with 3.42`s.Can I just swap the carrier assembly and pinion gear or do I have to replace the whole axle assembly?Thanks

  4. #4



    Assuming you have got your parts interchange research done correctly (including verifying that the recipient and donor axles have the same size/spline axleshafts), then it should be as "easy" as swapping R&P and carrier.

    Easy is in quotes because you will need to be able to set up the gears correctly (pinion depth, backlash, wear pattern, etc.) which is a fairly detailed process. Most people advise that it is not for the uninitiated. If this is your first time, I would at the least find someone who does know how to set up gears to coach me through it.

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