All right guys, 8.8" rear end install went pretty good. I forgot to buy C clips so I have to run to the auto store in the morning. I'll give you guys a rundown of the install and any problems I ran into.
First off, I purchased the 3.73 ratio, 5 lug, traction lok from American muscle. Comes with differential, diff. bearings, axle bearings and seals, pinion and pinion bearings, axles, and diff. cover and shims. Only thing it doesn't come with.... C clips.
Above is the installation instructions that I followed. Quite detailed and very user friendly. Now I will say that my starting point could be different than some of you. I started with a bare housing, where some of you may just do a gear change or something like that. If you do tear your rear end apart, make sure you keep track of all of your shims. This will give you an idea of where your new shims will go.
Alright, first thing I did was remove the old axle seals and bearings. Now, they say tell you to use a seal puller and a slide hammer to help with the removal. Like I said, I started with a bare housing with nothing in it. I went with the cost effective way of simply pry bar and a 6' piece of 1/2 thick rebar. First, simply pry of the seal with the pry bar and then slide the rebar through the end of axle tube to the other side and rest it right on the old bearing. Give it a few hits with a 2lb sledge and it should come out. Then install the new ones exactly like the old. Pretty simple.
Next I focused on the pinion and pinion bearing. If you are upgrading your rear end, make sure you get the shim between the pinion and pinion bearing. That is very important to set your pinion depth. I didn't have one to go off of so I had to use a little trial and error. Here's what I found. The instructions said to install shim(s) between ~.230-.9xx mm. It was a pretty significant range and the shims they sent were .40, .50, .85 and .90. I went with .50 mm since it was roughly in the middle. The pinion bearing must be pressed on, however, since I didn't know if my pinion depth would be correct, I bought another bearing and I dremeled out the inner radius so it could be removed without having to use a press. Note: this is only temporary in order to set the correct pinion depth.
Above is the pinion gear with the shim and the bearing on. The crush collar would slide down the shaft next and then you need to slide it through the hole and slide on the pinion flange and pinion nut. At this point, the instructions call for another special tool. I believe it is called the pinion flange companion tool. Don't need it. Just shove a punch through one of the holes on the pinion flange. It will catch on the housing itself and will not allow it to spin. Use a hammer drill to get it started. That will only get you so far. Use a beaker bar to get all of the slop out of the pinion. It should not move. Once the slop is out, you must pre-load the pinion and compress the crush sleeve. I believe it calls for ~15-25 in-lbs.
Next thing is to get the bearing on the differential. Since I don't have a press, I went to the kitchen. 350 degrees for 25 mins made easy work of those bearings. Once they are on, you can set it in the housing and put in your shims. The instructions call for ~6.75 mm on the right side and enough on the left side so there is minimal side to side movement of the differential in the housing. When it was all said and done, we had 4.6mm worth of shims on the passenger side and 6.2mm of shims on the driver side. We followed the instructions, but the differential wouldn't spin freely, so we made adjustments and that is what we ended up with.
Then we had to measure the backlash, it is kind of hard to explain, so here is the link to a video that helped us. http://youtu.be/Ouq67Fyt5K8
Once the backlash is with in specs, you can paint on the yellow indicator paint and find your tooth pattern. This is where having the correct pinion depth and backlash will give you good tooth patterns. Spin it a few times and see what you got. Follow the instructions if you don't have correct tooth pattern. Here is what we ended up with.
Since we were happy with the results, we took it back all apart so we could properly press the bearing on the pinion shaft. We put the pinion shaft in the freezer and the bearing in the oven. Same temp as before. Put the two together and they slid right on down to where they were supposed to be. We put on a new crush sleeve and installed it the same way as before. Used an impact, then breaker bar, to set the pinion flange preload. We put the differential back in with the same shims and double checked out backlash to make sure it was still in spec.
Next we could put the axles in, but we are still waiting for the C clips. Once those get put in, we can reinstall the differential bolt and put on the diff cover and put in oil.
Overall, it wasn't a monstrous project. I think anyone is capable of doing it. If you guys have any questions or picture requests, let me know before I get the cover on.
Hopefully, this will help some of you in my same situation.
Sent from my iPhone using Mustang Evolution