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What brand differential/axle parts?

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Old 12-26-2017, 12:15 AM
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What brand differential/axle parts?

What brand parts would you guys recommend?
I normally like to stick with Motorcraft brand but they are just too expensive if I could even find them. I did find one axle shaft but it was around $250

I believe I have a bent axle shaft on my 88 E150 with a 5.0, AOD Ford 8.8 open differential.
I also think there might be some play in the spider gears. So I am thinking about just replacing both axle shafts, axle bearings, seals, spider gears and cross pin. While I have it that far apart it will give me a good chance to check out the carrier and pinion bearings for play or uneven rotation.

Since I don’t pull a heavy trailer or drag race with it, I was thinking about going with Motive Gear brand axles and spider gears, Timkin bearings, and Ford axle seals
Most of the Motive gear reviews I have came across were in the Jeep or mustang forums and they seem to be happy with them..

Motive Gear F8.8BI Ford 8.8" Open Differential Internal Kit ,, Spider gear kit
US $79.19 free shipping.

Left-
Ford part number E7UZ-4234-E
Motive Gear E7UZ4234E - Motive Gear Axle Shafts, Direct Fit $79.97
Summit racing in stock free pick up.

Right
Ford part number E7TZ-4234-B
Motive Gear E7TZ4234B - Motive Gear Axle Shafts, Direct Fit $79.97
Summit racing in stock free pick up.

Thanks
Anna


 
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Old 12-26-2017, 04:30 AM
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Hi annaleigh
dont you drive less than 5-6,000 miles per year? What is the symptom that you are trying to fix?
 
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Old 12-26-2017, 05:25 AM
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Well I have a vibration coming from the rear of the van once I pass about 56 or 58 MPH and on up.. I had a shop replace the U-Joints and he said the old ones were factory U-joints and because of that and the fact that the drive shaft had no physical damage, it shouldn't need to be balanced.

So after putting the drive shaft back in and while the van was still up on stands, I started the engine and put the van in gear. It appears like the left wheel has a wobble in it. I took one of the wheels off of my 85, swapped tires and put it on the 88. no change in vibration. both wheels run out straight on the balancing machine. I have new Michelin tires and still have the vibration.

When I was checking the wobble with the van up on stands, if I held the left wheel still, there was a grumbling sound and feeling coming from the differential.

So here is my guess and another possible clue...
If you notice on this picture,,, there is some body damage just behind the rear wheel on the passenger side of my van. That appears to be consistent with either blowing a tire or more likely loosing a rear wheel that rolled out from under the van. I had that to happen to a truck I had. The wheel bearing was bad and it got so hot that it melted the axle shaft and the wheel cam out from under the truck.



Now I know there was also some body repair done on the rear passenger side. Either way wither it was in an accident a one time or the axle broke on the passenger side, either could have caused damage to the left side axle that has a slight wobble..
There doesn't appear to be any excessive backlash when rocking the drive shaft back and forth by hand and nor is there any play in the pinion bearing that I could tell.

IF though that left side axle shaft is in fact bent, that could cause excessive wear on the side gears/spider gears due to the wobble and the fact that the other end of the axle shaft is connected to the side gear. That could also cause a wheel bearing to go bad. So I am thinking, if I am going to dig into the differential then I might as well replace the wheel bearings and since the axle shafts are what the bearings rotate on, I might as well replace them. Since there is no backlash that I can tell with the axle together, the only other place to have play on an open differential is the spider gears. The spider gears are the only other part I know of that could cause the grumbling sound when holding one of the wheels while it was up on stands with the wheels turning.
once I have the cover off the diff and the axles out I can physically measure the ring gear backlash, pull the diff and check the bearings. At that point I will easily be able to feel of the pinion bearings and see if there is any play or rough spots in them.

At this point if the pinion bearings feel good,everything can go right back together because I would not have altered the pinion depth or preload.
If the pinion bearings feel good, it is also a great time to take a pinion depth reading and write it down for future use if later the pinion bearings needed replaced.


Here is the wheel wobble. View the video on youtube so you can put the video on full screen and slow the video speed and you can see the wobble better.
Now there is a chance it could be those cheap good year tires but I would rather have all the parts and not need them then to need them and not have them since I will be using help to do the job. ... After having gotten over the shock of spending the money, I might just put them in anyway since the axle has at least 115k, perhaps 215k..
 
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Old 12-26-2017, 01:37 PM
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I've owned quite a few trucks and vans with the 8.8" rear diff.

The most common issues I've ran into are bad axle bearings and seals and bad pinion bearings. The axle shafts are pretty beefy. I don't think I've ever seen a bent one( but you never know ) . I've seen plenty that were chewed from bad axle bearings. Me being cheap, I usually just use the repair type axle bearings unless the axle is extremely worn.

As far as brands go. I always try to get Timken bearings. I don't think I've ever used anything from Motive Gear. If you want to replace the axle shafts and spider gears. I would suggest keeping your originals just in case there are any issues with the new ones down the road. And if you replace those parts and still have the same issue you'll know your old parts were still useable.
 
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Old 12-28-2017, 10:49 PM
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I guess I am gong to need fix my spare car before I dig into this.. I was hoping to have all the parts I might need on hand..
My only experience with the repair bearings is when I paid a shop to rebuild the differential in the GMC van I used to have. It started making noise again and this time he told me he was trying to save me money and used a repair bearing.. He replaced the axle the second time around. I only kept that van about 6 or 8 more months and traded it for the 88 E150 I have now. The rear differential was starting to make noise again before I traded it... So I figured last time I paid someone and this time I might as well try it myself, I might even get it right!

I agree with the Timken bearings, I did find a couple of Motorcraft bearings but think Timken would be the same quality..

As to the axle shafts.. I am doing some research on different brands.. Some of the 4x4 guys seem to like Yukon but I found and could buy a new Ford OEM axle cheaper. That might be the way to go but think I will take your advice and check it first..

As I mentioned in the beginning I think I need to fix my little Saturn first.. The little guy got hit in the passenger front, in front of the wheel 4 weeks ago and just had some plastic damage till a week later I hit a pretty big pothole,, or missing chunk of concrete on the interstate at night! That didn't do so well... Put the spare on, drove it home, and been using my van since..
 
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Old 12-28-2017, 11:40 PM
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Originally Posted by annaleigh View Post
I guess I am gong to need fix my spare car before I dig into this.. I was hoping to have all the parts I might need on hand..
My only experience with the repair bearings is when I paid a shop to rebuild the differential in the GMC van I used to have. It started making noise again and this time he told me he was trying to save me money and used a repair bearing.. He replaced the axle the second time around. I only kept that van about 6 or 8 more months and traded it for the 88 E150 I have now. The rear differential was starting to make noise again before I traded it... So I figured last time I paid someone and this time I might as well try it myself, I might even get it right!

I agree with the Timken bearings, I did find a couple of Motorcraft bearings but think Timken would be the same quality..

As to the axle shafts.. I am doing some research on different brands.. Some of the 4x4 guys seem to like Yukon but I found and could buy a new Ford OEM axle cheaper. That might be the way to go but think I will take your advice and check it first..

As I mentioned in the beginning I think I need to fix my little Saturn first.. The little guy got hit in the passenger front, in front of the wheel 4 weeks ago and just had some plastic damage till a week later I hit a pretty big pothole,, or missing chunk of concrete on the interstate at night! That didn't do so well... Put the spare on, drove it home, and been using my van since..
It's never a bad idea to have a back up vehicle ready when tackling any major repairs. It's a whole lot better then walking.

There's nothing wrong with using the repair bearings. Hell I've got a pair of them in the semi-floating dana 60 in my 96 E250. I haul and tow plenty of heavy loads with it. I think I've probably put around 30,000 miles on mine since I installed them. All the repair axle bearing does is slightly shift where the bearing rides on the axle shaft. And most of the ones I've dealt with have had the seals built into them too. And I've seen some that had their own inner race instead of using the axle for it.

I use to swear by getting any Motorcrafts parts I could. But when I bought some new Motorcraft rear brake drums for my 96. I wasn't too happy when it said made in china on the boxes!

I've heard some good things and some bad things about Yukon. I personally try to avoid using that brand part if I can, just to be safe. But some guys swear by them. If you can get OEM parts for less money, I 'd go that way. If you need them.

I've repaired my share of damaged vehicles. That can be a adventure all it's own.
 
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Old 12-31-2017, 08:40 PM
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When you check the spyder gears, check the cross pin for excessive slack in the carrier. Mine had a 32nd play in it which led me to replace the whole carrier. And ditto on having another vehicle to drive. Mine's still up on stands waiting for the new gears and carrier to be installed in the housing. I brought everything to a friend who has the equipment and know how to do this, just waiting for a phone call to go pick it up. I had replaced both axles with Yukon parts when I bought the van, a year later, one axle had failed. If your axle was bent, I'd think the seal would fail on that side and leak badly. I went with a new Ford Racing trac-loc carrier and ring and pinion, and National seals and bearings, can't find Timken bearings here. Either way everything's made in China now.
 
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Old 01-06-2018, 09:00 PM
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Just an update and any and all thoughts and suggestions are very welcome since this is my first attempt at this...

Here is where I am at right now... My son will be staying with me a couple of weeks at the end of the month so i want to get things ready.. My Saturn isn’t too seriously damaged. It appears that the front stabilizer bar is bent or the bracket holding it so not too much trouble there and Ill have my second car back.

Not knowing what we will find when we get the axles out and the differential cover off, I went a head and bought the new OEM Ford left axle shaft from Ebay for $149.00 All the other OEM Ford axles I found were at least $250.00 plus shipping.

As to bearings and seals, I found a Motive Gear R8.8RSKTT Super Bearing and Seal Kit on Amazon for $50.00 and the kit has Timpken bearings. Summit wanted $109.00
What I don’t know about is what brand seals are in the kit. Motive Gear’s web-site states the seals are manufactured by Motive Gear and I cant find any reviews on their seals. Perhaps I would be better off buying national seals local.

I am thinking since I know the van has at least 116k and possibly 216k, (I really believe it is 116k), Even if both axles look good, since I have the new one for the left side, I should replace it and use a standard bearing bearing. On the right side, there would have to be some wear on the axle itself, perhaps I should use a repair bearing on it just to be on the safe side?

I checked the pinion for play when I had the drive shaft out last year and there was none that I could tell.. With the axles out that might be different though. Since I will have the bearings and all the the other parts needed, perhaps I should go a head and replace the carrier and pinion bearings since I am this far into it.. ???

When replacing the pinion bearings, can that change the pinion depth?
I know there is a pinion shim and I would use the same shim that came off the pinion, what I am thinking is if the new bearings are a few thousandths different?
If so, lets say the existing bearings are not loose, can I just take a pinion depth measurement before removing the pinion and make sure when I reinstall the pinion with the new bearings, that the I have the same depth?

The same question might apply to new carrier bearings. When replacing the carrier bearings, will that change the carrier bearing pre-load and backlash settings?
Thinking it is critical that I get the gears back to as close as possible since they have their own wear pattern..
(I did have my eye on a set of 3.73 gears that I thought might help keep the transmission from kicking in and out of OD here in the foothills of the N GA mountains

Here is a pic of the bearing kit.
 
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Old 01-06-2018, 09:18 PM
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Pinion depth is set using a crush sleeve. That cannot be reused. The carrier preload is set with shims on either side of the bearings. The only thing about using a repair bearing is it moves the load carried farther out in the axle tube, where the tube is thinner. If you have 3.55's now, 3.73's aren't going to affect the OD, it changes the rpms by only 100 rpms. Going to 4.10's as I'm doing changes the rpms by 280
 
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Old 01-06-2018, 11:45 PM
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Thanks Baddad..
Yes I am aware that you cannot reuse the crush sleeve.
If I understand correctly... Again I am still learning about how to do this.. But there is a spacer/shim that goes on the 8.8 pinion shaft between the pinion head and the rear bearing. It was my understanding that the shim that goes between the pinion head and the rear bearing is what ultimately determines the pinion depth while the crush sleeve determines the preload on the pinion bearings.

I can see how if there is not enough preload on the bearings or if there is too much preload on the bearings, that would also affect the pinion depth.

The procedure I understood is to make a test bearing by reaming out the inside of the bearing so that it will slide on and off of the pinion shaft without needing to be pressed on.
Next you install the shim and then the rear bearing. Next you put the pinion shaft in place and install the front bearing, oil slinger, yoke, pinion nut, and tighten it down till you achieve the preload. Once that is done, you check the pinion depth. If the depth is too deep or high, you disassemble and add or remove another shim or change the shim thickness behind the rear bearing and repeat thew install. Once reinstalled, recheck the pinion depth. Once you have the correct pinion depth, remove the pinion once again and this time press on the permanent rear bearing, add the crush sleeve and reinstall it, this time crushing the crush sleeve till you get the desired preload. Lastly recheck the pinion depth. If the pinion depth has changed then it requires dissembling, altering the shim accordingly and reinstalling with a new crush sleeve.

Something I have been reading about rather then using a crush sleeve, using SOLID PINION BEARING SPACER WITH SHIM PACK. It seems like it would be much easier and is reusable..
Here is a link with instructions
Ford Solid Pinion Bearing Spacer
 
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Old 01-06-2018, 11:55 PM
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Originally Posted by baddad457 View Post
The carrier preload is set with shims on either side of the bearings.
Hhre is a thread that I came across that talks about how to set the carrier bearing preload
https://www.ford-trucks.com/forums/8...g-preload.html


I also watched a video where a guy set the preload on the pinion bearings. After that, he installed the carrier and rechecked the preload reading to determine how many more torque in inch lbs the differential added. HE had a formula of how much more it should be. I am not sure how accurate that method wold be as it seems like there are a lot of variables in this method, ie how tight the backlash is, how heavy the gears are, ect..

Seems to me the advice from the FTE link might be best..


Originally Posted by baddad457 View Post
The only thing about using a repair bearing is it moves the load carried farther out in the axle tube, where the tube is thinner.
So do you recommend that if the shaft looks good, just replace the standard bearing and seal since I am in there? The ford oem shaft for that side is around $250 + shipping..
 
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Old 01-07-2018, 12:08 AM
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Originally Posted by baddad457 View Post
If you have 3.55's now, 3.73's aren't going to affect the OD, it changes the rpms by only 100 rpms. Going to 4.10's as I'm doing changes the rpms by 280
The way I drive, I have no problem in traffic around town or the acceleration in town. My only issue is bouncing in and out of overdrive too often. On long up hill grades it actually uses less gas to manually kick it out of OD and give it half throttle rather then holding the accelerator all the way down letting it chug along just barely holding speed.
If I lived in the flatlands it would work fine as is...
 
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Old 01-07-2018, 01:01 AM
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I wanted to add a couple of well done videos I have come across. The bottom two videos pertain to checking run out on the axle shafts as well as the runout once you install the brake drum or rotor, which ever application you might have. The other video at the bottom also covers "wheel stud" rounout. Yes the wheel studs can be off and cause a first wheel order vibration. Your tires and wheels may check out just fine on a road force balance but you can still have a vibration due to several issues discussed in these videos..
It may seem kind of backwards on the order of the videos but I added these two in later.

This is an excellent quality video on setting up a differential similar to a 8.8. He covers the crush sleeve vers preload shim spacers. He also covers the method of checking carrier side bearing preload as the total torque after steeing the pinion preload. Towards the end when he is checking the pattern, he explains what to look for if the pinion depth is too high or low and how to adjust it. HE says the correct way to check the gear pattern is with a load on the gears.

This video explains the pinion depth shim



Axle Shaft Runout Measurements


Wheel Stud Circle Runout Measurement
 
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Old 01-07-2018, 10:50 AM
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Here are two more videos about rebuilding differentials that are well worth watching.
The differential is from a 63 Biscayne but the pinion set up is the same as on a 8.8. The carrier though instead of using shims to adjust the backlash and carrier bearing preload like you would with a 8.8, uses the threaded adjustment rings like are found on a Ford 9".

This first video shows a step I have never seen mentioned before. He checks the carrier flange runout which turns out to be out of spec.


Here after the carrier was machined to spec, is the complete assembly. Many good tips here to ensure a proper job. He sets up the ring and pinion without using a pinion depth tool. He also explains how mechanics used to measure pinion bearing preload without a torque wrench. The bar he uses to hold the pinion flange from turning has a mark on the handle exactly 12 inches out from the center of the pinion shaft. Some older mechanics would use a fish scale attached at the 12 inch mark. Pulling on the scale to rotate the pinion would give the torque reading!
 
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Old 01-07-2018, 01:36 PM
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Originally Posted by annaleigh View Post
The way I drive, I have no problem in traffic around town or the acceleration in town. My only issue is bouncing in and out of overdrive too often. On long up hill grades it actually uses less gas to manually kick it out of OD and give it half throttle rather then holding the accelerator all the way down letting it chug along just barely holding speed.
If I lived in the flatlands it would work fine as is...
You're having the same issue with OD as I have, that's why after doing the math I decided to go to 4.10s. 373 just didn't seem that much change with only 100 rpms. Mine does better taking it out of cruise and downshifting manually if necessary
 
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