Differential pinion bearing/seal replacement. | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

  • Register Today It's free!

Differential pinion bearing/seal replacement.


New Member
May 20, 2009
Reaction score
City, State
Columbia, SC
Year, Model & Trim Level
97 Eddie Bauer
I'm working on my daughters 97 Eddie Bauer 2WD 6 cyl. with tow pkg. Loud whine in the rear that dissapears when load is removed.
I have replaced universal joints and will be replacing wheel brgs/seals including new axles. RR axle was heavly fretted. While the rear end is apart I am considering replacing the pinion bearings and seal. I have done my research on the process including bearing preload via the crush sleeve. My question is how do you keep the pinion from turning when your are removing the pinion nut (disassembly) or crushing the sleeve (reassembly) BTW this is an awesome site!

Unless you see signs of damage or heat on the pinion bearings I would suspect that the noise from your Ring & Pinion gear set. However to hold the pinion while setting the preload. You can buy tools thats bolt to the pinion yoke and allow socket access to the pinion nut. Here's one for example http://completeoffroad.com/i-122841-yoke-torque-tool.html

What I do is, with the ring gear out of the way, hold the pinion head with a rag, then tighten the pinion nut with an impact wrench. As the nut becomes tight, becareful not to overtighten, short quick bursts with the impact wrench and then check bearing preload, in-lbs. You only have one shot per crush sleeve, if you over tighten you can't back off, you'll need to get a new crush sleeve.