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Pinion Bearings needs replacement?

dandrea86

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The front diff on my 2000 explorer is leaking from the pinion seal. I removed the driveshaft and yoke. SHould pinion gear have any side to side play with yoke removed? With yoke in place I do not have any play. Please help.. thanks anthony
 
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IZwack

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Sounds like its just the seal that needs to be replaced. The side to side play exists because the yoke (along with the nut that sits on top of it) is what "squishes" the pinion bearings together (of which there are two - an outer and an inner).
 
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dandrea86

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Sounds like its just the seal that needs to be replaced. The side to side play exists because the yoke (along with the nut that sits on top of it) is what "squishes" the pinion bearings together (of which there are two - an outer and an inner).

Ok great.. Is this the same for all pinions? Also do you kno the torque specs on the nut for yoke? thanks again
 
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IZwack

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Ok great.. Is this the same for all pinions? Also do you kno the torque specs on the nut for yoke? thanks again
Yeah thats pretty much true for most pinion design - there is another type with a third pinion bearing but this doesnt apply to Explorer axles.

As for the torque spec - its not really about how much torque is being applied to the nut. Rather, its about how much torque is necessary to rotate the pinion (typically measured in inch-pounds). See:
http://www.explorerforum.com/forums//showthread.php?t=138517

That thread describes replacing the crush sleeve. However, its debatable whether or not its necessary to replace the crush sleeve - and there are a few members who have skipped the crush sleeve part and just torqued the nut until proper preload was set. BTW - just to give you an idea: some have described the proper preload torque as like turning a door knob.
 
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Joe Dirt

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What kind/brand of pinion bearing and seals are best- I'm guessing Timken, but I also see National, SKF, or should I hop up to a Motorcraft part?
 
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IZwack

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Those are all good - just stay away from the "Motor City" brand - their tolerances and dimensions need much improvement.
Posted via Mobile Device
 
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Joe Dirt

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Will do... I remember that- I had a Motor City seal for my Mustang pinion, and had to replace it soon after...

Thanks IZ
 
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Joe Dirt

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For the drivetrain guru's:

We tackled this one last night. Overall, a decently simple job, aside from one cross-threaded bolt holding the front driveshaft to the yoke in that took us (3) T30 bits to remove, and having to destroy the seal to get it out of the differential (no puller kit handy).

Needed to remedy my rhythmic front end droning when off the gas, and newly developed vibration when touching the gas enough to keep pressure on the drivetrain...

Questions are- we set the preload to what we think is correct, i.e. doorknob tightness as the only torque wrench we had was a clicker, and not too user friendly for this application so we're working a bit blind here trying to get it right by feel.

We had the impact on the nut for a while, and got it to the point that the preload felt correct and had no fore and aft play in the yoke. There is side to side rotational play though. Like maybe 1/2" back and forth before it engages the gears? Is that normal? It seems like a lot to me for some reason, but then again I like to face my cans the same way in the pantry...

I still seem to have the rhythmic droning noise when off the accelerator, and when I'm in a drive through, I can hear that rhythm rotationally. It seems to be better than before, but I'm wondering if the pinion isn't preloaded correctly, or if it's low on fluid. We're topping that off tonight. Will low fluid create the same type of noise? I really would like to refill it, since the fluid is/was clean that leaked out (maybe 6oz.) and the diff didn't leak at the front so I'd like to not pop it open.

The bearing that came out was gold on the inside surface where the shaft goes through. The race was still good though- but the bearing was definitely cooked.

Not too familiar with the internals of the front diff... Do you think we are on the right track for catching this noise? Everything in the front end is new besides the inner axle bearings and the gearing in the front diff. Axles, hubs, everything else was replaced a few months back just because...

Also- the nut has now been used twice. I really don't want to use it again if we are going to pull it off. Should I pick up another crush sleeve and a new nut, or just keep crushing the sleeve and reef the existing bolt?

As always, thanks in advance!
 
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IZwack

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Needed to remedy my rhythmic front end droning when off the gas, and newly developed vibration when touching the gas enough to keep pressure on the drivetrain...
You sure thats not the rear axle? Cauz the rear usually needs work before the front.

to the point that the preload felt correct and had no fore and aft play in the yoke. There is side to side rotational play though. Like maybe 1/2" back and forth before it engages the gears? Is that normal? It seems like a lot to me for some reason, but then again I like to face my cans the same way in the pantry...
If that 1/2" is rotational (at which point its called "backlash") - then that's probably fine.

I still seem to have the rhythmic droning noise when off the accelerator, and when I'm in a drive through, I can hear that rhythm rotationally. It seems to be better than before, but I'm wondering if the pinion isn't preloaded correctly, or if it's low on fluid. We're topping that off tonight. Will low fluid create the same type of noise? I really would like to refill it, since the fluid is/was clean that leaked out (maybe 6oz.) and the diff didn't leak at the front so I'd like to not pop it open.
The fluid probably wont make much of a difference. But one way to check if its the front thats cauzing that noise is by removing the front driveshaft and doing the same test. If it still hums, then its probably the rear axle.
 
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Joe Dirt

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I guess I assume it's the front- it sounds like it's in the area just inboard of the passenger wheel well, and below the dash. I figured it was right smack where the front diff was, so I assumed that it was the front.

Will trying to tighten the pinion nut some more help eliminate anything? I just don't want to overtighten it and mess up the preload although all we'd have to do is replace the crush sleeve and start over.

The 1/2" of play is rotational, so I have about 1/2 inch in either direction before spinning the yoke engages the gears.

I guess I could remove the front axle and try that, good point.

I did pick up some Lucas 80/90 today for the front end. I'll report when we get it done- thanks IZ.

For a normal V8 AWD, how much noise is normal? I'm hoping that I'm not trying to get it quieter than it should be, wondering if the noise left is from low fluid, and I should have some noice in there normally...
 
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IZwack

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Joe Dirt

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I could pull the axles, pull wheelies, and eliminate everything! :D

Got me- typing faster than I can think...
 
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