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I think I messed up something on my rear differential. Need

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I think I messed up something on my rear differential. Need

Postby Chrisinaz [OP] » Jul 30 2020, 12:57am

I've been having an issue with a leaking pinion seal on my 01 Silverado 4x4. Has the 10 bolt axle. Changed out the pinion seal. Did not install a crush sleeve. I was told you could very carefully count the turns of the pinion nut and go 1/8 of and inch past the old setting. Well I'm wondering if my short cut messed something up? Everything is back together. Driveshaft connected. Fluid in. Cannot get truck to move in any gear. I didn't try revving the engine since I'm not trying to break anything. I don't have a parking brake so that is not an issue. Must have messed up the crush sleeve? Or something else maybe?
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Re: I think I messed up something on my rear differential. N

Postby 19trax95 » Jul 30 2020, 1:21am

You shouldn't have messed anything up that bad to the point it won't move at all simply by not installing and correctly tightening the crush sleeve.

Put the rear axle on jack stands and put the transmission in neutral. You should be able to rotate the driveshaft and have it turn the rear axle with relative ease.

If it doesn't, remove the u joint straps and see if you can turn the trans. If you can, then the issue is in the diff.

Only thing I can think of is if it got tightend way too much and made the pinion preload so tight that it has more resistance than the trans will have torque output at idle.

Or the seal is drastically wrong and is being crushed, basically doing the same thing
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Re: I think I messed up something on my rear differential. N

Postby Chrisinaz [OP] » Jul 30 2020, 1:27am

Is there any possibility I damaged the pinion bearing? Just drawing a blank since I've done seals before and never ran into an issue so far. I really doubt I over crushed the sleeve. Did not use an impact at all to remove or install it.
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Re: I think I messed up something on my rear differential. N

Postby 19trax95 » Jul 30 2020, 1:32am

Anything is possible, but kinda doubtful.

I would just verify which component is the hold up, and go from there.

You didn't change the yolk or anything right?
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Re: I think I messed up something on my rear differential. N

Postby Chrisinaz [OP] » Jul 30 2020, 1:44am

No. Used same yoke. Pinion nut and washer.
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Re: I think I messed up something on my rear differential. N

Postby Chrisinaz [OP] » Jul 30 2020, 7:25am

19trax95 wrote:You shouldn't have messed anything up that bad to the point it won't move at all simply by not installing and correctly tightening the crush sleeve.

Put the rear axle on jack stands and put the transmission in neutral. You should be able to rotate the driveshaft and have it turn the rear axle with relative ease.

If it doesn't, remove the u joint straps and see if you can turn the trans. If you can, then the issue is in the diff.

Only thing I can think of is if it got tightend way too much and made the pinion preload so tight that it has more resistance than the trans will have torque output at idle.

Or the seal is drastically wrong and is being crushed, basically doing the same thing



Ok. Put the truck up on jack stands. Trans in neutral. Can't move the driveshaft at all. Disconnected shaft from diff and can rotate the shaft easily when trans is I neutral. So I must of messed up something
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Re: I think I messed up something on my rear differential. N

Postby EaOutlaw1969 » Jul 30 2020, 8:22am

I have heard this shortcut on the internet for years about people changing the seal and not the crush sleeve and find it fascinating that so many people take the bait and go for it. some get away with it some don't. I think the ones that get away with it have a seal that went bad due to old age the seal got old hard and brittle and started to leak while many not all the others that did not get away with it had a bad seal and worn bearings and other severely worn parts
The main reason I would try and never do this short cut but understand why people do is because by not removing the pinion you miss out on an opportunity to inspect the bearings and gears. Anything from water intrusion to just years of wear can foil this short cut.
At very least if I had no choice but to do this short cut I would remove the inspection cover clean and inspect the gears mark the pinion nut's position and tighten down the nut slowly when I got close to the original position I would constantly check for backlash and the ability to rotate the pinion by just going to your predetermined setting of 1/8th inch past the original mark does not work in the real world.
So if you just back off the nut make sure it starts to rotate again try tightening it again like I mentioned if you get to 1/8th inch or not you want zero backlash while it is still able to freely rotate if it cannot rotate with just getting to zero backlash you have bigger problems than just the seal and did have these problems before you started. just my opinion
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Re: I think I messed up something on my rear differential. N

Postby CT2500HD » Jul 30 2020, 2:45pm

I've changed many pinions seals on a lot of different axles, never had to reset the pinion preload.

Simply score a mark on the end of the pinion shaft, then on the nut to know how it clocks. Make sure the notch is fairly deep and distinct. Scoring the yoke won't matter because you can replace it any position around the pinion shaft splines. The crush sleeve is exactly what it sounds like-

Remove pinion nut and yoke, replace seal, reinstall nut and seat back down to where your marks meets.
And before anyone goes crazy about reusing a pinion nut, know that the ONLY thing that make a pinion nut any different from a new one is that the nut is slightly-crimped to help keep it still on the threads.

If you REALLY wanted to check your work, it would be WAY easier to do the above sequence, remove the diff cover, check the backlash with a dial indicator for spec, then check the ring & pinion mesh pattern with gear marking compound. If your backlash is within spec, chances are almost certain you are fine- meaning the pinion gear it in the same place relative to your ring gear. Checking the contact pattern will verify that.

Measuring pinion preload can only be done with the ring gear (and consequently the entire differential) removed, unless you have a drop-out pinion (which the 14-bolt axle DOES have and the 10-bolt DOES NOT have). Ring gear cannot be in-contact. We talked about the 14-bolt axle here previously:
Strange Howl

Many T****a axles have a drop-out 3rd member, which is awesome- you can set up the entire ring & pinion on the bench, then bolt it back in.

The GM 10-bolt, like the very-common Dana 30/35/44, requires the pinion and differential carrier all be set-up in the axle housing and its generally a PITA for many other reasons.

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Re: I think I messed up something on my rear differential. N

Postby Chrisinaz [OP] » Jul 30 2020, 10:36pm

Hey. Thank you for the reply and insight. Going to go thru everything this weekend and I'll let you know the verdict.
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