Bad U Joint or Degrading Rear End


New Member
Mar 31, 2012
The whole rear end assembly is not in the cards for now, I’ll do that later, once it’s painted. For now I will swap the U joints and try to find someplace to fix the rear, that doesn’t seem very DIY from watching over the years.
You are correct on the working on the rear end. If you don't have a lift I would say forget it. You back will never be the same. Trying to remove the center-section and replacing it - ABOUT 6 TIMES is rough. If you are a young man fine over 40 better get some help. I listening to the video it sounds like the backlash is excessive between the ring gear and pinion. Easy enough to check while you do R&R on the U-joints. Remove the differential cover and leave 1 or 2 bolts in at the top and drain the gear oil. If your cover has a magnet look for excessive metal particles. If you see big pieces of metal it's broken. Small fine almost powder like is OK just not a ton. To get a clean reading on a dial indicator you need to spray brake cleaner inside on the ring and pinion. Don't want lube oil to throw off your readings. You need a dial indicator with a magnetic base. Tons of YouTube videos on how to do this. This is just one I used

Once you get a reading you will know if you have excessive backlash. There are 4 bearings inside. 2 carrier left and right and 2 on the pinion. If you have a LSD this may also be an issue. I have no experience with them except installing a new TrueTrac. Rock the ring gear with you hand and excessive force is not needed to get a reading. I would take 2-3 readings along the ring gear. If excessive backlash you found where your noise is coming from.

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