I'm sure it can be done- but would necessitate removing a crushed crush sleeve and measuring it's thickness to determine the proper solid spacer size- the point of the crush sleeve is to be able to adjust pinion depth at time of installation to get the gear mesh correct- so as long as you're using the same gears as when you took the crush sleeve out (intact) I don't see why this would be a problem.
This spacer has nothing to do with the pinion depth. The solid spacer is made a little thinner than needed and shims are added untill the proper preload is reached. The reason GM used crush spacers is because it makes assembly on the assembly line quicker. The 9" Ford Daytona pinion housing, early 8 3/4 Chrysler and most of the Dana rear ends use a solid spacer. The solid spacer is suppose to hold the pinion bearings in place better than a crush spacer because the pinion nut torque can be much greater. Once the pinion bearing preload is set with a solid spacer you can adjust the pinion depth without having to reset the bearing preload.
'69 RS/SS396 Pro Street
427 4 speed 9"
High Performance Drive Train Parts And Service www.lubedealer.com/biggearhead
I'm thinking serviceability, not performance. If this can avoid the Gorilla torque needed to tighten the pinion nut, and having to order a new crush sleeve every time you take the pinion apart, that's what I'm after.
So, just to double check here: if we used a solid spacer instead of a crush sleeve, then we could completely disassemble the rear end and re-assemble it without taking any bearing preload or tooth wear pattern measurements? That is, assuming we put all the various shims back where we found them and used the same ring and pinion.
We have at least three separate projects we need to do that require disassembling the rear end. I don't want to spend $200 each time to have it re-set up.