I just put everything back together in my rear axle, put the right housing over the left housing and temporarily installed/tightened the housing bolts. According to Chaffins book, you have the differential assembly clearance right when you can turn the ring gear with your thumb and feel "a noticeable but moderate drag" while turning the ring gear. I can move the ring gear with my thumb without too much effort but there is some drag. I'm just not sure how difficult it should be to turn, or if mine turns too easily.
Bill, can you feel a noticeable difference in drag between when the housing is just sitting on the other housing, v.s. when it is tightened?
John, about the same amount of drag when I removed all the bolts. Doesn't spin freely, but isn't hard to rotate. I removed .030 from the bronze thrust washer on the left side in order to gain the .010 - .013 pinion clearance and put a full size thrust and steel washers on the right side. I don't know where else to add thickness on the right side unless I put a shim between the thrust washer and steel washer? Maybe I don't even need to add anything; maybe I have perfect (zero) clearance already?
Try making U shaped shims out of brass stock .005 thick and place them between the housings at the bolt holes and see if things loosen up.
Here are a couple of thoughts:
1) Make sure your axle housings are not bent. That will cause drag. Are you doing this with the bearings in?
2) To check gear clearance, cut piece of brown paper grocery bag into a piece a couple of inches long in the arc of the ring gear and run it through the pinion.
3)Do you have the little disc between the axles?
Let us know...
: ^ )
"isn't hard to rotate"
Is so very subjective. Your fingers may be much stronger than mine or not nearly as strong making your statement (for me) hard to judge.
For me, when it was just short of, "very hard" to turn the ring gear (but I still could) then I was happy with it.
I always figured it would loose up some after a few miles.
Think you got it right.
That 'drag' just should not occur in any single spot as you roll around the ring gear.
If it moves smoothly all the way, that is good.
Same way I do it, with the thumb, no fingers, a simple thumb roll.
If you need two thumbs then it's too tight. Rule of thumb
Bill, Yes there should be a noticeable drag, but not too tight when the housings are bolted together with no gasket. The drag should be felt for 360 degrees. That means you have zero clearance. Adding the gasket will give you 0.003-0.005 clearance depending oh how tight you set the bolts. Perfect clearance.
With the rear end bolted together, have someone push & pull on the end of one of the axle shafts. While that's going on, put your finger against the ring gear and notice of it's moving from side to side, and if so, how much. Better still, if you can mount a dial indicator on the axle housing, with the indicator positioned on some part of the ring gear, push and pull an axle in & out yourself and see what reading you get off the indicator, telling you exactly how much end play/clearance you have in your thrust bearings. Don't judge by how much the axle moves, just how much the ring gear moves.
(The grease or oil on the thrust washers may want to "glue" things together some, so your push/pull force may need to be somewhat strong.)
Sorry it took so long to respond, but I just got back from the Detroit Auto Show - very cool! Yes, I did put the fiber between the axles, and no, the housings are not bent. When I put thing together the ring and pinion clearance was zero - I couldn't get any movement when I wiggled the ring gear back and forth. The pinion was set perfectly over the ring the entire length of the tooth and the ring gear was tightened up really snug. I went over everything I could think of and decided I needed to adjust the thickness of the bronze thrust washer on the left side, which I did. I took approximately .030 off and I was able to gain .012 clearance so I left it at that. However, when I went to put the right housing on with brand new steel washers and a brand new thrust washer (roller bearing installed on the left side only) and bolted them together, I felt that maybe the ring gear turned too easily. I will try the push/pull test Jerry, and let you know.
O.k. I tightened the bolts real snug and put the entire axle on my bench horizontally. The drag seemed to increase a bit where I'm more comfortable saying it's noticeable but moderate. I also did the push/pull test and there is absolutely no movement, which I think indicates zero clearance. Lastly, as I turned the ring gear with my thumb, I did notice it moved somewhat easier in a certain area, but not so it was loose. Is this going to cause problems down the road?
Bill, I am confused you said you adjusted the thickness of the bronze washer on the left side and then said that you had a roller bearing on the left side. Which is it? If you have a bronze washer on the left side which you should then your only choice is to shim the roller bearing on the right to reduce the clearance.
I meant to say the Hyatt bearing. I installed the entire axle assembly (with the adjusted bronze thrust washer and two steel washers) into the left housing with the Hyatt bearing, then put the new bronze washer between two new steel washers on the right side.
Ok then its all a matter of adjusting the left side bronze washer for the ring and pinion gear clearance you want and then the right side bronze washer for the side play you want between housings. Simple.