I just finished the 'tear-down' part of my axle rebuild and I'm moving onto the 'measure everything then throw most of it out' phase. I had a funny little ring come out that isn't in the parts manual as far as I can tell. It fit concentric with one of the inboard steel thrust plates as shown here:
I couldn't see why such a thing should exist but then I noticed that while the left differential case half appeared to be in good shape (including the pin), the right half had the pin worn off and relied on the ring to hold the thrust plate centred on the axle.
This being my first experience rebuilding a T axle, I'm guessing that the thrust plate got loose and managed to saw off the end of the differential case. If true, I guess I'm buying a new (used) right half but should I buy a left half while I'm at it? That shoulder on the end looks to be in much better shape but what should its dimensions be?
I just finished my first rear-axle rebuild this summer. I hope this thread builds your confidence:
I also needed the same half of a the differential. I bought a good used one from Chaffin's for $50.
Thanks Matt, that thread was definitely one of the ways I got all psyched up to tackle this. Luckily my axle isn't quite as bad as I may have let on: all of the shafts check out well and the Hyatt bearings all measure as new except for the pinion bearing which came out in pieces. No big deal, it was getting replaced with a Fun Projects unit anyways. The ring and pinion out of mine are junk and most of the ring gear bolts are broken but the differential gears check okay. Housings are good, spring bushings are pooched, thrust washers are crusty or absent. All in all I think this whole assembly was a ticking time bomb but not nearly as bad as some I've seen on the forum.
In any case, I'm putting a parts order in tomorrow and if I'm really lucky (I'm not), it will all come in on Friday so I can reassemble on the weekend.
That looks like an intentional alteration, not wear damage. I would follow Matt's lead and get a good one, along with all new pins, steel washers, and thrust washers.
Here's an "ignore that noise and keep driving" left side.
Despite all the damage surrounding it, the center looks pretty good. If your center looks like that and all the rest is good, I'd keep it.