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Axle yolk 'play' - whats a normal range?

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by BorregoK5, Feb 22, 2002.

  1. BorregoK5

    BorregoK5 1/2 ton status

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    Axle yolk \'play\' - whats a normal range?

    Without pulling the cover, I'd like to get an idea of how much wear I have on my 12 bolt. Right now I get about 1/16 of a turn free play on the pinion yolk, very evident thunk when switching from reverse to forward and vice versa. I know there is supposed to be a little bit of play as when it heats up it nees to have room for the metal to expand, but whats the min/max I should have.

    I'd like to use this yolk slop checking teqnique when junkyard shopping here in the next few weeks for a decent axle as a means to quickly eliminate worn gears (above and beyond other tell tale signs). That way I can spend my time looking over the decent axles.

    I started with nothing and I still have most of that left! - <a target="_blank" href=http://community.webshots.com/user/borregok5> Pictures</a>
     
  2. 4X4HIGH

    4X4HIGH 1 ton status Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    Re: Axle yolk \'play\' - whats a normal range?

    A 1/16 of a turn is way too much. What you are feeling is the backlash of the ring and pinion gears. Backlash is supposed to be somewhere in the neighborhood of .004"-.008" of an inch.

    1989 blazer, 383 stroker, 4.56 geared and detroit locked D44 front and 14BFF rear
     
  3. BorregoK5

    BorregoK5 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Axle yolk \'play\' - whats a normal range?

    Yeah, thats what I figured. I've been taking it real easy on it lately waiting to get my 14 bolt finished. About how much rotation at the pinion yolk should I see with a proper backlash?

    I started with nothing and I still have most of that left! - <a target="_blank" href=http://community.webshots.com/user/borregok5> Pictures</a>
     
  4. 4X4HIGH

    4X4HIGH 1 ton status Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    Re: Axle yolk \'play\' - whats a normal range?

    The proper amount for the yoke to turn before turning the ring gear is .004"-.008"

    1989 blazer, 383 stroker, 4.56 geared and detroit locked D44 front and 14BFF rear
     
  5. 4X4HIGH

    4X4HIGH 1 ton status Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    Re: Axle yolk \'play\' - whats a normal range?

    The proper amount for the yoke to turn before turning the ring gear is .004"-.008". This by the way is assuming that it is all factory and doesn't have a detroit in it. It is very common for a detroit locked rear yoke to have as much as 1/4 turn free play because of the way the detroit is designed.

    1989 blazer, 383 stroker, 4.56 geared and detroit locked D44 front and 14BFF rear
     
  6. BorregoK5

    BorregoK5 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Axle yolk \'play\' - whats a normal range?

    Oh, so where would this measurement be taken from on the yolk? I assumed the measurement was taken from inside the pumpkin.

    I started with nothing and I still have most of that left! - <a target="_blank" href=http://community.webshots.com/user/borregok5> Pictures</a>
     
  7. Grim-Reaper

    Grim-Reaper 3/4 ton status Author

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    Re: Axle yolk \'play\' - whats a normal range?

    .004-.008 is measured at the ring gear. Some slop there is normal with age. The lower the gear the more you will get. 3.08 should be fairly tight but 4.56 will have much more. Some of that is slop in the diff gears so don't think that's all R&amp;P slop.
    Also make sure there is no up and down movement. That would indicate that the bearings have worn and you may need to put some more pre load on the pinion nut. This is best donw using a inch lb torq wrench. how to check this will be in your shop manual. As I recall it's 14inchlb on used bearings.
    If you ever get a Detroit hahaha darn near a 1/4 of a turn.

    Women dig dents and flat paint!
    coloradok5.com/gallery/Grim
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  8. BorregoK5

    BorregoK5 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Axle yolk \'play\' - whats a normal range?

    I should have clarified what I was looking for. After reading the thread from a third parties perspective even I wasn't sure what I was asking so here goes again. I understand how to adjust the backlash from inside the housing with a dial indicator. What I'm trying to find out (for lack of a properly adjusted axle to test it on) is at the U-Joint on the pinion yolk how much rotation a proper backlash would allow from the pinion teeth wiggling in the ring gear teeth. If you twist the yolk back and forth very lightly you can feel the teeth tapping each side of the ring gear without moving the ring gear. I thought this was supposed to be just a few degrees... but really cant recall. I know you can have a good 1/8th of a turn slop before turning the hubs.

    I started with nothing and I still have most of that left! - <a target="_blank" href=http://community.webshots.com/user/borregok5> Pictures</a>
     
  9. Grim-Reaper

    Grim-Reaper 3/4 ton status Author

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    Re: Axle yolk \'play\' - whats a normal range?

    No I understand what your saying. You can't really judge it from turning the yoke. The only way to properly check the lash is by measuring it the ring gear. If it checks out then don't worry about it.

    Women dig dents and flat paint!
    coloradok5.com/gallery/Grim
    75 Jimmy, Dollar
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  10. Twiz

    Twiz 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Axle yolk \'play\' - whats a normal range?

    There is no given spec for "yoke-play".
    Because, there are WAY to meny varaibles (S/P?). Not only does Ring and Pinion back-lash add to the feel, but also gear ratio, and style of the diff (A Ford 9" with it's low pinion would feel different than a 10-bolt Chev and that would feel different than a 14-bolt). And thats if you are tuned in enoff to eliminate the spider-gear play. As you can see, checking a diff by the feel of the yoke is not a ligitamat test.

    With that said. A guy can get a feel for it, after checking serveral (50-ish, guessing) of diff gears by wiggiling the pinion. It's sketchy at best, and really only "gives you the feeling" that there might be some problems in side the houseing.

    Bottom line.
    You really can't check gears by the feel of the slop in the yoke.


    Edited: believe it or not, I started this reply before Grimm replied. Man, I gotta learn how to type with two hands....



    <font color=white>.</font color=white>Eric
    <font color=white>.</font color=white>Twizted
    <P ID="edit"><FONT class="small">Edited by Twiztid on 02/22/02 10:27 PM.</FONT></P>
     
  11. BorregoK5

    BorregoK5 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Axle yolk \'play\' - whats a normal range?

    Oh well, it was worth a shot. I'll do anything to keep from pulling stinky gear oil covers off junk yard axles. Especially if I have to go thru several of them before finding the one I'm after. Thanks everyone for your patience!

    I started with nothing and I still have most of that left! - <a target="_blank" href=http://community.webshots.com/user/borregok5> Pictures</a>
     

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