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Cleaning differentials?

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by fourwheelinj1, Jul 31, 2003.

  1. fourwheelinj1

    fourwheelinj1 Registered Member

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    Location:
    Wake Forest North Carolina,USA
    I just bought a set of 3/4 ton axles from a 77 K20 to go into my blazer. The diifferentials have a little bit of grit and a couple of tiny surface rust stops in the differentials. I know thats not good, but its what i got and these are hard to come by around here. What method, and cleaners should i use to try and wash out the differentials while they are still assembled? Would brake cleaner be ok or will that damage any seals?
     
  2. NoSmog73

    NoSmog73 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    [ QUOTE ]
    I just bought a set of 3/4 ton axles from a 77 K20 to go into my blazer. The diifferentials have a little bit of grit and a couple of tiny surface rust stops in the differentials. I know thats not good, but its what i got and these are hard to come by around here. What method, and cleaners should i use to try and wash out the differentials while they are still assembled? Would brake cleaner be ok or will that damage any seals?

    [/ QUOTE ]

    The brake cleaner will work ok...just dont be afraid to use it...Put the axle on a set of jack stands and rotate it so it will drain out...(It would be best if you can take the carrier out..) then wipe the whole thing out the best you can and then take a aircompresser and blow every nook and cranny out and wipe out again and repeat again...I would drain the fluid out after about 500 mile though just to make sure you get it all out...Jm2c /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif

    Here is a qoute from Kidjethro on how to weld up the carrier gears...but you can use it to just take out the carrier ...

    Kidjethro welded carrier

    [ QUOTE ]
    Don't bother welding it per the tech article. The back lash that this creates will, over the long run, cause cracking and failure of the side and spider gears. I believe tRustyK5 can comment on this. He put alot of miles on a setup done as the tech article, and was not happy with the long term wear. If you're gonna weld it, I think the consenus is that welding the side gears, spiders, and cross shaft all into one piece is the best idea. I have done 10+ of these for club members and even sold a couple on another BB. So if you have any questions, I'm your man. Here's a few pictures and a bit of an explanation..

    Remove the axle shafts first...Ask me how many times I've done this and forgot to remove the axle shafts, and then couldn't figure out why I couldn't get the carrier out..

    After you get the cover off the housing and you're lookin at the carrier and ring gear, you'll see two small bolts, one on either side of the carrier. These two bolts hold the clips in place, which in turn lock the side bearing adjusting nuts in place. These are the large round pieces with many small holes around thier circumference, just outboard from the carrier bearing races. What I do is take a scribe and mark the two holes that the prongs on the clips sit in on the adjusting nut. I also scribe a third mark between the two holes on the adjusting nut and onto the housing. Remove the carrier bearing cap bolts, don't bother with removing the two small bolts and the clips. Set them aside in the same orientation that they came off. Leaving the clips and bolts in the bearing cap helps with making sure that you get them back on in the same orientation they came off. No it's time to loosen the adjusting nut's. One turns clockwise, the other turns counter clockwise. What I do is loosen each nut exactly 1 rotation. Lining up the scribe mark on the nut's and the scribe mark on housing after one rotation. Check to see if the carrier will come out now. If it won't, loosen each nut 1 more turn. Check again. Repeat till the carrier will come out. Remember how many rotations you loosened the nuts, so you'll know how many rotations to tighten them when you put it back together. If you loosen it 2 turns, tighten it two turns, and make sure the two prongs on the clip go back into the holes on the adjusting nut that you marked ealier. Pull carrier out, make sure that the carrier bearing races don't fall out and take off accross the shop floor and hide under the tool box... Set carrier on bench and remove all the ring gear bolts. Tap ring gear off of carrier with brass punch and hammer. Split carrier apart.

    This is what you will see after removing the ring gear and splitting the carrier halves apart...


    First thing you need to do is take the top side gear off, and tack the spider gears to the cross shaft where the welds are in this picture..Don't forget to flip it over and tack the other side as well. Make sure that the little cup shaped washers that sit betwee the spiders and the carrier remain there while you tack things. I have yet to pull a 14b carrier apart where all 4 of those washers were in good shape. Everyone has had atleast 1 cracked washer. Luckily I had spares. After you get it all tacked, put some welds appx. 1" long in the same places as the tacks. Just like the picture below.

    Now put the side gear back on top of the spiders, making sure that it meshs correctly with the spiders and is seated all the way down. Tack every place where the side gears meet the spiders. Remove the gear cluster thingy from the carrier half, flip it over, and set the side you just tacked back into the carrier. There are also large flat washers behind the side gears, make sure those stay in place as well. Repeat the same process with the other side gear. When you have everything tacked together, pull the "gear ball" out of the carrier and weld every place the spiders meet the side gears..Like these pictures...(In the background of the first picture, you can see the cup shaped washers that go behind the spiders, and the large flat washers that fit behind the side gears.)




    With 24 seperate welds holding it together, it won't come apart. Pretty much a mini spool for a 14b. I'm 99.9% sure that welded in this manner, It WILL NOT break. The entire carrier would have to explode for that to happen. If you don't like it after you weld it, you can either pull the gear ball out and replace it with a Detriot, or another set of spiders, side gears and cross shaft. No damage to the carrier at all. After you finish, be sure that you clean off all the boogers you can. They like to hang out on the splines in the side gears. A bladed screw driver and a small hammer work well to knock them off. Put everything back together. Don't freak out if the axle shafts dont slide in as loose as they pulled out. Almost everyone I've done I've had to tap thje axle shafts in with a hammer. Key word is tap. If you have to seriously hammer on it, something is wrong. Alot of heat went into welding things together, heat cause's expanding and contracting, thats why it could be a tight fit.

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