pinion bearings - 2001 2500

my front differential is grinding when engaged, and ive found its an issue of pinion bearings (i can grab the front drive shaft and wiggle it around a
little). i had originally intended to rebuild the entire front end (gotta remove the ring gear to access the inside pinion bearing anyway) but a friend of mine told me he wouldnt bother with all that. he advised me to simply replace the outer bearing since i could do that without have to disassemble the entire axle.
...so i guess im asking your opinion based on what you would do. would you just replace the outter bearing and see if that fixes things before disassembling the complete axle? whichever way i go i want to do it this weekend so that i have functional front drive before the snow starts falling in the coming months.
also, any idea what size socket i need from the front drive pinion nut? what is the torque setting? thanks,
Nathan In Montana http://CarryGuide.com
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Nathan W. Collier wrote:

Pull it down, clean it ALL out and replace the bad parts. Look at it this way, You're going to pull the cover, flush out the lube (or should since worn bearings tend to leave metal behind) then pull the outer bearing and HOPE that the inner isn't worn/damaged from the motion?
MUCH better to pull it apart and do it right. Just think how much fun it would be to do it a second time on a nice chilly mid December Montana night!
--
Steve W.

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He probably told you that because it's much easier than pulling the differential and swapping the pinion out and back in. Yeah, I've done that on friends' vehicles, where the pinion nut loosened up and allowed some slop. No, it's not the right way to do it, but it di keep them running for another few years (till other stuff failed - nothing to do with the pinion, though).
The problem is, on a Dana axle, you need a case spreader to get the differential out. Since you'd just (hopefully) be swapping pinion bearings, you wouldn't have to worry about any of the gear setup, so otther than the case spreader, you'd need the following:
- big socket (sorry, don't remember the exact size - but if you have a full 3/4" socket set, you're fine. Otherwise, I might have a spare pinion nut lying around, and I could measure it for you) - Big pipe wrench, and 1" pipe about 3-4 feet long - you'll use this to hold the yoke (lock pipe wrench around yoke, use pipe extension to wedge against ground and prevent from turning) - this is more for the re-installtion than the removal (removal you can just use an inpact gun to spin the nut loose - though if the driveshaft is sloppy, it's probably not all that tight to begin with) - New crush sleeve for the pinion (get this with the bearings) - inch-pound dial torque wrench (used to measure the bearing preload on the pinion - for a new set of bearings, you should tighten the pinion nut until you get between 15 and 35 inch pounds of rotational torque [drag on the bearings] - you do this with the differential removed, obviously)
Torque on the pinion nut is 215ft.lb. minimum, 280ft.lb. maximum - but you go by the rotational torque measurement above
Do you have a Factory Service Manual to use for this? If not, I can loan you mine... contact me at tom four eight eight at gee mail dot com and we can get you set up.
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Isn't it an inch-ounce torque wrench for the preload?
beekeep
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snipped-for-privacy@radix.net (beekeep) wrote:

Yes, preferably a beam or dial type.
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Here we go!!! <BFG>
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It'll never fly.. Good ole Mr D150 ain't around anymore......... I still wish I knew what happened to the ole guy.
Denny
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It'll never fly.. Good ole Mr D150 ain't around anymore......... I still wish I knew what happened to the ole guy.
Well, we both tried to trace him back and the info he posted here wasn't much good. He wasn't where he said he was.
But thinking of him, "Click"
Roy
Denny
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<GBFG>
Denny
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No, it's in.lbs.
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guys, thanks much for the recommendations and advice. ill update you once im done. if im going to tear it apart anyway im going to completely rebuild it, carrier bearings and all.
Nathan In Montana http://CarryGuide.com

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