Ok, the Auburn is in, and I'm likin life !

Ok, the while 88 Camaro w/ little purple pin-stripe is no longer a virgin - she got her first real mod (outside of her getting a non-GM/Delco battery).
Thanks EVERYONE for all the help and support and hand-holding on this - I really appreciate it. It was fun actually (except for the cheap shim pack).
So heres the deal (for those who may follow in my footsteps) :
Did the dial indicator thing before I touched anything. Bought a $29 Chineese made dial- indicator, and another $29 for the articulated magnetic mount. (good investment I guess). I consistantally measured 7 1/4 thousands for back lash. I wrote that down in the book. (factory limits for the 7-5/8 (7.625) is .006-.008
Carrier removal: - like just everyone said, it prys out pretty easy. Nice and firm, but comes right out with a crow bar being carefull.
There were two ground, cast shims, one in each side. L: .2320, R: .2345 in thickness. I set them aside.
I handed up paying $15 to get the carrier bearings pressed on at a local 4x4 shop that specializes in differentials. Bummer. but I *swear* I'm going to design/build a took for the 7.5/7.625 GM rears, and flood the market with them (on E-bay and Google).
The aftermarket shim pack I got sucks! The foil shims were fine, although all I got was four 10 thousands, a 5, and a 3 in one side, and four tens and a 3 in the other. But the thicker steel spacers were TOTALLY whacked!. They varied by 4 thousands from one side of the ring to the other, on all four of these steel spacers. That was unacceptable. I handed up just using the 2 single precision ground factory spacer shims - worked great. I futzed with all the other little aftermarket shims and shit to get the backlash and such, and when figguring out the preload, it pretty much came out to what the original 2 spacer shims were, so I tapped them right back into place, and wella, I got 6 1/2 thousands (.0065) for backlash, and my pre-removal was 7 1/4 (.00725). and the range is 6-8, and I was now at 6-1/2, so can't beat that with a stick. So beware of them aftermarket shim packs - the guy at the 4x4 shop says thats a well known deal, the steel space part of the set vary anywhere from 4-6 thousands if an inch !
I put it all back together, but I wanted to make my own oil drain plug for the cover, since Auburn says ti change the oil every 7,500 miles, which is like every other regular oil change. So I cobbled up a draining cover. Take a look at the end of the sequence to see the drain plug deal I TIG welded up:
http://www.tinyurl.com/ywpu5
The unit works wonderfull. It relaly does. It stabilizes the car wonderfully, and really pulls the car thru the curves, you can really feel it. It just feels like it tracks much better, and you can really feel it really digging in. Hard to describe, but it just seems to be really sure-footed now, and a lot more aggressive. Its like the car now responds to me now in the curves instead of me responding to the car wondering all over. So this is neat! - feel like a kid with a brand new car. Money well spent !
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Good news.
GM doesn't recommend reusing the cast iron shims because they are fragile and can break on reinstallation. However, it seems everyone reuses them.
As mentioned, use a good sythetic gear lube and forget that 7500 maintenance interval. GM bought units from Auburn as well as Eaton and recommended 30,000 mile fluid intervals.
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The difference between response:
And understeer!
Refinish King

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