What exactly is pinion preload?

So I'm thinking of installing different gears. I'm doing some research as to what is involved in setting up the gears and I've come along "preload".
As far as I understand it's the torque required to turn the pinion but the whole thing is still unclear. Can anyone explain? I understand that it's measured in units on the order of in/lbs. For a f-body 7.625" 10 bolt the spec is 25in/lbs which doesn't seem like much at all..
-Bruce
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PINION BEARING PRELOAD http://www.tpub.com/content/construction/14273/css/14273_197.htm
Setting Up a Differential Ring & Pinion http://www.thedirtforum.com/differential.htm
You really should try Google first next time. These two came up on the first page when " pinion preload" was entered.
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Damn, that's a nice site. It is so book marked and e-mailed to myself just in case. And a very clear explaination of all the set up involved. I was kind of foggy on that all myself, but not any more. Guess I can do my own, after all.

didn't even bother to go to this one...

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Ok. Second one *was* very useful for detail of the procedure involved... Very good ideas I hadn't thought of from reading the first one.
Thanks muchly for that post.
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