Some wanted to know how things turned out with my Ram rear differential
problems with excessive play at the pinion. It turned out to be just an
adjustment of the compression collar and tightening the retaining nut.
Basically, just adjusting the end-play. They also replaced the rear
universal joint. The shop checked for any metal shavings in the differential
or any excessive heat after a 10mi drive at highway speeds and everything
checked out fine. Total bill was $50.00 even. There was never any leakage or
noise so I guess it was caught just in time before any damage was done. I
finally got a bit of luck to my side.......:-)
Real luck. The only way this can cause excessive end play is if pinion
is wobbling around in bearings which would also cause mesh pattern to
change. Pinion/ring gear backlash is determined by carrier shims and
shims under pinion head controlling depth of pinion. It being loose
would not increase backlash unless it was loose enough to wobble in
bearings and away from ring gear. I would keep a eye on rear axle for
future problems from premature ring and pinion wear.
I would question any repair that claimed to "adjust the compression collar"
(crush sleeve) by simply tightening the nut without first removing the ring
Pinion bearing preload can only be measured without the drag of the ring
For $50 bucks how do you know? No competent shop could have pulled the
differential out, set the proper preload on the pinion bearing, put the
differential back in and checked the backlash for $50.00.
Well, I guess I don't. The shop is a fairly well known 4x4 shop that is just
down the road less that a mile away. I have not done business with them
before and will keep an eye out for anything amiss. The shop has a
reputation for doing things correctly and several 4x4 clubs have all their
work done there. Their major business is building and maintaining off-road
and 4x4 vehicles.
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