Rebuilt the rear in my '96 Rodeo....

Pinion bearings were making an awful racket(front seal had started leaking, I didn't see it, ran rear-end low on fluid). When I took the cover off to
get in to do the pinion bearings, noticed that the spider gears had a LOT of play, so... cover back on, fill with fluid, wait on more parts.
I have to say, I have a wonderful dealer to deal with. He's not the guy I bought the Rodeo off of new, but same city(other one closed, this one opened) and the parts guy gives me a(IMO) great deal on parts. At this point, pretty much 25% off on everything. :) Anyway, replaced everything except ring and pinion, they weren't worn at all.
Getting the crush sleeve to start "crushing" took a good bit(4' pipe wrench on the flange, 3/4" air wrench with about 110lbs of air!) but once it did, it moved easily and gave me the 20-40inch pounds of torque needed on the pinion. Replacing the spider gears was a lot easier than I thought it'd be. Remove the ring gear, pop out a roll pin, take the pin out of the center spiders, and then rotate 'em out. Put the two axle gears in, smaller side gears one on top, one on the bottom, rotate the axle gears and voila, spiders back in place. Insert gear pin and roll pin, put ring gear back on, and differential is rebuilt. :)
Getting the differential back into the rear end housing required a stretcher. New carrier bearings on it as well(new axle bearings too). I used all the shims over again as none were damaged in any way, and I figured it should give me pretty much the right lash needed. Once the differential was in, held the flange again with the pipe wrench and torqued all the ring gear bolts. 80lbs, too much for one person to just hold and another tighten. Torque the carrier bearing caps, cover back on, fill with oil(used Lucas gear climbing oil), driveshaft back on, axles in, parking brake shoes installed, rotors on, calipers, wheels and tires, and we're done. Now for the test. Oh, put small amounts of bearing grease on the ring gear and rotated through two full turns... using the shims over again worked great, nice center pattern for the mesh. :)
Back out of the garage, no noise... down around the block two or three times, no noise... spider gears make a little bit of sound, but don't know what I could've done different, as there aren't any shims for them. *shrug* None that I know of anyway. Wife's been running it the past two days, so far, no problems. :)
Luckily, Dad's been a mechanic all his life and we pretty much had all the tools necessary... to main ones prob. not normally found in a tool box were the inch pound torque wrench that just has the indicator on it, and the rear housing stretcher. Mechanic here where I work said the only place he'd ever seen those before was at a dealership. Thanks Dad! :)
Approx. $500 in parts, nothing in labor.. with having to work 8hrs every day, then drive 1/2 hr to where I work on it, then 45min home afterwards, took roughly a week to complete. If I'd have had all day and assuming the machine shop didn't take any longer getting the inner pinion bearing pressed on, or the axle bearings, job could've been completed in 2-3 days tops. I figure I saved at least another $800 in labor, probably more.
Sorry for the ramble, just kinda happy it worked out so far. :) This was the first rear-end Dad had worked with in a lot of years, and the first time I'd tackled anything like it ever. Next up, needs new rear rotors.. no biggie... Found some on the net for $55, says Brembo? Sounds low for Brembo.. any opinions? But, then the real next "project" is the lifters. Hopefully no tougher than the timing belt or rear-end job I just did. :)
-- It's not just based on number of championships won. Richard Petty won 200 races and 7 Daytona 500s in his 30+ year driving career. He also has the most top-5s (555), top-10s (712), poles (126), laps completed (307,836), laps led (52,194), races led (599) and consecutive races won (10 in 1967) of any driver in NASCAR history.
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