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Help! Truck is in the shop


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My truck is in the shop I was just going to have them replace the pinion seal but then it turned into a possible bad yoke bearing now they say they need to rebuild the entire rear diff which will cost 3388!!!! There is no way I can afford that. Has anyone done this themselves could I take on this project with just a basic home shop? Or does anyone have any advice? Anything is appreciated thanks!

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I'd say look for a used axle at a yard to trade with yours first. You can rebuild a rear end yourself, but you have to be pretty handy and have some big tools. If I recall correctly, I needed a 40 ton press, some dead blow hammers, some brass drifts, and a big impact... like a huge 1/2 or normal 3/4" drive. There are some good walk throughs on rebuilding dana 60s which are pretty similar to our 70s and 80s. I would check those, as I could be wrong. The first axle I did took several days to get shimmed correctly and get things safely pressed on and off the differential.

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Are they selling you a brand new complete rear axle assembly and marking it up 499% or what for that price?:doh:Danas can be a pain to set up and shim correctly and if you have never done one before and do not have tooling it is best left to someone ho has the capability but there should be no reason for it to be more than a few hundred bucks. A full bearing and shim kit can be bought for about 100 bucks and it is only about 4-6 hours of labor for a skilled person to do. At least that is what it took me to do one completely with rebuilding the carrier and replacing the ring and pinion, even less time if it is just a pinion bearing and the carrier bearings are still good.If you do decide to do it and do need to rebearing the carrier along with the pinion I can lend you my Dana setup bearings, just pay shipping to and fro.:thumbup2:Set up bearings have a larger inside diameter so they slip on and off without the need to press and pull 25 times to get the right shim pack thickness on the carrier bearings, the pinion bearings do not require these, just tap things on and off with a hammer.Usually things will be very close if you reuse the same carrier and same ring and pinion, you can get buy with the same shims that were originally in the same spots.Have you actually seen the oil that came out and looked at the magnet to see if there was metal apparent to indicate a bad bearing and another thing is if you can not physically move the pinion by pushing up down side to side ect to indicate play I would find it hard to believe a pinion bearing is failing, you would be getting a bad howl and if you turn the yoke slowly you could feel it grinding or rough.It is easy enough to pop the carrier and pinion out just to inspect things without messing anything up. Dana 80's are notorious for spinning the carrier races in the housing under the caps, this is one thing to watch for too when you take it apart.This too is easily fixed, I just took the caps to a belt sander and took a couple thousanths off the face and then center punch peened the inner surface of the cap and the diff housing where the race rides to make for a tighter fit this too will require more shims to spread the bearing out to tighten the gap it grind out on the side axle spots, I just took a 90* die grinder with buffer wheel and smoothed the areas up where the spacer washers sits against the axle tube.In short my opinion is to get a second opinion because the shop you had it at is trying to rake you over the coals and in a bad way too. Like I am saying you do not "suspect" a bad pinion bearing when they go bad it becomes apparent very quickly this just throws all sorts of red flags about the shop you are going to..Danas rarely fail pinion bearings unless a driveline was extremely out of balance or it has other things failing internally which creates metal to wear out the pinion bearings, the most common thing is carrier bearings failing and there races spin inside the caps and this starts the ball rolling for other failures.

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I took a bunch of them apart back in the day. If your ring, pinon, and spider gears are ok than just change the bearings. The axle housing that Dana makes is so well machined that I'd press off the old bearings and press on the new ones using the same shims, never had a problem with noise. If the gears are worn then It a lot of work and a pain in the a@@ to set up. This you want to leave to a pro. Get the pinon depth and prelaod or ring gear backlash and contact pattern wrong and your tearing it back down. I'd get a used one put that in and keep the old core as a rebuild unit.

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I took a bunch of them apart back in the day. If your ring, pinon, and spider gears are ok than just change the bearings. The axle housing that Dana makes is so well machined that I'd press off the old bearings and press on the new ones using the same shims, never had a problem with noise. If the gears are worn then It a lot of work and a pain in the a@@ to set up. This you want to leave to a pro. Get the pinon depth and prelaod or ring gear backlash and contact pattern wrong and your tearing it back down. I'd get a used one put that in and keep the old core as a rebuild unit.

That is no different than a new ring and pinion, different ring and pinion or carrier into a different housing and you need to start from scratch with the shims.
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