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Old 03-21-2012, 07:43 PM   #1
littlemissGTO
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I Hate the Smell of Gear Lube

but that hasn't stopped me from tearing differentials apart. This morning I picked up center section from a board member (thanks again Shoddy) and took it to school to begin the disassemly/reassembly process. I wanted the least amount of downtime, so this was the best route for me. Thanks to Konnie's thread in this section, I got all of the part numbers I needed and gave them to my boss. Can you say Eaton Trutrac and 3.91s?
Center section anxiously awaiting it's fate.


My instructors had the same reaction that Konnie's instructors had when I pulled the cover off. One even called it a "Forderloet" (pronounced Ford-a-lay). Then the guess game begin over how to remove the stubs. A prybar later, they were out.
Once the stubs were out I grabbed a spanner wrench and got the side adjusters out. After reading a few horror stories about needing a special tool and how much of a pain they were to remove I was shocked that I did this by myself.
After I got the side adjusters out, the carrier pretty much fell out of the housing and onto the bench.

Now before I was allowed to put the housing in the steam bath, my instructor did a demo on welding races to get them out of the housing. That was pretty darned cool. I just had to wait until the housing was cooled enough to get it cleaned up.

I was surprised to learn that the stubs were two different lengths. Please bear with me as I've never had an IRS differential apart. The other diffs I've worked on have been Ford 9".



Tomorrow I'll remove the ring gear and take a look at the carrier to see if there's anything wrong with it. The ring gear has an interesting wear pattern on the drive side. I'll get pictures of that tomorrow as well.
After the housing came out of the hot tank, I sandblasted it. It's going to be powdercoated. I'm thinking fire engine red or black chrome. We'll see.

If you want any specific pictures of the old parts please let me know. I will update this thread as new stuff comes in and the diff goes back together. I'm not really looking forward to taking the diff that's in my car out, simply because I'm really short and most of the people that will want to help are at least a foot taller than me.
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Old 03-21-2012, 10:12 PM   #2
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They are simply simple aren't they! I remember doing my diff about a month ago. I still have my old spare sitting in the garage. It turns out what I originally thought was my diff going out was simply just the side adjuster working itself loose. Oh well, I got a fully rebuilt rear with a eaton truetrac sitting in the car now
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Old 03-22-2012, 12:17 PM   #3
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Yes, they are! They are also considerably easier to set up that some other differentials out there.
Today I pulled the differential apart and learned quite a few things. I learned what a spring tuning kit is and where it goes. I also found out what may have been busticated on this differential.
My first thought was that the diff had been run low on oil. I thought this for two reasons. One reason is because when I pulled the fill plug, my short fingers didn't feel any oil. It wasn't until I pulled the drain plug that I discovered that there was oil in the unit (Heh she said unit.) The other reason I thought the unit may had been run low on oil was because of the way the pinion turned. It felt like there was some binding going on. It turns out that the unit had not been run low on oil, so I needed to do more digging. Out came the impact and a few other tools. I must admit that I forgot that the ring gear bolts are left hand thread. I got that figure out pretty quick. Once I got the diff apart I called over my instructor and got an impromptu lesson.
I learned that the diffs in our cars are basically a smaller version of what you'd find on a big truck. My instructor thought this was really cool. He also mentioned that I may get to see these this summer.
hotos I took today:
Ring gear pattern




Differential coming apart:






Bustimicated parts:


I haven't decided if I'm going to order the spring tuning kit and reassemble the unit. I know the kit isn't that expensive in the grand scheme of things, but do I really need 2 stock differentials lying around?
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Old 03-22-2012, 12:25 PM   #4
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Thanks for the pictures. I have never had the GTO differential apart before. For the spring tuning kit, would the whole diff need to be disassembled like you did there? I guess I still dont quite understand how that kit works...
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Old 03-22-2012, 12:38 PM   #5
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Yes, it does. The fifth picture shows how they sit in the middle of the differential. You can leave the ring gear attached. In fact it's a bit of a PITA to remove the ring gear. Nothing a BFH or torch wouldn't cure.
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Old 03-22-2012, 12:43 PM   #6
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Well if Im going to pull the diff, Im going to replace it. haha. Thanks!
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Old 03-22-2012, 12:54 PM   #7
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Watch out for powdercoating the housing because I'm sure there are some areas of it that are very tight tolerances and if you put on some heavy powder it might not fit as well as it should. I had a friend powdercoat a bellhousing for the hell of it and had to grind out the center because the transmission collar would hit. Other then that everything looks good
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Old 03-22-2012, 04:48 PM   #8
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God I wish I had your photog skills. I can actually see the pattern clearly. Pinion was a little too low, and the backlash was wide. Fairly typical.

The M80 is a great unit to work with, and yes gear lube smells. You get used to it.
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Old 03-22-2012, 05:16 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slacker83...View Post
Watch out for powdercoating the housing because I'm sure there are some areas of it that are very tight tolerances and if you put on some heavy powder it might not fit as well as it should. I had a friend powdercoat a bellhousing for the hell of it and had to grind out the center because the transmission collar would hit. Other then that everything looks good


The company that's powdercoating the housing has tons of experience doing housings and engine blocks. I'm hoping they take care when they do mine.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Konnie the Goat...View Post
God I wish I had your photog skills. I can actually see the pattern clearly. Pinion was a little too low, and the backlash was wide. Fairly typical.

The M80 is a great unit to work with, and yes gear lube smells. You get used to it.

Thanks Konnie. If I said I didn't enjoy what I do, I'd be lying. If all goes well I'll have all my parts next week and will be able to begin assembly. I'm seriously wondering why people have a hard time setting this particular differential up. One of my classmates is working on an 05 Mustang that has a solid axle. Talk about a major PITA to work with. I do NOT envy him at this moment. Maybe I will when it comes time to remove the diff that's in my car...LOL
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Old 03-22-2012, 05:25 PM   #10
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I hate that smell. Just changed mine last week.

Little history on that diff...it clunked in parking lots when turning from day one, and I assume that was from the incorrect pinion adjustment.

I changed the fluid the first and two more times (it didn't like Amsoil) before it failed around 50k. It did have a pinion seal fail at 36,500 that the dealer replaced under warranty, but I caught it right away.

Shauna, I thought about it yesterday after you left, and I did drain the fluid. I even remember posting a picture of it here. That's why my coworkers don't ask me questions till I've had my first cup of coffee.

It started whining one day after I'd had a little wheel hop in the rain. It quickly got worse.

www.ls1gto.com/forums/showthread.php?t=212659

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Old 03-22-2012, 05:27 PM   #11
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The 8.8SRA has its quirks. I've done lots of those, and the c-clips manage to piss me off every time. Somehow, they are a bigger PITA than a 10bolt.

its hard to say why folks have issues with these diffs. I think its a combination of not caring, and listening to the wrong folks. Namely the folks who insist there is something special about setting this unit up. There really isnt. As you are about to see, the 'hard' part is going to go exactly like a 9". It really doesnt get any easier than that.
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Old 03-22-2012, 05:39 PM   #12
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I hate that smell. Just changed mine last week.

Little history on that diff...it clunked in parking lots when turning from day one, and I assume that was from the incorrect pinion adjustment.

I changed the fluid the first and two more times (it didn't like Amsoil) before it failed around 50k. It did have a pinion seal fail at 36,500 that the dealer replaced under warranty, but I caught it right away.

Shauna, I thought about it yesterday after you left, and I did drain the fluid. I even remember posting a picture of it here. That's why my coworkers don't ask me questions till I've had my first cup of coffee.

It started whining one day after I'd had a little wheel hop in the rain. It quickly got worse.

www.ls1gto.com/forums/showthread.php?t=212659

Tomorrow I will try to get some photos of how the bearings were wandering around on the races. Do you want me to rebuild the diff and give it back to you minus the case? From what I can tell all it needs is a spring tuning kit and some bearings. You could have an extra on hand just in case.
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Originally Posted by Konnie the Goat...View Post
The 8.8SRA has its quirks. I've done lots of those, and the c-clips manage to piss me off every time. Somehow, they are a bigger PITA than a 10bolt.

its hard to say why folks have issues with these diffs. I think its a combination of not caring, and listening to the wrong folks. Namely the folks who insist there is something special about setting this unit up. There really isnt. As you are about to see, the 'hard' part is going to go exactly like a 9". It really doesnt get any easier than that.

The c-clips and a couple of other things are just stupid. Of course he replaced the diff with an Auburn and that totally changed everything.
So far the hard part has been getting the diff out of my trunk and onto the teardown table...LOL Again if anyone wants pictures of anything specific, please let me know and I'll take them for you.
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Old 03-22-2012, 05:50 PM   #13
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Tomorrow I will try to get some photos of how the bearings were wandering around on the races. Do you want me to rebuild the diff and give it back to you minus the case? From what I can tell all it needs is a spring tuning kit and some bearings. You could have an extra on hand just in case.

Hmmm....I always said if I had a problem with this one, I'd just have 3.91s installed. Nice to know who in the area can do it.

Whatever you do with it, don't throw the stubs away. The ones in my car now are most certainly as twisted as I am.
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Old 03-22-2012, 06:10 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by littlemissGTO...View Post

I haven't decided if I'm going to order the spring tuning kit and reassemble the unit. I know the kit isn't that expensive in the grand scheme of things, but do I really need 2 stock differentials lying around?


Looking good Shauna, congrats on your new found talent in the mechanics field!
Mine is making noise, all the reason for me doing what you did to that one. Only problem is I have a job already, no lift, not enough tools to get mine out and torn apart. Then what would I do with pieces/parts laying all over the place?
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Old 03-22-2012, 06:30 PM   #15
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Hmmm....I always said if I had a problem with this one, I'd just have 3.91s installed. Nice to know who in the area can do it.

Whatever you do with it, don't throw the stubs away. The ones in my car now are most certainly as twisted as I am.

The stubs have been run through the parts washer and cleaned up. I have another spare set here, so you're covered no matter what.
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Looking good Shauna, congrats on your new found talent in the mechanics field!
Mine is making noise, all the reason for me doing what you did to that one. Only problem is I have a job already, no lift, not enough tools to get mine out and torn apart. Then what would I do with pieces/parts laying all over the place?

Thanks Dennis! If I still have the diff around the time of the Fall Dragon Run, I'll bring it with me for you.
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Old 03-22-2012, 06:37 PM   #16
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The stubs have been run through the parts washer and cleaned up. I have another spare set here, so you're covered no matter what.

Cool. I think I'm sticking with my decision to retire her from the track for now, but you never know when I'll wheel hop and snap one. Hell, I should have snapped them at the track already.
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Old 03-22-2012, 06:41 PM   #17
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Seeing threads like these make me feel like rebuilding my own differential more and more. It's amazing to see how non-complicated it really is in there! I really feel like I could of saved my old diff instead of scrapping it!
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Old 03-22-2012, 06:54 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by littlemissGTO...View Post
I haven't decided if I'm going to order the spring tuning kit and reassemble the unit. I know the kit isn't that expensive in the grand scheme of things, but do I really need 2 stock differentials lying around?

How much do you want for it after its rebuilt? I could use a strong spare and i have been eyeing up an entire rear for $300 on fleabay. All I need is the carrier so this would be better...

edit: Just pulled the trigger on the full center section. If you could post up torque specs and specific on setting back lash and adjusting the side adjusters that would be awesome....
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Old 03-23-2012, 01:49 AM   #19
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Oddly, I like the smell of gear lube.
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Old 03-23-2012, 02:39 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cruiser787904...View Post
How much do you want for it after its rebuilt? I could use a strong spare and i have been eyeing up an entire rear for $300 on fleabay. All I need is the carrier so this would be better...

edit: Just pulled the trigger on the full center section. If you could post up torque specs and specific on setting back lash and adjusting the side adjusters that would be awesome....

I'll get the specs when I get to school.
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Oddly, I like the smell of gear lube.

That's because you're odd...LOL
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Old 03-23-2012, 03:53 AM   #21
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Oddly, I like the smell of gear lube.

Yeah, gear lube is nothing compared to pulling a head bolt out of an old engine, that smell fills the whole shop. Diesels are another lovely smell.
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Old 03-23-2012, 04:05 AM   #22
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Yeah, gear lube is nothing compared to pulling a finger out of an old crack ho, that smell fills the whole shop.

Fixed.
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Old 03-23-2012, 04:14 AM   #23
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The Posi is the Major week link in the rear end..
I have seen many crack in two, If you can swing it get a Eaton..
BTW the pinion shims are between the housing and the race.
Most other rear end put the shims between the bearing and the pinion
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Old 03-23-2012, 05:47 AM   #24
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it is simple to R&R if you are re-using the stock gearset, and the same shim that was under the pinion...as you are finding.
When you put a set of marginal quality 3.91 aftermarket gears in there...and have to find the optimal pinion depth to give a good pattern...that's likely where most go wrong. Either by not taking the time to get it right, or don't know how to determine a "correct" looking pattern.


Shoddy that looked like some good Barleywine in that glass....high viscosity LOL
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Old 03-23-2012, 06:06 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hardcore...View Post
The Posi is the Major week link in the rear end..
I have seen many crack in two, If you can swing it get a Eaton..
BTW the pinion shims are between the housing and the race.
Most other rear end put the shims between the bearing and the pinion

Is the posi the weakest link or is it the inner stubs?
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Old 03-23-2012, 06:22 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by ForzaFTW...View Post
Seeing threads like these make me feel like rebuilding my own differential more and more. It's amazing to see how non-complicated it really is in there!

Exactly what I was thinking.
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Old 03-23-2012, 07:06 AM   #27
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Thanks for the excellent write up Shauna, and Shoddy for the donation, When it comes time for my 3.91's you'll be my gal!
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Old 03-23-2012, 07:45 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cruiser787904...View Post
How much do you want for it after its rebuilt? I could use a strong spare and i have been eyeing up an entire rear for $300 on fleabay. All I need is the carrier so this would be better...

edit: Just pulled the trigger on the full center section. If you could post up torque specs and specific on setting back lash and adjusting the side adjusters that would be awesome....

Well our diffs don't use end caps so to speak, so there's no bolts to torque there. The only spec I could find is the pinion flange rotational torque, which is 2-4 inch pounds. I will discuss pinion preload and backlash with my instructors because I haven't been able to find a spec yet. When I decide on what I'm going to set them at I'll let you know.
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it is simple to R&R if you are re-using the stock gearset, and the same shim that was under the pinion...as you are finding.
When you put a set of marginal quality 3.91 aftermarket gears in there...and have to find the optimal pinion depth to give a good pattern...that's likely where most go wrong. Either by not taking the time to get it right, or don't know how to determine a "correct" looking pattern.


Shoddy that looked like some good Barleywine in that glass....high viscosity LOL

I've got an Eaton Truetrac coming as well as Motive 3.91 gears. The guys that teach my major won't let me shortcut anything. Besides I don't want to have to take the diff out once it's in my car, so I'm going to take the time to make sure everything is spot on.
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Originally Posted by Lkn4trouble...View Post
Thanks for the excellent write up Shauna, and Shoddy for the donation, When it comes time for my 3.91's you'll be my gal!

I'll be done with school by the time you need your differential done....LOL
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Old 03-23-2012, 07:49 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by littlemissGTO...View Post
I was surprised to learn that the stubs were two different lengths. Please bear with me as I've never had an IRS differential apart.

what'd you do with those stubs i sold you back in the day?

those ones that came out of the diff you're working on now look pretty decent.
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Old 03-23-2012, 11:35 AM   #30
littlemissGTO
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Originally Posted by jpvulpes...View Post
what'd you do with those stubs i sold you back in the day?

those ones that came out of the diff you're working on now look pretty decent.

They are still in the box you shipped them in. :-). I don't know what kind if shape my stock ones are in yet. Did you need them back?
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