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What are the chances I'll toast something if I just retorque my rear pinion nut? From the posts I read on a search, it seems like there's a good chance I'll ruin the pinion bearings if I just tighten the nut to fix my loose flange. Are the rear 3rd members interchangable between an 82 pickup and an 88 4 Runner? If so I can rebuild one and have it ready in case the first one goes south.

Where's the best place to order driveline parts for a Toyota? Most places seem to cost right around $140 for the master kits, but I'm not sure which brand of bearings I should try to get.
 

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There is a very good chance that you would further crush the crush sleeve and eventually ruin the bearings. I would HIGHLY recommend getting a crush sleeve eliminator kit. I know that River City DIfferentials makes them (Gearman). Third members are interchangeable. I only run Timken bearings on my stuff. Gearman should be able to set you up with everything that you will need.
 

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I had good results tightening the pinion flange on my old rear diff. Unstake the nut and torque to no more than 90 ft-lbs to take up the slack and then restake the nut. That was with a crush sleeved diff. My current diffs are setup with solid spacers (from Marlin) and I've not had to touch them since they were installed 4 years ago.

I used a clicker style torque wrench, set to 90 ft.lbs., then applied torque to the nut gradually until it broke free then stopped when it stopped moving. The torque wrench was just used as a safety valve to prevent overtightening. The nut would only move a tiny fraction of a revolution, maybe 10 degrees or so.
 

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I've also had good luck tightening the pinion flange without overhauling the diff. I don't know how many pinion oil seals I've done at work and just retorqued the pinion nut. I definately not going to overhaul the diff every time I replace a pinion oil seal.

WHen you put the pinion nut back on, use a torque wrench to torque it. After you torque it, check the location of the stake mark on the pinion nut and the location of the stake indentation on the pinion. IF the stake on the nut is BEFORE the stake mark on the pinion, tighten the pinion nut until it aligns or just passes the stake indentation on the pinion. Restake the pinion nut.

This is what my shop foreskin taught my as an apprentice, that's what I've been doing for years, seems to work.
 
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