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Discussion Starter #1
A few friends helped me pull my front diff yesterday morning and install a used 3rd member with an ARB. Everything was fine until I got to about 35 miles an hour - then it starts to howl/whine. When you slow down, it will howl/whine even louder when you get to pretty low speeds. Loud on the highway, but quiet if you let off the gas at highway speeds. Kind of sounds like a school bus transmission, or the transfer case when it is in low gear.

I figure this is likely the pinion bearings, or the ring/pinion themselves. Gears looked and felt good prior to install, but I didn't check their pattern. Pinion seal is leaking pretty bad already (only been in a couple hours).




Can I replace the pinion bearing closest to the driveshaft without pulling the third?

Is it a waste of time to try to replace that bearing and the seal first? - Just trying to avoid the several hour process of pulling the third again.



Should I just bite the bullet and start over again tearing it down?



If so, would it be easier to pull the ARB and put it in the Diff that was in the truck (50k miles on it), or should I try to rebuild the existing 3rd?



Thanks.
 

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if your original third ran well I would suggest putting the ARB in that diff. Swapping the carrier and spiders for an ARB wont affect your pattern, only the backlash. AND LOCKTITE THOSE RING GEAR BOLTS!!!!!! just in case.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks - I pulled the third howling third this evening. I put it in the series tonight with the stock third. I will see if I can get a shop to swap the ARB to the stock third tomorrow.
 

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if you can pull a Third, you can rebuild one, especially if you only have to swap the carrier and adjust the backlash and bearing preload. Its easier than you think.
 

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Can I replace the pinion bearing closest to the driveshaft without pulling the third?
You can, but you shouldn't install a new cone in and old cup.

AND LOCKTITE THOSE RING GEAR BOLTS!!!!!! just in case.
Ha, for sure. I still remember that sinking feeling in the 70's doing routine maintenance on my 88 and having chunks of ring gear bolts drop in to the drain pan.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Alright - I took the two thirds back out of the truck this morning thinking I would give it a shot myself.
But, after reading the tech article on gear setup on this site, I don't know if it is something I should do. I don't have the tools for the bearing pre-load or backlash. I was thinking I could just use the marking compound to check pattern, but the write-up has a ton more than that..... Am I wrong in thinking I will need the tools to measure for bearing pre-load and backlash? Is it acceptable to use only the pattern if I am just replacing the carrier?
Should I have the bearings replaced on the carrier? I have no idea how many miles they may have on them.
I was told I should have the o-rings replaced in the ARB as well - something else I haven't done.
Just need to make sure it gets done right - and quickly - the 30 mile trip to work in the series with no O/D is a long one.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I chickened out - dropped it off at the shop this afternoon to have the ARB swapped to my third.
Thanks for the help.
 

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that is one job I have not bothered to learn yet, but a couple of friends have the know how. My ARB whines when slowing down, but I have not gone after it yet.
 
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