Differential : Rebuild or Replace?

Okay, got me the differential, going to put it in today, yeehaw. Cost me about $75 at the Black Friday junkyard sale(see my posting re 50% Junkyard sale, wow). Of course there is the risk of a bad diff but visual inspection and turning the pinion and cvs convinced me that this diff is at least better than the one I am pulling out.

I was correct. You CAN remove the CV without needing to remove the axle nut. The wheel assembly which is what the CVs ride inside, comes off the car with just 3 bolts. There is one big nut at the top ball joint, a small nut and bolt at the (control arm?) ball joint and one big nut and bolt at the bottom that holds it all in place. You'll have to remove the caliper and the mount to get at those but the three bolts are easy to remove and then everything just slides right out, maybe with a nudge between the CV and differential to disconnect the inner C clip.

Once the CVs are out you just remove the 6 bolts holding the Diff and drive shaft(Torque tube) together, then the bottom diff mount bolt and the two rear diff mount bolts. Use a tranny jack or some support because once the 3 diff mount bolts are pulled everything drops suddenly.

This is way easier than I thought and not as hard as the old style live axles. Anyone who can do disc brakes can drop the diff, with proper equipment(tranny jack). The hardest parts are not enough room to get much swing on a wrench and that diff is heavy if you are working on your back.

Well if it doesn't rain I am going to head out to the driveway and swap diffs.

BTW, I complain how the Lincoln LS designers made this car hard to work on in many cases, but this job is a snap and requires just a handful of wrenches.

Jim Henderson
Check that center bearing while you have the diff out (reach up and feel if the rubber surround is intact). Changing it will require dropping the exhaust but if you've been getting thumping noises on low speed accelerations the center bearing can be one cause.
Yeah I am pretty sure the center carrier bearing is gone. The car still thumps a bit on moderate acceleration from a stop. Not as bad a s before but still there. Plus I can see a Donut shaped bulg in the pan that covers the bottom of the car right about where I think the carrier is. Too bad I couldn't remove the drive shaft from the donor car(locked tranny). But the carrier is only about $40 on the web.

So this next weekend I probably do that.

Any tips on dropping the exhaust? How do you disconnect those rubber hangers? Must be some sort of tool or a pulley puller/pusher?

For those considering swapping diffs. The hard part for me was aligning the support bolt holes since it is in a tight area to work and my car is on a slight "hill" so the diff kept sliding around on the tranny jack(not built for my diff), what a pita working on a car on a hill is. And it did rain on me, rats. But I used to live in Oregon and they say" if you don't do it in the rain, you don't do it at all".

Jim Henderson
I was changing the mufflers at the same time (OEM rusted out) so I cut the rear hangers off. Hard part was removing the resonators without destroying the pipe and getting the resonator back on without leaks (I don't own a welder). The exhaust is what kept me driving gently for a year and a half to keep it from thumping.
A little lube and a lot of grunt is generally all you need to get the exhaust hangers loose. If nothing else you can use a pry bar of some sort to push against the hanger rubber and metal. A couple of jacks to keep the exhaust from crashing down would also be helpful, hollow metal tubing can be surprisingly heavy and easy to dent. You don't want to drop the system, bend an edge and develop a leak.
I was way off(too high) on my net cost for the diff. I just returned the core and looked at the receipt. My Net cost for teh diff which is happily spinning away in my LS, was ONLY $37.49.

I would guess My estimates were based upon what some yards call Rotor to Rotor assembly, ie the differnetial, CV joints, wheel assembly and disc assembly etc. Which averaged about $154 to $200+

The carrier can be priced out separately So my list price was about $75 and my net 50% was as above. Can't bea that deal with a stick all year long. Jeez. From fearing I would pay over $400 down to essentially scrap metal cost. And like I said it appears to be working well with no leaks, no metal in the original oil and no play on any of the shafts.

I still need to replace the carrier bearing for the torque tube, soon as the part arrives.

Jim Henderson
Old thread but didnt want to post a new one... one side on my rear diff where the cv axle goes in there is about a 3/8 to 1/4 up and down play so figured its the diff carier bearing.. is this hard to replace ?? What kit do i need and what tools its a 2000 lsv8 .thanks kit or i pull one from a junked ls for 100$
Have you ever done any rear diff work?
If not take it to a shop. There is a lot that can go wrong in setting up a rear diff and if you don't work on that exact rear end regularly it would be best to let an expert do it.

I can do just about anything but I just took a 2014 F-150 to a shop to replace a rear diff seal that was leaking as the entire rear end had to come apart to replace the seal correctly.

You did not mention how many miles are on the car but considering the age and mileage I would replace ALL the bearings and seals as the rear diff needs to come out. This is no small job!
You only want to do it once!
Has anyone took the rear out before that could tell me what tools I need to drop the rear itself i have everything to remove the suspention just want to know what is holding the rear in , many thanks
You'll need to drop the rear subframe in order to do this, and that entire assembly is quite a handful, be sure to have a lot of jack and jack stands ready to balance this whole thing. Maybe a floor transmission jack would be useful. It is not an easy job. Especially if there is not a lift available.
Ok thx but thats funny i thought someone had a way around and could just remove the rear end by removing the axles etc removing coupler and the mount bolts
Ok thx but thats funny i thought someone had a way around and could just remove the rear end by removing the axles etc removing coupler and the mount bolts
Could have happened. The problem is that the diff is bolted to the subframe and has to move forward to be able to drop. There is no way to move forward that I can think of. So that means that you need to drop the exhaust, the heat shield assembly and the driveshaft first. I hope that you find an easier solution than that, because well, that job sucks.
Thanks got it out easy



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