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  #1  
Old 06-28-2011, 05:16 AM
primus454 primus454 is offline
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Bad front pinion bearin

So I have had a bad front pinion bearing on my 97 Dak for quite a while. My mechanic told us that with the aluminum housing, when the pinion bearing goes bad, it usually wears down the housing. Because of this, he said it would probably be pretty futile to try and just replace the race/bearing and we would be looking at replacing the whole housing. What are your thoughts on this? Also, how bad of a job is it to replace a pinion bearing?
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  #2  
Old 06-28-2011, 05:30 AM
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i fail to see how it would wear down the housing unless the nut came loose and you have some extremely wicked play, im talking a 1/2" of movement or more...any by that time you'd know it very fast cause it would tear/bind everything up.

as long as your race is tight and movement is limited you should be ok.

as far as replacing a pinion bearing....you pretty much have to strip down the diff...also..which pinion bearing? the inner inside the diff. or the outer one? the inner one you might as well order a diff rebuild kit and put in all new bearings...the outer one...i believe you can pop the seal after taking off the nut and yoke and replace it from the outside...i think.....
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Old 06-28-2011, 06:14 AM
primus454 primus454 is offline
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I really don't know. I haven't looked into it that much. All I know is it is pretty leaky. The driveshaft has 1/8" of play maybe? I've been too busy with other shit lately, just now getting around to fixing things up.
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Old 06-29-2011, 08:26 AM
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Does anyone else have resources/insight that would help me with this project?

(bump =P)
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Old 06-29-2011, 11:23 AM
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I think your mechanic is blowing smoke up your booty. As RebelX stated, in order for the race to wear into the housing, it would have to be pretty messed up to the point where you wouldn't be able to drive the truck.

Is this mechanic the one who told you that the bearing was shot in the first place? If so, I'd get a second opinion. If the problem is just the leak and not a noise or excessive play in the drive shaft, then you may just need to replace the pinion seal. Thats a pretty simple and straight forward job that can be done with simple hand tools. There are a ton of video's on YouTube about how to do that. Its not a vehicle specific job either.

1/8th inch of play in the drive shaft is nothing to be worried about, nor is it enough play for the bearing to wear into the housing.

Good luck...
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Old 06-29-2011, 11:32 AM
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not only is your mechanic blowing smoke, but he's flat out retarded, and/or trying to scam you out of your money.

probably nothing wrong with the bearing, and he'll just spray paint your axle to make it look new and charge you $800


rotational play in the yoke/driveshaft is NOT a problem. that's normal. if you can grab the yoke where the driveshaft attaches, and move it up and down, or left to right, then you do have a problem. if it doesn't move at all with the exception of rotating like it does under normal operation, then stop worrying, and just get the front seal replaced.


FYI...your axle housing is NOT aluminum. it's cast iron. thats why axles weigh so fucking much!

FYI...bearings have races that the rollers ride in. the housing does NOT wear out. the race does--that's why it's there. swap the bearings and races in a set like you SHOULD, and it's as good as new.

FYI...you need to find a new mechanic.
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Old 06-29-2011, 11:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 70Cuda383 View Post
FYI...your axle housing is NOT aluminum. it's cast iron. thats why axles weigh so fucking much!
If its a 4x4, the front diff housing is aluminum. The rear diff housing is cast iron though.
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Old 06-29-2011, 01:07 PM
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I replaced bearings and races in my rear differential myself. You have to remove the wheels, axles, driveshaft, and gear set so that you can change both races and both pinion bearings. Many local mechanics are only changing the front (accessible) pinion bearing which is only half the problem. Do it right and be done. My Dakota makes no noise now and hasn't for about 5,000 miles so far.
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Old 06-30-2011, 02:38 AM
primus454 primus454 is offline
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We have been going to this guy for quite a while and he has always been fair.

Should have clarified that the play is translational, not rotational.

By the race wearing into the housing, he meant race spinning in the housing causing it to wear.

Yes, our piece of shit front diff is aluminum.


Anyways, with 1/8" of translational motion, should I worry about the bearings, or just do the seal? Also, could someone point me towards some documentation/video on how to do both?
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Old 06-30-2011, 02:54 AM
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The only way the race is spinning in the housing is if the bearing has completely locked up/seized with the race, the races are a press fit inside the housing. As a Technician myself, I really don't like pointing the finger at another Tech, but in this case the guy simply either doesn't know what he's talking about, or is trying to screw you out of more money. There also isn't anything really wrong with the diff being made out of aluminum, a very large majority of IFS 4x4s have aluminum front diffs to save weight and improve economy and in a way performance, since they typically won't see near the amount of stress as a solid axle.
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