Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: El Cajon, CA
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
I e-mailed the write-up and some additional information to you last night. If you didn't get it, let me know & I'll send it again.
You probably will be able to get the carrier out without a case spreader. If it sticks a little, you can probably work out it gently with a prybar. If it's really difficult, use a case spreader. I used a spreader on mine & it only took a slight pull with one hand to get it out. I used new bearings when I installed my air locker, so I needed a spreader in order to get the bearing preload correct. The write-up I sent has instructions on how to build your own case spreader for about $50. All you need is some flat steel, some threaded rod, a coupling nut, and some short pieces of steel pipe - you'll need a welder, too. I think you could still build it without a welder if you don't have one - it will just take some slight modifications.
I agree that if you have rust, the most likely place that water came from was dunking the differential on a boat ramp. There is a vent line from the case that should be routed up near the bed somewhere to keep the vent line above water in a situation like that, so you might want to check your vent line to make sure that it was not the source of water.
I have the differential book (Differentials - Identification, Restoration, & Repair) that is written by Randy that owns Randy's Ring & Pinion. If you need info from it, let me know. I sent you some info from the book that you might need (torque specs, backlash specs, preload specs, etc.).
If you reuse all your original parts, you probably won't have to reshim, but I would still check the backlash and the gear contact patch just to make sure that nothing shifted. As long as you don't pull the pinion, you most likely won't have to worry about pinion depth since the centerline of the carrier won't change even if you put in new bearings and shims.
When I removed my carrier, the shims were one piece (not a pack of multiple thinner shims all together), and the left & right shims were the same thickness (I'm assuming this was a coincidence). To reiterate what has already been said, make sure you mark your bearing caps! You have to put them back exactly the same way they came out (left, right, and correct side up) - used a set of steel letter punches to mark mine so that the marks would be permanent.
2003 F-250 4x4, 7.3L PowerStroke
6" Skyjacker Z-link lift, 35" MT Baja ATZ tires
Warn 16.5Ti winch w/ hidden mount
Front & Rear ARB Air Lockers
Dynatrac Free-Spin Front Hub Conversion
Edge Juice Programmer
Fabtech Ladder Bars
AutoEnginuity w/ Ford Enhanced package - Southern California - Just bring beer!