Rear axle differential - Page 2 - Alfa Romeo Bulletin Board & Forums
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post #16 of 29 (permalink) Old 12-07-2013, 09:31 PM
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If you've got a full revolution of play, no gear oil or additive will make the difference... I agree with Tony, I don't see how the diff could work work at all. Is it possible that the pinion is slipping on the shaft? Or could the spline of the front be stripped? Is the pinion gear so far forward that it passes over the ring until it gets pushed back and then engages.

I just can't picture what's going on...

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post #17 of 29 (permalink) Old 12-08-2013, 12:30 AM Thread Starter
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What I was told by the technician is he suspects it's the ring gear. I don't doubt that there is wear on this differential, but not a matter of such urgency as he led on. I'll need to find out just how much play there is when I get a chance to get under there.

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post #18 of 29 (permalink) Old 12-08-2013, 06:27 AM
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Must be some misunderstanding here about what the mechanic means.....
If you don't want to post the mechanics name, let me know in a PM. I have lived in Orange and had Alfas for 30 years. Maybe I know the mechanic.

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post #19 of 29 (permalink) Old 12-08-2013, 06:54 AM
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I've never heard of a diff exploding. I have driven a GTV with a loud diff. It had low oil when I bought it and I had to replace the pinion seal. I tried various oils but none of them helped. The whine slower got worse and I swapped out the axle when I could no longer stand the noise. I pulled the bad diff apart and the teeth on the gears were worn unevenly.

My impression is that there is little risk in driving a noisy differential provided that there is the right level of oil in it.

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post #20 of 29 (permalink) Old 12-08-2013, 04:36 PM Thread Starter
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The news I have is just what I hoped for. Today I drove the rear of the car up on ramps, put it in neutral, blocked the front tires and crawled under the car. Gave the drive shaft a twist and barely got 1/16th (maybe 1 inch) of a turn play either direction. Noticed the fill plug is a 12mm Hex, but the drain appears to be ~22mm drain plug. I still plan to drain the diff and fill with 75W90 Royal Purple. Far as I can tell, the car is fine to drive.

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post #21 of 29 (permalink) Old 12-08-2013, 04:59 PM
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Garage
Tip: make sure you can remove the fill plug before you remove the drain plug. Otherwise you'll have to tip the car upside down to refill the differential...

- - Eric
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post #22 of 29 (permalink) Old 12-08-2013, 05:00 PM
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Yeah, sounds pretty normal. Disaster averted I guess!

Tom

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post #23 of 29 (permalink) Old 12-08-2013, 05:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ggblackspider View Post
The news I have is just what I hoped for. Today I drove the rear of the car up on ramps, put it in neutral, blocked the front tires and crawled under the car. Gave the drive shaft a twist and barely got 1/16th (maybe 1 inch) of a turn play either direction
Good news for you!

How do you figure it went from a full turn at the mechanics to a 1/16 turn in your driveway?

Glad it worked it worked out.

Vin

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post #24 of 29 (permalink) Old 12-08-2013, 06:16 PM
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I'm sorry to say that this thread borders on hilarious. Opening post declares that the drive shaft turns 360 degrees before the gears engage and it then progresses to what type of oil do you have in there?

Paul - 1972 Spider - (2)1991 164S's
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post #25 of 29 (permalink) Old 12-08-2013, 06:52 PM
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Perhaps the mechanic was referring to the limited slip not engaging........
And yes, exotic oil will not fix too much on a diff but having the right amount of oil is comforting to the driver !

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post #26 of 29 (permalink) Old 12-08-2013, 07:33 PM Thread Starter
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Now we're finally talking about limited slip. Maybe this thread could have been shorter, but to me it's all useful information from others. So spare me the smart remarks, Paul.

Thanks to all for your inputs.

Rick~
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post #27 of 29 (permalink) Old 12-11-2013, 06:38 PM Thread Starter
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Rear diff again

Not to beat a dead horse, but I did check back with my Alfa specialist and he then described the drive shaft movement to be way less than he had first said. I raised both rear wheels off the ground, a 1/16 turn of the drive shaft moved the wheels. Having used the same method he did, is a disaster indeed averted or do the forum members believe the rear end is going to blow up? Thanks for any additional feedback.

Rick~
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post #28 of 29 (permalink) Old 12-11-2013, 06:50 PM
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There should be zero play between the pinion and crown gear, maybe that's what he's thinking of. But in both my Spiders the total play in the other differential gears when you turn the driveshaft is about the same as you're describing. Neither of them make significant noise or have had any issues in tens of thousands of miles.

If the pinion wears (even a tiny bit) you'll know it because you'll get differential whine. It's annoying and can't be fixed short of disassembly, but it's not indicative of impending failure: the noise'll drive you nuts long before the diff goes.

I guess your mechanic thought the rotation was play in the pinion? Which I can't imagine could really be possible given the tight tolerances of the pinion to the crown gear.

Anyway, in the absence of clunking or noises or some other issue it sounds like your diff is just like mine and has no problems.

Tom

1991 Spider
1987 Milano Gold
1963 Giulia Spider (1750 engine)

Last edited by Gubi; 12-11-2013 at 06:52 PM.
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post #29 of 29 (permalink) Old 12-12-2013, 11:35 AM
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Glad it's better. Not sure what to make of the mechanic's original comments. Could be bad communication or it could be that he was looking to make money off you. Thank goodness for this forum!

In a somewhat related way, my Daughter's 2010 Nissan started surging at highway speeds. She called several dealers and they all gave the ubiquitous "it could be anything" response but for $180 they would check it out. We did a Google search and it turns out that Nissan has a known issue with this transmission and will replace it free of charge and extends the warranty for 10 years. Nissan is doing the right thing but these snake dealers...

- Rich D.
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