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Discussion Starter #1
Greetings,

the rear suspension is in pieces, and I really want to put it back together ASAP and REALLY do not need any extra work, but... there are those bearings at the inner end of the half-axes, inside the differential. (The "outer rings" of the bearings are installed into the half axle tubes.) When I turn them over manually, they do NOT make the same sound and they do NOT require the same force to turn over... meaning, I guess, that one of them is about to seize. As I said earlier, this is really something I do not need at all. But I won't get a chance like this, when the thing is on the workbench anyway... so, how do I replace them? A (non-Alfa) mechanic friend told me that if I removed them, I'll have to re-adjust the gap or something like that. Sounds like something you can really mess up and won't realize it until it's way too late (diff reinstalled). What do I do now?
 

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These bearings don't support the axle; they support the differential center section. Changing them will mean fiddling with the shims that affect bearing preloads and gear mesh. It's quite a task, and critical to the diff working well. To really do it right takes some special measuring tools, though I've seen some do the job with shade-tree style tools.

If you have a top-notch Alfa mechanic, use him to get it right. Be skeptical of anyone without specific Alfa experience.

Robert
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks. It really sounds like something that's best left alone. However, there are more bad news. Where the propshaft is connected to the differential, the nuts or whatevers are loose (see pic). I can move them by hand without any effort, even though they don't turn around (they are locked in some way). This can't be good, right?
 

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That nut is held in place by indentations in a collar that is part of the nut, or in older versions by a lock tab under the nut. See photos. one of the pinion pre-load shims is visible as a thin shim, just above the large sleeve above the bearing.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks again! The sight of that shaft reminds me why I firmly refuse to muck about the interior of the engine, the gearbox or the differential... But the question is, is it normal for the nut to be loose enough to be moved by hand (even though the movement is limited by the stuff you just described)? BTW I never had any problems with the differential.
 

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I had a similar concern when I was working on my differential (1967 Duetto). There was a different noise when I turn the axle on one side verses the other. I separated the differential and inspected the inner bearings and they were fine. The noise difference was coming from the inner differential gears (items 6 and 7 in figure). These looked good and given they don’t turn all that much (only when going around corners) I left them as is. I have put got the car on the road so I can’t give that experience. So if you’re concerned about things separate the differential and inspect the inner bearings. It’s not that much extra work to do the inspection. On your question about the ring nut on the input flange I would say it should be tight. The spec is to torque this to 8-14 Kgm.

Regards, Al
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I've already taken apart the differential and heard the different noises when turning over the bearings themselves (see pic). By the way, my situation changed somewhat; I've abandoned all hope about the car being ready 'till June, so now I have time to sort out all problems concerning the differential. I'll look up an Alfa expert to handle the rebuild if neccessary.
 

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