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Any recommendations for reliable (and reasonably priced) methods to ship a differential? Assuming it can be broken down into three pieces but it is heavy and may need crating for some carriers.
 

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Is there a Fastenal store near the origination & destination? I shipped an MGA transmission from North Carolina to Utah using Fastenal. I securely attached it to a pallet and took it to the local store. They use their distribution network to get it to the store near the destination. There is no tracking. It took less than 2 weeks and arrived without damage. I don't recall the exact price - I think it was about $125.
 

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I was told to leave the big end axle tube (the left side if I remember correctly) attached to the differential unless it was going to be professionally rebuilt. Apparently it takes someone highly qualified to put Humpty together again.
 

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I was told to leave the big end axle tube (the left side if I remember correctly) attached to the differential unless it was going to be professionally rebuilt. Apparently it takes someone highly qualified to put Humpty together again.
No reason to worry about removing the left tube as long as the same pieces are being reassembled. You just wouldn’t want to use a different tube differential combination without proper setup.
 

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No reason to worry about removing the left tube as long as the same pieces are being reassembled. You just wouldn’t want to use a different tube differential combination without proper setup.
I agree with genericwood. However, one benefit of leaving the L axle tube attached to the center section is that it will prevent the differential & ring gear from coming loose in transit.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the ideas. Just checked Fastenal's site and looks like shipping is temporarily suspended. Anyone tried Greyhound?
 

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I
Any recommendations for reliable (and reasonably priced) methods to ship a differential? Assuming it can be broken down into three pieces but it is heavy and may need crating for some carriers.
I've shipped spider rearends assembled strapped to a pallet, they barely fit but I've shipped a couple dozen over the years by FedEx they do door to door. I drain them and tape the vent shut band axels and the pinion to the pallet. I only crate them if it's going overseas. Hope it helps you
 

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USPS.. I have shipped COMPLETE Disassembled Alfa ENGINES coast to coast for less than $200 total .. My PO employees love me. You can ship up to 70 lbs in one package and none of the component dimensions are going to be a problem. Check the website for length, width, and girth limits. would expect the pumpkin in one package and the axles and tubes and backing plates in another. A FedEx/UPS store or U-Haul will sell you cartons and packing material . The mistake most people make is loose packing. It must be TIGHT.. NO NEWS PAPER .... a sheet of BLUE Styrofoam for 8 bucks at a lumber dealer will give you the packing along with all the peanuts and video equipment blankets PACKED tight with what you have on hand from Amazon.on hand . Tight Tight tight.. No jiggling allowed of the contents .Also use fiberglass reinforce tape on the stuff over 20-30 lbs and be liberal with it. Studs should be protected with blocks of wood or Styrofoam ( NOT THE WHITE STUFF coffee cups are made of) so they don't get bent or pierce the carton. When I am done I can drop a 65 pound carton from a second story window and the contents are just as I packed them. The finished product should be solid as a brick. Wrap the diff in a plastic bag first.
 

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The shipping cost savings of breaking it down is probably not worth the hassle of dis-assembly and then re-assembly at the other end.
 

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Hassle? build a crate then watch it take up to two weeks to get to the destination.. Ship in shrink wrap and suffer the consequences of it falling off a fork lift.Disassembly is 5 pieces. How much of a hassle is that?
 

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I wouldn't break an axle down for shipping. Can't cost that much more surely as one piece.
Pete
 

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I have sent two differentials using Yellow Freight in a wooden crate. I built the crate using plywood and 2 x 4 for reinforcing the corners. The differential is too heavy for FedEX or USPS and use a trucking company in the US or try Schumaker if you are sending the differential overseas by ship. I also build crates for transmissions and engines. I once sent a transmission using UPS and it arrived with a broken bell housing and it took four months for the claim to be settled. They packaged the transmission in a two paper boxes and it did not work.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks for all you recommendations and ideas. I ended up using Greyhound to ship the diff. It all worked out but modest damage and delivery was delayed. Max weight per package is 100 lbs so seller did have to disassemble the diff into two pieces. Seller took off one tube and left the other attached to the center unit. He shrink wrapped and heavy duty taped both pieces. Dust shield was modestly damaged in transit and there was some evidence that both parts had been dragged and dropped in transit. Clearly some kind of crating would have helped but we had heard good stories about Greyhound so risked shipping it without crating. They transport stuff in the luggage compartments of buses traveling between stations.

Greyhound logistics systems were pretty lousy and it took multiple calls with half hour wait times to get through to find out where the diff was. Parts arrived one week after drop off which isn't too bad. I used Busfreighter.com, a shipping agent of sorts to place the order since it was a lot cheaper than going direct to Greyhound. I paid $130 to have it shipped around 250 miles. I chose to have the diff delivered to my house. Price would have been $100 if I picked it up at the terminal. Again not too bad pricing wise.
 

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250 miles is 400 km's so 5 hours driving one way. Yeah I can see why you shipped it

Pete
 
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