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Old 06-15-2017
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Double clunk

2003 4x4 XLT

As expected with an older vehicle, when I let off the brake after a stop and press the gas I get a bit of a 'clunk' as the drive train takes up it's bit of slack. But then I get a second one. My only thought is it being a 4x4 and the front and rear are taking up slack at a different point... or do I have trouble brewing and don't know it?
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Old 07-14-2017
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Possible problem found...

Did some hunting trying to track down a vibration that pops in over 70mph. A buddy got it up on the rack to check the diff and pinion gears and bearings. When I rotated the right side the outer spider gears moved up about a quarter of an inch until tension was taken. I'm thinking the first 'clunk' it tension being taken on the ring and pinion, and the second is the tension after the spider gears shift out and take tension on the passenger side.

Also, just realized after we put the cover back on a few days ago, I don't remember seeing the center S spring and it's supposed to be a L/S. Maybe my double clunk and my over 70mph vibration are from the same problem, a L/S axle missing the center spring?
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Old 07-15-2017
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If your spider gears have any play in them, why would you just put it back together?

With the gears they way they are, the entire rear end needs to be dissembled and all the bearings and other parts need to be inspected and most likely replaced.

Older vehicles do not make expected noises, under maintained, abused and neglected vehicle make noises.
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Old 07-15-2017
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As I said, all we did was pull the back cover to inspect the bearings. It's in the getting a plan together stage, trying to decide on options. Rebuild vs. replace etc.

While the spider gears are worn, there was no sign of 'damage'. All the bearings were nice and tight, no growling or grinding noises. Some play in the ring and pinion mesh, but nothing I wouldn't expect for the mileage. 285,000.
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Old 07-16-2017
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There is really nothing to think about in my opinion.

With what you have found and the problems you have yet to discover because you did not pull the entire rear apart to inspect everything.

The cost associated with rebuilding this rear end is good enough to warrant buying a low mileage replacement.

Not to mention the fact you have never rebuilt a rear end, and your dealing with a rear that someone has been messing around with I wouldn't think twice about replacing it.

If you absolutely want to try and save it and need our help, you will have to get beyond what you think is acceptable for the mileage and go by what is beyond specifications and needs attention.

My guess is at the mileage the truck has, once you get done inspecting the entire truck for anything that is capable of causing your trucks symptoms you will be in for a rude awaking when you find out just how expensive it will be to fix your truck.

Personally vehicles like yours drive me nuts ( no offense meant ) this flashes me back to when I turned wrenches for a living.

It seemed 80 percent of the cars were driven into the ground by multiple owners, neglected and abused the entire time, the last owner would have a few noises or symptoms that they locked onto and were determined to find out the cause of that specific symptom.

At the same time they would dismiss the other 100 noises or symptoms considering those normal for the age of the vehicle.

My point to all of this is you need to arm yourself with information and know exactly what your truck needs, from top to bottom front to rear.

Once you have this information you can make a decision that is best for your budget and skill set.
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