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Play in rear driveshaft

Bentj

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Hi, could any of you please advise on whether this amount of play is an issue?
Thanks in advance.
 

hosejockey61

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That is not good. A small amount of rotational movement is normal when the backlash is set correctly. The in and out movement is not good no matter how little it is.

The in and out movement can be as simple as a loose pinion nut, or it can be that your bearings need replaced.

Either way, that is not good to drive on while waiting to get it fixed.
 
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Shawn at Tom Wood's

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I agree with others that this is not good. To be clear though, the play is in the pinion, not the drive shaft, so I don't think you need a new drive shaft or to get your drive shaft repaired. You do need to fix something in your pinion/differential though. It could be that you need to just tighten the nut a little, but It's tough to say whether or not something inside the differential is bad. I'd start by removing the diff cover (over bucket or oil catch basin). Look for bits of broken metal in the oil, little to no oil, or visibly worn/broken parts. That might give you an idea as to what needs to be addressed.
 

Sensei

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I agree, Id try tightening the pinion nut. Don't use an impact though. You need to be accurate with amount of ft lbs applied. Youll need a tool (such as a massive pipe wrench) to hold the pinion flange in place, as you tighten the nut down.
 

hosejockey61

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I think we before we tell him to simply tighten the pinion nut, we need to know what axle it is. A TJ Dana 44 used shims whereas a Dana 35 uses a crush sleeve. They both are tightened differently to get to the right spec. In a Dana 44, you can tighten to a specific torque spec. In a Dana 35, you can't simply tighten the nut to a torque spec as the crush sleeve creates the preload. You'll have to investigate further into that axle.

I'm not a fan of "tighten the nut and hope for the best" mentality. Like Shawn stated, open the diff and take a look first.
 
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