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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
i apologize beforehand .. i will never be of help here and may never return, but begging for help myself - then again, where else to go?

Doing a rear axle bearing on an '03 Dakota 4x4 for a mate. not my first rodeo. All the usual stuff .. remove wheel, brakes, diff cover, spider cross shaft, C-clip, pull axle .. curse at god because the bearing. Been here - not the question.

putting everything back together .. C clip is on and seated (Driver's side axle) .. but the ends of the axles are now too close together to install the cross shaft. I've tried prying them while turning the wheel flange in case there was a sweet spot. looks as if there's some sort of limited slip clutches on the ring side of the carrier but i haven't disturbed them far as I can tell.

Any idea why this won't go back together or what special magic i need to do so?

thanks in advance for any help.
 

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2003 Dakota Sport, club cab, 3.9L V6, 5 speed manual
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The C clip is seated in the groove in the axle, but is it seated into the recess in the differential gear? You should not be able to see the outer circumference of the C clip at all if it's properly seated in the gear. If the C clip is seated in the axle groove, and seated in the recess in the differential gear, and if you're using the same axle and the same C clip, you have to have enough room for the cross pin.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
yes, the clip is seated and properly recessed. As you know, once installed. the axle should move outboard and the clip goes into the gear .. it does - but the gear is not going back into the clutches far enough .. maybe by thirty or forty thou?

I actually didn't notice it until I tried to roll the spiders in .. they usually go easy, but here they wont crawl with the thrust washer and bind .. that's when i 'measured' between the axle ends with the pin and it wouldn't go between.

There must have been something in the clutch pack that I knocked out .. and now after messing around this is definitely the case, as I've knocked the two small retainers out that hold the five disks together and having a heck of a time trying to get them back in. Made a nightmare for myself - this should have been a simple job.

better .. working in minus five in the snow. Tomorrow I'll pull the right axle and remove all of the 'posi' bits to get a better look at what's there and what i may have done wrong.

I'm guessing that in theory everything can be reassembled with the carrier in the housing, and the housing it it's "normal' (under a truck) orientation? Man i hope so :(.

I've done dozens of these .. just not a limited slip i guess.

Hindsight is hell .. if I'd known i would have left one spider in.

thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the vote of confidence .. but clearly I don't. Saturday now. Along side my full time and the commute.. I've done four 21 hour days. If I hadn't opened it myself, I'd claim with vehemence that I had the wrong parts.

This is not a complicated device and I feel insane just doing the same thing over hoping for a different result.

I just pulled both side clutch packs and a dab of glue on the tabs before putting them back to make certain the retainers didn't slip over a plate .. and looked behind to see if there was voodoo that perhaps I've never seen.

There isn't. it's all straightforward.

I put a strip of paper between the carrier wear face and the outside plate to make certain they were in contact - they are.

So between the sides of the carrier there are 18 clutch plates, and two gears. No way to put them in upside-down, lol. This is the oddest thing I've ever seen .. as if the carrier itself either shrank .. or me and the parts have teleported into a multiverse where they cast it smaller.

Back at it again .. and now it's minus eight.

I said beforehand I probably wouldn't be much help here .. too old and obsolete - but thanks much for replying all the same.

38 days or so to Christmas .. hope you all have a good one. :)
 

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2003 Dakota Sport, club cab, 3.9L V6, 5 speed manual
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I have done some research on YouTube regarding the differential, and found the attached video on rebuilding it. I found something I wasn't aware of -- there are two large hex nuts that are used to adjust lateral play and positioning for the differential unit itself. It looks like it takes a special tool to adjust them, but it may be something to consider in getting enough clearance between the axle shafts.

See this video: Differential rebuild
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The research is appreciated, but that's for the carrier bearings.

HOWEVER .. wish me luck tonight. Out of ideas I decided to carefully measure every part. Not sure what I was hoping to find. Recall I'm working in the dark, snow, with frozen fingers. but I discovered the first steel .. the 'pressure plate' - is slightly concave. If I've had them backwards, this may account for the clearance.

Still .. a bit surprised at the probability of bad luck .. I must have installed them 50 times. Really?? I assembled them wrong one hundred percent of those?
 
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