Explorer Rear End - Spider Gear Wear?


97Ranger3.0

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Hey everyone, I bought a ford explorer rear end to swap into my ranger; however it has some odd chipping in some of the teeth of spider gears as well as on the outer edges of them. I'm wondering if anyone can tell me if the spider gears are still useable or if I should replace them? I'm asking because I'm likely going to be rebuilding it & replacing the clutches but it will get expensive quick so I'm trying to see what I should do.

Here's a bunch of pics of both sides of the carrier.











I'm just not familiar with gear wear and what it means. The rear end is gonna be going into my daily driver so I need to make sure it's sound. Thanks for your help in advance!
 


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evanesce69

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Was there any metal in the oil? flakes, dust or chunks?

if there was I would replace them and overhaul the whole thing.
 

AzLizard

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I have a good set of side gears if your interested.
 

scotts90ranger

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Fairly normal on the limited slip axles... you should have seen the gears on the V8 explorer I'm daily driving now from when I got it... I "thought" I was getting it for $800 because it lost rear wheel drive... $900 later in transmission parts later... Yeah, there were tooth tips missing and nearly all of the clutches were metal to metal. Changed the spiders with another set I had stashed away, reworked the clutch pack with others I had from when I got the spiders from the junk yard years ago (I've shimmed a few 8.8's over the years, ok, just 3...) and it is good to go.

Anyway, cleaned up the explorer axle best I could, put a couple magnets in the cover, filled it with oil and put 20k on the clock... it's apparently working :). The axles are cheap enough it's near disposable, going to superduty axles in the hopefully not too distant future anyway.

To sum it up, clean it best you can, reshim the clutches and just run it... unless the bearings look or feel bad no reason to go through a bunch of work.
 

97Ranger3.0

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Thanks everyone for your replies!

evanesce69 - when I bought the axle, the guy had already drained the fluid out so he could pop the diff cover off for me while I was there looking at it. The price was good and I wasn't sure if the wear on the spider gears was bad or not so I just went for it. So unfortunately I don't know if there were any shavings or anything in the oil.

scotts90ranger - I figured this kind of wear may be normal on the L/S axles because I figured it may be caused by fragments of the clutches as they wear down mixing in the oil and chewing up the teeth. It probably would've been okay to run like you said.


Anyway, I ended up selling this axle. It was a 3.73 axle, and I originally wanted to just change the rear axle for a L/S so I didn't have to regear the front (I have a 4x4 with 3.73s) but I've decided my truck could really use 4.10s. Luckily I was able to sell the rear end pictured for $250 which is what I paid for it, and got an explorer 4.10 L/S rear end from a local junkyard with more parts I needed - like e brake cables - for $150. It's also in much better shape internally so I guess it all worked out in the end! But thank you all for your input, it's still always helpful to learn something new!
 

scotts90ranger

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Ha! been there... I think I got paid $40 to swap my Ranger to disc brakes... pulled an axle from the junkyard just for the disc parts on a half off sale, converted the Ranger to discs, converted the JY axle to drum and put it on craigslist...

The wear on the spider gears isn't from the friction material directly, it's from the clutches wearing out and the gear mesh migrating away from ideal so the tips have more friction and a smaller contact patch, eventually it wears through the hardened surface of the gear... I have a picture of the spiders I pulled out of my sploder where the tips were broken off and stripped from the clutches being metal to metal but don't have a way to post them at the moment...
 

97Ranger3.0

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Ha! been there... I think I got paid $40 to swap my Ranger to disc brakes... pulled an axle from the junkyard just for the disc parts on a half off sale, converted the Ranger to discs, converted the JY axle to drum and put it on craigslist...

The wear on the spider gears isn't from the friction material directly, it's from the clutches wearing out and the gear mesh migrating away from ideal so the tips have more friction and a smaller contact patch, eventually it wears through the hardened surface of the gear... I have a picture of the spiders I pulled out of my sploder where the tips were broken off and stripped from the clutches being metal to metal but don't have a way to post them at the moment...
Huh, I hadn't even thought of that but it makes perfect sense! It's interesting because that rear end felt pretty tight, like it was hard to move one wheel without moving the other as if the clutches were still in good shape. (Although that may not be a good test on jack stands compared to on the truck but still)
That's a good thing to know, I plan on replacing the clutches in my new rear end just to be sure it's all going to work when I put it in, but now I feel even better about that knowing that everything will be where it needs to be.
 

scotts90ranger

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That isn't the best indication of how one works. With the S spring between the spiders there is always friction between the sides and the breakaway torque would be hard to measure without a beam type torque wrench... The real action of a limited slip works with the torque of the engine turning the carrier which turns the spider gears, the force from the spider gears pushing on the side gears puts outward pressure on the clutches. Technically the limited slip would work without the S spring but it takes out the slack in the spider gears so they don't slam around.
 


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