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Differential Spreader for the School's Automotive Shop

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  • Differential Spreader for the School's Automotive Shop

    I spent the last couple days putting together this differential spreader for the guys in the automotive shop.





    The vertical bars are each made of two pieces of 1/4 x 2" flat bar held together with short pieces of 1/2" round secured with plug welds. The jacking bar and upper bar are made of 3/4 x 1 3/4" plate off-cuts out of the scrap bin. The 16 x 1.5mm screw is part of a tie-rod off a pickup truck, and the thrust bearing was salvaged from a scrap automotive AC compressor.

    The tool can be bolted directly to the differential housing with one bolt per side, or the triangular plate can be used to pick up more than one hole on each side for heavier pulls.

    The extra washer and retainer keep the thrust bearing from falling off when handling the tool.



    The retainer gets tight at the same time the threads are no longer visible in the witness hole to let you know you need to move to the next hole on the adjuster bar.

    It's probably heavier than it really needs to be, but I wanted it to last a while.
    Any products mentioned in my posts have been endorsed by their manufacturer.

  • #2
    Great job W/M! Looks manly enough to do the job.
    Milton

    "Accuracy is the sum total of your compensating mistakes."

    "The thing I hate about an argument is that it always interrupts a discussion." G. K. Chesterton

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    • #3
      Here's a picture of the spreader in use.

      Any products mentioned in my posts have been endorsed by their manufacturer.

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      • #4
        Nice. I regeared my Dana 70 axle and had to use a spreader to get the case out.

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        • #5
          Pure stupidity.
          There was nothing wrong with the adjusting collars that the bearings used to have.
          Now you adjust the contact pattern with shims. Pure bullshlt.
          I bet GM came up with this cost cutting nonsense.

          -Doozer
          DZER

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          • #6
            Doozer,
            I think it was Dana who came up with that design, my 1964 Jeep used it. Back then, there were cast-in holes in the rear of the housing to accept the pins in the spreader. It worked OK, and it isn't like adjusting the gears is something you do on a weekly basis.

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            • #7
              I guess I am living in the past again.
              The last Dana 44 I had open was from a '56 Studebaker,
              and it had the bearing adjusters, just like a 9" Ford.

              -D
              DZER

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Doozer View Post
                Pure stupidity.
                There was nothing wrong with the adjusting collars that the bearings used to have.
                Now you adjust the contact pattern with shims. Pure bullshlt.
                I bet GM came up with this cost cutting nonsense.

                -Doozer
                Probably the same guy that said "I know,let's use a C-clip to hold the axle in,then we can use the axle itself for the axle bearing race.Then we can use tubing from a kids swing set for the housing tubes and get the costs down to $1.95 per unit.

                Then they promoted him.
                I just need one more tool,just one!

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                • #9
                  I am confused ( nothing new ) is this to hold the differential while adjusting pinion gear


                  OR does it spread something as in pull a part since we are calling it a Spreader
                  George from Conyers Ga.
                  Remember
                  The early bird gets the worm, BUT it's the second mouse that gets the cheese.

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                  • #10
                    The spreader is used as per Winchman's photo in post#3.
                    The spreader's function is to spread open the differential carrier housing in such a manner so as to enable the insertion of shims in order to achieve the required carrier bearing preload.
                    The tool essentially stretches the house slightly in a controlled manner.
                    Home, down in the valley behind the Red Angus
                    Bad Decisions Make Good Stories​

                    Location: British Columbia

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                    • #11
                      I am with doozer, if a rear needs a spreader or has bearings riding on the axles it gets tossed and real rear end is used.
                      Andy

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by vpt View Post
                        I am with doozer, if a rear needs a spreader or has bearings riding on the axles it gets tossed and real rear end is used.
                        Yeah great idea, except for the fact that about 90% of light truck drive axles currently in use require such a tool. About the only type that do not require this type now are the removable carrier housing type.
                        If the differential comes out of the removable inspection cover on the back you'll likely need this tool.

                        As an example, what would you use as a replacement rear axle for your Powerstroke Ford?
                        Don't tell me that doesn't have a real rear end.
                        Home, down in the valley behind the Red Angus
                        Bad Decisions Make Good Stories​

                        Location: British Columbia

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                        • #13
                          Eaton.

                          -D
                          DZER

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                          • #14
                            And Eaton axle housings are available in a wide verity sizes? I know they make a lot of commercial axles.
                            Something to cover the ground lost when tossing the Dana, Chrysler, GM, Ford, American Axle types.
                            Home, down in the valley behind the Red Angus
                            Bad Decisions Make Good Stories​

                            Location: British Columbia

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                            • #15
                              My Chrysler manuals specify them for certain axle types namely those with a non removable center section. The '69 Dodge manual shows the tool on a 7 1/4 and 9 3/4 setups. They should know how it's done.

                              Wasn't the Dana 60 in a B body a REAL axle setup?
                              gvasale

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