With This Ring, or The Service Manual Pays for Itself Again
When Old Stoney's differential ring gear rivets all failed of a sudden I had to do another major surgery. The left rear axle housing had to come off,
so I started with figuring out how to support the backhoe and front-end loader frames that normally bolt to it.
Then, after taking off the wheel, seat, and fender, pull the axle and take off the housing.
The differential lifted right out with a minimum of smushed fingers, and I found all the rivet pieces. Twelve rivets, so twenty-four halves. By some miracle the three or four rivet heads that didn't stay in their holes dropped to the bottom of the housing without going between the ring gear and the pinion. Not what I would have expected. I looked carefully at the teeth of the pinion and ring with a bright light and my glasses on and could see no sign of damage, or even of wear. They looked like they had come from the factory last week, not thirty-five years ago.
I got the ring gear back on the differential with the bolts that replace the rivets, torqued to 45ft/lbs. That doesn't sound all that tight, but holding
the differential with both hands and pushing the torque wrench with a hip gets tiresome after the first six or eight bolts.
Once it was ready I had to figure out how to get it back in. The differential weighs maybe eighty pounds (rough guess) and the opening it fits through has less than a quarter inch to spare around the ring gear. I had to come up with something that would take almost all the weight and be flexible enough to turn the corner around the frame and maneuver the leading end over the splines of the right side axle.
As this picture shows, the answer was "bungee cords."
With the small rope around the leading side, just past the center of gravity, I got the assembly started in the hole.
Once it was balanced inside, I moved the rope to the outside of the ring gear and worked it the rest of the way in.
Then it was easy going putting everything else back together. "Now it's better than new."