Just read through your thread, and I had the exact same problem. I narrowed it down to my 8.8, saddly the PO must have ran it dry but thats the chance ya take when you pick it yourself from a 97 Exploder at the local pick and pull. Anyhow, my issue was the carrier berrings. Under a load you could hear the constant friction being caused from bad berrings wearing out the race. So after further inspection I decided to buy the re-build kit and a set of Richmond gears because my pinion gear was on it's way out also. Long story short, that was my issue. Hope this helps
Nightcrew Member #093
DEER--- It's whats for supper!!