Whew...finally! Bled the breaks, buttoned up the diff and added 4.8 pints of oil. Put the wheels back on and took her for a spin in 35 degree weather with the top off. Yee haw! Aussie locker and superior one axles are installed in my AMC 20!!!!!!
While turning - click,click,click,click,click,click,click, BANG
!, (What the hell - sounded AND felt like a half stick of dynamite went off in my differential. Drove it around for about an hour throughout the neighborhood. Over the course of an hour there were about 8-10 loud BANGs! Loud enough for the neighbors to turn and look...Manual says - if you installed your locker per these instructions, there is no need to be concerned about these additional sounds (I'm concerned although I was very meticolous throughout). I'll keep you posted.
Not trying to make this into a full article on the install so I'll hit the highlights. Just wanted to show some of the issues I faced and suggest some better ways to tackle this project.
Starting at the beginning with the 2 piece axle replacement:
1. Top diff cover bolts gave me trouble. Recommend ratchet style wrench or crows foot.
2. Left axle nut would not budge. Soaked it overnight with PB blaser, heated up with propane torch, and fianally got it loose with a 4ft piece of steel pipe over the top of my wrench!
3. Step 2 was a waste of time since I later opted to pull the hub and axle out all at once. Used the Advance Auto parts axle and seal puller. Came in handy, especially for the seal removal.
4. Tore apart the drum brakes and fought with the emergency brake cable. Next time, I'd leave the brakes intact and just remove remove the 4 flange bolts with an offset wrench to remove the axle. (It's all about having the right tools) Take the time to clean all of your parts.
5. Decided to leave the hub intact since one was 21 years old. Had to get the backing plate off so I cut the bearing up with my cutoff tool then removed the backing plate.
6. Had to order two protective guards, think they were $5.95 a piece
6.1 Made a rookie mistake with the inner seals trying to figure which side faces towards the diff. Recommend the $8.00 seal installation tool at Harbor Freight to make sure the seals go in correctly - metal side of the seal facing the diff.
7. Also ordered new shims since the old ones were toast. Definately take your time here to measure how far the bearing extends from the housing. Measure twice...and plan accordingly. Cheap feeler gauge worked fine.
8. Assembly went pretty smooth. Went to an on base autoshop and used a bearing press for the first time - pretty cool. An absolute must to press the bearings and the retainer on the shaft.
9. 3rd trip to Hardware store, this time for new nuts, bolts, and RTV.
1. I went way overboard on the teardown. Marked all of the bearing races and ring location anticipating pulling out the diff. Only later to realize I should of left left the diff in. Struggled with the retaining pin and the center shaft. Pin finally came out with a tiny screwdriver and hammer. I then pounded the center pin way back into the pinion housing. Could't pull it the rest of the way out or push it back in. Stress level was high - time to pull out the diff.
2. Dropped the retaining bearings by removing the two bolts on each side...Removed the diff, even though I didn't need too. Rubber mallet helped to encourage it out! Pounded out the center pin and the spiders and side gears easily came out.
3. Directions ask to identify a thick ring gear or thin. Hellifino
...Searched JF...no luck. Went to the shop, fastened the diff in a vice and remove the 8 bolts. Ring gear wouldn't budge. Marked the location and pounded with a rubber mallet, finally got the ring gear off.
4. Greased up the new aussie gears and installed them in the carrier and put the ring gear back on being carefull to use a "star" pattern while tightening the eight bolts. Never did see any thrust washers so I kept going only to find out the were sticking to the old side gears.
5. Other than fussing with the 4 small pins and and springs, putting the aussie in the carrier is very simple. Important step is to pull out the feeler gauge and measure the gaps. Aussie wants them written down in case of a warranty claim later.
6. Time to get the heavy diff back were it belongs. This was painfull since it was a very tight squeeze and the shims on each side didn't want to cooperate. Wish I had some sort ot brass shim installation tool to ease everyting back in. Tightened everything up using threadlocker then went to back to the axle shafts.
Finishing the axle install:
RTVd the axle flange area then tightened the four flange bolts again using thread locker. Building drum brakes is always fun the first couple of times- NOT!. If you are new at it save yourself some grief and take some pictures before you dissasemble. This will give you a good reference while your scratching your head re-installing. Definately recommend a brake tool or some curved pliers to pull the springs in place. The bottom spring is a PITA with the ebrake and adjuster nob all set in place at the same time. More importantly, just leave them all assembled like I mentioned earlier. Lastly, don't try to bleed your brakes with the drums off!!!
EDIT: Took it wheelin and it did great. Without the locker I would of had to tow strap out a half a dozen times. Didn't pull the strap out once! Big improvement!!!!!!!