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Advise needed on differential and suspension work.



Advise needed on differential and suspension work.


My first project car is a nineteen seventy-two, XJ6 Jaguar,
not pristine but fun to drive, still a daily driver back home.
My new project is a 77 corvette. I know little about corvettes
and have questions.

Hopefully, soon I will be in a position to help others. Meanwhile,
I hope I receive your words of wisdom.

I would like to also say:
English is not my native language. My comprehension is good,
my speaking is average, and my writing is very slow.


Planning on changing front oil seal of differential, differential oil,
as well as rear leaf spring, and U-joints. I am thinking of leaving
the cross member and differential’s cover in place. Leaf spring
would be one of first things to come off and last to go back on.
Any recommendations, advice ?
I read something about the importance of following proper procedure
when mounting back the big nut, once the new front oil seal is in place.
It referred to measuring the torque and marking position of nut in relation
to differential housing prior to removing the nut, and using torque figure
and markings to properly re-torque the big nut. Anyone knows ?

I will stop here, but there are many more questions to come.
This forum is great. I hope I get to meet some of you one day.

I must say, even if English is not your primary language, you do a fabulous job of articulating your concerns. I'm not sure that I can answer your specific questions, but I wanted to at least wiegh in with a hearty welcome to the forum. I, like you, hope that at some point in the future, we have the opportunity to meet face to face. If you ever get to Southern California, let me know. . . I'll introduce you to our Corvette club members!!
Welcome To The Corvette Action Center Vette-S.O.S!

:upthumbs Like Ron before me, I too want to welcome you to this wonderful community of ours. :upthumbs

I can't answer any of your questions, but there are many, many "Shark" owners here that will be jumping in with their views on the subject.

Good luck! ~ Bonne chance! ~ ¡Buena suerte!, with your project! :bang
Hi Stephan,
Welcome to the Corvette Ation Center. The important thing on the differential is to mark the exact location of the pinion nut to the pinion gear. Also mark the yoke to the pinion nut. Try to get all three marks in line so that you can put them together in the same position they came apart.
Are you going to try to pull just the differential without pulling the crossmember or the rear cover? If so I would advise against it. That is the hardest way to do it plus the yokes will damage the fiberglass underbody. Let me know what your plans are.
P.S Just curious......where's "back home"?
Welcome Stephan. I never thought of taking off the differential by leaving the cover and crossmember on the car. I think the main problem will be mounting it back up in-line with this procedure, especially when using RTV sealant. However, taking off the crossmember isn't easy. Pounding on the crossmember and prying on it will be neccessary. Plenty of penetrating fluid and patience will get it to fall. Working on the differential unit, installing seals, and torquing everything to spec is easier on a bench than under a car, though. I've done it before and prefer taking the whole unit out. Good luck and feel free to ask any questions you have. Everyone here, will try their best to help you out. Once again, welcome to this great forum.--Bullitt
Pulling the diff by unbolting it from the rear cover is the "written" method of repair. I can't think of a worse way of pulling it. I drop the whole unit, crossmember and all, when I have to do anything to the rear.
Stephan, if you are going to leave the diff in the car to change the seal be sure to disconnect the spring BEFORE unbolting the front mount support. Nothing is more annoying than broken fingers. Also remove the spare tire and tub. It makes the whole job a lot easier.
As for removing the crossmember from the frame, if you jack the car up real high a medium sized telephone pole will pop it right outta there! LOL
Who are they?
Thank you all for your warm welcomes, and for sharing your knowledge.

Yes, my intentions were to remove the differential while leaving the crossmember and diff. cover in place.

However, based on your comments, I will not try to pull just the differential without pulling the rear cover. Nonetheless, I do not want to go through having to remove the crossmember at this point and time.

Instead, based on the following thread which I found on this forum, I intend to follow the advise of 69MyWay and cut the floor. However, instead of patching the cutout, I plan to fabricate a nice clean cover that can be removed in the future in order to drop the differential if needed, without having to remove the crossmember. Anyone has any important suggestions regarding this new course of action?

I am not thinking of doing any work inside the differential itself. However, since I will be there, how do I examine the differential to see if it needs rebuilding? (Hopefully it does not need rebuilding :)

To the differential I intend to do: general cleaning of the exterior, changing the front oil seal, cleaning mating surfaces of cover & housing, cleaning some residues at the bottom of the case, add new oil.

Mike, I did not get the part about the yokes damaging the fiberglass underbody.

Also, I cannot get the darn telephone pole to fit in my toolbox :)

In answer to your question, back home is the Caribbean.
I miss it sometimes. But I like it here too :)

Keith, I have both, Chilton's and Haynes Repair Manual.

I hope to get more feedback.

And again, thank you.

I was hoping that you would find Chris's advice by searching the forum, Stephan. Not that I disapprove of his method, but I hate cutting up any part of my Vette, even if the alternative is having to struggle a bit. While time consuming, getting the crossmember to drop is not impossible. It also gives you a chance to replace those rather expensive mounting bushings, also. How did you determine that the front oil seal is the cause of your leaks? The seals on the side of the axle case leak just as bad and more often. Also, if the differential vent is clogged (located at the top of the cover) this too, will cause leaks. Unless you were having problems with your differential or you find chunks of metal in the oil, it should be fairly stout. If the gears were bad, you would have heard them, but an examination wouldn't hurt, by checking tolerances. This will require a bit of teardown, though.--Bullitt

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