Date registered: Feb 2003
Location: Tacoma, WA
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RE: Rear axle pinions seals and bearings
The torque of the pinion nut doesn't matter only the turning or friction torque. This is to establish the correct preload on the pinion bearings. My experience is with the front one but does have a slot on the pinion for you to smash the nut flange into and lock it in place. I remember reading someone else on this forum was having the same problem and merely tightened the nut and all was well. I do advise though, the correct way to do it is to get a new crush sleeve and retighten to proper spec. Is the turning torque listed in the manual total turning torque? Some manufacturers only list a pinion turning torque and this is without the carrier installed.
Since there hasn't been any preload on the bearings it is more than likely you have some wear on the pinion bearings. The rear comes apart much easier than the front and wouldn't be hard to tear it down, inspect bearings, install new crush sleeve and pinion seal, and get the right turning torque. Your question if the outer pinion bearing comes off easy--if it's like the front, no. I had to hold the pinion in place and beat the outer bearing on. Coming off was no picnic either. Tapped the pinion (with the nut on) to get it out. I don't think it's possible to get the outer bearing off with the carrier in place.