Remove Toyota Differential 3rd Member and Replace All Differential Bearings
12mm 3/8" socket
14mm deep 3/8" socket
14mm box wrench
3/8" impact swivel
Wire wheel for drill
19mm box wrench
17mm 1/2" socket
30mm deep 1/2" socket
36mm deep 1/2" socket
1/2" impact gun
Dead blow hammer
Differential bearing remover
Pry bar or heel bar
Dial torque gauge
Prussian blue marking compound
STANDARD GEAR ZKTLCA Differential Rebuild Kit
Ultra Black RTV
Remove axle shaft assemblies. Please refer to my previous post detailing how to accomplish this task:
Disconnect propeller shaft from rear differential yoke by removing four 14mm retaining nuts and bolts.
Remove all 14mm nuts and washers that secure 3rd member to differential housing. Grab 3rd member by pinion yoke and shove it up and down until seal is broken loose, allowing 3rd member to be removed. Slowly and safely lower the 3rd member.
(Pro Tip: the 3rd member is heavy and cumbersome. It is highly advisable to leave 2 nuts partially threaded onto the studs, in order to reduce the likelihood of the 3rd member unintentionally falling.)
Place 3rd member on work bench. Measure pre-disassembly backlash and take note of tooth pattern using a gear marking compound, such as prussian blue.
Loosen and remove 12mm bolts for backlash and preload adjuster retainers. Use 17mm 1/2" socket on impact wrench to loosen bearing cap bolts. Do not remove the bearing caps or bolts, yet.
(Pro Tip: the bearing caps are not interchangeable and are also directional. They must be installed in the same fashion and on the same side they were removed. I would mark the left and right cap "L" and "R," respectively, with a paint pen, and notate one side of each cap as the "top.")
Be careful and deliberate when removing the bearing caps. Lightly tap on them with a hammer (a dead blow hammer is preferable) and remove the bearing caps WITHOUT moving or removing the adjusters. COUNT how many threads the adjusters are in on each side. Ideally, clean the adjusters and bearing cap bore with some volatile solvent and then use the paint pen to mark where the threads from the adjusters and bearing cap bore meet. After the adjusters have been marked, pull up and remove the adjusters from each side. Finally, lift carrier assembly up and out of the 3rd member.
Flip 3rd member over to gain access to pinion nut. Use a 30mm socket and impact gun to remove pinion nut. Firmly tap on the center of the pinion to knock the pinion shaft free from the outer pinion bearing. Remove the pinion crush sleeve; it is directional, so please notate its orientation before removal.
(Pro Tip: leave nut partially threaded to prevent pinion from falling and becoming damaged.)
Remove pinion seal with a seal remover or pry/heel bar. Pull out outer pinion bearing and oil slinger. DO NOT LOSE OR DAMAGE OIL SLINGER.
Using a punch/chisel, knock out the inner and outer bearing races from the 3rd member. There is a cutout in the 3rd member that permits access to the inner diameter face of the bearing race; strike the bearing race with medium force, working both sides equally.
Assemble clamshell pinion bearing puller. Select the appropriate clamshell, remove slack from adjuster sleeves, and tighten clamshell holder 19mm bolt. Use 36mm socket and impact gun to drive puller shaft against the pinion and remove the inner pinion bearing.
Use the differential bearing puller kit accordingly to remove bearings from carrier assembly. Insert spacer into axle shaft bore, assemble clamshell on bearing, tighten, and drive puller shaft against the spacer, thus removing the carrier bearing(s).
Keep the pinion shims. These will be reused and must be pressed IN BETWEEN THE BEARING AND THE PINION BEARING SEAT.
(Pro Tip: all shims and spacers will be the same when just replacing bearings. Altering pinion depth is not a concern unless the geometric orientation of the components changes, such as when replacing a ring and pinion gear set, carrier assembly, etc.)
Ensure that shims sit atop bearing and align, as best as possible, on the pinion shaft. Invert the pinion and press the inner pinion bearing onto the pinion shaft. The ideal way is to use a shop press.
(Pro Tip: the bearings you will have just removed are the best fixtures and jigs for installing the new bearings. Invert the inner race of the previously removed inner pinion bearing and mate it to the new inner pinion bearing. This ensures that all force is against the race and not the rollers or cage of the bearing. DO NOT PRESS AGAINST the BEARING RACE or CAGE.)
Use a suitably soft device and hammer to seat carrier bearings. Ensure that they are fully seated and that the inner bearing race is completely flush against the carrier assembly.
Install new inner and outer pinion bearing races into the 3rd member. Use a race/seal driver and hammer with suitable force. Ensure that the driving force against the race is centered and that the races are fully seated against their lands within the 3rd member.
(Pro Tip: shrink the races by freezing them. This will permit an easier installation.)
Place outer pinion bearing and oil slinger into outer pinion bearing race. Then center the pinion seal into the bore and use a race/seal driver to hammer the seal into place.
Clean and deburr pinion yoke with fine grit sandpaper until surface is smooth. Lubricate the mating surface and place yoke into 3rd member, then flip 3rd member over, carefully balancing on the yoke. Place crush sleeve onto pinion shaft and align pinion teeth into yoke. Tap pinion shaft through the outer pinion bearing until enough threads are exposed to secure the pinion nut by at least 3-4 threads. (Do not use excessive force. The pinion will be fully seated by tightening the pinion nut when setting preload.)
Progressively tighten pinion nut using a 30mm socket and impact gun until all endplay (movement) is gone. Check endplay by firmly pulling up and down on the pinion yoke. Once zero endplay is achieved, tighten the nut fractions of a second at a time until you feel a noticeable increase in rotational resistance. Mount the torque wrench onto the pinion nut and check the rotational resistance. (Rotational resistance is measured once the pinion is spinning slowly and steadily.) Continue to tighten the pinion nut by very minute amounts until you achieve 15-22 in/lbs of rotational resistance.
Place carrier and races into the 3rd member. Based on the markings you made in step 5, place backlash and preload adjusters as closely as possible to their locations prior to removal. Align and mount bearing caps and loosely thread in bolts. Thread bolt heads by hand until they are flush with the bearing cap surface. This slack allows for the adjustments to occur without binding.
Mount dial indicator securely to 3rd member case. Slowly rotate backlash adjuster (ring gear side) CW and check backlash with a dial indicator until you have approximately 0.008"-0.010." Once backlash is within specifications, drive preload adjuster CW until zero side-to-side endplay is achieved. (I use a flathead screwdriver and pry gently/moderately against the preload cap until I can adequately align the adjuster hole with the retainer bore.) Recheck backlash. Adjust preload and backlash adjusters one spacing at a time until desired backlash is achieved. Tighten the 17mm bearing cap bolts to 68 lbs/ft. Install adjuster retainers and tighten 12mm bolts into caps.
Paint 5 ring gear teeth with Prussian Blue and rotate pinion CW and CCW until the ring gear has completed at least 5 revolutions in each direction. Look at the tooth pattern. A good pattern should resemble the images below.
Clean differential housing mating surface with a wire wheel and drill. The surface needs to be clean and free from debris.
Ensure that 3rd member mating surface is clean and free of debris. Apply Ultra Black RTV to the mating surface of the 3rd member. Carefully install the 3rd member back onto the studs and thread 2 nuts flush against the 3rd member. Install and tighten all remaining 14mm nuts and washers to 34 lbs/ft.
Reinstall 14mm nuts and bolts for propeller shaft to pinion yoke. Reinstall axle shafts, as detailed in my previous post, which can be found here: