2.3 Diesel Sierra Diff Query - 420 Turbo Diesel
Hi I don't know if anyone can help me but I have noticed that there is a bit of side to side play in the front bearing when I get hold of the propshaft and rock it on my 2.3 Sierra Diesel diff.I have removed the prop and I can feel hardly any play with it removed,the prop is obvioulsy making it feel worse because I have got more leverage with it fitted than when it is removed.Question is a bit of play normal,is it anything to worry about? If it isn't is this a specialist thing to get repaired? The oil level is fine. I am very mechanically minded as I was a motorcycle mechanic for 17 years.Thanks in advance.Andrew...
I do like my Diesels to be Turbocharged for that extra OOMPH!!!!
2.3 Diesel Sierra Diff Query - bell boy
its normal if not excessive.
2.3 Diesel Sierra Diff Query - Number_Cruncher
It depends which direction the play is in.

If you are rotating the shaft, then, yes, some play is normal, as oldman said.

If you are not rotating the shaft, then any side to side (or in and out) play is abnormal, as the pinion is held in a pair of pre-loaded taper bearings. Side to side play indicates serious wear of these taper roller bearings, and isn't normal.

I would suspect that a pinion so loose would also be making lots of noise, possibly such that you can "play" it by going on and off the throttle.

I would further suspect that you could probably do a more cost efficient repair (if needed at all) by obtaining a good second hand one, rather than re-building your unit.

2.3 Diesel Sierra Diff Query - bell boy
DO NOT try and tighten the nut up---------------
i tried this once and didnt get away with it............. you live and learn as the hedgehog said to the brush
2.3 Diesel Sierra Diff Query - Aprilia
Shouldn't really be any side-to-side play. Sounds like the pinion bearing is shot. Normally though you can hear them whining and oil will leak out. Has it got oil in it?

Rebuilding a diff is fairly specialised and not cheap - on an old motor like this I would wait till it gets noisy and then get a secondhand replacement.
2.3 Diesel Sierra Diff Query - 420 Turbo Diesel
Oh yes there is definately oil in it.There are no leaks and no whines.It feels smooth,it feels fine when moving,it is just the side to side play.
I do like my Diesels to be Turbocharged for that extra OOMPH!!!!
2.3 Diesel Sierra Diff Query - 659FBE
If it doesn't leak and doesn't whine or rumble, I'd say it's very unlikely that the pinion bearings are at fault - normally these will make quite a noise, even if only slightly worn. More likely is play or end float in one of the u/j trunions in the prop shaft. Are you sure you are checking for diff pinion bearing play at the actual flange next to the nose of the diff casing?


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