NEED HELP: Axle Shaft End-Play? - FordTough.ca - Home of Canadian Ford Truck Enthusiasts
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-16-2010, 02:00 PM Thread Starter
 
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Axle Shaft End-Play?

Yesterday, I had my truck up on axle stands to inspect the brakes, etc. I noticed that the rear wheel on the passenger side had some visible end-play.

Just to be clear, I'm not talking about run-out, but axle shaft end-play. That is, the axle and hub visibly move in/out toward the differential.

I checked the driver-side axle shaft, and it just barely moves in/out. The one on the passenger side definitely had more movement. I checked the service manual and it says the maximum end-play should be .030".

I don't have a dial indicator, so I used a set of calipers and measured it as best I could. The smallest reading I got was .057", which is almost double what the manual says.

It's a Ford 8.8 differential with a factory Torsen LSD. 31-spline, I think. The truck has about 50K on it. The tires are evenly worn, and there isn't any other sign that something is wrong. The diff makes the usual Torsen howl noise when accelerating from a standing start a bit when it's cold, but it's done that since new.

From doing a bit of internet searching, I found a few different opinions. On an F-150 forum it said that excessive axle shaft end-play can be caused by the clutches on an LSD wearing out. A Torsen LSD doesn't have clutches, so that's not the cause.

I also read that a lot of people say that's just how these Ford axles are, and not to worry about it -- they just have sloppy end-play.

Has anyone had some experience with this? Is it worth losing sleep over?

Thanks for any input.

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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-16-2010, 02:48 PM
 
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the limited slip unit could be wearing out or a c-clip worn,you should get it checked out,it may be under warranty(if your not over time limits)


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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-16-2010, 03:11 PM Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the response.

I'm glad you mentioned the warranty. For some reason I had it in my head that the whole vehicle was only covered for 3 years. So I just checked the Mazda website, and the powertrain warranty is 5 years/100K.

Don't know why I forgot that, but YIPEEE! Thanks!

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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-16-2010, 04:46 PM
 
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-16-2010, 06:59 PM
 
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1/8" to 3/16" would be normal to me, every single c-clip axle I've ever handled has done it too - new and old. If its 1/4" or more then I'd personally be concerned. LR

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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-17-2010, 12:56 AM Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lone Ranger View Post
1/8" to 3/16" would be normal to me, every single c-clip axle I've ever handled has done it too - new and old. If its 1/4" or more then I'd personally be concerned. LR
Yeah, it seems like a lot of people have that opinion, so I'm thinking it's probably sort of "normal".

But since I realized my power train is still under warranty, I figured there's nothing to lose by taking it to a Mazda dealer near my place. If nothing else, I'll end up with some fresh differential oil out of the deal.

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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-19-2010, 07:32 AM
 
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Synthetic diff oil too, considering the Torsion diffs require it. LR

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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-19-2010, 11:08 AM Thread Starter
 
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Yeah, hopefully they'll be bright enough to use the right stuff. I should tell them I've got "end-play" in the front diff, the transmission, and the transfer case, as well -- and top up the windshield washer fluid while you're at it .

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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-19-2010, 03:52 PM
 
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Damn straight!!

I really should change all mine too now that I think about it, I did several door handle deep water crossings last summer during my random wanderings; I checked the fluids and there's no sign of contamination though, but better safe than sorry I guess. LR

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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-19-2010, 07:24 PM Thread Starter
 
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Time for some breather extension hoses ... and a snorkel.

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