The differential assembly is a device also known as pumpkin. Its basic function is to transmit power and rotation through three different shafts to the wheels and tires. The differential assembly's most important function is to spread torque evenly to the wheels when the vehicle is turning or travelling on a curve.
There are different essential parts of a differential assembly, these parts include the following:
- Axle housing
- Planetary gears
- Backing plates, brakes
- Various bolts and clips
A matched set is a term used when two of the most important differential assembly parts are worn and damaged and in need of a replacement; they are the ring and pinion. These two essential parts of a differential assembly cannot work separately and cannot function without the other. They have to function together to make the wheels of the vehicle function smoothly on curves. And when damaged, they still have to be replaced together, and this replacement is referred as matched set.
Replacing a Differential Assembly (Including the Matched Set)
To keep your vehicle functioning well and to ensure that you would not encounter any road accidents, it is important that you keep your vehicle and the assemblies and parts that go with it in perfect condition. Take your vehicle to an automotive maintenance shop periodically to ensure that all the parts are still in good shape. You should also be conscious when your vehicle is producing an unusual sound especially at the engine area or the rear area of the vehicle. You can also replace your car parts when an automotive mechanic is not around or if the replacement does not entail automotive expertise.
For differential assembly replacement, you can do it at home and on your own. You just have to ensure that you could very well reinstall the parts the way you could easily disassemble them. Replacing a differential assembly could be challenging especially on ensuring that your vehicle would no longer give out a loud clucking noise when turning on a corner.
- First, you need to identify the root of the problem like if it is the matched set, the axle, the gears, the bearing, etc.
- In preparation of the replacement, be sure that you have all the tools and parts that you will need.
- Make sure that the vehicle is supported properly before you slide underneath your vehicle.
- Loosen the driveshaft from the yoke then take out the differential cover.
- Take a container and allow the oil to drain, after which take the c-clip axles and take the differential cross pin bolt and cross pin shaft and push the axles in while pulling the c-clips.
- Unbolt the hubs but mark them so you can reinstall them easily and return them to their original side and direction.
- Remove the internal parts of the differential assembly. Clean them with cleaners appropriate for the parts and replace them back to their original locations to enjoy smooth and easy driving.
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