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Differential removal problem...


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I should start off with the fact I have never played with one of these, just looking at it gives me the willies but armed with my shop manual, YouTube videos and forums like this I should be fine....I think:confused:

I have what may be a silly question but alas I'm suck.

How do you remove the pin that holds the pinion shaft? I removed the screw but the pin is in there with nothing to grab it. I thought of using a magnet but mine is with my work tools....surely there is a simple trick or I'm missing something simple.

This is for a 54 Buick:


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Well upon close examination...yes it would seem that it did beak off.

Must have been broke before I removed it because the end is all oil stained and not shiny.

So advice from here....?

The bolt only has about 1/2" of thread so likely there is still thread left on what is in there.

Maybe the previous mechanic bottomed out and over tightened it?

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That is what I kind of thought was what happened. There are two or three options that you can pursue and in order of a perfect world,

1. GM made a special tool that looks like a large C clamp with a hole on the normal anvil end. You would slide it around the carrier and tighten the screw which would break the retainer pin that keeps the pinion shaft in place. You could then disassemble the rear end by removing the non retained pinion shaft and punch out the pin. I will try to post the "J" tool number and maybe a picture tomorrow.

2. You can try to drill out the retaining pin and use an extracter to pull out the retainer pin, but if you damage the hole that the retainer pin goes into by going off center the carrier might be damaged. I would not do this.

3. What most experienced technicians do in this situation is to get a BIG punch and drive the pinion shaft that is being held by the retainer pin that had the screw head attached out the other side of the carrier shearing off the small retainer pin. This is what solution #1 does except it is done with a large hammer and punch.

Hope this helps.

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It does... thanks

I will sleep on it and make attempts tomorrow.

The drill was my first thought but it would certainly be off center as there would be an angle required to reach the hole. Knowing that I could fatally damage the carrier made me think twice...

I would rather not go the the hammer approach...all those bearings taking that would take a hit would concern me so that leaves me with maybe the force push method and I believe I have the tool required.

I still may try to finesse the screw out, maybe try to magnetize a bolt really well and thread in and hope the pin follows as I take it out...doubtful yes but it certainly is the less risky of all methods.

Thanks, I will report back...wish me luck!

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Try spraying carb cleaner or brake parts cleaner on the pin to remove the grease. If you have an air compressor, use air pressure to get the carb or brake cleaner into the pin clearance area. Once the area is clean you may be able to remove the broken piece with a magnet.

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Well the magnet is a no go...it may be torqued in there as it may be bottomed out.

So I'm guessing that the tool you posted goes all the way around the carrier right? I have a good puller where I can grab the inside edges of the carrier and push on the shaft....but will that break the edges of the carrier where I'm grabbing?

I guess I need to buy a tool.

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Well I can report success!

Thanks for all the support, in the end all it took was patience and the correct tool....

I think the cleaning and air blasting helped alot to free it and make it as loose as possible. All it took then was to try and have my son hold the light steady and me pick the damm thing out. I found that backing off and then forward worked best...it would bind from time to time.

....I'm not going to admit how long I was at it but I'll say this I have a bunch of "empties" on the bench that say it was quite a while ;)

I used a pick from a Dental Pick Set my Dad bought me a while back when I was complaining about some other job that I didn't have the right tool for...here is a pic of the pick and the bolt...notice only one turn left of thread.

Again thanks....I think now I will leave the rest until tomorrow when I have a "Fresh Mind" uuurrrrp :D


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