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dorise

Differential questions

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dorise
Looking at the schematic of the differential for the Big Ten I am not sure I want to tear it apart. Could anyone tell me what to look for in the area of problems? This was a non running tractor when I got it so I am not sure of all the problems it may have had. Once again thanks for all the help I have had so far.

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HubbardRA
Differential problems usually occur in two ways: 1) sheared key that attaches the left side gear to the axle. 2) broken gear or sheared pins that attach right side gear to the hub 3) broken spider gears inside the differential All of these are very evident when you pull the unit apart I have pulled several apart and have never seen any wear related problems inside, only broken parts. You can check the spider gears by just rotating and looking at them without separating the two parts of the housing. The old style units are relatively easy to completely disassemble and put back together. Big Ten should be an old style. The newer limited slip types are spring loaded and it is a little more difficult to get the two pieces of the housing back together, but it is do-able. I have done it a couple of times. Why do you want to take the diff apart? Is there a problem that you can describe, so that maybe we can help you without the need to disassemble the diff?

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dorise
I was getting to the differential to clean it up to paint and was wondering if I should dis-assemble to look for any problems. I really do not want to dis-assemble it if I don't have to. Nothing fell out when I removed it from the shaft. I will visually check it and leave it together. Thank you Mr. Hubbard.

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HubbardRA
Dorise, Let me re-state this a little. The diff is not a high wear item. The gears in the diff only turn on the shafts when the tractor is making a turn, and then the rotation speed is very slow, so there is not much movement to cause wear. I personally would not take one apart if it is not broken. The most you might want to do, is squirt some more lithium grease onto the spider gears inside the housing. I would then re-assemble it onto the axle and put everything back together, then clean and paint the whole assembly. The only reason (other than a breakage) that I would recommend disassembly would be if the grease inside the diff has hardened into a solid block, then you may want to try and clean it out and replace the grease. I have never run into one with that problem. When you put grease into the fitting on the axle tube, it goes around the axle then on into the diff. With normal routine maintenance, these diffs normally don't have many problems. The one that I removed from my 61 Wards (Simp 700) still looked like new inside except for the key that held the gear to the axle that I had sheared. That is why I see no reason to take one apart unless it isn't working. By the way, you don't have to call me "Mr. Hubbard". I go by "Rod" which is short for Rodney. Good luck with your tractor restoration. If I can be of any other help, feel free to PM or email me. I have had several of these diffs apart for various reasons, and have probably made every mistake in the book when re-assembling them. This includes following a Simplicity drawing which showed the spacer washers in the wrong place which made the diff locked when it was re-assembled. It took me a little while to figure that problem out, since I went exactly by the manual.

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MikeES
I agree with Rod, they are vary durable units. I have never broke one in regular use. My first year pulling I made hamburger of a differential on our 2nd pull (extreme service compared to most yard work). I reassembled the diff without the springs and center spacer washer (to get deeper engagement of the gears) and we have NOT broken one now in 9 years of pulling with 2 tractors each averaging over 20 hooks per year.

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HubbardRA
Mike, are you locking your pulling diffs? If you remove the center spacers between the left side axle gear and the gear on the right hub, and put those washers on the back side of the left axle gear, it will move the gear enough to cause it to engage both sets of planetary gears in the diff. This prevents the planetary gears from rotating at all, and locks both rear wheels together with no differential action. When one spins, so does the other. I started off pulling with a locked diff. Later on I took a later model spring loaded diff and shimmed the springs to increase the friction. It pulled like it was locked, but when driving it around, it would still turn a nice tight radius. Mine was shimmed so tight that with one rear wheel off the ground, I could tighten the lug nuts without the diff slipping.

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