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Replacing Differential Bearings - Questions...

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Hello everyone, hoping someone can help with a few a questions...


I'm attempting to change the differential carrier bearings on my 2002 Boxster S manual tranny after narrowing a whining sound together with a knocking sound when getting on and off throttle - we're pretty sure it's coming from the differential. We've ruled out other possibilities like axle CV joints, wheel bearings, etc. My local Porsche specialist also checked the car and agreed it was coming from the diff - most probably worn carrier bearings. 


We've removed the differential and upon inspection I have a few questions: 
1. I don't see any shims installed on either side of the differential. Is this normal? I thought there were always shims used to adjust backlash, etc. Would I only see them if I remove the bearings??
2. There are some engravings on the ring gear.,..anyone know what those refer to?


Thanks in advance for any info!!







Edited by RRjr
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Welcome to RennTech :welcomeani:


The carrier shims are outside the carrier bearings, item #10 in this diagram:




Pre load measurement:



The backlash or free play should be in the range 0.12 to 0.22 mm. Here's a picture showing its measurement with factory tools.




Have fun..................😉

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2 hours ago, RRjr said:

thanks again...when I grab the pinion gear and rotate it doesn't seem to have any play side to side - feels pretty solid. Is this something I would notice moving it by hand? 


Not necessarily. The other thing you need to consider is having to do it all over again if you guess wrong on which bearing it is, which is why most shops replace ALL the bearings when there is a problem.  

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Indeed, not to mention the transmission needs to be taken apart if I'm not mistaken...

FYI - this knocking sound on and off throttle regardless of gear only started about a month ago, together with a whining/vibrating noise only on acceleration. I thought bad bearings get slowly worse over time, but there was no knocking sounds before then...it's quite audible and distinct, although not always consistent. Here's a video showing us moving the axles by hand - first both in the same direction, then one by itself...



Any thoughts would be appreciated...☺️ 

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That is definitely not "opportunity knocking".


To replace the pinion bearing, the entire gear "tree" has to be disassembled, and some special tooling is involved as well (surprise, surprise).  Another reason why for most, this is not a DIY project, but usually farmed out to one of the specialty gearbox shops.

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