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Old 12-17-2011, 07:31 PM   #1
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Default Reference for replacing differential center section?

http://www.miata.net/garage/miata_differential.html

I'm going to be swapping out my 4.10 center section for one that has a 3.636 already installed. Does the above link pretty much cover it, or are there any tips that would make my life easier?
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Old 12-17-2011, 07:49 PM   #2
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Its so easy and straight forward. Just take it easy on the diff mount bracket things the snap off easy.

I like to have a pry bar on hand to get the ppf off the dif spacer.
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Old 12-19-2011, 07:21 PM   #3
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I found this one more useful. I just used it this past weekend to swap a torsen in to a open 99 diff.

http://www.miata.net/garage/diff_rr.html
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Old 12-19-2011, 09:55 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by relte
I found this one more useful. I just used it this past weekend to swap a torsen in to a open 99 diff.

http://www.miata.net/garage/diff_rr.html
Do you have to do all of the dial indicator stuff whwn swapping in a center section with a properly setup r&p? Should be a simple old out, in new???
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Old 12-19-2011, 10:02 PM   #5
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I would. otherwise you might see premature wear or diff noise.

I used that write up too. Only issue I had was getting the PPF off the diff.
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Old 12-20-2011, 12:30 AM   #6
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If the center section has already been setup properly, then this article seems moot. Now, if I am missing something about how to insert the center section into the diff housing, then where is that information.

In case I failed to make it clear. The R&P has already been installed. It was pulled out of a working car. I am not doing and R&P swap, just an entire center section swap.
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Old 12-20-2011, 07:35 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djp0623 View Post
If the center section has already been setup properly, then this article seems moot. Now, if I am missing something about how to insert the center section into the diff housing, then where is that information.

In case I failed to make it clear. The R&P has already been installed. It was pulled out of a working car. I am not doing and R&P swap, just an entire center section swap.
Just unbolt it from the aluminum carrier, clean off the old RTV, replace RTV and rebolt it.

It is easier to knock out the old axle seals with a long bar and hammer from the inside of the aluminum carrier if you are replacing them.
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Old 12-20-2011, 09:51 AM   #8
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yeah, just drop the diff down, unbolt it from the aluminum section, and pop in your new iron side, and bolt it back up.

propably would want to drain it first, and refill and replace the rtv and stuff...but you should get the idea.
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Old 12-20-2011, 12:06 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by olderguy View Post
Just unbolt it from the aluminum carrier, clean off the old RTV, replace RTV and rebolt it.

It is easier to knock out the old axle seals with a long bar and hammer from the inside of the aluminum carrier if you are replacing them.

Thanks, these are the type of tips I was looking for. Quick question about pulling out the axles. I had to replace a hub, so I separated the axle (two) part. I figured I would go ahead and replace the seals. I expected the axle to easily pull out of the housing and it didn't. I abandoned the seal change because I was unsure how much force was required to remove the half shaft from the housing.

What is everyone's experience with this.
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Old 12-20-2011, 12:56 PM   #10
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You will need to pull the axles to change the center section. They can be difficult. What I do is make a couple of hardwood wedges and put them on opposing sides of the axle. I then wedge the axle out by hammering one wedge, then the other until it pops off.
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Old 12-20-2011, 01:07 PM   #11
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If you are just replaceing the 3rd member then you don't need all the extra stuff, sorry. Just make sure the new 3rd member is real clean before dropping it in. This is also a good time to check that your diff vent is not plugged, you can replace it for cheap, but usually cleaning it out will take care of it. When removing the small bolts that hold the center section in place, make sure you use some liquid wrench or WD-40 to pre-soak it if you have any rust back there (especially the longer ones). I snapped 2 bolts the first time I messed with it and had a ball trying to find replacements.
I usually use a pry bar on the flat section of the one piece CV joint on my one peice axle to pry the axle out. It does take a good amount of force or strong impact to get it out. Just make sure you have the pry bar in a location where you won't damage the housing or the axles and you will be fine. I have seen people remove the upper spindle bolts and snap the whole spinle/axle outboard (angle the spindle down). This imact will easily unseat the C-clip and usually works when you can't get enough leverage under the car. I don't know how that impact affects the CV's so I would not recommend that technique unless you can't get the axles out from underneath the car.
If you have access to a plain sissor tranny jack it helps greatly with dropping and lifting the diff housing. It makes the whole job a one man job, which would be very difficult to do alone otherwhise. Also make sure you have the PPF and Exhaust out of the way, it makes it 10 times easier to do. I had a frozen PPF bolt the first time I did it and it was a bitch. Good luck.
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