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Stubborn 8.8 C-clip removal with Detroit Truetrac

crawlin91

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I am having trouble removing the passenger side c-clip from an Explorer 8.8 axle.

It is a '93 Explorer Drum brake 8.8. It has been regeared with a new carrier (Detroit Truetrac).
The truetrac is essentially a solid body design with the helical gear limited slip internals hidden. This makes a small difference in how the shafts are removed/installed.


There is an access port on one side of the truetrac carrier held in by a snap-ring, pictures below



Once I removed the snap ring and access port cover I then remove the ~1" slug that holds the shafts in place. I then slid the drivers shaft further into the differential and removed the c clip easily with needlenose (the c clip was visible as was nearly 1/4" of the splines on the drivers side shaft).........


This is where my problem starts.
I cannot however slide the passenger side axleshaft into the differential far enough to pull its c-clip from the groove. It looks as though there is room to further slide the shaft inside the truetrac............


.... but the area of the shaft that is radius'd near the wheel mounting flange hits the wheel/bearing seal at the end of the axle housing (by the drum backing plate). preventing the shaft from moving far enough to remove the c-clip


I can push the shaft into the carrier just far enough to see 95% of the c-clip, I have tried using magnets, screwdrivers, needlenose and dental tools, but have had no luck removing the c-clip. Also there is no room to push the c-clips off like you can with an open diff due to the design of the truetrac. You can see on the right side of the picture the shaft coming into the carrier, most of the cclip is visible but cannot be pulled loose.


Anyone with similar experience that can help with my situation??????
 


4x4junkie

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Can you get someone to push in on the flange while you try to pull the clip? If it's up against the seal lip maybe that'll cause it to flex just enough you can pull the clip out?
 

crawlin91

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That may work, I tried to ratchet strap the axle tight onto/into the diff housing but that didnt move it enough.

I also tried smacking the flange with a BFH to loosen up the seal some and using 3 C-clamps from the flange to the drum backing plate to press the shaft in but nothing works....I might give this another go using every clamp I have and tightening the crap out of them to see if I can get enough slack inside there to pull the c-clip.
 

pillen140

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How the hell did it go in? Lol. Have any big c clamps? Clamp the flange to the backing plate just enough to squeeze it?
 

pillen140

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Doh, was typing while you posted that, lol
 

pillen140

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Will the c clip spin and come out towards the pinion?
 

brinker88

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Sounds like the cam of the locker is in just slightly. Try pushing that in.
 

crawlin91

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Will the c clip spin and come out towards the pinion?
It will spin on, and/or with, the axle shaft but there is no room to push or pry the c clip off towards the pinion because it hits the enclosed truetrac body.

I might end up calling Detroit's customer service line.

Thanks for the quick replies.
 

crawlin91

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:icon_thumby:Finally got it tonight with a pair of strong magnets and several clamps holding the shaft to the backing plate.
 

Destroyer000

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i ran into this problem a few days ago on my 8.8. i took it apart with ease. i repacked my posi and had a hell of a time with the clip going back on.. now i have to take it apart to fix my leaking axle seal AGAIn....
 

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