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Gelcoat Driving Maniac!
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just purchased an 8.8 center section from a forum member. He had purchased it from someone on eBay who said that it came from an 04 Cobra with 19K miles.

I've pulled the cover and all of the gears look like they are in great shape. There is a bit of gunk inside the case. What should I use to clean the case out? Can I just spray degreaser in there or will that hurt the internals?

I've also removed the axle seals and the (outer?) bearings that are located just behind them. As a note, I did a bunch of searching and never really did find a good way to remove these bearings. I saw a lot of posts about using a rented slide hammer or using a long rod from the opposite side. I tried with my small slide hammer and didn't make any progress. And it looked impossible to go in from the other side due to a metal rod between the S springs. I finally bought a bearing puller from Harbor Freight for $15. Bearings came out like butter. Anyway, I can see the splined units directly behind where the bearing was. Can I just clean that out with some degreaser and a rag?

Finally, if the unit really did have only 19K miles on it, albeit in a Cobra that was probably abused, I probably don't have to rebuild the Trac Loc, but how would I know. I'm not a rear end expert by any means so I don't really even know what I'm looking for. All of the teeth on all of the gears are in good condition. I saw a post about "Trac Loc tabs" but it didn't have a picture so I don't know what I'm looking for. I did see what appear to be 2 tabs on each side of the 31 splined units and they are all there.

Maybe these pictures will help a bit:













One last thing. I'll be contacting Max at Five Star to get the bearings and seals. When I put them back in, do I need to grease anything?

Sorry for the long post.

Thanks for the help

[ July 14, 2007, 02:17 PM: Message edited by: BigRedRPB ]
 

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The Never-Ending Builder
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5,329 Posts
Kevin,

If you are changing the bearings, I'd install a new clutch pack since you be in there anyway. Basically, that gunk you see in there is worn clutch pack dust.

Hank
 

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Charter Member
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If you're not familiar with these center sections ,you can get a very informative DVD made by "Bad Shoe Productions" that can explain the rebuild process.
Google the name and it will direct you to the page.
BTW the unit looks pretty good.
HTH
Paul M.
 

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The unit looks pretty good to me. I think you'd be fine cleaning it with a spray can of carb cleaner and a parts cleaning brush.
Check the two spider gears (the ones around the large crosspin) to see if they have any play. Just try to wiggle them with your finger. If there's a little play, you might need to rebuild. If there's no play or a barely noticeable amount, you should be okay.
 

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FFCobra Fanatic
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Cleaning the inards with brake clean won't hurt since it will evaporate away. The "tab" is what you show in the pic. It's part of the clutch disc. You can remove then to measure the amount of wear they have. Most just rebuild/replace the clutch paks before install. Seem to remember the kit ran about 40.00, and not a difficult job at all. Once you pull the unit from the carrier you'll be able to see the bearings and decide if their worn enough to be replaced. Good chance they are fine since they last a lot of miles if lube in rear was kept up to level.
 

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Gelcoat Driving Maniac!
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Cannonball, I've gone ahead and ordered the Bad Shoe video for the 8.8 and, since I was there, I threw in the video for the C6 transmission as well. Not necessarily usefull for this project, but it should give a good overview of transmissions.

So I guess my unasked question was answered. I will need to actually remove the unit from the pumpkin in order to replace the clutch packs. I thought that removing the unit from the pumpkin involved a bunch of measurements and skill in order to put it all back in. Hopefully, the video I ordered will show that.

Richard, these are 31 splined units so I'll be ordering custom CV Axles. I didn't get axles with the pumpkin I bought and I'm planning for a decent amount of power so I'll be looking for upgraded axles anyway.

Thanks for the quick responses everyone. If anyone has any more knowledge to impart, I will certainly take it.

One other quick question. The flange on the front that connects to the driveshaft is rusted. Is this common or a sign of anything? Should I pull this off and replace the bearing and crush sleeve behind it? Should I replace the flange itself or just wire wheel it. I'm assuming it doesn't really "go bad".

Thanks again.
 

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Kevin:
It's pretty common for the flange to rust,it's OK.
Just bear in mind if you remove it, the crush collar pre-load for the pinion gear will be affected.
You will need to mark the position of the nut and chalk the threads to get it to the right original position.
This step requires some pretty hefty wrenching to crush a new collar if you can't get the original pre-load.
The DVD I mentioned to you has this step.
If the unit does not leak, just wire brush it and give it a coat of paint and you'll be good to go.
Good luck,
Paul M.
 

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Gelcoat Driving Maniac!
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Paul,

Thanks for the response. I saw a clip from the video on crushing the new collar. Hefty wrenching is right. The guy had a 4 foot section of pipe on a breaker bar connected to the nut and a breaker bar connected to a 2 foot piece of flat stock attached to the studs and he was pulling for all he was worth.

I didn't notice any drip marks on the front of the unit, but it didn't have any fluid in it when I got it and I don't want to fill it with 2 quarts of fluid to test the front. Can I just rest the whole pumpkin with this flange on the ground and pour an inch of so of fluid into the bottom/front of the pumpkin to test whether the front seal leaks? Would having the flange down just cause it to leak because it isn't made to seal that way?

Sorry for all the long winded questions, I just want to make sure I finalize everything on this unit before I put it into a car.

Thanks again
 

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That's a good idea Kevin,put in the plunge joints and rest the pumpkin on those and put in some rear end fluid and give it some time.
I would not want the flange to touch the ground though,just have it clear by a few inches.
If you don't see any drips out of the front seal ,it should be ok,no garantee though.
If you can ,try turning the pinion shaft a few times to be sure the seal is good.
Your unit is fairly new so that certainly helps.
Paul
 

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Also remember that the 03-04 Cobras took a larger diameter pinion flange than all ealier Mustangs and Cobras. I don't know if causes any interference on an FFR, but you'll either have to change it or get the correct driveshaft to mate up to that flange.
 

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FFCobra Fanatic
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Paul is the man when it comes to pumpkins! I think he can rebuild one in his sleep.
 

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Gelcoat Driving Maniac!
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Decy, great info. I didn't know that. I'll check with Sergio as he seems to be the leading authority on using donated Cobra parts. Thanks for the heads up.
 

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Kevin:
If you have the larger flange don't worry ,there is so much room in FFR you'll be fine.
Typically the pinion flanges have multiple holes drilled on the face top accomodate different U-joint yokes,so that should not be a problem either.
Worst case is you'd have to get a different yoke,not a big deal.

Darren: thanks,problem is I don't sleep much!
Paul M.
 

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i recommend you replace the clutch packs. they dont last long in the mustang but they do last in the FFR. the IRS pumpkin is a pain to get out once installed. its heavy and you need to thread it up through the subframe.

james
 

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Gelcoat Driving Maniac!
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
OK, so I've got the clutches removed. I have an aluminum pumpkin and no spreader so I wasn't able to remove the carrier, but I've inspected the teeth on the ring and pinion and they look good. I've also checked all of the teeth on the side gears and spider gears and they look good. I've gleaned the side gears and spider gears with brake cleaner and I've got an order in to Five Star to get the clutches/rebuild kit. I've got a couple of new questions:

1. Has anyone used the carbon fiber rebuild kit? The price difference is only about $40. Does anyone know if the CF discs make any difference. Also, does anyone know if friction modifier is required for the CF discs? It doesn't come in the rebuild kit.

2. Someone said that I can clean the inside of the pumpkin with brake cleaner. Since I can't remove the carrier, I can't remove the bearings. Is there any problem with spraying the brake cleaner into the pumpkin and on the carrier with the bearings in place or will this hurt the bearings. I would assume that if the brake cleaner can get to the bearings, so can the rear end fluid so it shouldn't be a problem, but I wanted to ask.

On a side note, the video that Cannonball recommended was excellent and I would highly recommend it.

www.badshoeproductions.com

Thanks in advance again
 

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Kevin:
I can't answer no.1 ,but for your second question you are OK if you spray the bearings and let any debris get loose and clean it up.
Give your bearings a good lubing afterwards with the diff oil and you'll be fine.
Remember these bearings are pretty heavy duty and a little brake cleaner is not going to hurt them,just make sure you relube them.
BTW to remove the carrier once you have the bearing caps off requires a little prying from the bearing race.
They are usually pretty tight but if you work both ends you can remove them with a little patience and elbow grease.
Good Luck,
Paul
 
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