I did the same thing. I wanted to check the clutches without pulling the whole carrier. You can actually remove the clutches without pulling out the carrier so you won't have to realign the ring and pinion. Remove the axles if necessary, remove the set screw and then the center pin, then pull out the S spring (I had to use some careful work with vise grips and a brass hammer). You'll then be able to rotate out the spider gears and remove the side gears along with the clutches and shims. You can visually inspect them and measure them with calipers. Be sure to keep track of the stacking order of the clutches and shims.
For a good tutorial on working on the 8.8, check out www.badshoeproductions.com. I bought the video on the 8.8 and it opened my eyes. Very good info and worth the $35.
Aside from eye balling to see how much clutch material is left. You can measure(micrometer) the thickness.
Like Kevin said you'll need to remove them from the carrier but not a bad job at all. No speacail tools needed.
Chances are being used they can stand to be replaced.
There was a post some time ago describing a way to test the posi by jacking the rear up on one side only so the other wheel won't rotate. Then use a torque wrench and socket on one wheel stud of the free wheel. You should not be able to overcome the posi with less than 20-30 ftlbs or something like that.
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