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pinion preload


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I am currently replacing my bearings in my diff.

The manual is quite good for descriptions on how to check clearances etc.

It mentioned that I need 3ft/lbs to turn my pinion if the preload shims a set correct.

Is there any easy way of measing 3ft/lbs to turn the shaft

without an expensive dial guage that I do not own?

Can I use some string and a weight wrapped around the shaft?

Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.


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A more accurate way is to lengthen the lever arm of the weight. The shaft diameter/radius is too small.

Fit the diff in a vice with the pinion shaft horizontally. Bolt a piece of wood (say 1" x 1" x 3 feet) to the flange at one end, set it horizontal, then add a plastic water bottle with a piece of string at the other end.

Start filling the bottle with water until everything starts to move. Measure the water in pounds. Multiply with the distance in feet between the flange axis and the point where you suspended the water bottle. Voila.

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