Question about 1997 Ford F250 SuperCab

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My rear drive shaft turns when truck is in gear but no move

How easy is it to change out the pinion gear?

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  • ritchey05 Jan 10, 2009

    could it be a broken axle

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It would be highly unlikely that the pinion is the problem. The exception would be if the pinion shaft broke. If the pinion is the problem you should consult a mechanic for repairs. You could have an axle problem, if the axle broke or came disengaged from it's spider gear, that can be repaired by replacing the axle and wheel bearing, removing all pieces of the axle if broken. If this happened suddenly after a torque overload it could be axle or could be spider gears. The spider gears can be replaced without too much trouble. Backlash in the spiders is not nearly so critical as with the ring and pinion. Your first step is going to be to remove the cover, catching the lube as it will escape as the cover is removed, and make an inspection of the gears to find what is broken.

If you find my suggestions to be helpful, please share with us some details so that others may benefit from knowing the whole story. Thank you!

Posted on Jan 10, 2009

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Not a good idea to chg. just pinion, best to chg. both ring and pinion, and for that you will need a dial indiactor, so you can get the right back lash. but my advice to you is, if you have never done this before it best to have a professional do it for you. ring and pinion is not cheap, if you don't get it right it could be an expensive learning curve. also are you sure its rearend? chk.all avenues first OLD SCHOOL.

Posted on Jan 10, 2009

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It probably would cost more than that to repair it once it wears out.
Axle Housing Assembly Removal & Installation To Remove:
  1. Lift the vehicle.
  2. Drain the lubricant from the rear axle housing.
  3. Remove the rear axle assembly from the vehicle.
  4. Remove the brake caliper brackets from the rear hubs.
  5. Remove the rear cover and gasket from the rear axle housing.
  6. Remove the rear axle shafts from the vehicle.
  7. Remove the rear differential assembly from the vehicle.
  8. Remove the brake backing plates from the rear hubs.
  9. Remove the rear drive pinion shaft yoke and seal from the drive pinion.
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To Install:
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  2. Install the rear drive pinion shaft yoke and seal onto the drive pinion.
  3. Install the rear differential assembly into the vehicle.
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  5. Perform a gear tooth contact pattern check.
  6. Install the brake backing plates onto the rear hubs.
  7. Install the rear axle shafts into the vehicle.
  8. Install the rear cover and gasket onto the rear axle housing.
  9. Install the brake caliper brackets onto the rear hubs.
  10. Install the rear axle assembly into the vehicle.
  11. Refill the lubricant in the rear axle housing.
  12. Lower the vehicle.
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I think that changing the fluid would take about an hour, and depending on the garage, and the labor rate, that they might elect to take the rear cover off of the differential, and drain it that way and replace the fluid once it was put back on. He could inspect the gears while the cover was off and tell you how bad it was.'

Do you hear any clunking or gear mesh noises from the rear when putting it in gear or running the vehicle?


Some mechanics would simply top off the fluid and wait until it wears out, which could be several thousand miles in the future.

Use gear oil for it of the recommended viscosity in the service manual.

Generally thicker than motor oil.

So, adding fluid would cost only the amount of the fluid plus some labor.
A bottle of fluid might cost $9.99 or so depending on where you get it.

You might be able to do this yourself if you crawl under there, remove the fill plug at the top, and just add gear oil. If there isn't enough room you might drive it up on some ramps and then crawl under there.

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If you have that much play in the pinion, your pinion is getting worn, or the nut is loose. You may be able to find a rear end at an auto wrecker cheaper than anything.

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