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Discussion Starter #1
how difficult is it to install a differential? which is better torsen or quaife for the zx3?
 

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Supposively the Torsen and Quaife are about the same...I have a Quaife and I can't complain. Everyone says that a differential install is easy, which it probably is if you don't count getting the transmission out of the car first. Based on my experience with clutch replacement, I can tell you that dropping the transmission is a dirty, nasty job. As far as the differential install, it doesn't sound too hard in theory, but then again everything sounds easy when you're just reading about it. How difficult it is for you will depend largely on your wrench-turning experience. If you're feeling intimidated by it, I'd suggest leaving it to a professional.
 

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i'd like to not feel intimidated by it because i'm a hands on type of person and like to learn things from experience. plus when i go back to school i'll have every tool i could possibly need, plus a few kids that would probably know exactly what they're doing.
 

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The tranny drop/install is basic dirty grunt work. A competent person who listens to the advice of those who've done it before can handle it, but it is a long job.

Splitting the tranny case, removing the old diff, carefully removing the VSS wheel and installing it on the new diff with new bearings is a straightforward job as long as you have the right tools (like various pullers and a hydraulic press.)

At that point, you can either do it the right way, or the hack/easy way.

Some have just thought happy thoughts, dropped the new diff in where it was and reassembled the tranny without checking endplay and gone on their merry way. Many have had no problems doing it this way, but you are rolling the dice.

The right way is to remove the bearing races from the tranny case, remove the shims that are behind the races, install the new bearing races, reassemble the transmission, measure the diff endplay, disassemble again, remove bearing races again, add correct number of shims to get correct endplay, reinstall bearing races, reinstall diff, reassemble cases.

For a job like this that I thought I'd never do again, I saw no point in buying special tools or learning the procedure. I saw no easy way to measure the endplay, no access to setup a dial indicator, etc, so I took the disassembled trans with the assembled diff to the one Ford dealer I could find who actually work on their own transmissions.

More than once when looking for a dealer to do this I heard "we don't really open them up, if they're bad we just replace them." That's fantastic for the service department, they get to charge you a few thousand for a new trans instead of fixing yours. For anyone in the Aurora/Chicago IL area, I recommend RiverView Ford on Route 30 in Oswego, IL.

I had them do the endplay check and reassemble my MTX75. It cost 3 hours labor/$240, but the peace of mind is worth it to me. I then picked up the trans, took it home and reinstalled it alone. I don't recommend doing it alone, it sucked. Have help, as it only seems to go in one way and finding that way took a few tries while balancing it on a floor jack.

Good Luck
Denny in Aurora IL
 

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inkedfireman said:
I don't recommend doing it alone, it sucked. Have help, as it only seems to go in one way and finding that way took a few tries while balancing it on a floor jack.
I'll second that...its not that the transmission is heavy, but having an extra set of hands (or two) is very helpful. When we put my transmission back in, we built a rig out of 2x4's and poly-strapped the transmission to it, and then bolted the entire assembly onto my floor jack. There's a definite learning curve to transmission removal and installation, you can't really have it explained, you have to experience it.
 
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