After work today I broke out the pressure washer for the first time this season and blased the rear end and torque tube. There was A LOT of grime on both pieces and a lot of old gear lube inside that the pressure washer took care of easily. I used the TSP as a degreaser and blasted it on first, let it soak, then blasted it off. For the most part, all the grime came off easily except for some particularly stubborn areas that seemed to be concrete splashes. I'll get it off another way.
That serial number that was painted on the differential housing cleaned up nicely, too. I'm going to try to duplicate it once the housing is powdercoated. I also found another inspection mark on the bottom, a kind of yellow circle drawn with a grease pencil. That's another mark that will add authenticity to my restoration.
I also blasted the inside of the housing, cleaning out all that thick sludge in there. The coating inside is pretty stick-proof, and the water spray just cleaned everything out. I also blasted the ends to clean out the bearings in the event that I may be able to reuse them. The seals, however, are pretty much shot, so I didn't worry too much about those. And once I was done blasting, I soaked everything in WD-40 to displace the water and prevent rust in the bearings. Once I press them out, I'll be able to better evaluate their condition. They're kind of expensive (about $50 each), but I am kind of leaning towards replacing them for peace of mind. We'll see.
I also cleaned the torque tube, being careful not to blast it directly into the open ends where a seal could be damaged by the high-pressure spray. Again, everything cleaned up nicely. When I was done, I blasted everything out with compressed air, then soaked it with more WD-40. Unfortunately, I believe that my driveshaft is bent, since as I turned it, it seemed to rotate around the perimeter of the opening. Check out the pictures below and let me know what you think.
There's clearly no bearing near the transmission end, so perhaps the transmission and torque ball keep it aligned. Nick, if you're reading this, I could sure use some advice! Thanks!
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