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e21 LSD locked up, what to do?


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Back story: Bought a 73 shell awhile back that had a rebuilt e21 LSD installed. Unfortunately when they installed it they neglected to fill it with diff oil. As I was pulling the car home the wheels Locked up in freeway traffic. Finally pulled the diff today and as expected no fluid inside.

The gears look ok (to a diff newb at least), and they wiggle a bit when turning the input flange. The Output flanges are seized, will not turn at all.

Is there anything that can be done to save this diff? Partial rebuild? Full Rebuild? Something simpler?

Video launches by clicking picture below. Please let me know if you need more pictures / info to help diagnose. Thanks in advance!


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Tear it apart, of course. The side- case bearings are easy to replace, and if

you keep the shims with the covers and on the proper sides, you usually don't

even have to re- shim it.

When it's apart, examine the gears more carefully. Since it was being

towed, they're PROBABLY ok, and any damage would be

on the coast side anyhow.

The next victim will probably be the pinion bearing set. They're not too hard

to replace either, but getting the preload right with the crush sleeve, seal, slinger

etc is a bit more fussy. Still not bad, though.

The good news is that no matter what, the spool should be OK- and that's

the unique part.

Good luck,


"I learn best through painful, expensive experience, so I feel like I've gotten my money's worth." MattL

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