Went to Peter's shop today to watch him do the rear end surgery. He had all the guts out and had already replaced the pinion gear. It needed a new front pinion bearing, which gets all the thrust, but not a rear one. It's the only bearing that we'll reuse. Here's what it looks like in the housing (notice the ugly brake lines - they got replaced as well):
The ring gear is normally riveted to the carrier, but the only option now - discussed in the shop manual - was to bolt the gear on. He used Grade 8 bolts, cut to length, with self sealing nuts & red Lock-Tite to hold it securely. The bolt heads were so snug that we couldn't use a wrench on several and had to wedge the bolt head against a screwdriver to hold it in place when tightened. BTW, the bolts went to the outside surface, heads to the gear side. The books says otherwise, but that looked to be the best fit.
Once tightened, the side bearings had to be pulled off with a gear puller. That took some doing as they were very snug. One just pulled apart and heat was required to remove the inner race. Both were rough and noisy, ready for replacement. The news ones I got one eBay worked fine.
From the looks of it, it appeared that someone had been into this assembly before. It wasn't me these past 45 years and you wouldn't think a car with 68,000 on it when I got it would need rear end work. But apparently it did. Hope it never does again.
Here's a view of the carrier housing. The ring gear is on the opposite side, the left side bearing is still attached.
Here's Peter applying the heat:
Next "the pumpkin" was ready to be fit into the case and the side bearings adjusted to the proper fit with the pinion gear - a critical step. As it happened, the bolts rubbed on the inner case, preventing the ring gear assembly from turning properly. That was remedied by grinding down the bolts to be absolutely flush with the nuts, something to remember for when we do the same thing to the cabriolet.
(notice the new brake lines installed as we working by one of Peter's techs)
I had to leave before he got the axles, spider gears, etc. installed, but it was all fairly straightforward. One learning: don't try to use NOS rear axle seals. They get dried out and are useless. However, NAPA carries a modern replacement that will work perfectly. The part number is 18695. You can also likely cross match all the original bearings to a modern bearing. Nice to know.
I missed all the fine tuning of the gears, which is the most critical step in the rebuilding. All in all though, I learned a lot and look forward to the day it is all back together.
And, a reminder from the manual, rear ends have to be broken in just like engines, so I'll need to take it easy for the first several hundred miles.