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Flushing differential, what to use ? #5425869 05/10/20 09:01 PM
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rubberchicken Offline OP
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I am working with a friend who had a differential sandblasted for a late 60's musclecar. The blasting company made a mistake, and it has some blasting media inside the gear housing. We are cleaning it up, but I want to flush out the diff one or twice. I have a lot of cheap 5w30 available, could this be used to flush out the diff ? Whatever I use, the working plan is to top off the fluid, run it for 5-10 minutes at idle , in grear, on a lift, then drain out.

Re: Flushing differential, what to use ? [Re: rubberchicken] #5425875 05/10/20 09:07 PM
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The_Nuke Offline
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Originally Posted by rubberchicken
I am working with a friend who had a differential sandblasted for a late 60's musclecar. The blasting company made a mistake, and it has some blasting media inside the gear housing. We are cleaning it up, but I want to flush out the diff one or twice. I have a lot of cheap 5w30 available, could this be used to flush out the diff ? Whatever I use, the working plan is to top off the fluid, run it for 5-10 minutes at idle , in grear, on a lift, then drain out.


I would use a straight 30 weight oil over a Multi-viscosity oil for the flushing, but ultimately it probably doesn’t matter either way as long as the insides get cleaned and free of foreign material


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- 5.7L + NAG1 (A5) + 3.07 (215mm)
Re: Flushing differential, what to use ? [Re: rubberchicken] #5425882 05/10/20 09:17 PM
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JHZR2 Offline
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Not clear why it would matter for flushing.

Id try to get all I could out manually, and maybe with some air, then use whatever cheap oil you had to flush it. Id probably do a second flush with the cheapest diff oil I could find, and then drain it and do the move around with more cheap diff oil. Im not sure if idling in gear on a lift will do much, Id think you would want the sloshing around from motion. So Id do the in gear on lift flush, then a few turns in a marking lot or whatnot to get the fluid moved about... Then drain that and see how things are looking. Perhaps then use a better diff oil for 1000 miles, drain and refill with a fluid of choice.

Id hope that is sufficiently conservative.

Another thought - why couldnt this be taken to a big parts washing tub and actually washed clean in solvent?

Re: Flushing differential, what to use ? [Re: JHZR2] #5425904 05/10/20 09:49 PM
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rubberchicken Offline OP
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Originally Posted by JHZR2


Another thought - why couldn't this be taken to a big parts washing tub and actually washed clean in solvent?


I think the overall reason is cost. I checked with two local machine shops and they do not have something large enough to hold the entire rear end. Putting the rear end vertically , then using solvent to flush it out might work, but it still seems that we should remove the gear set and guts, and he is running out of money and his wife's patience. I was advocating on swapping out the entire rear for a reman / rebuilt unit, but he claims its a numbers-matching rear: also his last experience on a reman rear end for a pickup truck was a disaster. The unit was blasted with aluminum oxide- I was hoping it was soda blasted but checking with the company discovered otherwise. Neither of us has much experience with rear ends other than changing the fluid and seals, so serious work needs to get farmed out.

Re: Flushing differential, what to use ? [Re: rubberchicken] #5425927 05/10/20 10:39 PM
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oldhp Offline
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Take it apart. Buy 2 cases of brake cleaner and clean everything. Be meticulous in your cleaning. You don't want sand in the bearings or the ring and pinion. Shouldn't take you more than 4 hrs. Pack the axle bearings and oil the bearings, put it back together.


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Re: Flushing differential, what to use ? [Re: rubberchicken] #5426001 05/11/20 04:36 AM
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dlundblad Offline
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Compressed air. Do a gear oil change and flush it a few weeks later. Maybe do yearly flushes for the next few years and call it good.

Idle driving with engine oil won’t do a thing IMO. It needs to be able to stir up things and get hot.

Last edited by dlundblad; 05/11/20 04:37 AM.

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Re: Flushing differential, what to use ? [Re: rubberchicken] #5426005 05/11/20 04:59 AM
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demarpaint Offline
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I agree with oldhp. It wouldn't take much blasting media, missed by the flush to cause problems.[b][/b]


God Bless Our Troops

Re: Flushing differential, what to use ? [Re: rubberchicken] #5426010 05/11/20 05:22 AM
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Lubener Offline
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Originally Posted by rubberchicken
I am working with a friend who had a differential sandblasted for a late 60's musclecar. The blasting company made a mistake, and it has some blasting media inside the gear housing. We are cleaning it up, but I want to flush out the diff one or twice. I have a lot of cheap 5w30 available, could this be used to flush out the diff ? Whatever I use, the working plan is to top off the fluid, run it for 5-10 minutes at idle , in grear, on a lift, then drain out.

Remove the cover and flush with brake cleaner.


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Re: Flushing differential, what to use ? [Re: rubberchicken] #5426059 05/11/20 07:09 AM
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philipp10 Offline
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I would not go the oil route. The particles will tend to stick everywhere. Better to use a solvent, fill the diff, rotate it a bit and drain. But the real fix is to take the whole thing apart and clean each part separately. That's what I would do at this point.

Re: Flushing differential, what to use ? [Re: rubberchicken] #5426060 05/11/20 07:09 AM
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Rob_Roy Offline
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Clean out the carrier housing with brake cleaner, and once you have it on the road and get everything warmed up, change the gear oil.


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Re: Flushing differential, what to use ? [Re: rubberchicken] #5426071 05/11/20 07:18 AM
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Eddie Offline
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+1 oldhp. Disassemble and clean each part meticulously and reassemble. Sand of any quantity in a bearing spells doom. I think this is your own fault for not carefully sealing all openings before sand blasting. Ed

Last edited by Eddie; 05/11/20 07:19 AM.

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Re: Flushing differential, what to use ? [Re: rubberchicken] #5426123 05/11/20 08:23 AM
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Gebo Offline
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Originally Posted by rubberchicken
I am working with a friend who had a differential sandblasted for a late 60's musclecar. The blasting company made a mistake, and it has some blasting media inside the gear housing. We are cleaning it up, but I want to flush out the diff one or twice. I have a lot of cheap 5w30 available, could this be used to flush out the diff ? Whatever I use, the working plan is to top off the fluid, run it for 5-10 minutes at idle , in grear, on a lift, then drain out.



How are you cleaning it up now?

I believe it would be better not to run any oil in it until you have done everything you can to get the grit out of it first. Gosh, I feel for ya'll. This sounds
like a job that will be very frustrating. Don't be like me and cut corners to save time. That would be my fight.


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Re: Flushing differential, what to use ? [Re: rubberchicken] #5426125 05/11/20 08:24 AM
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ragtoplvr Offline
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Use car cleaner. Spray all bearings well. Repeat. Wipe out bottom. You want an oil where dirt will drop out of suspension, no detergent. I would use dextron III..It has enough ep additives. for short term use. Dirt can settle out . 2 changes. Then gear lube. A change after a week of use.

Rod

Last edited by ragtoplvr; 05/11/20 08:24 AM.
Re: Flushing differential, what to use ? [Re: rubberchicken] #5426156 05/11/20 08:55 AM
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Donald Offline
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Why isn't the company that made a mistake handling the issue?


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Re: Flushing differential, what to use ? [Re: rubberchicken] #5426179 05/11/20 09:14 AM
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spasm3 Offline
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The right way to do it is to disassemble as mentioned previously. There is no way to flush it properly. Axles need to be removed , the whole carrier cleaned and reasembled. There is a lot of oil movement in a rear end at speed. Blast media would destroy the gear set and axle bearings.


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