With the main axle tube getting cleaned up I wanted to get the diff housing cleaned up as well. Unfortunately it was very grotty before I started.
This is what the whole lot looked like before I started. The engine above this had leaked a little over the years since this was last done and when that oil has combined with dirt and dust it has made a nasty greasy mess that needs to be removed.
This is what the nuts looked like after I'd gotten a spanner onto them. Before getting them this clean I was wondering if there were even intact nuts under the crud.
They were surprisingly good. And it will be easy enough to re-use them after cleaning them up a bit in some solvent.
Because of the aluminium looking bearing housing for the pinion I thought the entire diff housing was aluminium. Because of that I wanted to avoid using a steel wire wheel on it in order to avoid scratching it or anything too badly. I found in the hardware store a nylon wheel. Like a steel wirewheel but with grit impregnated nylon bristles instead. I figured that would be a better thing to use on the relatively soft aluminium housing. However this was the result.
After the nylon wheel not really removing the dirt I decided that it was time to just have at it. Shortly after I realised that it was a steel housing anyway so it didn't matter and using the nylon brush would have been a waste of time anyway.
Unfortunately I did make some discoveries while I had the housing apart. The gears are mostly in good shape, with no significant signs of wear. However there were a few spots that made me stop and think.
While there is no worrying wear patterns. There is a little rust and pitting. This was a difficult point in this project because I want to do this properly. However to get a new diff essentially would take some time of saving up. These savings will also be needed for new tires as well so putting this on hold until I could get the parts to replace these gears would be a significant delay. Delays like this are what has caused me to loose patience with a project in the past so I have decided that I will put this back together and see how it goes. If the diff grenades itself in 2 years then I will be in a better position to get the parts to fix it. Also being the front the car will still be usable until the parts come.
So the rust stays. For now.
Forging ahead with that decision behind me I get the rest of the housing cleaned up.
And then painted.
And so the diff became ready to be re-installed into the car.