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In the process of changing the front axle bearings, rotors, brakes, ujoints etc. While apart I pulled the longer axle shaft out and noticed a worn grove close to where it slots into the differential. Pulled the other shorter axle shaft and there wasn't a groove. Is this groove something I should be concerned about? Is there a bearing inside the axle housing close to the differential that the axle shaft rides in that could be causing the groove, and if so I assume I need to pull the differential to change it? Thoughts?

Thanks
Richard
 

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is it a seal groove? or worn by the inner axle seal? with the year that is probably normal...... if ya pulled tghe shafts might be good to change the axle seals too.... they harden up and will probably leak when you but them back in... not back to do. just pull the carrier and keep the shims together and put them back in the same way.
 

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If the groove is excessive then it might not seal up properly even with a new seal... its a judgement call as to what is excessive so might be worth posting a pic or two...
 

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You should be fine... on stock applications the shims are pressed in between the carrier bearings and the carrier itself... as long as you didn't mess with the carrier bearings then they should still be where they are supposed to be...

In some aftermarket carriers (ARB as an example) the shims are located in between the carrier bearings and the housing...
 
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