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https://photos.app.goo.gl/CWbxQHLgb3CwQDfP8

Just did my 500mi gear oil change for the rear after regearing to 4.88s and installing a new ARB air locker and axle shafts. Is this a scary amount of metal flakes, or am I being paranoid? There weren't any large chunks, all very fine.

I might do another oil change in 500mi just to be sure.
 

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Did you do the gear / ARB install yourself? Or have a shop do it. If it was a shop, take all those flakes down to them and ask the shop owner/foreman. If you did it yourself, "in my opinion" only, that is a bit more metal flakes than I would want to see in my diff.. It appears that something is amiss. I also would not go another 500 miles, I would be doing a 100 mile change and check. If you get the same amount each time, it is NOT normal break-in wear, get in there and see what's going on.
 

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Looks about the same as mine. It looked like it was way to much. Check it again after 1000, or look at the contact pattern which will be very easy to see on the new set of gears without the paint.

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@87_WhyJay did the job myself
@drmanhattan yeah I might go look at the pattern. I used a LubeLocker gasket, so I shouldn't need to go buy another one I think.

Checking in another 100mi sounds like a good idea.
 

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If the pattern looks good 100mi is a waste of oil. The gears are meant to shed a good amount of material, this is how they mesh. That wasn't too much at all. If it was me (and it was very recently) I'd check the pattern and if its good run it for the full life.ofnthe gear oil. I think you are supposed to run dino oil like my truetrac, dunno about the arb

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I think mine looked like that right after the break in period.
 
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