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So ive been having a noise from the rear end, I took the pinion out and bearings how can I tell if the bearings are bad? I do have the dana 44 rear end if that helps?
 

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FIRST thing and I don't mean to be blunt, Have you ever been in a differential before and do you know how to set it back up with all the preloads on the bearings you need. And if you have to ask if bearings are bad PLEASE find someone who KNOWS what they are doing. Look at bearings for any cracks, pits or wear. Look at race for even the slightest marks and for wear on it. I had a front pinion bearing on my Surburban that has a needle size hole on race and it made a heck of a noise and while there replaced ALL bearings in rear and set it back up with all the dials and feel of doing if for over fifty years. I have put another 250k miles on it and it stills sounds like its new. Now I know you are trying to learn how to do it but this is not a take it apart and put it back together type project. Get yourself someone who knows what they are doing and have done differentials for a living to help you set it up and put back together. Just my two cents worth.
 
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