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Small Parts and Seals for Differentials

Not just in Kits

Many of the small parts you can find here can be found included within a Kit for the job you’re planning. If you get your axle, locker, or other rear end part second hand chances are good that you’ll need some of these parts to make sure your installation goes as well as it should. Below we discuss what some of these parts are and why you’ll need them.


Baffles are used to control the flow of oil in the differential housing. Pinion baffles increase the amount of oil surrounding the pinion bearings by partially blocking and slowing down the oil return rate. This ensures the pinion bearings maintain adequate lubrication.

Ring Gear Spacers

Ring gear spacers can be used to install lower gears (gears that are numerically higher, e.g. 4.88 gears) onto a carrier cases designed for a higher gear ratio (numerically lower gears, e.g. 3.73 gears). Ring gear spacers eliminate the need to purchase a carrier case with a taller deck height since the spacer will generate the proper deck height.

Side Adjusters, Tabs, and Locks

Carrier side adjusters are used to apply carrier bearing preload and adjust differential backlash. To adjust ring gear backlash, move the adjusters towards the appropriate direction until desired backlash is achieved. Once the backlash is within specification, the side adjusters can be tightened to establish carrier preload. When backlash and bearing preload are correct, adjuster locks or tabs are installed to keep the adjusters from moving. It’s recommended to replace adjuster locks or tabs after use so they don’t get fatigued and fail.

Crush Sleeves

Crush sleeves are used to establish pinion bearing preload and maintain proper pressure between the pinion bearings and on the pinion nut. The pinion bearing pre-load is established by compressing the crush sleeve under a specified load until the proper rotating resistance is reached. Once the preload is achieved the crush sleeve maintains a thrust load to hold the bearings in place on the pinion shaft.