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 Craftsman II GT 18 3spd Hi-Lo diff question

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Krawler86
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Krawler86
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PostSubject: Craftsman II GT 18 3spd Hi-Lo diff question   Craftsman II GT 18 3spd Hi-Lo diff question Icon_minitimeJanuary 6th 2014, 12:58 am

Im having trouble removing the whole diff unit from my transaxle. I split the case and the input pully half slid right up the axle shaft and off with the wheel hubs removed. I have the hubs removed on the opposite side, but i cant seem to slide the diff out of the other half of the housing. It turns in there, but its a bit on the stiff side, and has been since i got it. I pryed upwards on the whole unit and got it to move about 1/4in and now it seems to have stopped. There is nothing on the inside of the trans case that is holding it back. And like i said, of you turn the input gears, the whole diff unit turns and functions, and turns both axle shafts. I need to remove it for welding. I poked around and on the outside there is a rubber seal on the outside of the case, and i could feel no grooves or indications of any kind of snap ring or anything. The other side had no groove or anything either. Im not sure what to do. I could pop the C-clip off the inside of the planet and slide the diff off the stuck shaft, but for welding i want it complete for tacking to make sure its all in there correctly before weld. I also hit the axle from the bottom with a hammer and drift and it felt like i was hitting solid. Like an anvil.

Heres my trans 3speed Hi-Lo out of a Craftsman II GT 18hp

Craftsman II GT 18 3spd Hi-Lo diff question Img_3041

Heres the diff. Its stuck in the position you see, minus being able to rotate. I didnt want to pick at the seal on the bottom side for no reason. Seems weird to me that there would be a clip or anything on the bottom side when the topside was totally smooth. I dont know. My thinking right now is to remove the c-clip holding the stuck shaft in, and trying to beat it out the opposite way, out the bottom to see if theres any type of clip. If anyone can tell me for sure that theres nothing holding the bottom in after removing hubs, then im going to just rig up a puller and yank the whole thing out.

Craftsman II GT 18 3spd Hi-Lo diff question Img_3042

Im up for all input and suggestions. It has to come out one way or another.

My camera is charging up, so if anyone needs to see another angle on anything, just request.
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theswampmachine
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PostSubject: Re: Craftsman II GT 18 3spd Hi-Lo diff question   Craftsman II GT 18 3spd Hi-Lo diff question Icon_minitimeJanuary 6th 2014, 9:14 am

That looks similar to the trans that fearlessfront has. I believe that you have to undo the bolts that you see on top of the big gear to be able to see the planetary gears.
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Krawler86
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PostSubject: Re: Craftsman II GT 18 3spd Hi-Lo diff question   Craftsman II GT 18 3spd Hi-Lo diff question Icon_minitimeJanuary 7th 2014, 2:39 am

Getting to the planets is not my issue.  I want to remove it whole so i dont have to tack or weld anything inside the case. In fact you can clearly see the planets on the bottom pic on the underside of the gear. If worse comes to worse, il tack them in the case, remove the bull gear and then remove the planets to weld. Just for safesy sake, id rather not risk doing any welding in the case, even though im going to clean it and cook a meal inside it before i reassemble to use it.

The bottom side axle shaft seems to not want to slide out of the case.  The top slid out easy and theres nothing inside i can see holding it up.  The only thing i know is its stiff to turn in its bushing.  I cant see any snapring or clip or anything.  It still all turns, i just want to pick the whole unit up vertically relative to the pic, and even with prying, it wont move.  It moved 1/4 then stopped.  But like i said, i cant see any clips or anything that should be holding it up.
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WellThatsSurprising
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PostSubject: Re: Craftsman II GT 18 3spd Hi-Lo diff question   Craftsman II GT 18 3spd Hi-Lo diff question Icon_minitimeJanuary 7th 2014, 3:14 am

I have a transaxle from the same series and had the same problem. I was able to pull it out about a foot by twisting and pulling for about an hour and that was enough to weld it.

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Krawler86
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PostSubject: Re: Craftsman II GT 18 3spd Hi-Lo diff question   Craftsman II GT 18 3spd Hi-Lo diff question Icon_minitimeJanuary 7th 2014, 10:16 pm

Thanks for the input. I cleaned it up with brakeclean, noticed the diff started to spin a little easier, so i rotated it a couple times, and gave it about 8 good solid raps on the outside end of the axle shaft and it moved the way i wanted about another inch. Now theres enough room to get an open-ended wrench on all the underside bolt heads with a socket on top. I took the diff all the way apart, cleaned it completely, and lightly snugged it all back together, ready to go to my friends tomorrow for the welding hookup.
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Krawler86
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PostSubject: Re: Craftsman II GT 18 3spd Hi-Lo diff question   Craftsman II GT 18 3spd Hi-Lo diff question Icon_minitimeJanuary 9th 2014, 5:37 pm

So i ran into a very unfortunate snag. I barely even saw the problem, but im very glad i did, though now i have to wait for parts before i can put the trans back together. The topside shaft and everything looked perfect, the planets got welded up and i was locked up and ready for install. I took the diff apart again for a final cleaning and slag/spatter removal, and saw something that made my heart sink. I pulled off the bottom side, side gear to clean it and the bottom (left) side of the planet carrier when i saw twisted splines... Extremely no bueno.

If i had missed this, the first decent load on the left side rear, and the shaft would have twisted clean off inside the diff. Now i have to order new shafts. I dont want to risk used because i want every confidence that i can have that they are as strong and stress free as possible. Heres the pic that made me cry a little...
Craftsman II GT 18 3spd Hi-Lo diff question Img_3110

All but 2 of the splide roots are sheared completely, the rest are severely cracked. The side gear that drove this axle looks perfect. I wonder if anyone makes 300m Chromoly axles Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Craftsman II GT 18 3spd Hi-Lo diff question   Craftsman II GT 18 3spd Hi-Lo diff question Icon_minitime

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