i took out the Diff from the rear axle cause i had an oil leak on the gasket, i recognized a little bit of teeth-play on the spider gear...

is this normal or should there be zero play?

no pitting on the teeth.

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If you have a little play between the pinion gears ( the smaller gear ) and the ring gear ( larger gear )  it should be fine 

These rear ends —are Not  rebuildable as many others  cars are 

Your ring gear looks good to me as the teeth are not sharpened up that would show  wear and the shinny surfaces on the teeth where the gears make  surface contact looks good as well 

The gears condition are evaluated by how the matting surfaces —- shinny surfaces  were the gears mesh on the teeth looks 

Yours look fine 

Put the ham back in —and when and if it starts to make a high pitch  humming sound  if ever in the future that would be the time to be finding a new ham with your current gear ratio to replace it 

You are ham looks like it is in good condition as it is now 

Enjoy getting your Cadillac back on the road soon 



thanks Tony.

my idea was to shim the pinion gear that it comes closer to the ring gear, so the play would be close to zero.

the play on the large gear is only about 0.5mm where i can move it fore and aft before the pinion moves.

don't shim the gear unless a noise tells you it needs it.  I'd leave it, the gears look great.   If you want to shim it, order up some gear marking compound, and find directions online on how to use it to center the pinion contact in the ring, this is many times more important than backlash anyway.

The shop manual has the limits in the diff section. You check the back lash with the tire off. There will be some play. Not much, but a little bit. 

If the gears were not making any funny noises —just install them back into the car as they are —-is my best advice 

If it Ain’t Broke Don’t  Fix It —- Applies Here  ! ! ! 




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