rear end questions

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Hey I'm trying to chase down a noise coming from my jeep. It's a 94 cherokee sport 4wd with a dana 30 rear end. I noticed when I shake the the back wheel it clunks like a wheel bearing, only it slides straight in and out smacking into the spindle shaft. The C-clips are there and holding it just seems to have play in and out just not enough to come out of the c-clip and have the axle come completely out.
Is this normal? all the book tells me is the c-clip in the rear end on the end of the axle is the only thing that holds it in. Would'nt a wheel bearing make it have play all around not just straight in and out? It just seems strange that the axle would clunk into the spindle shaft. I mean wouldn't that cause damage over time?
Anyone that knows there way around a Dana pumpkin please help, this is the first time I've had to go into rear end gears and I'm not really sure how it's supposed to be

posted by  DBain

Did some research and it seems the play is normal. Aparently the axles will shift out when driving and move away from the pinion shaft. It still doesn't seem right though, you'd think it would still shift in while turning the wheel or if on an incline sideways. And to top it off, I still don't know where the humming is coming from or why it pulls to the right.
The noise gets loud between 50-65mph, it doesn't shake, just sort of hums or whines. Replaced the pass side wheel bearing and axle joint in the front and it still pulls to the right and makes the noise. Also it's got a new caliper rotor pads and rubber brake line, and I greased the tie-rod and upper ball joint (lower did not have fitting) while I was in there.
Should've known it'd be a headache for 400bucks.

posted by  DBain

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