So here we are – Reassembly. One note of caution here: Unlike Enzo’s B series teardown, the K series has parts that are all interchangeable - that is, both axle gears, all helical planet gears, Belleville retainers, etc are the same size…they “can” fit in either way, but there is a hitch:
If we hold the two axle gears in their proper orientation with the chamfered edge facing out and the notched edge facing in, there are two possible configurations – one where the bevel gears point away from you and one where they point toward you.
If we play the part of the center differential for a second - (pretend you are back in the drivers seat, differential ring gear is on the left side of the housing and forward means the diff rotates out away from you over the top and toward you on the bottom) - holding everything in the proper orientation and imagine turning the gears (hence the axles) forward when engine power is applied, the ‘arrow pointing away’ configuration will thrust the gear outward against the LSD housing when torque is applied (this is good). The ‘arrow pointing toward’ configuration will thrust the gears toward the center of the differential – heavily loading and possibly crushing the small Belleville washer housing (this is bad!) Furthermore, every time you let off the gas, there will be a clunking sound as the gears spring back into place. The axle gears have to be installed in the “arrow pointing away” configuration.
If this isn’t clear, re-read what I just said…this is really important. These gears can easily be installed wrong and will lead to a quick death of your LSD. I have seen at least one instance where an improperly installed gear led to failure:
Here is my LSD in the same state of disassembly. Note how the axle gear helix in the two pictures (arrows) are mirror images. In my case, engine torque will thrust the axle gear out against the bearing pad in the housing. In non-VTEC’s case, the torque forces the axle gear in and crushes the Belleville washers – and obviously leads to additional destruction!
The last item of the reassembly is the helical gears. These are also thrust loaded when force is transmitted through the differential, and they are thrust loaded in the opposite direction of the axle gears, that is, toward the center of the diff. housing. These can be installed either way around, but looking at mine, some had a really large dimple in the end, and others had a small dimple. We might as well take two seconds and make sure the smaller dimple is on the thrust loaded side, just to make sure the maximum amount of area supports the load.