A friend of mine brought this tractor to me with what sounds like a gear skipping noise under heavy pushing load
There was no cuttings in oil in rear diff. He said he had been using the diff lock pedal incorrectly by pushing on the pedal when he was spinning. I suspected one of the pins which push into backside of the axle gear in the diff to be damaged or the diff cage bearings to be no good. I disassembled the diff. Before removing the diff I took some measurements and found backlash to be .012". Also found .015" of side to side movement of the crown gear cage. It looks like this is the way it was designed as the ball bearings which hold the cage are free floating. The issue I have is I don't know if all this side to side play is normal and should I be looking elsewhere for the cause of the noise. There are no bearing failures or cuttings. the tractor has 600 hrs.