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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I have an '87 Sammi w/ a noisy rear differential.

I couldn't find a rear diff, but found a front one in good shape.

Front axles have 22 splines.

Can anyone confirm that rear axles have 26 splines?

I understand I can use the front pumpkin and gears, and can swap the portions of the present differential that receive the axle into the front pumpkin?

One Sammi "expert" says the axles should have the same spline count, but I seem to remember the rears are different. Cannot imagine why they WOULD be different, but...

Thanks,
Bob
 

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bobinyelm, I am sure that billjohn can answer this question he has a boat load of knowledge on these little trucks I to would like to know the answer to this question because I have purchased a front chunk on Ebay and I am hoping that it will work on the back so I will have a spare for both.
 

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Front axles have 22 splines. Can anyone confirm that rear axles have 26 splines?
I understand I can use the front pumpkin and gears, and can swap the portions of the present differential that receive the axle into the front pumpkin?
... but I seem to remember the rears are different. Cannot imagine why they WOULD be different, but...
Sidekick fronts and rears are different. Sidekick fronts are similar to Samurai fronts and rears, except for the aluminum housing, which some Zukers report breaks too easily.
Samurai fronts use 22-spline side gears. Samurai rears use the stronger 26-spline side gears/axles. As an example, TrailTough's "Double Tough" front axles use 26-spline rear side gears.

At least one owner reports solving his aluminum housing breakage issue by fully tapping the housing (using a bottom tap) and switching to longer, full-length, ARP high-strength bolts to completely fill the void. See How to strengthen the tracker aluminum front diffs

Edit: I'd absolutely defer to Billjohns advice on the aluminum thirds.
 

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Housings - Samurai's use steel, Track/Kick's use aluminum. If you are only going to run in soft mud or sand you can put a track/kick housing under a samurai. If you expect to trail ride where there are rocks or hardwood stumps, the aluminum housings will not survive any significant impact.
Using the upgraded bolts might help thing stay together, but it does no good if the housing is split open on a rock obstacle.

Here is a link to 'How To' articles on swapping the gears (22 to 26) on stock carriers and on ARB locked carriers:

Stock carriers
ARB carriers
 
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