Some assembly required!
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Locust, NC
Bronco Info: 90 EB, 351W, E40D, D60 SAS, 10.25 rear, ARB's front & back, indellible Cheerwine stain in carpet
I've used the solid spacers in both my 8.8 and my 10.25 and I prefer them over the crush sleeve. The biggest problem with the crush sleeve is that if you happen to over crush it, you're boned. You've got to go get another one. The solid spacer isn't truly solid; it's actually a thick spacer with a stack of shims to achieve the thickness you want. You just add shims until you get the preload you need. Another nice thing about it is it lets you go back in to replace the pinion yoke later if you should ever need to replace it due to damage or upgrade, and you won't have to worry about messing up the pinion preload. Also, it's not uncommon for a crush sleeve to crush a little further over the life of the axle, which in turn lowers the pinion preload and can damage the bearings. Clearly a solid spacer won't crush over time, so it avoids that mode of failure entirely. I bought mine from Reider Racing, although I think that just about anybody who sells gears and axle parts can get them.
I should mention though, the crush sleeve generally is faster to install because there is no trial and error involved. I have heard of people crushing the crush sleeve to get the proper dimension, then pulling out the crush sleeve and building a shim pack for the solid spacer to make it that same size. That would probably be the quickest way to go with the solid spacer.