Back when a lot of cars I worked on had the old 9 1/2" rear, the pinion would crack just like that. Every week I was putting togather a new center section. The race gears have a higher nickel content that makes them softer, and in the catalogs they are usually labled. Driving them on the street for a long perriod of time will cause them to get hot and the lash will change. Lots of gear manufactures make street gears which hold up fine.
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Changing rear end gears. Page Title Module
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