8.5 inch stock rear diff... Hello all, I could use a hand on this please. im working on a 96 suburban k1500 4x4....im troubleshooting some noise and have rear diff drained/open. My main concern is when I have rear wheels off ground and push and pull axles in and out there is a good amount of play that is accompanied by a clunk as I mate surfaces on in and out push/pull. This is the first obvious area I have found sound or looseness to produce sound in my troubleshooting to find the clunks I have. the clunks I have are on beginning of accel and end of decal....and it sounds more to drivers side axle. now the end of my axles on the inside of the diff are c clip style inside 4 spider gears. the pinion shaft/pin blocks the axles from moving inward enough to get clips off....now I know I pull this pin to push in axles to pull c clips....but my problem is prior to removing the pinion shaft to get clips off....I had someone push and pull on axles on each side . The axles bang in and out. From the inside end of the axle to the pinion shaft/pin in middle has a lot of space that is allowing the in and out movement. So....what is the normal play here? Maybe it wasn't shimmed properly behind spiders or carrier sides? I think my forward backward backlash for ring gear/pinion is ok, but could appreciate a quick tip on checking it. I have tools, and I am a mechanic, I just have never had to rebuild a rear end in my life. I have a dial indicator as well. ***im fixing a friends truck who just took it to a mechanic and supposedly had this issue repaired. he picked it up and it was doing same thing. mechanic said he did center bearings....????? no center bearings in unit/?? pionion, side bearings and axle bearings are all I know of here. So he might be lying...until and if I pull this apart...ill inspect for new parts then.