I got the diff cover off, and the same hole that 84300DT indicated was elongated on his is elongated on mine. Massive amount of slop. The gears themselves don't look too bad.
Now the problem is that one of the axles is stuck in the differential. I'm not sure why but can't easily see how to unstuck it. I suppose I'll just drop the diff with the axle inside, and then figure out how to extract it.
I thought the fuel line looked like it was starting to leak yesterday, and of course it started to pour today. So I got covered in diesel while I tried to clamp off the line with vise grips.
I'm also having a bit of trouble figuring out how to get the front differential mounting nuts loose. There is not much room to work, and the nuts/bolts are rusted. I soaked them in liquid wrench so maybe that will make it a bit easier.
I need to rest for a day or so before I resume my quest...my arms pretty much gave out towards the end of another 3 hours session. The differential won't be here until Friday, and most likely monday anyway.
Now to fastlane for hoses, and the tank filter, and maybe a flex disk for the front.