I have a friend that has a '95 GMC K1500, 4WD, 5.7L 8 cyl.
In an unfortunate turn of events he damaged the rear end recently. Although it appears to be mostly minor repairs (shims, bearings, etc.), There was a sizable chunk that is now missing from his differential case (or housing if you prefer) but the parts inside seem unharmed. I did some looking online and through local parts stores and it seems the lowest price for a new, 8.5 inch 10 bolt, empty open housing is $107.99.
My question is: Is this a part that is safe and cost effective to buy used? From the difficulty I have had finding it, my assumption is that it is seldom replaced and the damage to his was freak accident.
Please please please give me any advice you can so the men in my house will quit playing auto shop in my kitchen!