Differential “thump” varies with rotational speed.

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New member and glad to find this forum! 2003 TXT with Dana electric transaxle stamped 012-CH-260 has a noticeable “thump” that varies with speed. The noise is present with or without axles / hubs in place. It disappears when the differential and ring gear are taken out. The old gear oil is full of very small metal flakes.
I have removed and inspected the ring gear and the input shaft and gears carefully with a magnifier and cannot find foreign particles, excessive wear or divots in the gear teeth. All bearings spin freely with no noticeable hiccups or excess friction. The motor driveshaft gear also shows wear, but no apparent flaws.
What have I missed?
 

Crash Test Dummy

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nothing ... it is a common thing in the TXT
my 99 does it .. my friends 2002 does it
i have torn down mine twice and even swamped it out with a 2000 Differential and still hear the thump
 

Crash Test Dummy

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the club cars do it too but they have a thing called a centering kit ... basicly a rubber bump stop and a spring on the worm gear .. keeps it all tight
 
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the club cars do it too but they have a thing called a centering kit ... basicly a rubber bump stop and a spring on the worm gear .. keeps it all tight
While we’re on the topic of differentials, I noticed some divots on the sides of the spider gears. Not sure whether they were from imperfections left when the gears were manufactured. But the question is, does anyone sell spider gear sets, or only the whole differential assembly?
 
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Thank you. I’m pretty used to sourcing parts for Ag equipment like arbor shim kits and bearings for 10’ rotary cutters on the net. I’ve tried every search combination I can think of on this and “No joy.”
 
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Right. West Coast Differential sells spider gears for automotive Dana diff’s, but they don’t deal in golf cart size equipment.
 
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Thank you for all your research. I need to buy you a virtual ☕! The unit doesn’t have a limited slip component installed and the noise occurred without the axles, and differential / ring gear assembly installed. So it pretty much has to be coming from the input shaft or motor gears.
 
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Update: After putting it all back together, the “thump” Has disappeared. The only possible explanation I have is that a piece of foreign material got into the gears and was causing the thump with each rotation of the gears it was trapped in.
 
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