With the axle apart and on the bench, we could see that our bearings and races didn't have much life left. They were all heavily worn, and massive failure was not far away. When the bearings are worn, typically this means the carrier is loose, which puts a side-load on the axle gear hub. This causes the bore that the axle gear fits into to become loose. Translation: The carrier is shot. This wear is typical for a high-mileage axle.