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Old 01-14-2003, 05:13 PM   #1 (permalink)
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TOTW: Set up your own gears

Welcome to the next installment of the

Topic of the Week


Due to popular demand, we are going to talk about setting up your own gears.

What tools do you need?
How do you read the mesh pattern?
What does backlash mean?

All that junk.
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Old 01-14-2003, 06:53 PM   #2 (permalink)
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These files are quite large but very clear.
Dana 60 install manual by Precision Gear
D60 page1 366kb
D60 page2 294kb
D60 page2 285kb
D60 page4 252kb

Dana 44 install manual by Precision Gear
D44 page1 364kb
D44 page2 321kb
D44 page3 294kb
D44 page4 302kb

Summit Racing sells a pinion depth setting tool for 99.00 part# PRO-66516
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Old 01-14-2003, 09:11 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Everything became much easier after I made a set of set up bearings.
Buy an extra set of bearings for each type of axle you expect to work on. I used a small brake cylinder hone to hone out the center, until each bearing was a slip fit over its respective journal.
That way, setting up shims is quick and easy. No pressing on and off, risking wrecking new bearings. Much quicker too. Then, once you have everything set like you want, remove the set up bearings, and install the new press fit bearings.
This works well if you expect to do more than just one set of gears.



Avoid the case spreader. They can cause trouble if you do not know what you are doing.
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Old 01-15-2003, 05:34 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Agreed on the setup bearings. They make a much easier to find the right shims.

To do the gears you'll need :

calipers or micrometer
inch-lb torque wrench
ft-lb torque wrench
bearing puller
gear marking compound

and a couple other things i can't remember right now.

here's some setup info from the spicer D44 manual. They're big files but good for printing.

http://xj4rocks.dyndns.org/xj4rocks/tech/gears/
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Old 01-15-2003, 07:25 AM   #5 (permalink)
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BACKLASH!
What does backlash mean?

How do you 'break in' new gears? Drive a little... change fluid... drive some more?


I was supposed to have already done 4.88's in the TJ, but postponed the job till I can afford tires. It doesn't look like I'm selling the heep, so I'll definitely be finding a home in my diffs for the 4.88's in my closet.
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Old 01-15-2003, 07:55 AM   #6 (permalink)
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"Gear marking compound" is nothing more than oil based paint. Dana simply buys bright yellow oil based paint in 5 gallon pails and goes to town "marking" gears.

Jeep FSM's also have EXCELLENT "cookbook" instructions for setting up gears in standard Dana centers.

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Old 01-15-2003, 08:04 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by xj4rocks
To do the gears you'll need :

calipers or micrometer
inch-lb torque wrench
ft-lb torque wrench
bearing puller
gear marking compound

and a couple other things i can't remember right now.
I guess that explains why my gear set needed a pro's help after we were done. We tried to do it and didn't have any of the tools listed except the ft-lb torque wrench. You live. You learn.

I suppose now I'll never have the balls to try it again on my own.
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Old 01-15-2003, 08:28 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by cmk
"Gear marking compound" is nothing more than oil based paint. Dana simply buys bright yellow oil based paint in 5 gallon pails and goes to town "marking" gears.

Jeep FSM's also have EXCELLENT "cookbook" instructions for setting up gears in standard Dana centers.

cm "I don't read much, hurts my brain" k
Prussian blue marking compound is a heck of a lot easier to read than that stuff they put in the install kits
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Old 01-15-2003, 08:33 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Here's another writeup by Dr. Vern.

http://www.vernco.com/id199.htm
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Old 01-15-2003, 09:21 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Not necessarily required, but a hydraulic shop press works wonders for pressing and pulling bearings. I picked up a 55 ton unit for right around $100 used.

add a dial indicator to the list


Using a cylinder hone takes forever. Just use a Dremel tool with a sanding drum on it. Bearing steel has a hardness around 55-60 Rc.
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Old 01-15-2003, 09:49 AM   #11 (permalink)
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A page I wrote including tools & settings, etc. Linky.

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Old 01-15-2003, 11:10 AM   #12 (permalink)
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It is MUCH easier if you have/build the case spreaders for Dana axles. Go in on it with a couple of your buddies....they are stupid simple and make life alot easier!
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Old 01-15-2003, 12:02 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Never used a case spreader, dont like to stretch the case just to make it easy to get the carrier in. make sure you have the right size tool ( I use regular steel tubing) to press the carrier and pinion bearings on when you are ready, I have seen people do this at work by pressing the bearings on with the race, this puts a lot of pressure on the raceway and bearings, instead find some tubing that fits the inside of the bearing, but is wide enough to clear the carrier/pinion, and use that to press it on. I also like to turn the bearing while pressing it on, just to make sure that I am not putting any pressure on the bearing itself, if I am I can definatly feel the difference in how it turns. With Dana gears, if you have a set of dummy bearings (setup bearings) I like to just install the one on the ring gear side, and press the carrier agains the bearing journal on that side to get a "feel" of how much backlash (free play between the pinion teeth and the ring gear teeth). I have been doing this long enough that I have a "feel" for when I am close (doesnt take that long to get the feel). This makes it a lot faster instead of installing everything over and over. When you have what you think is good, install enough shims on the other side to make the carrier a fairly tight fit into the case. Then you can check your backlash with the dial indicator. For you new guys, dont waste your time checking pattern without knowing that you have the right backlash, and no free play from side to side.

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Old 01-15-2003, 12:04 PM   #14 (permalink)
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P.S. I make the carrier fit tight enough into the case that I have to hit it in with my deadblow hammer. You will be able to tell if you made it too tight because it will be very hard to turn almost like you have way too little backlash. Then back it off a bit.

Dont be an idiot like some of the people I have seen and use a metal hammer to hit the carrier into the case, especially on the bearing races.

Ryan
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Old 01-15-2003, 03:23 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I'm no expert, but I have put a set of gears in my Dana 44...A real learning experience!

First of all BEARING PRELOAD... Is how tightly the carrier fits into the case on a dana axle, On a 9 inch and a 14 bolt this is adjusted with spanner nuts. On dana axles this is adjusted with shims.

Second, BACKLASH.... This is how close the ring gear is to the pinion. This can be adjusted by adding shims to one side and taking the same amount away from the other side to mantain the same BEARING PRELOAD...This is the time consuming part on a Dana. On a 9" or 14 Bolt this is really easy. Overall backlash should be about .008" if I remember correctly.

Third, PINION DEPTH..... Even though this is the first thing that you have to set it just happened to be the last on my list, sue me This has ALOT to do with the way a gear pattern looks. Adjusting this moves the pattern towards the heel or the tow of the ring gear.

As far as case spreaders go, I didnt' use one and I dont' think that they are even necessary. Just use enough BEARING PRELOAD so that you can still get the carrier in the housing and you will be close, but check it anyways. I've only done one set so far, they were 4.88's for a dana 44 and I'm running 38.5"s with a six banger. Haven't blown them yet I have broke several u-joints and shattered a stub shaft!
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Old 01-15-2003, 07:24 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Yes! the set up bearings and races (cups and cones) are the best way for the do it yourselfer.
If you use the Dremmel to hog out your races, use the green stones. They are silicon carbide impregnated and make a short job out of it.
For the OD of races, use a bench grinder and carefully grind it to fit.

Wear gloves and safety glasses or you will end up with wicked little microscopic slivers everywhere.

I agree that case spreaders are a waste of time. I used the dead blow hammer method to install and two large pry bars to extract. When installing the carrier with shims, make sure the shims are sliding in straight before you git to smackin that carrier.
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Old 01-15-2003, 08:45 PM   #17 (permalink)
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I also agree with the set up berings. They made my life a whole lot easier. When I set up my 44 with 4.88 it took a lot of shims to get the proper pinion depth. When I say a lot I mean it. I had to go out and buy a whole nother set up kit cause I didn't have enough shims. Once I did get the right pattern The backlash was hit or miss. I guessed the first time and got close and I made some fine adjustments from there. Also the one thing that would have helped me would have been to have the stock gears in there to have a starting point. I had to guess on everything and then go up from there. It took a long time to do because of that. All in all it wasn't to hard of a job though. It just takes a little patience
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Old 01-15-2003, 09:13 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Agreed, I'm not an expert, done it twice. Had the old gears to start by, also set up bearings. The hard part for me was getting the carrier back out each time.
At trail speeds it shouldn't be as critical as running them highway speeds all the time, but got them as close as possible and they are still working on and off road.......No extra metal in the oil anyway.
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Old 01-15-2003, 10:34 PM   #19 (permalink)
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I have used white grease before in a pinch. Set-up bearings are the way to go for sure and a dead blow hammer is the only hammer that should get near the carrier. A magnetic base dial indicator is a must for checking backlash IMHO.
Someone asked about break-in. To break in a new set of gears you need to do about 500mi. of city driving with no freway time and stopping oftne to keep things cool. If you go to far to fast then some gears will heat up enough to have the surface hardness seperate from the gear and quickly die. So go slow on those new gears for a little bit to give them time to get use to thier new home. If it is a trail only rig then go wheelin and don't worrie about it if you never get out of low range.
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Old 01-16-2003, 05:50 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Here's a write up I did a month ago for a gear setup I did about a year ago, I apologize for not using all the correct terms. It was eventually going on my local clubs website, what better way to get it proofread than posting it here

I did a gear setup on both axles when I did my swap last spring(RC D44 & 9"). It was probably the most time consuming part of the entire project, but I certainly don't regret doing it myself, builds character and stuff like that.

Basics: There are 4 variables in a normal gear setup, and they center aroudn the 4 bearings used in the pumpkin. The pinion has two bearings the inner bearing controls pinion depth, and the outer bearing controls pinion bearing preload. The carrier also has two bearings, these work together to determine backlash, and carrier bearing preload.

This is the way I did it, It maybe a little "bootie-fab" and I don't know if I would recomend it, but it worked for me,

I started with the inner pinion bearing. This controls pinion depth. By adding shims behind the inner bearing race (prior to tapping it into the housing) you move the pinion closer to the center line of the axle. Normally the amount of shims is determined by looking at the number scribbed into the old pinion, and comparing it to the new one. The difference is the number of shims added or removed (I never learned which since my bare housing didn't have a starting number, someone will chime in and answer though). Since I didn't have a starting point, I picked a random number of shims, put the behind the race, pounded the race in, drop in the pinion in after pressing on the new bearing and oil slinger, put on the outer bearing with a handful (not important yet) of shims and tighned it up. Then I put the carrier in with random number of shims on each side to get it tight (I was using honed out set-up bearings at this point) Tightned everthing down, put on marking compound, and spun the gears a few times. When I looked at the pattern, I was only looking at where it landed on the radius of the ring gear. It took several iterations to get a pattern that was centered from the inside to the outside of the ring gear (considering all the steps above, this is obviously a very time consuming process, I would strongly recomened staring with a housing that has a pinion gear installed with the scribbed numbers).

So now I had one bearing done, and 3 more to go. Next I went to the outer pinion bearing. This bearing (and it's shims) determine the pinion bearing pre-load. By adding shims, you increase how much pressure is on your two pinion bearings. In theory, you add or remove shims, install the yoke, and pinion nut, and then turn the pinion with an in-pound torque wrench until you get the correct torque (increasing the pressure on the bearings increases the torque). After a few hours of not searching very hard, I determined that an inch pound torque wrench doesn't really exist, and that I would try this one by "feel" (I don't not recomend this despite the fact that it seems to have worked for me). It took a couple of tries with different shims to get what felt like a pretty good pinion bearing pre-load. (some axles use a crush-sleave instead of shims to get pinion bearing pre-load, like my 9" rear, basically you install the bearing then crush sleeve and yoke, and then you torque down the pinion nut slowly (crushing the crush sleave) until you get the correct torque, these take some serious torque to crush the crush sleeve, on my nine, I used a 2' pipe wrench to hold the pinion, and a 3' breaker bare on the nut tightening it down until it felt right (still not recomended)

At this point your done with the pinion, take a break have a beer, pick up all the tools you have scattered and thrown about your shop, and get a good nights sleep cause tomorrow we start on the carrier.

OK the carrier is pretty simple, you got two bearings on either side, you place shims on the carrier prior to pressing on the bearings, the right shims will give you good backlash/good pattern/and the correct bearing pre-load. First I took my carrier, and pulled off the existing bearings using a bearing seperator (clam shell shaped tool that grabs the back of the bearing) and a 3 jaw puller in a very instersting arrangment. Once off, I took the die grinder to the inner races rounding the out until they easly slipped onto the carrier. Next I slipped on a random number of shims (same on each side though) slid the test bearings on, and easily slid the carrier into the housing. pulled it out added a few more shims to each side, and then tapped it into the housing (you need to have it tight enough that you have to tap (rubber mallet) it into the housing, or your measurements won't be any good. This is when I measured the backlash for the first time. Once the carrier is in, and the bearing caps are tighned down, you need to hold the pinion still while rocking the carrier and ring gear back and forth. This movement is your backlash, this is measured with a dial indicator, and a magnetic base (harbor freight $30). Stick your magnetic base on the housing somewhere, then play with the little arms until your dial indicator is right on the edge of one of the teath of your ring gear and as tangent as possible to the rotation. Rock the gear back and forth and whatch the dial indicator to see how much movement your are getting. If it's less than the recomended you have too little back lash, and your gears are too tight (pinion and ring gear are too close together). If it's more than reocmeneded than just the opposite. you need to add shims to one side of the carrier and remove them from the other to move the carrier toward (decrease backlash) or away (increase backlash) from the pinion. I have also heard that you should try and set backlash toward the low end of the scale, as the gears want to move apart under load. Once the backlash is within the acceptable range your down to the last step setting the carrier bearing pre-load. I've read a few places that its hard to get carrier bearing pre-load too tight, so I took my salemenader heater, aimed it right at the axle housing, and let it heat up, put the carrier in the freezer, let them both get up to and down to temperature test fit them, and added more shims (keeping the ones that gave you the correct backlash) to each side equally once it was a real tight pounded it in fit, I took off the test bearings, pressed on the new ones, pounded it in, and let everthing come back to room temperature. Nice and tight, but still turned reasonablly (ie pretty much the same as the Dana 30 i pulled out). One last pattern and backlash check (still good), button her up and fill her full of oil.

take it for what it's worth
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Old 01-16-2003, 10:05 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Dana Pinion Depth Settings


Dana 44 pinion depth setting is 2.625 inches.this measurement is taken from top of pinion gear to centerline of ring gear. I made a aluminum rod that is diameter of carrier bearings and long enough to fit into both bearing bores. Set pinion race in case without any shims and install pinion. Position diff so pinion is vertical make sure bearing race is seated as deep as it will go. Drop alum. rod into housing bearing bores seat with rubber mallet. Measure distance between pinion head and alum. rod. add 1/2 of alum. rod diameter to this dimension. Example: 2.650 minus desired depth of 2.625 = .025 add .025 shim between housing and race. You don't need to install other bearing to establish pinion depth on pinion gear. using dana-spicer gear sets this method is fast and accurate. Use Starret adjustable parallel or a planer gauge for measurement of distance between pinion head and o.d. of alum. rod. Hope this helps you.

Depth setting for Dana axles.

Dana 30….= 3.625"
44….= 2.625"
60….= 3.125’’
70….= 3.500"
I have not used this infomation as of yet, fully intend to on
the next set of gears I setup. See no reason why it shouldn't
work.

This information was provide by Stainless Steal Dave from this site.

Here’s a link to this same discussion a few weeks ago. Very good thread…09

http://www.pirate4x4.com/forum/showt...threadid=99210
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Old 01-16-2003, 12:38 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Loafer409
Dana Pinion Depth Settings


Dana 44 pinion depth setting is 2.625 inches.this measurement is taken from top of pinion gear to centerline of ring gear. I made a aluminum rod that is diameter of carrier bearings and long enough to fit into both bearing bores. Set pinion race in case without any shims and install pinion. Position diff so pinion is vertical make sure bearing race is seated as deep as it will go. Drop alum. rod into housing bearing bores seat with rubber mallet. Measure distance between pinion head and alum. rod. add 1/2 of alum. rod diameter to this dimension. Example: 2.650 minus desired depth of 2.625 = .025 add .025 shim between housing and race. You don't need to install other bearing to establish pinion depth on pinion gear. using dana-spicer gear sets this method is fast and accurate. Use Starret adjustable parallel or a planer gauge for measurement of distance between pinion head and o.d. of alum. rod. Hope this helps you.

Depth setting for Dana axles.

Dana 30….= 3.625"
44….= 2.625"
60….= 3.125’’
70….= 3.500"
I have not used this infomation as of yet, fully intend to on
the next set of gears I setup. See no reason why it shouldn't
work.

This information was provide by Stainless Steal Dave from this site.

Here’s a link to this same discussion a few weeks ago. Very good thread…09

http://www.pirate4x4.com/forum/showt...threadid=99210
Good info, would have shortened my story in half. I figured there was a way to do that, I reckon I should have asked

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Old 01-16-2003, 06:27 PM   #23 (permalink)
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There are only 4 adjustments.

1. Pinion depth
2. Pinion preload
3. Backlash
4. Carrier preload

Carrier preload is often overllooked.
I also think it is funny when I see a click or beam type torque wrench used to check pinion preload. It is impossible. You must have an accurate dial type in/lb. wrench.

When measuring carrier preload, it is done at the pinion. If your pinion preload calls for 20 in/lbs. and your carrier preload calls for 20 in/lbs. and you run a 4-1 ring and pinion, your total torque to rotate should be 25 in/lbs.

Measure your pinion torque to rotate, divide your ratio by your carrier specs, and add it to your total torque to rotate.
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Old 01-16-2003, 08:32 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Dworfs:
Carrier preload that you can measure with torque? I dont remember ever seeing that? I know dana's have .015" of carrier preload on the bearings, which is the purpose of using a spreader(which everyone seems they can get along without). I have tried knocking carriers in without spreaders with the required preload and it is next to impossible. You are able to get the backlash correct without the preload shims, it is just not the correct way, as the carrier is NOT preloaded. If I am wrong and there are figures for this, please inform me....I have all the factory manuals from dana up to the D70 and I am unable to find it. If anyone is remotely interested...Dana Technical Resources still gives hands on classes for all this stuff at the Ottowa Lake, MI facility.
As far as measuring pinion depth as stated earlier...this works great for Dana gears....but watch out for some of the other stuff...
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Old 01-16-2003, 09:13 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Loafer409,

Honestly I have tried using similar tools and end up spending more time trying to come up with the correct shim thickness for the pinion then I would just attempting the first try at an educated guess. I dont care which way you do it, if someone says they can hit the correct pattern every time, just because they do it this way or that way, they are wrong. Maybe it is just because I get paid by flag time at work, and not hourly, but I think that making an educated "guess" based on the difference in thickness in pinion heads from old to new, and then playing with backlash is going to get you where you want to be much faster. Even if you are not right the first time, I can have it dissasembled again amd back togeather in under ten minutes..... I dont know. Also, some other Jeep diffs to think about that no one has talked about the 8.25 in XJs, and the Aluminum 44 in WJs. Maybe its just cause I work with newer stuff on a day to day basis, but does anyone need any tips on these? I can put a pic of the tool I made to turn down the carrier cearing preload on the 8.25, cost me under 10 bucks, costs over 50 on the tool truck.

Ryan

P.S. I work at a dealership (pays the bills, good benefits so ) and have never seen anyone I work with check pinion preload with an inch/lbs dial wrench, or check their pattern...... scary huh? When I pulled out my inch/lb wrench a lot of the guys said "Why are you doing that?" WTF!?
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