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Discussion Starter #1
Hey Guy's

You have a high quality, honest, straight forward shop in Phoenix-

KONG'S 4X4 OFF-ROAD CENTER
2002 West Cheryl
Phoenix, AZ. 85021
602-944-2411

I had a major problem w/ the rear third member setup by Iron Springs 4x4 in Prescott, AZ. (DO NOT USE IRON SPRINGS 4X4)
The pinion was set at 32 in/lbs instead of 10 in/lbs torque!! It was so tight we had to HAMMER the pinion out of the housing! By the time we got the thing repaired, it was 2-1/2 past Mark's closing time- Mark stayed until 7:30 pm to get me on the road, on a FRIDAY nite!

I then drove home- 135 miles from Kong's,
and even though I stopped every 20 miles and rested for 30 minites or so, I overheated the new gears- MY FAULT entirely. They were toast.

I called Mark's partner Dan, they offered to send a wrecker to get the truck at their expense!! I ended up renting a trailer and towing the truck down myself to save time. We arrived at 12:00

When I arrived, Mark had already pulled the third from HIS OWN TRUCK and swapped out my bad one for HIS OWN third member. We were loaded and on the road by 14:00!!

THAT IS CUSTOMER SERVICE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I can highly recommend Mark and Dan at Kong's 4x4. Thank's Guys!!!!!!

I also got to inspect other trucks Mark has worked on- Awesome!! The drive train lift is to cool!!

Mark, I'll see ya on the trail- I owe ya some
<IMG SRC="smilies/beer.gif" border="0"> <IMG SRC="smilies/beer.gif" border="0">

Mark Longfield
 

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The break in for new gears is very critical. I take full responsibility for thinking Mark could drive up Sunset Point with a brand new ring and pinion. The gear set requires several heat cycles to fully harden and seat properly. Most of the time a set is installed the vehicle is driven around town and back and forth to work with time to cool down completely. This is a great way to break in a set of gears. However driving up a long steep incline or towing is not. I want my customers to know that I stand behind everything I do, and will do my best to make sure the are happy, even when things go wrong. Mark is a great customer and I was happy to serve him.
<IMG SRC="smilies/usa.gif" border="0"> <IMG SRC="smilies/usa.gif" border="0"> <IMG SRC="smilies/usa.gif" border="0">
 

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One way to break-in gears is to lift the axle(s) off the ground and let the truck run with the wheels spinning at about 25 mph. We run the truck like this for 20 - 30 minutes. Then shut it down and let it cool. The diff gets real hot even with no load like this.
 

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The closest shop to me that I trust to do my gears is an hour down the interstate. My question is, how the hell do I get new gears installed and then drive my truck home? Will I HAVE to find a local shop or install the thirds myself, or are their other options?
 

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Installing 3rd members is easy, and can save you $100 or more per axle in labor. Just ship your diffs out to your favorite vendor and have them do the hard work.
 

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It is not that hard to pull the diff, but does take a little time. borrow a trailer or rent one is also an option. The shop doing the work can preform the first heat cycle but this would not be good enough for a grade like the one Mark had to drive home too. It is a 6 to 7 percent grade for more than 6 miles. In a Toyota that means wide open throttle at about 45 to 50 mph. If you life an hour or so from the shop that did the gears and it is relitivly flat. It should not be a problem.
 

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That is some KILLER customer service!! I always support the truck on blocks and run it in 4 low for about 10-15 min a time to break the gears in. After about 4 times I run the truck around town to heat them for the last time then inspect the pattern. Seems to work just fine and is a VERY IMPORTANT step in new gears installation... <IMG SRC="smilies/biggrin.gif" border="0"> <IMG SRC="smilies/usa.gif" border="0"> <IMG SRC="smilies/smokin.gif" border="0"> <IMG SRC="smilies/beer.gif" border="0">
 

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Just curious as to what actually happened to the gears after that. Did they become noisy? I've never heard what really happens when you over heat new gears.
 

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Well,looks like I will be out and about tomorrow so I may stop in at Kong's and say HI to Mark and Dan. I see from the Yahoo map function that Kongs is up by 17 and Peoria. I will be at a place called Certi-fit Body part near Van Buren and 17 in the morning. Picking up a set fenders for 20 a piece. Can't beat that with a stick.
Kinda strange that new cars and trucks off the showroom floor don't make a big deal about new gear break-in procedure.....and they do have brand new gears of course. Nobody ever changes their gear oil after 500 miles from the dealer lots. But I know I did when I set up my own 5.89 dana44 gears. I changed the oil just before going on a big road trip and also shortly after when coming back. Both times I noted significant particle counts in the drained oil. Glad I changed that stuff out since I have a big investment in my axles. Changed my fluids immediately after driving it when the fluid was still hot and had all them particles suspended in it. You get a better drain that way. Filled the diff with Mobile synthetic 75w-90 3rd time around.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Originally posted by Clifton:
<STRONG>Just curious as to what actually happened to the gears after that. Did they become noisy? I've never heard what really happens when you over heat new gears.</STRONG>
the gears failed at the top of the ring gear, large 1/8" to 3/16" chips, scaling, and NOISY operation.
 

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Well, I would have no trouble or reservations about pulling the diff's myself, but I am still IFS in the front(for now) and I don't have a 4" IFS lift, so things are a little tight. Can one person pull the IFS 3rd by themself w/ the aid of a floor jack?
 

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crawler#976---sounds to me like that place in Prescott did not bother to set the tooth contact pattern even close to where it needed to be. They did not also set up the front end did they?
 

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crawler#976---just thinkin out loud...if you had them swap you from 4.11 to 5.29 gears....and I have noticed that factory 4.11 gears use a .080 pinion shim ....and I also noted that the last 3 sets of 5.29 gears I did required .097~.103 shims....so if the shop re-used the .080 without checking the pattern then that would cause the tooth contact to ride high and to the inside.(riding on the FACE and to the TOE side)....and that would cause the chipping on the high side of the ring gear teeth that you saw but should chip more to the inside(toe) than the outside(heel). Did I hit it right?
 

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Sounds like a great shop! Keep up the good work. Word will get around with service like that <IMG SRC="smilies/biggrin.gif" border="0"> <IMG SRC="smilies/biggrin.gif" border="0">
 

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Originally posted by 4Runner Josh:
<STRONG>Well, I would have no trouble or reservations about pulling the diff's myself, but I am still IFS in the front(for now) and I don't have a 4" IFS lift, so things are a little tight. Can one person pull the IFS 3rd by themself w/ the aid of a floor jack?</STRONG>
Yup, that's how I got mine out. <IMG SRC="smilies/biggrin.gif" border="0"> I had a hell of a time putting it back in though. Doing it outside while it was raining probably didn't help. <IMG SRC="smilies/rolleyes.gif" border="0">
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Zuk-

yes, unfortunatly, Iron Springs did set up the front end too. i'm gonna have to see how it holds up, but at the slow speeds i've used it, it MAY be ok. The rear r/p contact pattern was WAY off! We checked it right after it came out of the truck.


with the rear set, Mark at Kong's had the setup correct, I just plain over heated the damn thing. I was "helping" with the assembly (read that as "pain in the ass" customer hangin' around in the shop all day!), so i was able verify the setup. I'm not sure that the previous set up did not damage the housing also. Mark won't use it again.
 
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