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  #1  
Old 03-28-2021, 12:17 AM
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rang-a-stang rang-a-stang is offline
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Planning rear D44 rebuild and Limited Slip install. Advice?

I generally understand how my rear axle works and the parts in it. I have also seen a few high level videos on swapping in a limited slip/locker. Over the next few weeks I am planning to purchase a Torsen type limited slip and a rebuild kit. I plan to reuse my ring and pinion and stock axle shafts. I will also spend a bunch of time watching videos and reading my tech manual over these next few weeks. BUT I have never pulled a carrier out, I have never set lash, and I have very little experience back there.

Any advice from someone that has done this before?

I have narrowed down my choice to Powertrax GripLok or a TrueTrac (I have 3.54's and plan to get the smaller carrier). I will probably get the carrier that has the lower price when I pull the trigger in early May.

I plan to buy a master rebuild kit that has carrier bearings/races, pinion bearings, side shaft seals, etc. Any advice on kits? Good ones? Bad ones?

Any advice on tools? Does it make it much easier to pull the axle out and work on it, or is it not really worth the effort compared to doing it on the truck?

Other than the carrier, rebuild kit, gear oil, and gasket maker, are there other supplies I should have on hand?
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  #2  
Old 03-28-2021, 01:55 AM
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FSJunkie FSJunkie is offline
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You will need an arbor press of at least 20 tons capacity, a pinion flange holding fixture, bearing and seal drivers, and a dial indicator. Those are non-negotiable.

A torque wrench of at least 250 foot-pounds capacity and a torque wrench of 10-100 INCH-pounds capacity are extremely helpful but you can get around them.

You will also need patience. It's not hard to set up a differential but you have to take your time and pay attention. Especially on Dana axles. You use shims to set all your adjustments and the shims are located behind bearings that are pressed onto their shafts with several tons of force. Pressing the bearings on and off as you test-fit shim packs is do-able, but gets old. Getting an extra set of bearings and machining them out inside so they slide on and off without a press to use as test-fit bearings makes your life a lot easier.
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  #3  
Old 03-28-2021, 06:07 AM
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Timken bearings are the standard of the industry but koyo bearings are fine. USA Standard and Motive sell them all. Yukon is the same but pricier..Amazon is your friend.
J2
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  #4  
Old 03-28-2021, 06:43 AM
wiley-moeracing wiley-moeracing is offline
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This is one of those times where it cheaper and easier to get it done for you. I have done them many times, some easy some a real pain but have been getting them done for me at a shop because of time limitations. Something to consider.
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Old 03-28-2021, 08:42 AM
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babywag babywag is offline
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I say pull axle, easier than doing it in vehicle!

When I did my 10bolt in Caprice didn't have/use a press.
But it would be easier with one or to have a shop pull the bearings.
I used a cheap bearing tool from HF to remove them.

When I was confident on shims for pinion I cooked the bearing in the oven and it dropped right on easily.
Also cooked the carrier side bearings and again they both dropped right on.

Local shops would have been ~$1k for them to do the regear in vehicle, and slightly less if I brought in just the axle.
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Old 03-28-2021, 09:52 AM
SJTD SJTD is offline
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Don't forget you need a case a spreader to work on Danas. You see in the Mags where they don't use them but I'd call that hackery.

Comes out ok but how about going back in with those thin shims?

i don't see it at HF but can be had for $100 on ebay. I'm going to need one some day, maybe we can do a deal.
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  #7  
Old 03-28-2021, 11:36 AM
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J20 project J20 project is offline
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So, it would appear this way.

You need a case spreader. https://www.amazon.com/Mophorn-Diffe...NsaWNrPXRydWU=
You need an appropriate bearing puller.https://www.amazon.com/gp/slredirect...getName=sp_atf
You need a magnetic dial indicator.https://www.amazon.com/Standard-Univ...xpY2s9dHJ1ZQ==
You need a micrometer.https://www.amazon.com/Anytime-Tools...5 2791&sr=8-5
You need a pinion depth guage. https://www.amazon.com/Machine-Produ...6952824&sr=8-1
You need a shop press.https://www.amazon.com/Mophorn-Hydra...NsaWNrPXRydWU=
You need set up bearing and set up races for this job.https://www.amazon.com/Yukon-Gear-Ax...s%2C220&sr=8-3

and the set up race.

Now hard parts:https://www.amazon.com/Powertrax-GT4...%2C220&sr=8-11

https://www.amazon.com/Yukon-Gear-YK...s%2C220&sr=8-9
Have I missed anything folks?
Rolls up to about 2088.00 U.S.

J20

Seems a shop install might be easier and cheaper.
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  #8  
Old 03-28-2021, 11:56 AM
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J20 project J20 project is offline
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d44 build

Rang...

I actually do this for a living.....and the estimate I would give someone would be 1197 clams.....I have all of the equipment.
Now I know you are there. and I am here. This should give you a basis for decision making instead of investing in equipment you may or may not ever use again.
I have built around 40 axles in the last 3 years along w/ the driveline work. I am going to retire but a very froggy younger fellow is taking over.

Again, good luck, hope the info was valuable.

Hackery, I wonder how many folks actually have that many axles done and finished w/ no issues acutually own the equpment and under their belt on this page?...doesn't count the axles I did as a "novice".

J20
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  #9  
Old 03-28-2021, 03:40 PM
SJTD SJTD is offline
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Since he's reusing the gears he shouldn't need to change the pinion shimming eliminating the need the pinion height tools. No? Also, I think Jegs has a pinion height set for $100 or so. Might be Summit ore some other.

For that matter does he need to set up the diff shimming?

Never mind. I guess he would since he's considering a Torsen or others that mean a different carrier.

But couldn't that be done trial and error?

This is a one time job. The goodies would get you closer the first time but are there not work arounds that a shop doesn't have time for?
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  #10  
Old 03-28-2021, 04:19 PM
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backroadin' backroadin' is offline
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As to which LSD, I would vote truetrac - all gear driven so there's no ratcheting action and time tested and proven. I'm not familiar with the griplok, but it appears to be an automatic locker like a detroit. So I'm basing it on that. If you're gonna be on the street more than the trail, the truetrac would be my choice since you wouldn't even know it was there. If all trail, then maybe not.
Good luck on the install - everybody had to do something for the first time before they were a pro!!
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  #11  
Old 03-28-2021, 04:34 PM
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rang-a-stang rang-a-stang is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FSJunkie
You will need an arbor press of at least 20 tons capacity, a pinion flange holding fixture, bearing and seal drivers, and a dial indicator. Those are non-negotiable.

A torque wrench of at least 250 foot-pounds capacity and a torque wrench of 10-100 INCH-pounds capacity are extremely helpful but you can get around them.

You will also need patience. It's not hard to set up a differential but you have to take your time and pay attention. Especially on Dana axles. You use shims to set all your adjustments and the shims are located behind bearings that are pressed onto their shafts with several tons of force. Pressing the bearings on and off as you test-fit shim packs is do-able, but gets old. Getting an extra set of bearings and machining them out inside so they slide on and off without a press to use as test-fit bearings makes your life a lot easier.
Does it have to be an Arbor press? I have a 20 ton Harbor Freight hydraulic press.
I have both sizes of torque wrenches. Copy on the spare bearings. Maybe I will use the bearings on my current carrier and machine them out a little to slide on off...
Quote:
Originally Posted by J20 project
Timken bearings are the standard of the industry but koyo bearings are fine. USA Standard and Motive sell them all. Yukon is the same but pricier..Amazon is your friend.
J20
Great! I was looking at this one:
https://www.amazon.com/USA-Standard-Gear-D44-Differential/dp/B0078U8QY2/ref=pd_ybh_a_3?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=2F2VPA3 EQ0J5RH8NZGCP
Quote:
Originally Posted by wiley-moeracing
This is one of those times where it cheaper and easier to get it done for you. I have done them many times, some easy some a real pain but have been getting them done for me at a shop because of time limitations. Something to consider.
You know, I thought building my own engine, instead of having a shop do it, was gonna be cheaper (and worth the savings). It was...except I hosed my engine up and hand to do it AGAIN. It was not cheaper to build it twice. I have a strong feeling that may be my reality again, if I do this myself.
Quote:
Originally Posted by babywag
I say pull axle, easier than doing it in vehicle!

When I did my 10bolt in Caprice didn't have/use a press.
But it would be easier with one or to have a shop pull the bearings.
I used a cheap bearing tool from HF to remove them.

When I was confident on shims for pinion I cooked the bearing in the oven and it dropped right on easily.
Also cooked the carrier side bearings and again they both dropped right on.

Local shops would have been ~$1k for them to do the regear in vehicle, and slightly less if I brought in just the axle.
I will probably pull it then. I also have that bearing tool from HF. I have seen a few videos of folks freezing the pinion/carrier, heating the bearings and they "dropped on" or at least went on pretty drama free. But with a press I should be able to just press them on... in theory.
Quote:
Originally Posted by SJTD
Don't forget you need a case a spreader to work on Danas. You see in the Mags where they don't use them but I'd call that hackery.

Comes out ok but how about going back in with those thin shims?

i don't see it at HF but can be had for $100 on ebay. I'm going to need one some day, maybe we can do a deal.
Sounds good to me! I'll ask some of my local buddies and see if they have a spreader I can borrow. I'll also start watching Craigslist and Fleabay for a deal. When I am done, IT WILL BE SOLD. I don't want to pack that and bring it with me when I move.
Quote:
Originally Posted by J20 project
So, it would appear this way.

You need a case spreader. (link)
You need an appropriate bearing puller.(link)
You need a magnetic dial indicator.(link)
You need a micrometer.(link)
You need a pinion depth guage. (link)
You need a shop press.(link)
You need set up bearing and set up races for this job.(link)

and the set up race.(link)

Now hard parts: (link)
Have I missed anything folks?
Rolls up to about 2088.00 U.S.

J20

Seems a shop install might be easier and cheaper.
*****************************
I actually do this for a living.....and the estimate I would give someone would be 1197 clams.....I have all of the equipment.
Now I know you are there. and I am here. This should give you a basis for decision making instead of investing in equipment you may or may not ever use again.
I have built around 40 axles in the last 3 years along w/ the driveline work. I am going to retire but a very froggy younger fellow is taking over.

Again, good luck, hope the info was valuable.

Hackery, I wonder how many folks actually have that many axles done and finished w/ no issues actually own the equipment and under their belt on this page?...doesn't count the axles I did as a "novice".
I have quite a few of those tools already, also. I would also need to add the cost of the carrier to the estimate. So guessing a shop here, locally would charge the same as you, I am looking at about $1500'ish. I cannot afford that. BUT, like I said to Tim above, it would probably be cheaper to spend $1500 once and know it is done right, then to do it myself and mess it all up and have to do it again. Crap. Buy the best, cry once.
Quote:
Originally Posted by SJTD
Since he's reusing the gears he shouldn't need to change the pinion shimming eliminating the need the pinion height tools. No? Also, I think Jegs has a pinion height set for $100 or so. Might be Summit ore some other.

For that matter does he need to set up the diff shimming?

Never mind. I guess he would since he's considering a Torsen or others that mean a different carrier.

But couldn't that be done trial and error?

This is a one time job. The goodies would get you closer the first time but are there not work arounds that a shop doesn't have time for?
My understanding is: New carrier, new shimming (all around). I would assume I would start with the same shims as my open carrier, measure, and go from there.

Over these next few days I will see what tools buddies have that I can borrow. I will also call a few local shops and see what they charge. Then I will create my own costs, if I do it all myself, and compare it. If it is going to cost me $500 in parts, $500 in tools, and I am only saving $300 in doing it myself, it will be farmed out. OR, maybe I just get some gear oil, a new spider gear, and a ton of brake cleaner and just fix the open carrier for now...

DANGIT! I thought this would be easier!
Quote:
Originally Posted by backroadin'
As to which LSD, I would vote truetrac - all gear driven so there's no ratcheting action and time tested and proven. I'm not familiar with the griplok, but it appears to be an automatic locker like a detroit. So I'm basing it on that. If you're gonna be on the street more than the trail, the truetrac would be my choice since you wouldn't even know it was there. If all trail, then maybe not.
Good luck on the install - everybody had to do something for the first time before they were a pro!!
Grip lock is just another brand of torsen LS like Truetrac. Mine is 99.9% on road so I don't want a ratcheting locker back there. In the very long future, I plan to put a selectable locker in the front but that will be years from now.
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  #12  
Old 03-28-2021, 05:03 PM
SJTD SJTD is offline
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Centerline of the ring won't change with a new carrier so pinion depth will be the same but yeah, ring shimming will change.
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  #13  
Old 03-30-2021, 12:07 PM
RamJetFSJ RamJetFSJ is offline
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Ill try anything myself, at least once. Im one of those people that just has to do it myself, even if its not done perfect or I have to do it twice. (Motor rebuilds, motor swaps, complicated timing belt changes in newer vehicles, roofing, plumbing, electrical, etc all for the first time with no experience) But after all the research, this is one thing I won't attempt myself. Ill leave it to the pros.

Im looking to get my axles regeared/rebuilt with a rear Truetrac also, so Ill be interested to see how it goes for you, and who you end up using if you do farm it out (since we are in the same area).

I have looked a bit at the Powertrax Grip Pro recently, and it is the same sort of geared limited slip design as the Truetrac, but with less history of reliability/issues to look back at. But it will save you a bit of money for sure.

The Powertrax Grip LOK is a full case auto locker like the Detroit Locker.

So make sure you know which style of diff you really want (limited slip vs Locker)
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  #14  
Old 03-30-2021, 08:31 PM
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goldhammer goldhammer is offline
 
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If the master kit doesn't have them, new ring gear bolts, and some gear marking fluid to check tooth engagement.

Lot less stress and headache to have a pro set it up. If you get the carrier and master set, all your paying is labor
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  #15  
Old 03-31-2021, 10:57 AM
rocklaurence rocklaurence is offline
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You dont need all those tools in most cases. I do recommend a bearing puller. I have a couple videos discussing this topic. Here's one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LBpVBH58JKU
This one talks about the Mesh Pattern and other things: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ysJaDBzyQQ

Last edited by rocklaurence : 03-31-2021 at 11:05 AM.
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  #16  
Old 03-31-2021, 06:46 PM
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J20 project J20 project is offline
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Quote:
Grip lock is just another brand of torsen LS like Truetrac. Mine is 99.9% on road so I don't want a ratcheting locker back there. In the very long future, I plan to put a selectable locker in the front but that will be years from now.

Ayeee...the Grip Pro is like the truetrac...a Torsen gleason variant. While limited slip, no friction discs....
Quote:
Torsen Torque-Sensing (full name Torsen traction) is a type of limited-slip differential used in automobiles . It was invented by American Vernon Gleasman and manufactured by the Gleason Corporation. Torsen is a portmanteau of Torque-Sensing.
from Wikipedia...


J20
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  #17  
Old 03-31-2021, 08:36 PM
Dave Jeeper Dave Jeeper is offline
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I have installed ARB air lockers in a Dana 35 and Dana 30. The Dana 35 is very similar to the Dana 44.


I did not need a case spreader to do mine, but the Dana 44 is heavier duty and it may need one.


I used my harbor freight 20 ton press and a bearing separator (holds the bearing in the press) to remove the old bearings. Old bearings can be ground down to fit loosely on the shafts, and used as setup bearings if needed.


Before disassembly, measure the backlash with your dial indicator. If reusing the same gears, you will be matching the backlash with the new carrier (torsen locker). It will not be necessary to remove the pinion gear if it is in good shape and the seal is good.



It should all go something like this:


Jack up car. Remove diff cover and drain oil. Mount the dial indicator with a magnetic mount to the edge of the diff where the cover was. Position the shaft of the dial indicator at a tangent to the ring gear. Keep the vehicle in park with the e-brake off. Turn the driver's rear tire gently forward and rearward and measure the movement of the ring gear on the dial indicator.


Record the measurements and take photos of the indicator setup so that you can repeat it later. The total movement of the ring gear tooth is the backlash measured in thousands of an inch.


Now, remove the tires, remove the bolts that hold the axle shafts in the axle housing, then remove both axle shafts. Place them aside and keep them clean. Mark the carrier bearing caps so that they can only go back in exactly as they are now. Take photos. Remove the bolts and caps. The carrier may be stuck in the diff housing. Some use a pry bar to loosen the carrier at the bearings, prying it out of the diff housing. You must be careful not to damage the housing, the bearings or the carrier. I tied rope around the two sides of the carrier and used a slide hammer attached to the rope to get the carrier loose. It can pop out while doing this and it is heavy, be careful that it doesn't hit the floor.


Now remove the carrier shims. Keep the driver side shims separate from the passenger shims and label them (baggies work well). On the Dana 44 the shims should be towards the outside of (outboard of) the carrier bearings and the bearings should not need to be removed to take off the shims. The outermost shim on each side is thick and has chamfered edges to ease installation.


Remove the ring gear bolts and ring gear from the old carrier. Install (press) new carrier bearings on the new locker. It is recommended to use new ring gear bolts with loctite on the new carrier and torque to spec.



The carrier needs to be spaced to fit into the case, interface with the ring gear and provide the same backlash as the first carrier. When setting up the new carrier, it may not have exactly the same measurements as the old one, but it should be close. If you just put the same old shims in, the carrier may be too loose or too tight to fit in the space of the diff housing due to slightly different dimensions from the old carrier. Additionally, the carrier may not be in the exact same position left to right. If it is too far right, then the backlash will be decreased, if too far left then increased. First you must adjust the shims to find a fit that allows the carrier to just slip into the housing with no left to right or right to left movement and no gear interference. Install the bearing caps according to the original orientation and install the bolts. Now measure the backlash, it will almost certainly be more or less than the original setting with the original carrier. Move some shims from one side to the other until the backlash is the same as original.


Now you must set the pre-load. The carrier bearings require some side pressure to operate correctly. You must check the spec, it is probably around 10 to 15 thousands. Add 7 thousandths (half of the preload spec) to each side, inboard of the chamfered outside shims. Now you must use a 2x4 and a hammer to drift the carrier into the housing. When you do this it will spread the housing slightly and load the carrier bearings. Install the carrier bearing caps and bolts, then torque. Recheck the backlash. If it is the same as the original measurement, then remove the carrier bolts, install new ones with loctite and torque. If the backlash is not the same, then getting the carrier out now is not going to be easy. It is jammed in there. Hopefully you can reassemble everything now, seal the cover and add fluid. Then test your new setup. Drive it gently at first and do the first fluid change early to check for metal particles (Not good if you find them).



The Dana 35 housings are weaker than the 44 and they stretch during prolonged use. Once they stretch enough the preload is lost and the new carrier can become damaged from operating without preload. I recheck the preload on the Dana 35 every 50,000 miles. I don't know if it needs to be done on a Dana 44 or not.


I am not a pro like some of the other posters on this thread. I did not mean to insult any of them by sharing my experience and I may have made mistakes in what I have described. I hope that others will be kind in their criticism and will focus on helping the original poster of this thread.



Best of luck in doing this job. If you need to remove the pinion gear (for a seal and/or bearing change), then this job will become much more complicated as there is more needed to be done to align the gears correctly.


Dave
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  #18  
Old 04-01-2021, 12:29 AM
rang-a-stang's Avatar
rang-a-stang rang-a-stang is offline
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Dah! Yeah, That was a typo/Brain fart (Grip Lok Vs. Grip Pro). Shoulda been Grip Pro all along. I even read several articles on Powertrax website about Grip Pro. I want a LS not a locker. Good catch. Thank you!

Thank you for the really detailed post, Dave Jeeper! Super awesome read!

I am really on the fence about having a shop do this. I have a few emails out to a few shops and will make some calls tomorrow. It's tough because I am 3 hours worth of time zones away from home and by the time I get off work out here, everyone is closed back home.

I feel like my luck says if I do not replace the pinion bearings, they WILL fail and when they do, they will send metal bits into the carrier and take the carrier out with them. That may sound improbable to most but anyone that has read my build thread will understand why it is a concern to me (I have failure after failure after failure). I feel like if I pull the pinion, my lack of experience and bad attention to detail will doom my axle, also.

On the same note, If I take it to a shop, the cost to have this done will take away all the savings I have for tires. My tires are TRASH and MUST be replaced. So if take it to a shop, they fix the diff so I can drive my truck but I can't drive my truck because the tires are toast. Or I do the axle myself, never have any sort of confidence in it, and it pukes on my way to Boise.

No clear answer yet. Still researching.
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Old 04-02-2021, 05:05 PM
Dave Jeeper Dave Jeeper is offline
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Join Date: Sep 08, 2019
Location: Denver, CO
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Rang-s-Stang,


You may want to consider a lunch box locker as a temporary solution.


They go inside the carrier where the spider gears are. I have never installed one, but they are much easier than the procedure that I described above for the torsen locker.


Lunch box lockers are cheap, around $250 for the locker and a bit more for some new gear oil and form-a-gasket. I believe that you would not even have to remove the carrier. You remove the diff cover, slide the axle shafts out 6", remove the spider gears and the locker goes inside the carrier. No measurements for backlash, shims, etc.



They are "clicky" style lockers, and are not as strong as a Detroit, but they are easy to install or remove. I would not put one of these in the front, but they are a good option for the rear, if you doubt your skills for the torsen.


Here is a link to instructions with photos:
https://completeoffroad.com/files/sp...structions.pdf


If you do take it to a shop, then have them replace all bearings and seals, including the pinion bearings and seals and axle shaft bearings and seals. If you are already paying alot for a job, then have them go the whole 9 yards.



If going bigger than 31" tires and operating at altitude, then re-gearing would be advisable. Then you need to do the front axle also before operating in 4 wheel drive. So this option is big bucks.



I have torsens front and rear on one of my XJ's (small Cherokees) in Colorado. I prefer the ARB air lockers. ARB's are locked when locked and open when not locked. You just flip a switch for the ARB's. The Torsens require light application of the brake while applying gas to engage them in low traction conditions like snow or mud. Once they grab they are great. If you have to keep hitting the brake to re-engage them, it gets old. If I don't use the brake to get them to grab in the loose snow, it seems like they don't engage.


I don't have a ton of experience with them. I swapped in those axles 2 years ago and I usually drive my other XJ's with the ARB's when rock crawling or in deep snow. The one time that I took the torsens rock crawling they did great. Not so much on ice and snow for me in limited trials. The ARB's are much more expensive and more difficult to install, since they require a compressor, wiring and air lines.


Consider the Spartan lunch box locker. I believe that they are called a lunch box because it can be installed in a few hours and they are not very big. Realistically, figure 5 hours to do the Spartan in case things are rusted, stuck, etc. There are other lunch box lockers, I haven't compared them. Best of luck.



Dave
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  #20  
Old 04-02-2021, 09:51 PM
SJTD SJTD is offline
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Join Date: Apr 26, 2012
Location: Lompoc and Sunland, CA
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I think you can set up the pinion depth with the old gears, shims and some math since they are marked but Idunnofosure.

Pretty sure I saw the pinion set up tool set in a Summit or maybe Jegs catalog for a hundred bones or so. I'll have to see if I can dig it up. Again, I'll need it some day even if I'm right since I don't have the old gears for my rear 60...
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