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Author Topic: first time rebuilding an axle  (Read 793 times)

IanHappens

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first time rebuilding an axle
« on: March 18, 2018, 09:26:58 PM »

Debating rebuilding a Dana 30 I have laying around my garage to swap out with the Dana 27A I currently have in my Willys. I have never rebuilt an axle before but I'm fairly mechanically inclined. Does anyone have any helpful tips or advise???
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Mr.B

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Re: first time rebuilding an axle
« Reply #1 on: March 18, 2018, 10:12:40 PM »



 I personally have only installed an Aussie locker in my D30. Which was the first time I ever opened a diff. And once pulled an axle shaft from the same D30, because of a u-joint problem. From what I've read, the hardest part is setting up the R&P. There's lots of guys on here that have rebuilt diffs, so you will get a lot better advice than I can give you.
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White '94 YJ 2.5L 5 speed, 35" BFGs KM2's, 5" lift, Mark VII 2 speed fan, Milemarker PE8000, Front Aussie Locker, Power steering conversion, '98 Cavalier seats, MORE Boomerangs in front, 136 amp ZJ alternator, JB conversions SYE, Tom Woods custom drive shaft, 8.8 with ARB, 4.88 gear ratio, Teralow

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The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits. -Albert Einstein

Mr.B

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Re: first time rebuilding an axle
« Reply #2 on: March 18, 2018, 11:37:10 PM »

I was going through some old bookmarks that I saved, and I thought you might like this one. They might have some parts you may need.

https://www.kaiserwillys.com/

I don't know if they are legit, but you might want to check them out.
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White '94 YJ 2.5L 5 speed, 35" BFGs KM2's, 5" lift, Mark VII 2 speed fan, Milemarker PE8000, Front Aussie Locker, Power steering conversion, '98 Cavalier seats, MORE Boomerangs in front, 136 amp ZJ alternator, JB conversions SYE, Tom Woods custom drive shaft, 8.8 with ARB, 4.88 gear ratio, Teralow

You're a super genius....
The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits. -Albert Einstein

norcal_chris

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Re: first time rebuilding an axle
« Reply #3 on: March 19, 2018, 10:11:52 AM »

What do you consider rebuilding?  You shouldn’t need to do carrier bearings/ pinion bearings unless you are changing ratios. 

Balljoints are pretty straight forward, as well as unit bearings.   Pretty simple.
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Screaming Bear

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Re: first time rebuilding an axle
« Reply #4 on: March 19, 2018, 10:25:48 AM »

The only reason I put a D30 in my Willys was for the locker options. The R&P seemed ridiculously small on the D30. I went with a narrow track 30, Detroit Locker and Alloy axles/ 297 u-joints and hub conversion. I'd recommend building a D44.
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51 CJ3-A, 4.3 TBI Chevy, SM420, Dana 18TC, 30/44 Full Floaters, Yukon Front Axle and Hubs, rear drive flanges, Detroit Fr / E-Locker Rr, 4.27:1 Gears, 74:1, HD steering / 4 wheel disk brakes, Viair 550C, 100% LED - VisionX headlights, Rigid Light-bar, DOT Fogs, Grote tail, Soft Top and Heater, 35"KM-2's, 3" up, no articulation - it works

IanHappens

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Re: first time rebuilding an axle
« Reply #5 on: March 20, 2018, 09:34:41 AM »

The only reason I put a D30 in my Willys was for the locker options. The R&P seemed ridiculously small on the D30. I went with a narrow track 30, Detroit Locker and Alloy axles/ 297 u-joints and hub conversion. I'd recommend building a D44.

I really don’t want to pay to have a Dana 44 shortened to narrow width. I want to upgrade to a Dana 30 for the stronger tie rods and ball joints.


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IanHappens

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Re: first time rebuilding an axle
« Reply #6 on: March 20, 2018, 11:00:48 AM »

What do you consider rebuilding?  You shouldn’t need to do carrier bearings/ pinion bearings unless you are changing ratios. 

Balljoints are pretty straight forward, as well as unit bearings.   Pretty simple.

I haven’t checked the current ratio on the Dana 30 but it more than like will need to be changed.


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Screaming Bear

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Re: first time rebuilding an axle
« Reply #7 on: March 20, 2018, 01:20:55 PM »

I found my 4.27 gears on eBay. NIB $75. Just be sure they are for your D30. They come in standard rotation, reverse rotation, TJ specific and maybe more. I assume you have a 72-85 D30 if you are using a Dana 18 or 20 TC. No unit bearings on cj axles. 
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51 CJ3-A, 4.3 TBI Chevy, SM420, Dana 18TC, 30/44 Full Floaters, Yukon Front Axle and Hubs, rear drive flanges, Detroit Fr / E-Locker Rr, 4.27:1 Gears, 74:1, HD steering / 4 wheel disk brakes, Viair 550C, 100% LED - VisionX headlights, Rigid Light-bar, DOT Fogs, Grote tail, Soft Top and Heater, 35"KM-2's, 3" up, no articulation - it works

IanHappens

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Re: first time rebuilding an axle
« Reply #8 on: March 20, 2018, 06:15:25 PM »

I found my 4.27 gears on eBay. NIB $75. Just be sure they are for your D30. They come in standard rotation, reverse rotation, TJ specific and maybe more. I assume you have a 72-85 D30 if you are using a Dana 18 or 20 TC. No unit bearings on cj axles.
You would be correct using a 30 out of a 73 Cj5


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amcguy

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Re: first time rebuilding an axle
« Reply #9 on: March 20, 2018, 06:16:33 PM »

Installing a ring and pinion correctly requires an understanding of how hypoid gears work, experience and an investment in the proper tools.  Three things have to be correct for strength and long life:

- Gear mesh or engagement which is a function of pinion depth and backlash,  There are specialized tools for accomplishing pinion depth, but trial and error and lots of patience works too.  Get a good gear mesh chart and installation instructions off the internet net from one of the major gear manufacturers.

- Bearing preload on both the pinion and carrier bearings is critical.  You'll need an accurate way to read bearing drag in inch-pounds on the pinion. There are special inch-pound gages for measuring this, however I have successfully used a simple fish weight scale available from a sporting goods store and 12 inches of flat bar welded to a socket that fits the pinion nut.  You want to measure drag as the pinion is actually rotating and with lubricated bearings.  Remember, one pound of drag over a 12 inch leverage is equal to 1 x 12 or 12 inch-pounds.  Pinion preload is typically 24 inch pounds or 2 pounds over 12 inch leverage.  You can use any length of leverage you want, but 12 inches works well with a simple fish weight gage.

- Carrier bearing preload is simpler, once you determine the proper number of shims on each side of the carrier to get a good mesh pattern with the proper backlash between the gears then you add an equal amount of shims on each side for preload.  Refer to gear manufacturer's instructions for proper recommended additional shims.

- Establishing and measuring backlash, typically .006 to .010, requires a simple dial indicator and magnetic stand.  Available at Harbor Freight.  Make sure carrier bearing caps are tightened down to specs before measure backlash or ring gear runout

Couple other recommendations based on experience.  Check the run out with the dial indicator of the ring gear on the backside of the ring gear with the carrier installed and tightened to spec in the empty axle housing. Check even new ring gears.  Not unusual to find a tweaked carrier especially if the unit experienced a gear or bearing failure in the past.  Manufacturers instructions will specify max allowable run out, personally I would not accept anything greater than .002 in a front axle, .001 in a rear axle. 

Take your run out into account when establishing final backlash.  Mark the high side or closest engagement of ring and pinion on the ring gear with a grease pencil.  Establish your backlash at this point.  Backlash will then be greater over all other points of the ring and pinion but not out of spec.  if you don't take runout into account you could have a less than min spec backlash over a portion of the engagement.  Always advisable to measure backlash every 90 degrees or four points.

Pulling the carrier and pinion bearings on and off to change shims can not only be a pain but can ruin perfectly good bearings and shims if not done correctly. Again, there are some great tools o the market for doing this quickly and safely.  Wear safety glasses!

If you are only going to do a gear change or installation now and then, its not worth the investment in the tools to do it safely and correctly.  Just my opinion. You'd be time and money ahead to take the clean and prepped housing, gears and new parts to a shop like WFO or Four Wheel Parts and pay them to do this part.  The rest of the axle you can assemble yourself.  Just a recommendation. 

amcguy
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bigsquat

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Re: first time rebuilding an axle
« Reply #10 on: March 22, 2018, 05:54:51 PM »

ill probably get yelled at ,but the front isnt as critical as the back. you dont usually run it at high speeds and very long either.most the time your in 2 wheel drive.
« Last Edit: March 30, 2018, 11:33:43 AM by bigsquat »
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