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Thread: Installing gears?

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    Default Installing gears?



    I'm wanting to replace my stock 3.21 gears with 4.88 or 5.13.
    How hard is it to replace on my own?
    What brand of gears should I buy?

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    Yukon are good gears to get. Randy's Ring and Pinion have consistently good pricing.

    As far as doing them yourself...well, speaking from experience, it isn't that great an idea, especially when dealing with Danas. I have done Ford 9" and a couple of Yota ones, and despite all the junk I know about rigs, will still take my gears to a professional to be installed and set up. I don't even do my own gears anymore...

    Scotty at Addicted may set up Danas for you, as well as Adrian (Twisted Bronc). Sean (1freaky1) may have some other suggestions as well as some of the Jeep guys as there was someone posted here not too long ago from one of the Jeep forums who was setting up gears for a good price.

    Expect to bring the axle and/or carrier in for the set up as this will save you big bucks in the long run. If you simply drop your rig off at a shop to have the gears set up and installed, plus gears, then you are looking at anywhere between $800 to $1500 per axle.

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    I guess the general rule of thumb for setting up gears is that, if you have to ask, then you shouldn't be doing them. They aren't a complex process, but require skills and the right specialized tools to set up right.

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    I've never done a gear ratio change, but I've swapped them from carrier to carrier with good success three times. I got a dial gauge and a magnetic mount at Harbor Freight for less than $30.00, paid about 12.00 for gear marking compound, and setup bearings on ebay for around 60.00. Those and a shim set and you could theoretically do it. There are instructions online, some with lots of pics. I bet there are videos on youtube too. I'd give it a shot, but I'm stupid like that... the marking compound and gauges should tell you if its beyond you, then you can have it towed to a shop anyway, for free if you have AAA. The shims are just like washers, the only part that gives me pause is how thin they are, they can make some very fine adjustments. I'd still try it, but find a shop just incase.

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    If this is for your JK...

    Be prepared to pay $1400-1800 depending on the shop. These are the places I've seen positive feedback on several times on different forums: On the lower end of the scale, Crawlertech4x4 (Commerce City) and Crazy Ed's Performance (CoSpr); On the high end of the scale, High Country Performance 4x4 (Englewood).

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    cfr previously posted:
    "If this is for your JK...

    Be prepared to pay $1400-1800 depending on the shop. These are the places I've seen positive feedback on several times on different forums: On the lower end of the scale, Crawlertech4x4 (Commerce City) and Crazy Ed's Performance (CoSpr); On the high end of the scale, High Country Performance 4x4 (Englewood)."

    waaah!!!??? I hope that is at least front and rear and including the new gears.

    I thought about changing mine, but the $150 install fee that Addicted Offroad charges was enough for me to let him do it. I imagine his fee for doing it to a Dana axle is a bit more since they are a bit harder to do since you have to install them into the housing rather then being able to work on a dropout diff like a Toyota.

    Best prices I found for my gears was from East Coast Gear Supply (www.eastcoastgearsupply.com). They beat Randy's or Just Differentials by around $50. They talked to me on the phone and were helpful on which gears worked the best for them. I got Nitro gears, which have been holding up fine, but I have heard good things about both Yukon and Precision. One other thing to consider is a Solid Pinion Spacer to replace the pinion crush sleeve. Guarantee's slop won't develop over time and its reusable so you don't have to keep replacing it when you test the resistance on the pinion.

    Good luck. If you do it yourself, you'll need a precision inch pound torque wrench (U've heard the ones that Bicycle Shops use work well and are more reasonably priced) that can read low, a bearing press, and a dial indicator to check for backlash. Doesn't look hard, but proper installation can be the "make or break" factor on whether you break a ring and pinion or not. A bunch of Toyota guys were complaining on Pirate 4x4 about breaking gears every time they went wheeling, and it turned out that they just weren't any good at setting them up and half assed it, so there was lots of slop and the shock loads were huge when they went on and off power.

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    Haku previously posted:
    "waaah!!!??? I hope that is at least front and rear and including the new gears."

    Yep. Staggering isn't it? That's the price for a full blown regear (parts+labor) for a JK in the Denver metro area.

    Example,

    http://www.crawlertech4x4.com/crawlertech4x4_010.htm

    Elsewhere in the nation, some shops are doing it for $999. Northridge4x4 (Washington), Screaming Lizard Customs (Texas), and Off-Road Evolution (Cali) all offer the $999 deal. I believe that these shops have done enough JK gears that they can do it in about half the time of the competition.

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    Geez...for that kind of deal its almost worth driving your rig out to Cali to have it done.

    CrawlerTech is a pretty high performance place, so I can see how they would charge a premium a bit, but charging $800-1100 in labor is just horrendous. The MOST I could come up with for just parts was about $740 front and rear including an install kit (but not solid pinion spacer) and thats if you get the full kit that replaces the bearings and everything. Take a couple hundred off of that if you just need the shims and crush sleeve and such (master kit is $140, basic kit is $40). That is for JK Dana 44 gears.

    Suddenly I'm VERY happy I don't have a Dana axled rig. I paid around $400 out the door parts, labor, and a new to me Tundra axle with broken ring gear teeth as a donor (including new bearings and a solid pinion spacer kit).

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    Yep, JKs get expensive real quick. Best deal on parts $550 shipped from Northridge4x4,

    http://www.northridge4x4.com/proddet...ERHAUL&cat=277

    Most shops will then charge $400/axle + shop fees, etc if you bring your own parts.

    This is why I'm living with my 3.73s for now.

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    Josh at Crawlertech has a good reputation for regears. I wonder why a JK is so much more than a TJ? Would it be the parts? I might get mine done this winter.
    Jim

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    Thanks, Jim. I think that was the guy that got mentioned before whose name I couldn't remember.

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    There's also the Josh that has his own little shop in Aurora and does them pretty inexpensive.
    I have no personal experience with him but he is installing an Eaton E-Locker for me this week. He's done lots of axle work. I can pass on his info but don't want to break any rules here.
    Jim

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    I already posted joshs contact info in member skills a couple months ago. I think he even joined over here a while ago. He does good work and does 5 or so regears a week.

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    By all means, post his information!

    The gear installs come up all the time so it would be nice to have information regarding more people who set them up, especially for the Dana axles.

  15. #15

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    Haku previously posted:
    "I thought about changing mine, but the $150 install fee that Addicted Offroad charges was enough for me to let him do it."


    Scotty will put 4.88s into my truck for $150 if I bring him the housing and the gear?

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    Check to make sure by giving him a shout, but that is what he has been quoting recently. Just pull the 3rd member and bring him the gears (and 3rd) you bought or buy them through him. That was the labor install only price and is really good.

  17. #17

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    I will ask him, but correct me in case I'm stupid... these go in the rear differential right? Since adding the tires my truck is sluggish to go from a stop heading uphill in 2wd and 4hi. 4lo no issue.

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    Not a stupid question at all.

    Here is the quick and dirty:

    If you have a 4WD, then the gear sets that go into EACH differential have to match so that the entire gear train turns at the same speed relative to the wheels front and rear when you are in 4WD. What this ends up meaning is that if you change the gears in one differential, you also need to change them in the other differential. The joys of 4WD ownership..

    If you don't and put the rig in 4WD with a differential ratio gear in either the front or rear, one (to keep it simple) axle is going to turn faster than the other one with the transfer case and transmission in the middle, one of which will shell, most likely the transfer case output shaft.

    So the answer is yes, but times two. Look under your truck at the drive shaft ends of the axles. What is called the 3rd member/differential is the cone shaped part (on a Yota) with all the bolts around it. The drive shaft is disconnected from that, the axles are removed (or pulled out far enough to separate them from the internals ) from the axle housing (four bolts each side on the back, plus brake junk connections on the axle, knuckle wiper bolts and hub nuts on the front) and then the 3rd members are unbolted from the axle housing itself.

    A lot of information on this in the Yota Make and Model section in Tech, both in the front end rebuild stuff and gear/locker install.

  19. #19

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    OK thank you for the information

  20. #20

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    You need to replace both front and rear. You could MAYBE get away with just replacing the rear if you went to 4.56, but its not advisable. If you have different ratios, the front will be turning at a different speed then the rear which isn't a good thing for a rig driven on normal roads. I've heard of a few people who put a different ratio in the front so that the front turns faster for off road and will pull you over stuff, but even that is rare and is asking for trouble.

    With Scotty, I just emailed him and asked what he charges, and he said $150. That is if I bring him all the parts including an install kit. He can probably get you a good deal on the Trail Gear Ring and Pinion, but I haven't heard much about them either good or bad.

    If it were me, I would go with 5.29 gears. Inevitably, you will be going with bigger tires and anything less then 5.29's will be a bit on the sluggish side. I drove my rig to Moab on stock sized Sequoia tires (P265/70R16 or about 30") with my 5.29's and it could cruise at 75 with them (as measured by a GPS, not the speedo cluster). I was a bit worried that the 5.29's would make it need to rev too high to stay at highway speeds, but that wasn't the case and it actually made 5th gear usable on slight up hills and into the wind. With my 37's, my speedo is within a couple MPH of being spot on.

    That said, 4.88's might be easier to find used since guys going with bigger tires are selling them to go with 5.29's. Can't remember if it was Rising Sun or COTTORA, but someone was selling 3rd members with the 4.88's I think.

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