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Old 02-26-2013, 01:07 AM   #1
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2012+ Gear Install DIY

Hello!
Currently we are installing 4.56s gears on my Sport. (from 3.21s). I thought I'd post some tool & trick info. Notice I said "currently"- we are 2 weekends in on the install. I want to post some of this before I forget. I won't be doing a gear install how-to. I am only the junior mechanic- and the Sr. Mechanic (my husband) isn't exactly keen to spend any more time in Jeepdom.
This will be long- so bear with me. I'll break it up.

First off- we had major issues with the rear. It began with clumpy diff. fluid w/metal shavings- at only 6000 miles. I'd suggest if you have this issue to seal her back up and take it to the dealer before going further. While the pinion nut came off easily- the pinion shaft would NOT budge. My husband whacked at it with every hammer-type tool known to man. We removed the seal- banged some more. A blow torch was involved. Nothing. We spent hours on it. We finally had to remove the entire axle to remove the pinion shaft- which we should have done to start with because a) removing it only took 45 minutes and b) it is easier to work on the carrier/gears off the vehicle anyway. I start with this because the tool list varies for this reason.

The front was completely the opposite- the pinion nut, shaft and carrier came out easily/as prescribed. If everything went like the front we'd be done already. And my husband wouldn't want to strangle me.

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Old 02-26-2013, 01:48 AM   #2
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Specialty Tool List That You MAY NEED.
This is apart from the regular garage tools:
  • Diff Spreader. Used to spread the diff. housing so you can remove the carrier (and add shims if needed). Alternative- crow bar and hammer. My husband made one for around $70. Cost on Amazon or Ebay: $170-$300. Try getting in a .0098 shim in (without bending it )with the use of a crow bar or screw driver and hammer. It can be done- but no way I'd do it.
  • Bearing press. Remember the rear axle? It had to be removed and placed on a bearing press to get the pinion shaft out. And get the seized bearing off. Alternative: if you've hammered on the rear pinion for hours- not much. We bought a 12 ton shop press from Harbor Freight for $80. Look for coupons in any car magazine.
  • Micrometer. To measure the shims. (Ours were not marked. )$30.
  • A dial indicator to measure backlash with magnetic base ( base a must). $20-$40.
  • Feeler gauge. We didn't need it- but chances are you will. $20
  • Bearing puller (clam shell style). $150-$200. Highly recommend. If you mess up the bearings the old fashioned way- replacement bearings are $100 plus per axle.
  • 1 5/16" socket & 1 1/8" sockets (1/2" or 3/4" drive). With big ass breaker bar or impact wrench.
  • Slide hammer. Useful but not necessary. Had one- don't know cost.
  • Dead blow hammer.
  • Digital caliper up to 6". $10.
  • Bench vice up to 6" will simplify the process a lot,
  • Hub tool. CRITICAL. $20. Locks the drive shaft input flange in place while you crank on the pinion nut with above referenced bad a** breaker bar or impact wrench.
  • Your local shop- for anything you weren't expecting. The rear pinion crush sleeve is notoriously difficult to crush. We've used a 1/2" impact wrench with a 600 ft. lb. compressor, the breaker bar and a pipe, our combined weights etc. And its a no-go. Taking the rear axle assembly to Jeep Perfomance so they can use bigger tools.
That's it for tools. You certainly don't need all of these and this just gives you an idea of costs. Your needs & local prices may vary. I think part of the fun of any install for my hubster is tool shopping and new garage stuff. So while we used everything listed- there are other methods that I am sure people have used. Like I said- I am not an expert and this is just what we used. I am sure there are others methods (DIY and Pro) so please keep that in mind. If there is anything I've learned- there are 50 ways to skin this cat and 50 ways to disagree.

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Old 02-26-2013, 01:35 PM   #3
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Good info. But I personally wouldn't try re-using old bearings, regardless of the miles.
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Old 02-26-2013, 01:54 PM   #4
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More power to you for doing this on your own! This kind of project is way over my head. I actually just got my jeep regeared and pick it up later today. Well I hope you have smooth sailing on finishing your regear!
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Old 02-26-2013, 02:09 PM   #5
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I'm more than likely am going to be doing my re-gear myself, when I say myself I mean my two uncles who I consider to be journeymen technicians with me assisting/getting in the way. I have a 2013 with 3.21's, thanks for the heads up on the potential trouble spots.
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Old 02-26-2013, 02:16 PM   #6
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You will love the re-gear when it is all done!
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Old 02-26-2013, 03:19 PM   #7
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Good info. But I personally wouldn't try re-using old bearings, regardless of the miles.
Definitely something to consider. If I didn't have a bearing puller there is no way I'd try. We replaced both bearings on the rear since we had so much trouble with them. (And since we had to cut one off there wasn't much doubt).
One note: even if you replace them its a good idea to try to save the old ones as set-up bearings while you're gauging shims/ your pattern. That way you don't have to worry about damaging the new ones during set up.
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Old 02-26-2013, 03:33 PM   #8
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I'm more than likely am going to be doing my re-gear myself, when I say myself I mean my two uncles who I consider to be journeymen technicians with me assisting/getting in the way. I have a 2013 with 3.21's, thanks for the heads up on the potential trouble spots.
Good luck. My husband has replaced trannys, clutches, re-built engines etc.- this was a bear. If we didn't have so much trouble with the rear it wouldnt be so bad but apparently its not that uncommon. Make certain you base what you're doing on a 2012+. Parts and location in the carrier changed with the 2012. We had trouble finding info. on the d30 set up- and much of what we found was contradictory.
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Old 02-26-2013, 03:37 PM   #9
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Good info. But I personally wouldn't try re-using old bearings, regardless of the miles.
I thought the same thing, but three different installers told me that as long as you were under 10,000 miles that they actually recommended reusing the stock bearings. They all said as long as the bearings are removed properly there is no problems as they have to be removed for proper set up any way.
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Old 02-28-2013, 12:48 PM   #10
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Let me take a moment for a happy dance. It's DONE!

My drive to work is only 2 miles so no real data yet- but I had to tell someone- even if its random total strangers. No noises- its shifting fine.
Some tips-
  • Use a microfiber (not cotton!) towel to pop out the carrier between changings. Simply insert the towel (not folded) into the carrier behind the gear. Turn the gears from the pinion side- pulling the towel in. Once it gets jammed in there a little the carrier should push up and out. Works like a charm.
  • If you can take out the rear axle easily- do it and work on the gears off the Jeep. Its a lot easier.
  • Buy 3 times the amount of brake cleaner you think you'll need.
  • Mark and measure your master shims! (pinion side/carrier side or however) Both sides- with a Sharpie. They have to go on the correct side- we wasted an entire set-up (and adjusted backlash) because we had them backwards. It will rub off so make sure to re-do each time.
  • Take a picture of your pinion shaft when it comes out so you know what goes where. There are a bunch of diagrams online- but many of them are wrong. Make sure to use one piece of paper for all your measurements.
  • The carrier brackets (called journals) are side and up/down specific. Make sure to make a note when you remove them.
  • Said it once- say it again- the rear pinion nut is a bear. Have a back-up plan if you can't get it torqued down. I had to take my axle to a local ship (Jeep Performance Inc) to get it torqued down with the right preload.
  • Make sure you know in advance where to place your shims and if pre-load is needed. This varies by axle and year of your Jeep.
  • You'll need a ProCal. I couldn't get mine to register the gear change at first- without it the Jeep wouldn't shift past 4th and manual shifting would not work either. Once I got the Procal to work it was all good.
I'll post up some driving results when I've had the chance to actually drive it. Right now just very happy its done and that I have a patient, awesome, gear-wrenching extraordinaire husband. (Who also surprised me with chromoly rear axles.)
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Old 02-28-2013, 01:26 PM   #11
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Now it's time to play right? What sort of break-in is required on gears?
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Old 02-28-2013, 01:39 PM   #12
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Old 02-28-2013, 01:41 PM   #13
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Depends on who you ask. But per G2- 500 miles before 4WLo/wheeling. Nothing over 65 for the first 100 miles. Needs about a 20 mile warm up/cool down before trying 4WD at all.
A couple of people have said no break-in is needed but I am not taking that chance.
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Old 02-28-2013, 01:55 PM   #14
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  • You'll need a ProCal. I couldn't get mine to register the gear change at first- without it the Jeep wouldn't shift past 4th and manual shifting would not work either. Once I got the Procal to work it was all good.
What was the issue with the procal?

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Old 02-28-2013, 02:21 PM   #15
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What was the issue with the procal?

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Operator error. I was using it in the wrong "ON" position. Funny thing is the simple stuff still works (daytime running lights ie)- no matter which position the key is in. The "official" ON position per Procal is all the lights on the dash flashing/HVAC kicks in.
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Old 02-28-2013, 02:54 PM   #16
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Now it's time to play right? What sort of break-in is required on gears?
My guys told me 500 miles..no 4wd, no towing anything. Also at the end of that 500 miles we did a gear oil change in both diffs to synthetic.
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Old 10-02-2013, 09:31 PM   #17
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Thanks for posting. This may be a winter project for us and it's good to know what may be involved.
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Old 10-02-2013, 11:19 PM   #18
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Why would replacement gears need a specific break in procedure, but the stock gears didn't?

Good job. I don't think I would try that myself.
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Old 10-02-2013, 11:26 PM   #19
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Great Thread! Thank you for taking the time and updating us on the gear change.
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Old 10-02-2013, 11:49 PM   #20
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Why would replacement gears need a specific break in procedure, but the stock gears didn't?

Good job. I don't think I would try that myself.
I have always wondered about this. I can only guess that they are set up 100% from the factory.
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Old 10-03-2013, 04:49 AM   #21
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Excuse me if I missed it. Friends doing my gears but in going to be there as much as I can --and be involved.
He highly recommended crush sleeve eliminators. Currently awaiting cost on them.

JH... Did you use them ?
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Old 10-03-2013, 04:19 PM   #22
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We didn't use them. After all the issues we had with the rear pinion nut & crush sleeve - I asked the hubster if in retrospect he's use an eliminator- still says no. He just doesn't like the shims. But I am sure others have used them with success.
If I'd change one thing- its replace the bearings. Or at least order them/ have them on hand and return them if you don't need them. We jacked one up- and the local dealer didn't have one. He said it was fine to re-use and we did. But my Jeep makes an odd noise that I've been told ISN'T gear whine- but if it is I am sure its that one bearing.
Incidentally- I recently came across this really handy thread. Not Jeep specific but has good info:
http://www.ringpinion.com/technicalhelp/#47

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