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Old 03-23-2012, 04:29 PM   #1
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Changing Ring gear and Pinion gear in front diff?

Hey fellow Jeepers, My 99 TJ makes a real good whining sound at highway speeds. I'm pretty sure I've identified where the sound is coming from.

My front differential has a leak from the pinion seal. I put some more gear oil in the diff and it definitely got quieter. The leak is slow and I have already added a lil more since the first time I added some (which was a fair amount maybe a 1/3 of a quart). I bought the jeep used back in Nov of 2011.

So anyway the sound gets quieter when I add oil and I can hear it at slow speeds and increase in frequency with vehicle speed.

Now since its whining I am guessing the pinion gear and/or ring gear are shot. How would most of you proceed from here? Get a used diff? Buy a gear set (about $200) and install yourself? Could it be just bearing making the noise?

I was quoted about $800 for a new gear set installed. Have any of you done this yourselves? Easy?

(I've changed a clutch myself and done other minor engine work water pumps, front seal, etc.)

Thanks

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Old 03-23-2012, 04:42 PM   #2
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Hate to put it this way, but if your asking do not attemp to replace the ring and pinion your self. Ring and pinions need to be done by someone with experience.

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Old 03-23-2012, 04:52 PM   #3
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It sounds more like a bearing problem than the gear problem. Still gonna need an experienced person to do that job. You definately need to replace the pinion seal for sure. Find someone that can help to do it. Will take some time to do.
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Old 03-23-2012, 08:07 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by TOKKIE View Post
Hate to put it this way, but if your asking do not attemp to replace the ring and pinion your self. Ring and pinions need to be done by someone with experience.
Really? Why that hard? Have you done one before?

I usually ask around in forums and ask mechanics before I attempt to do mechanical work to try and get a feel as to the level of difficulty involved.

Nearly every job I have ever done I had no experience in that particular job until I did it. Never been a problem in the past. Why would changing the gears be so hard? Would I need special equipment or something?

I am somewhat experienced now with wrenching on vehicles - I'm not that green - I just want to know from people who have done it how hard it is or if its worth getting a used one. Have any of you ever installed a used differential? Was it cheaper than doing an overhaul of a diff?
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Old 03-23-2012, 11:10 PM   #5
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I just did a re-gear on mine recently. I am prety good at mechanical things. My good friend and I did mine. Without his help I would have been clueless. You have to figure out your pinion depth along with your backlash along with getting a proper gear wear pattern. If one is off you have to change shims in either your carrier, your pinion or both. You have to have a set of set-up bearings for that axle too. Once you get all of that figured out you then have to press your new bearings on. These set-ups can have changes on any side of the ring or the pinion within only .002 of an inch or even less. His first set up he did by himself he had to change the setup close to 15 times. On my D44 it took about 8 times and my D30 took about 6 and that was being lucky. Now on your front axle you probably have a crush sleeve on it. Now that is another pain to deal with. If you over crush it, you have to get another one. and try again.

Once again the noise you are hearing is probably the bearings and maybe even the pinion bearings. You can just change the bearings without changing your gear set-up. Just remember when you take the races out of the housing to keep track of the shims that might be behind the races. When you replace the carrier bearings you will have to do the same. These bearings for the most part have to be pressed off. Now if you decide to take this on by your self, I am sure there are plenty of sites that will be able to show you how but without the proper tools, it will be prety much impossible.
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Old 03-24-2012, 08:16 AM   #6
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Thanks for all the info. It sounds like a PITA. I'll do a lot of research before I decide whether to tackle this myself. I also don't want the jeep laid up in my garage for weeks during the summer while I struggle with it.

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