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48Sam 07-15-2013 01:41 PM

Spider Gear - Rear End??
Hey fellas,
Sounds and feels like my spider gears are worn out. I'm pretty mechanically inclined, but is this something I should be able to perform in my garage it should I take it in to a specialist?

Jerry Bransford 07-15-2013 01:47 PM

Spider & side gears are an easy installation, there is no setup required for them.

48Sam 07-15-2013 05:15 PM

Jerry, thanks for the info. I believe my rear end is stock and should be 3.73 gears. They have a set available at 4 wheel parts wholesaler and planning on taking it apart tomorrow.

Any words of wisdom before I tackle this??


Jerry Bransford 07-15-2013 07:00 PM

What is it doing that makes you believe the spider gears have gone bad? Have you had the cover off yet to look at them and the ring & pinion gears over?

48Sam 07-15-2013 07:27 PM

I took it in to my mechanic about a month and he mentioned that the spider gears may need to be serviced but didn't seem that's bad, however I did a lame-brain move last night when backing up my trailer and needles to say that if felt like when I did a hard turn the back-end "skipped" for a lack of better words and consulted this morning with my mechanic and he said that definitely sounds like your spider decided to go bad.
I just picked up a set of spider gets from my local 4-wheels parts store and picking up some synthetic 75-90W ger oil tomorrow so I should be all set for tomorrow's surgery so to speak. :)

I do believe it is the spider gears causing the issue as it only happens when I'm turning.


48Sam 07-15-2013 07:40 PM

From the looks of it, doesn't seem that I will need to remove the gas tank to access the differential.

Jerry Bransford 07-15-2013 07:54 PM

I jack it up at the rear of the frame to gain better access to the top bolts. I place a 4x4 in my floor jack to get enough height.

Hint... leave the differential cover's very top bolt loosely threaded in so it will hold the cover from dropping into your catch basin once you pry it loose so the gear lube starts draining. That will prevent the gear lube from being splashed everywhere which is pretty smelly stuff.

48Sam 07-15-2013 08:00 PM

Thanks Jerry. Let you all know how the R&R goes tomorrow. :)

Jerry Bransford 07-15-2013 08:03 PM

Incidentally, you'll need a 12-pt. 1/4" socket IIRC to get the differential's cross-pin bolt out.

48Sam 07-15-2013 09:03 PM

Thanks for the heads up! I may have it available but will double check. Napa auto is a short 3 min drive from my house if I need to pick one up.

48Sam 07-15-2013 09:33 PM

Jerry, is it necessary to remove my tires? Or can I remove the spider gears without removing the axles completely? I'm assuming the entire ring gear cluster will need to be removed?

Snacktical 07-16-2013 02:58 AM

48Sam, I may have the same problem here. You mentioned "skipping" while hard turning, is this all the time or after a long drive?
I found that after a long drive at freeway speeds, I get a groan from my rear axle/diff when making turns at low speeds (especially starting from fully stopped). It sounds like a groan, and if I have to make a very tight turn there seems to be a skip. I seen no visible leaks, and once the Jeep has cooled down overnight everything is fine. Is this along the same thing you're dealing with?

Jerry Bransford 07-16-2013 09:39 AM


Originally Posted by 48Sam (Post 3966286)
Jerry, is it necessary to remove my tires? Or can I remove the spider gears without removing the axles completely? I'm assuming the entire ring gear cluster will need to be removed?

You'll need to slide the axle shafts out but you don't need to remove the axle itself.

Here's one thread that gives a little information on the process... Dana 30 Spider Gears Broken-Can they be Swapped

Some say you can do this job without removing the carrier. If you end up removing the carrier, make darned sure you note how the shims on either side of the carrier were positioned and reinstall them exactly (!) how they came out. Also note the position of the bearing caps that hold the carrier in place & restore them back to their same exact positions & orientation.

48Sam 07-16-2013 01:29 PM

Yes, you are correct. Noticed it happening more when I had been driving it for about 15min, but when cooled down (overnight) I noticed it wasn't as prominent when cold.
I'm hoping to get it R&R this afternoon. I'll keep you all posted.


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