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WTS 10-10-2009 08:55 PM

Money Pit continues....Episode XVI Detroit TrueTrac and 410 gears
So I got a good trade on some slightly used 4.10 gears and Detroit TrueTrac rear locker. 15k miles on them.

I decided I probably don't have the knowledge to install them myself yet. So is 12 hours labor a reasonable estimate?

Or should I just keep my stock gearing and install the TrueTrac Locker?

I think the stock gearing on a 1999 TJ Sport is 3.73?

What can I expect drivablity-wise from 4.10s and a rear Detroit Locker?

jdhallissey 10-10-2009 08:59 PM

12 hours is way to much for one. The other is what is your stock gear? If it is different on either the front or the back you CAN NOT use 4 wheel drive until they are the same.

nicolas-eric 10-10-2009 09:04 PM

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After installing the same ring gear on another diff case (detroit locker) you also have to do some adjusting.
12 hours are to much.
I the front it took 6 hours and in the rear 4. And I did it the first time in my life under the guidance of a buddy who did that very often before.

WTS 10-10-2009 09:05 PM

They quoted me 12 hours for replacing my wheel bearings front and back, installing the 4.10 gears front and back and installing the Detroit locker in the rear.

I think my stock gearing is 3.73 but I am not sure. I have the stock axle which should be a Dana 35 in the rear and 30 in the front.

Yes...I am definately going to have the gears match as I live up in Northern Michigan and 4x4 is nessasary. *#(%(#* Snow. ;)

WTS 10-10-2009 09:06 PM

I will take a photo of the parts I have from the trade....

jdhallissey 10-10-2009 09:08 PM

Still to much. When you change the carrier/ gears the unit bearing is basically already out of the truck. Your looking at a max of 8 hours for a shop that is really taking there time.

nicolas-eric 10-10-2009 09:10 PM

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IMO thatīs not worth the money. from 3.73 to 4.11 is only a very little step.

jdhallissey 10-10-2009 09:13 PM

^ agreed. I would re-gear to 4.56's or 4.88's if anything.

WTS 10-10-2009 09:17 PM

I hear what you guys are saying about the 4.56 and 4.88s but this is also my daily driver.

Does 8 hours include both axles?

jdhallissey 10-10-2009 09:22 PM

Yea,to be honest WTS I run 5.13s on 33 in tires and have no problem with driving it everyday.

WTS 10-10-2009 09:23 PM

So do you think I should forget the 4.11 gears and just put in the detroit locker?

jdhallissey 10-10-2009 09:24 PM

I would say hold on to it until you have bigger gears for it then do it at once. Save you some money.

WTS 10-10-2009 09:26 PM

How much time would be just to install the Locker you think? Or is it the same so you might as well do the bigger gears and the locker all at once.

Sorry for so many questions I just really want to be as specific as possible so I can make the best choice. I wish I could drive some jeeps with the different gearing so I can tell the difference.

jdhallissey 10-10-2009 09:31 PM

Your problem is going to be installing the locker then when you want to re-gear it you have to do it everything all over again. Ie pull the locker out and then install gears put it all back in the housing. IF you can wait to do it and do it all at once would save you cash.

I would also try and do chromoly shafts too.

nicolas-eric 10-10-2009 09:34 PM

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in a rear D35 itīs a good idea to install chromoly shafts and/or a c-klip eliminator kit with a locker.

what size of tires do you have? do you wat some bigger tires in the future? if yes which size?

WTS 10-10-2009 09:37 PM

I have stock size currently. I want to go to 32s or 33s in the future.

nicolas-eric 10-10-2009 09:44 PM

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32s are still ok with 3.73. I had 32s with 3.07 for over 1 year and that was ok.
with 33s itīs becoming a bit too sluggish IMO.
for that 4.56 gears will be ok.

a friend had 33s with 3.07 gears for a while. three weeks ago we installed 4.56 gears and he says his TJ accellerates liek a sportsdar now.

jdhallissey 10-10-2009 09:44 PM

I would wait on the gears and lockers until you get the tires and everything sorted out and ready to go. Let me know when you want to get tires and rims send me a pm of what you want. Deals I can bring hehe :D

WTS 10-10-2009 10:29 PM

Is there a good resourse to find out if I have 3.73 gearing in my Jeep? 1999 TJ Sport?

nicolas-eric 10-10-2009 10:32 PM

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On one of the diff cover bolts ther eshould be a little metal plate with some information about the axle and diff.

4Jeepn 10-10-2009 10:37 PM

Depends how much is the hourly rate? Though when I have had gears done, its always been a flat fee, not by the hour. How much is the total for everything?

WTS 10-10-2009 10:54 PM

1200 for the bearing kits and labor. I have the gears and rear locker.

I thought it was very high.

WTS 10-10-2009 10:55 PM

Honestly I thought it would be more like 6 hours of labor. So 600 with the bearings.

KJ139 10-11-2009 01:16 AM

$1200 is CRAZY!!! 3-6 hours is standard for re-gearing an axle. Like JD said, the unit hubs and bearings are all part of the process, so it doesn't take any additional time. 4wheelparts typically quotes $400 labor per axle + parts.

Also, be careful about WHO you have set up your gears. Ask them questions such as, "What backlash does this axle take," and, "How do you measure bearing preload and pinion rotating torque?" If they don't know the answers, try to BS their way through the answers, or do anything other than tell you, "I will have to look up the backlash, I use a dial indicator for the backlash, I add 0.005 to each side for bearing preload and I use an inch-pound torque wrench (dial type, not click) to measure pinion rotating torque, go somewhere else! You would be amazed how many "professional mechanics" install gears and set these incredibly important measurements by "feel." I know several who do it this way (including a couple of friends) and they will NEVER touch my rig.

Installing gears is one of the most precise installations you can do on a vehicle; this is why many mechanics don't do it. That being said, with a little time and patience, along with a few specialty tools and guidance, it is not that hard to do. If you decide to tackle it yourself, call Randy's Ring & Pinion and buy their installation book (it has all the measurements for every axle). I would be glad to walk you through the install, as well as point you to places where you can buy the tools fairly cheap (except the inch-pound, dial torque wrench...they are just plain expensive).

Again, like JD said, you should wait to do everything at once. Like someone else mentioned, 3.73 to 4.11 is not a huge jump, especially since you are still on stock tires. Personally, I recommend 4.11 for 31's, 4.56 for 33's and 4.88's or 5.13's for 35's. The gearing charts are a good starting point; however, as tire size increases, the need to increase your gearing increases as well. I tell people to get one size shorter (numerically higher) than you think you need. Don't get caught up in the misconception that your highway mileage will suffer, as your OD or 5th gear is plenty tall enough to handle one extra size. The reality is that if you have large tires and tall (numerically lower) gears, your mileage will suffer around town and on hills because the vehicle has to work harder to get going (like riding a ten-speed bike in the wrong gear).

All that aside, it would be a poor choice to install new gears now, on stock tires. I don't think I've ever met someone on tires smaller than 33's who, after some wheeling time on their new tires, didn't decide they wanted to go even larger. IMHO 33's or 35's are good goals, as they will get you through most trails and don't require expensive axles to run. Honestly, unless you are planning on buying Superior Gear's Super 35 kit, you are throwing money away putting lockers and gears into a Dana 35. If you don't go moly, you WILL break the 35 eventually (more likely sooner than later). Get a 1995 or later Ford 8.8 from a Ford Explorer (not Ranger). You will get 31-spline axles, a tough housing, 8.8-inch ring gear, disk brakes and the same bolt pattern, almost the exact same width (1/2 inch narrower, which is not enough to worry about) and spring under axle mounts; all of which is perfect for your rig...All of this and they are in every junkyard and Craigslist. I bought mine for $50. Most will cost around $250.

If you are absolutely set on installing the Trutrac in the Dana 35, I wouldn't change the gears yet, nor would I pay someone for the install. Buy a dial indicator and magnetic base (Grizzly Industrial has a kit with both and calipers for $32 Grizzly.comŪ -- Search Results). Send me a PM and I'll send you my phone number and walk you through the install (this won't be hard at all).

I have installed several Trutracs (not to be confused with lunchbox-type lockers) on several YJ's, and I can't say enough good things about them. I have NEVER seen one break and they work extremely well. In fact, I like them better than my ARB's in some ways: 1) You don't have to switch them on and off and 2) they work on the highway, without the quirky handling you get with some lockers. This is very nice in the ice and snow, as your Jeep doesn't wind up chasing it's tail.

Good luck!

PT4WDL 10-11-2009 06:25 AM

I would not do shizz with the D35. Upgrade to another axle first. Time bomb.

WTS 10-11-2009 08:33 AM

Thanks everyone for their input. Well looks like I made another mistake.

Looks like I need to go with at least 33s on the tires. And find a used ford axle and go with a trutrac that fits it.

I would like to install at least the trutrac in my 35 to get me by (and not feel like a total idiot about the whole deal) until I can get the tougher axles.

IslandTJ 10-12-2009 11:13 PM


Originally Posted by WTS (Post 457228)
So I got a good trade on some slightly used 4.10 gears and Detroit TrueTrac rear locker. 15k miles on them.

Or should I just keep my stock gearing and install the TrueTrac Locker?

What can I expect drivablity-wise from 4.10s and a rear Detroit Locker?

WTS, if you are set on a locker, don't install the TrueTrac. The TrueTrac is a gear driven, Torsen type limited slip. If you plan on crawling on rocks or lift your tires often, a limited slip is not for you. ;)

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