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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
'05 X, Dana 35 3.73

I replaced my spider gears and stock axles in a Dana 35 today. I used G2 axles for an upgrade while I was at it. The thing is, the new axles were a lot tighter going into the side gears than the old ones. Is this normal because the old ones were worn? The left side gear and axle were trashed, which is why I did this, but the right one was okay. I haven't put fluid back in and tested it yet. I THINK everything is fine, but thinking can get dangerous. Thought I'd see if somebody had done this and seen the same thing. I had to tap them in with a rubber mallet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I hope it's normal. Just filled the diff and drove 10 miles. All seems okay, but I'm leaving for a 200 mile trip now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Was that a pretty intense replacement? I'm looking into doing something similar with my D35
Pretty easy. The hardest part was taking the old outer axle bearings off. I used a Harbor Freight bearing puller and slide hammer. Replacing the spider gears sounded harder than it was. It took 3 tries to get them lined up right, which from what I've read is not bad. The only thing that worried me was that the new G2 axles were tighter than the stock ones going into the side gear. That's probably not a bad thing. They tapped in with a rubber mallet. After putting the c-clips on, I had to tap them back before putting the cross pin bolt in. It took about 3 hours total. An hour of that was spent on the outer bearings. Definitely something I wouldn't pay a shop to do. I wouldn't doubt that I saved a bunch of cash with the DIY.

All you need is the aforementioned bearing puller, a 12pt 1/4" wrench, and a bit of patience. I've heard some people skip the puller and dremel the old bearings out.

I don't know if it's my imagination or not, but it seemed to drive better on the 200 mile trip back home. Makes me glad my old house hasn't sold yet. It broke there, and the garage was nice to have.
 

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To answer your question. It is not uncommon when mixing new parts (especially aftermarket) and reusing parts to have a little trouble getting them together. You did the correct thing by being as gentle as you could, instead of going strait to the big hammer. It helps to put oil on the splines, and bearings before putting it together. The used parts are worn in with the other used parts. I would have recommended that you take the extra time to remove the carrier, to inspect the splines and bearings on it. But if there was not a lot of metal shavings in the oil, you should be fine. Also before driving the vehicle after putting the rear end back together (after filling with oil) jack up one side at a time, so that oil runs down and fills up the little spot at the end of the axle where the bearing is at. Then recheck the oil level. This is very important, to prevent premature bearing failure.

When mixing new and used parts, it becomes even more important to change the oil after the break in period. This will be when you find out for sure that it is good.

It is great to hear that you did it on your own. It is amazing how simple some things really are once you just do it, instead of dwelling on it.

Best of luck in your future repairs

Jeremy
ASE Master Auto Tech
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
To answer your question. It is not uncommon when mixing new parts (especially aftermarket) and reusing parts to have a little trouble getting them together. You did the correct thing by being as gentle as you could, instead of going strait to the big hammer. It helps to put oil on the splines, and bearings before putting it together. The used parts are worn in with the other used parts. I would have recommended that you take the extra time to remove the carrier, to inspect the splines and bearings on it. But if there was not a lot of metal shavings in the oil, you should be fine. Also before driving the vehicle after putting the rear end back together (after filling with oil) jack up one side at a time, so that oil runs down and fills up the little spot at the end of the axle where the bearing is at. Then recheck the oil level. This is very important, to prevent premature bearing failure.

When mixing new and used parts, it becomes even more important to change the oil after the break in period. This will be when you find out for sure that it is good.

It is great to hear that you did it on your own. It is amazing how simple some things really are once you just do it, instead of dwelling on it.

Best of luck in your future repairs

Jeremy
ASE Master Auto Tech
Actually, in this case it was new and new parts where the meshing was snug (Axles and side gears). I hosed everything down with brake clean, and wiped it down. Even went all over the carrier and axle sleeves with a magnet. No shavings were evident. I thought that was strange, since the axle and side gear splines were chewed up. All the gears looked good. No chips or excessive wear. I did lube the splines and bearings. Seemed like common sense. Changed the rest of the fluids after I got it home (Trans, front diff, transfer case). It'll be a couple of months before I pop it open again. I drive a company car during the week. The Jeep is my weekend driver only. I figure 500 miles is a good time to check it again. Or should I do it sooner?

I've worked on my own vehicles since I was 16 (over 35 years). If it isn't major engine (deeper than the head or timing chain), gears, or transmission work, I'll give it a shot. Guess I'm lucky I haven't messed up too bad over the years.
 

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I've worked on my own vehicles since I was 16 (over 35 years). If it isn't major engine (deeper than the head or timing chain), gears, or transmission work, I'll give it a shot. Guess I'm lucky I haven't messed up too bad over the years.
Yup, that's sort of me-- I have had one since I was 20... still learning everything I can about the good ol TJ :) (its only been about 8 years)
 
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