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Setting Pinion Depth

Discussion in 'Differential & Driveline' started by IndianCountry, Jan 21, 2021.

  1. IndianCountry

    IndianCountry Junior Member

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    Hello all, I am a mechanic working for myself and I have a customer that wants a front differential rebuild on a '77 K10. I can do everything except set the pinion depth, and currently not in a position to buy the tools necessary to do that.

    Maybe I can find some place that will rent me the tools, but I doubt it.

    I was wondering if there is a way to measure pinion depth by using basic tools like a straight edge and a pair of calipers.

    I still don't know if it's a Dana 44 or a 10 bolt as I haven't seen the truck yet.

    If not, I will tell him I'll ask if there is an axle shop around that will only set up the pinion, and then I will do everything else.

    Thanks.
     
  2. Ricko1966

    Ricko1966 Full Access Member

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    There are cheap gauges available from places like summit, not the best but not bad. You can make a better gauge with some round stock a drill and a tap, cut of round stock roughly the width bearing to bearing of your differential carrier. Drill and tap a hole just little offcenter.Grind the markings off the head of a bolt.Thread the bolt with a jam nut into the hole so bolt is sticking out pinion depth, lock your jam nut.Put the bar where the carrier goes check if the bolt head touches the pinion.Usually original shim works.. If not put in a thin shim measure with a feeler gauge between the bolt head and pinion that is how much thicker shim you will need.

    Edit. Wait a second are you just doing bearings and seals? Reusing original ring and pinion?if so you don't need to set pinion depth. Reuse the original shim.
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2021
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  3. BKING33

    BKING33 Full Access Member

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    I also reuse old shim to set it up. Check the gear pattern and then change it if pattern is off.
    unless you are doing a major gear change, like going from 3.08 to 4.56 original shim will work or be close to what you need.
     
  4. IndianCountry

    IndianCountry Junior Member

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    thank you, that is exactly the kind of idea i was looking for. i do not know what this guy means by "differential rebuild". i assumed worst case scenario and the gear set has all teeth stripped out and he is getting new everything. if that is the case i wanted to know how to set pinion depth on new parts
     
  5. Ricko1966

    Ricko1966 Full Access Member

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    He should be going back with same gears unless he's doing frt and rear same time. Anyways make your jig first set it to what's there now. Trial install to match. Then chech depth using the jig and calipers.
     
  6. IndianCountry

    IndianCountry Junior Member

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    no better way to make a k10 to a c10 than by having mismatched axle gears LOL!
     
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  7. Ricko1966

    Ricko1966 Full Access Member

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  8. Ricko1966

    Ricko1966 Full Access Member

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  9. Curt

    Curt Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    I was able to rebuild (new gear sets front and rear,same carriers) both my differentials using tools from harbor freight (press,calipers,and dial indicator)and YouTube.A fella that has a channel called Jantz Engineering,Jk Gear and Gadgets,to name a few. I was able to set pinion depth by the gear pattern.Original pinion shims will get you in the ballpark.It wasn’t a walk in the park,but I did do it,I have put 300+ hard miles on the rear axle and opened it up to look in there.Everything is looking great.I will say quality parts is really important.Motive Gear with Timken bearings rebuild kits is a nice kit.I used a used Dana gear set on the front axle.The only other tool I need was a inch pound torque wrench as I already had a regular torque wrench.I made some of my own press on tools from 2” pipe nipples,a 1” to 2” pipe swedge.All the torque specs can be found online.

    One tool that I could of used was the Yukon Gear bearing removal tool,but even the knock off on Amazon was 250$.So I made my own dangerous ways of getting bearings off.I couldn’t justify the cost of that tool at the time,but it would of made things so much easier.Everything I needed was in the kit,except the oil slinger.Don’t know if the 10 bolt has that,but Dana axles do.

    Either way,I bet you can handle it.We’ll all be waiting to hear how it goes, and help.Good luck.
     
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  10. Ricko1966

    Ricko1966 Full Access Member

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    Look at the homemade tools thread I put up a homemade cheap, safe way of pulling diff bearings
     
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  11. MikeB

    MikeB Full Access Member

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    Yes, using the original shim gets the job done most of the time. I would think pinion depth measurement only works if the depth is marked on the pinion.
     
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  12. Ricko1966

    Ricko1966 Full Access Member

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    Are you talking to r&r. the Yukon differential carrier bearings?. I can tell you how with no special tools at all.
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2021
  13. IndianCountry

    IndianCountry Junior Member

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    so when i show up, dude wasn't able to replicate the problem. as he explains to me more, i take off the cover and the front diff is fine. the transfercase shift linkage bracket bolt fell out and the shifter was non functional. i found this out when i tried to spin the diff grears and realized i could not get the transfercase into neutral. the problem is most likely the transfercase is shifting out of 4 wheel drive momentarily while under load. i bolted the bracket down after cleaning the hole and adding loctite. got it into neutral, looked at ring and pinion gears, they were fine other than being excessive silicone in the housing. it wont shift out of neutral now and i am going back to adjust the linkage and change the oil on the np203 tomorrow. no diff rebuild, just tying up loose ends
     
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  14. IndianCountry

    IndianCountry Junior Member

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    yeah, think i found the problem, he somehow hooked up the linkages himself or tightened them because the shifter works now. pulled the drain plug and it was bone dry in the transfercase with visible metal shavings. i added some oil and told him if the case fails ill change it with a junk yard unit
     
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  15. Curt

    Curt Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    que?
     

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