DIY Gear Swap - Step by Step Pic's - Rubicon 4.88

RubiRob

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I was wondering this myself, I didnt try to see if it would snap into other locations, but I can't figure out how it would ever know if you did.

I got mine done flnally. The front was straight forward. The rear, I had to chase backlash, pinion depth, bad parts, etc. I also STRUGGLED getting the thinner carrier shims in without destroying them. Finally, on a backlash adjustment, I subtracted .001" from the total factory stack to make the math and shim selection easier, and just that tiny bit of shim missing made getting my shims in much easier. Or, I got better at it coincidently at the same time. Still plenty of preload on the bearing, but got rid of just enough that I stopped folding them in half.

We'll see how it goes after a few thousand miles, if they make it that far. But for now, I don't notice any noise or anything else to make me suspect they are unhappy.

E77832B8-2D98-4517-BB72-439976DE69B2.jpeg


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FFE51F68-4B5B-46FF-BCF5-E0FE57F7148D.jpeg
The reason I ask is because in the spicer video they make it a point to mark where you remove it from to make sure it goes back on in the same spot. Seems that if you don’t (like 4wp who did my install didn’t) you’ll have blinking locker light in the dash. Northridge confirmed they ran into this issue as well and that was the culprit.





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Cjhofer

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I too am wondering how it would ever know what position the plate is in. I had my rear apart and back together before I realized I was supposed to have marked it. The plate appears to fit any way you rotate it. I did mark my front, since I saw the video after I had my rear done. I test fit the front in all the positions and it fits fine, so I don't know? I just finished buttoning my front up and will go for a test drive shortly and let you know if I get a light for the rear locker. I did lock it while I had the rear end in the air just to verify that it worked, and it did.
 

Cjhofer

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So I took it for a spin and everything sounds good and the lockers seem to function as they should with no warning lights. So either I somehow managed to clock the plate as it was or it's not as important as they make it out to be? I'm sure there is a reason they say it needs to go back the same as it was, I would just like to know what that reason is.
 

Portmod7

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Yeah, I saw the same thing in the video. Once I got inside mine, I couldn't see any logical reason that it was true, that plate spins with the locker, no clue how the electronics could possibly know that I spun it on the locker.

But, stranger things have happened. I marked mine and put it back where it was, I have no issues with mine so far.

I did have an electronic stability system message and a check engine light when I first got it going, but all of them cleared on their own. I assume they were on because I had accessory power on at a couple points with the diff's all tore apart. Once I got some miles on it, they went away.
 

Cjhofer

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Let me know what you find out, as I'm really curious as to the reasoning. Been driving mine today and all is still working fine.
 

RubiRob

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Let me know what you find out, as I'm really curious as to the reasoning. Been driving mine today and all is still working fine.
Spicer got back to me and said the same thing, the fixed plate was not installed in the proper spot. I haven't heard why that is a case but I would say for me, it just confirms what a few others said as to how to fix it. Now I just have to wait and get it to the shop to have it properly done.
 

wibornz

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And this thread is why I am glad my wife paid for this upgrade and install. While I am a DIY kind of guy. I think that I would have more in tools than it would cost to pay a professional to do this for me.
 

k9runner

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OK hive mind, looking for advice and opinions.

I opened up my rear diff tonight and this is what is etched on the stock pinion:
upload_2019-12-28_21-17-12.png


Based on previous discussions in this thread I'm interpreting that as 0.54 mm.

The etch on the new pinion is:
upload_2019-12-28_21-19-25.png


I'm interpreting that as 0.03 mm

Meaning I have a difference of 0.51 mm.

If I'm reading the Dana manual referenced earlier correctly, when this axle was originally setup they would have subtracted 0.54 mm from the shim pack for a zero etch pinion. This would have increased the pinion mounting depth by 0.54 mm.

Since the new pinion is only .03 mm, I will need to add 0.51 mm to the shim pack in order to bring the pinion mounting depth up to the appropriate depth for the new pinion.

Does that sound correct?
 

fixbroke

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I'll add my massive thanks to Shawn for writing this up and for being so helpful!

In the spirit of giving back, I just registered an account so I can add a few things I've learned while installing gears into my Gladiator. I'm only partway through my install (now on a beer and forum break!), but here's what I've learned so far.

First, a few modifications to Shawn's instructions:
  • There's no need to remove the front axle nuts. The axles can come out attached to the hubs.
  • Remove the rear brake discs before clamping the parking brake cables, or else the engaged parking brake shoes won't let you remove the discs.
  • For Gladiators, the rear end requires you to drop/remove the spare wheel and also remove the sway bar.
  • If you don't have a press, you can install the bearings by freezing the part and heating the bearing. I put my pinions into the freezer overnight to get them good and cold, then put my bearings into my toaster oven for around 15 minutes at 450F and they slid right on. Gotta be quick, though, or you'll end up with a half-installed bearing and no press to finish the job. Make sure they're going on in the correct orientation!
  • Similarly, if you don't have a press you can use one of those bearing splitters that comes with a threaded gantry for removing bearings. I had to slightly grind my splitter, sharpening it so it could be started on the rear pinion bearing without pressing on (and destroying) the bearing cage.

A few other tips:
  • If you don't have a 13mm 12-point socket, the closed end of a box wrench will work.
  • Use a quality 15mm impact socket for removing ring gear bolts. I've broken a couple sockets now trying to remove these suckers. For the really stubborn ones, it's necessary to heat the bolt to release the loctite.
  • I haven't tried this yet, but I hear you can tighten the ring gear bolts after the carrier is installed, using the parking brake and/or driveshaft to keep it from rotating. Ensure the bolts are tightened enough before the final tightening that your paint wear pattern isn't adversely affected.
  • If your rig is still fairly new, this can be done for around $630 for a 4.88 setup, or even less if you don't have lockers. My truck has only done 2000 miles, so I feel confident reusing a lot of parts and replaced only what I needed to for the install. The pinion bearings were swapped over to the new pinions (carefully pulled with a bearing splitter), but it's necessary to destroy the small carrier bearing to remove the locker actuator and the ring gear. Pinion nose bearings and seals can remain in place.
The shopping list for Rubicon axles is as follows:

front 4.88 R&P Dana Spicer 10051746 224.79
rear 4.88 R&P Dana Spicer 10073110 247.17
front pinion spacer Mopar 68398739AA 11.39
rear pinion spacer Mopar 68401227AA 13.29
carrier bearings 10071915 28.94 x2
pinion shim kit 10040475 12.77 x2
carrier shim kit 10040476 25.52 x2

The prices above are what I found after spending a little time shopping around (Amazon and RockAuto for the R&P sets), and I asked Quadratec to match those prices. The shim kits and carrier bearings came from West Coast Differentials since they aren't on Quadratec (yet?). If you wanted to get really cheap, rather than buying the whole carrier bearing kit you might be able to find just the small-side carrier bearing cone which is labeled ILJIN N10271831 ST-508022.

A more cautious person would probably also replace the ring gear bolts and the pinion nuts. I'll let you know if I die as a result of reusing mine.

Lastly, I found a big chunk of metal stuck between my rear carrier bearing cone and race! This would have resulted in a very premature rear end failure, so I'm glad I caught it. I'm surprised it wasn't audible while driving, actually. The magnetic plug and the magnet on the locker were both covered in a thick layer of metal/oil sludge.
 

Portmod7

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  • If you don't have a press, you can install the bearings by freezing the part and heating the bearing. I put my pinions into the freezer overnight to get them good and cold, then put my bearings into my toaster oven for around 15 minutes at 450F and they slid right on. Gotta be quick, though, or you'll end up with a half-installed bearing and no press to finish the job. Make sure they're going on in the correct orientation!
I used a $10 hot plate from Walmart to heat the pinion bearing, without even cooling the pinion it fell right on.

The small side carrier bearing was a different story. I heated it the same way, but it wasnt even close to sliding on, required pressing with one of those gantry type bearing pullers you mentioned.

  • I haven't tried this yet, but I hear you can tighten the ring gear bolts after the carrier is installed, using the parking brake and/or driveshaft to keep it from rotating. Ensure the bolts are tightened enough before the final tightening that your paint wear pattern isn't adversely affected.
That's what I did. I think I could get two bolts or so each time I moved the carrier.

  • Pinion nose bearings and seals can remain in place.
You didn't replace the crush sleeve???? That's like the biggest no-no in building a diff, lol.

I also don't like how much you have to beat against that nose bearing to get the pinion out.

I thought about buying individual parts too, but by the time they add up, you can almost just buy the kit if you shop around.

I'm sure it'll all be fine, good luck!
 

fixbroke

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The small side carrier bearing was a different story. I heated it the same way, but it wasnt even close to sliding on, required pressing with one of those gantry type bearing pullers you mentioned.
If you can fit the whole carrier in the freezer, it will slide on just like the pinion. Clink!

You didn't replace the crush sleeve???? That's like the biggest no-no in building a diff, lol.
That's tomorrow's mission, actually (shelter-in-place and work on Jeeps!). I suppose I'll have to pop out the seal to insert the uncrushed sleeve... I hadn't considered that. I'll try to preserve the seal but I did buy extras in case that wasn't possible.

I also don't like how much you have to beat against that nose bearing to get the pinion out.
Mine came out without without any undue violence. I have no concerns about deformed rollers or dented races.

I thought about buying individual parts too, but by the time they add up, you can almost just buy the kit if you shop around.
I do wish I'd gone that route to start with, since it would have saved me having to hunt around for the individual parts, but once I started accumulating stuff it was too late for smart decision-making. Now that the research is done, it does seem worthwhile for any other cheap bastards like me to skip the master install kit. The best prices I found added up to around $320 for two install/rebuild kits, whereas my accumulated parts are only about half that.
 

2Wheel-Lee

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I was able to tighten the rear ring gear bolts outside of the vehicle. OK, it may appear a bit unorthodox, but it worked. I didn't the front while the axle was out on stands, but I don't remember how. Probably along the same line of goofiness.

I ordered two packages of 10 ring gear bolts from Rock Auto. I ended up with 20 packages of 10 ring gear bolts. I thought they seemed a little expensive! Their wording at the time made it sound like the price was EACH BOLT. I think I bought out their inventory. It wasn't worth returning them, so I still have them. Oh well.

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