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Axle Sleeve Installation
STEP 1: Refer to owner’s manual for dis-assembly to the point that your axle shafts can be removed from the housing. (Differential fluid will need to be drained.)
STEP 2: Clean the axle tubes until they are free from all foreign debris.
STEP 3: Knurled end out, Insert the sleeve into the axle housing and evenly hammer the sleeves into the housing until the ends of the sleeves are flush with factory axle tube end. (Use of an aluminum puck or bearing race/seal driver set will be necessary to avoid “mushrooming” to sleeve end.)
STEP 4: Repeat on opposite side.
STEP 5: Refer to owner’s manual for reassembly and lubrication specifications.
Manufacturers Note: If equipped, the factory axle shaft guide rings will need to be removed from the OEM axle shafts. These are located in the spline portion of each inner axle shaft.
Tech Note: It may be helpful to freeze the sleeves for 24-48 hours prior to install.
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Nitro Gear Installation Guide
The professionals at Nitro Gear & Axle have setup thousands of differentials and would like to share their methods with both the novice and professional installer. Differential building is not as mysterious as many people assume; however, there are strict tolerances and critical steps to ensure a reliable setup. This guide is a reference to help with installation, but remember it is the ultimately the installer’s responsibility to ensure a precise and complete installation. In addition to ordinary sockets, wrenches, drifts, safety glasses, ear protection, etc. used for general auto repairs; differential work requires tools that are somewhat specialized.
The following tools are recommended:
DIS-ASSEMBLY:Integral styles with rear cover (aka Salisbury)
DIS-ASSEMBLY: Banjo/ 3rd member/ Drop-Out style (aka pumpkin, hogs head)
ASSEMBLY: Prior to beginning assembly, clean housing, parts, and organize everything that is going be installed. Verify the new parts are correct and double check any parts for wear that are being reused. Clean axle housing and remove any debris.
INITIAL TRIAL ASSEMBLY: Note: It is usually best to use stock shim thickness for a starting point. 1. Install Pinion & tighten nut until there is no slop and a bit of preload. Actual preload will be set later during final assembly. It is recommended that the initial assembly be done without crush sleeve as they are a single-use item. 2. Install carrier/ring gear assembly & set Backlash- Carrier should be snug in order to obtain an accurate reading. It is best to measure with indicator needle perpendicular to the Drive side of the ring gear teeth. Backlash should be close to spec, even for trial assembly. Measure in a few spots to check for variance/run-out. Backlash is adjusted by moving the carrier left or right with shims or adjuster nuts on the sides of the carrier, and checked with a dial indicator. To increase backlash on models with carrier shims, shim thickness will be decreased on the ring gear side and added to the opposite side of the carrier and vice versa. To increase backlash on models with adjuster nuts, the adjuster on the ring gear side is loosened, and the opposite adjuster is tightened. Backlash tip: Shim thickness changes of 0.010” will generally effect backlash by roughly 0.007”. For example, if backlash is measured at 0.002” and the desired spec is 0.006”-0.010” you would remove 0.010” from the ring gear side of the carrier and move it to the opposite side. This will move the ring gear away from the pinion and should increase backlash to about 0.009”. 3. Check Pinion Depth- Apply marking compound to ring gear and rotate back and forth through the pinion to obtain a contact pattern. The contact pattern will indicate the depth of the pinion in relation to axle centerline, and is adjusted by adding or subtracting shims to move pinion in our out. On models with depth shim located under pinion bearing or pinion race: Adding shim will move pinion deeper causing pattern to approach Flank. Subtracting shim thickness will move pinion further away, causing pattern to approach Face. See Pattern Example photos. NOTE: On models with removable pinion support like GM 14T, Ford 8”, 9”, subtracting shim will move pinion deeper and VS. VS.
FINAL ASSEMBLY: Upon obtaining an acceptable contact pattern it is time for final assembly.
BREAK-IN PROCEDURE: In order to prevent damage to differential components it is essential to follow the break-in procedure after installation of a new ring & pinion. New ring & pinions will generate more heat initially after installation and can cause gear oil to break down, leading to premature failure. On your first drive, stop after the first 15 or 20 miles and let the differential cool for 20-25 minutes before proceeding. Drive conservatively for the first 500 miles following installation (avoid hard acceleration & towing). After completing standard break-in, tow for very short distances (less than 15 miles) and let the differential cool before continuing during the first 45 towing miles. Change the gear oil after the first 500 miles. This will remove any metal particles or phosphorus coating that has come from the new ring & pinion.
Premature overloading/overheating will cause gear oil to breakdown, and may result in parts failure.
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