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post #1 of 45 Old 10-14-2016, 12:43 AM Thread Starter
Boone96ZJ
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Dana 44a Rebuild

Test Subject: 1996 Grand Cherokee 5.2. Dana 44a 3:73 Trac-Lok rearend



My carrier bearings were howling. I couldn't even have a conversation. I also noticed the driver side seal was leaking and making noise on turns. I knew I had to see what was going on inside. So here we go...

If you are even going to attempt this then I will not bore you with the obvious things like safety (wheel chocks and jack stands, eye wear and gloves). I will assume you know how to do the basic things of removing wheels and such. Also, I am not liable for something happening to you or your Jeep if you attempt this fix.

Common Tool List

- 3/4" deep impact socket (lug nuts & carrier cap bolts)
- 1/2" socket (caliper bolts and differential cover bolts)
- 1/4" 12pt socket or wrench (carrier pin bolt)
- torque wrench (I have in/lb and ft/lb)
- breaker bar or impact gun (lug nuts)
- dead blow hammer (carpenter hammer not recommended)
- telescoping magnet

Special Tool List

- Slide hammer with bearing attachments (I rented mine from AutoZone)
- Carrier bearing removal tool (can be rented, my work had one or you can go to a shop with a press)
- Seal Driver set (they are cheap so buy one, I already has some)

Parts List

- National 5707 Bearing (2 req)
- National 4857 Seal (2 req)
- National A-36 Carrier Bearing with Race (2 req)
- 80w90 or 75w140 gear oil (3 quarts) -- 75w140 recommended for tow package or severe use. Buy whatever brand and since most brands now have friction modifier so I didn't add any but FSM says 4 oz of friction modifier.
- 5 cans of brake cleaner. Helps clean up inside since gear oil is sticky and smells to high heaven.
- Wheel bearing grease. I used Lucas Red n Tacky No. 2
- Permatex Ultra Black RTV - maximum oil resistance
- Neodymium magnet (explanation in directions)
- 74871-1x Spicer passenger side axle 29.25"
- 74871-2x Spicer driver side axle 30.25"


1. Get the rear end up on jack stands or both front and rear. Good time to rotate tires and general inspection of the underside of Jeep.

2. Remove the wheels, calipers and rotors. If you don't know how to do that then stop and do not go any further in this DIY.

3. Get a drain pan. There isn't that much fluid in this rearend, about 2.25 quarts.

4. Take off all the cover bolts (1/2" socket)out but the center top one, this way the cover doesn't fall in your pan. You will probably have to use a screw driver to break the seal. Be careful to not gouge the housing, it is aluminum after all.

5. Once it has drained and the cover removed, you will be greeted with this. The ring, pinion and carrier.

6. You will need to hop in the Jeep and put your trans in Neutral as well as the transfer case. This is necessary to be able to turn the ring and carrier when removing the carrier pin and carrier pin bolt.

7. Use your hand and turn the driveshaft until the carrier pin and bolt are staring straight at you.

8. Use your 12 pt 1/4" socket or open end wrench to remove the carrier pin bolt. It shouldn't be too hard to get out unless someone before you used Red Loctite, then have fun with that.

9. Once the pin bolt is out, use your hand to rotate the driveshaft so that the carrier pin is facing down. I didn't get a pic of this. Do not turn so far facing down that the pin cannot pass by housing. It must come all the way out. Mine fell out. Some of you may have to tap it out.

10. Now you are ready to get those axle shafts out. Dana 44a are C-clip axles. Turn the driveshaft to bring the spider gears back in view. Push one axle side all the way towards the center of the diff. It will expose the C-clip. Remove the c-clip and slide your axles out.

11. I reinstalled the carrier pin and pin bolt once the axles were out. I didn't want the spider gears moving or falling out on me.

Now you should get your slide hammer and get the bearing and seals out of the end of the axle tubes. I did not get a pic of this. There are videos on youtube that you can watch. You could also read the directions on the slide hammer instructions. Well my rental one had that. It isn't hard. Sorry I forgot to take a pic.

12. Now the fun part. Time to get that carrier out. My carrier bearing caps were marked to eliminate confusion about which side they go on. You do not want to mix them up. Make note of which side came from what.

Driver side:

Passenger side:

13. Remove the carrier bearing caps. When they are removed, inspect the surface. My races had apparently spun. I cleaned them up somewhat but forgot to take a picture.

Driver Cap:

Passenger Cap:

14. Now take a look at both sides of the carrier. There should be shims. They are side specific! Do not mix them up!!! Also do not drop them, fling them, step on them or use them as ninja stars. They could break, then you are fudged. Take a picture like I did although you cannot tell which is thicker.

The Dana 44a only has shims between housing and bearing. There are no shims between bearing and carrier. This makes it significantly easier to do this job as you do not have to setup the gears again unless you are swapping in new gears.

Driver Shim:

Passenger shim:

14. My carrier literally slid right into my hands. The FSM says you must use a carrier spreader to get this out. I was lucky I guess.

I made sure to at least have my hand on one of the shims. That way if the other falls, you know where the one in your hand came from. Again, bag them or always know which shim came from which side. The races for the bearings will come out in your hands too. Unless you plan to reuse them (DONT) then you don't need to worry about the old ones.

15. My carrier bearings were the source of most of my noise. It became very apparent where the noise came from...and also why the fluid that came out was like glitter.

Passenger carrier bearing:

Driver carrier bearing:

Pretty chewed up. This also caused my fluid to be like glitter and a good amount of metal shavings. See pics.



16. Now your diff should look like this.


Use your brake cleaner. Spray the hell out of it. Spray the axle tubes from the end into the center. Wipe it out. Spray again. Spray back in the upper recess to get the pinion too. Try to get as much out as you can. Use your telescoping magnet in the tubes to get metal shavings. Some is ok, mine was bad.

Also, go ahead and clean the RTV off the housing and the cover. It needs to be as clean as possible. I even took some 1500 grit sandpaper on a square block and sanded the gasket surface on the housing. I am anal. Spray the gasket surface down after you are done. Dirt = leaks.

17. You need to be careful in this step. The race and bearing are a matched set so keep them together or mark them. Especially if you have a shop do them. The races are loose from the bearing.

Now to get the new carrier bearings on. A shop can press them on. They shouldn't charge much. You can also rent a carrier bearing press. It looks like this.

You are halfway there!

18. Getting the carrier back in is easy if you have 11 hands. It isn't easy holding that carrier with races in hand and the shims! So do this.

Use the wheel bearing grease and lightly coat the shims. Shove them back up in their corresponding sides of the housing. The grease will hold them there. Lightly coat the races and carrier bearings too. This will get the race to stick to the carrier bearing. Then use both hands to slide the carrier in evenly.

NOTE: You have new bearings/races and it WILL be harder to get the carrier back in if it fell out earlier like mine. I had to use a 54 oz deadblow hammer to get the carrier back in. Some will scream that now you have to set up the gears since clearances have changed. I did check rotating torque and it was fine. I didn't check backlash or side clearance. The ring meshed immediately with the pinion. I was already to the F-it point so I was like whatevs if it grenades when I test drive it.

19. Sorry, I got lazy with pictures. I did take a pic of the ring gear.

This will definitively tell you what your gear ratio is. 41 11 = 3.73. 41 divided by 11 is 3.72727272. A 4.10 ratio would be 41 10. 3.55 would probably say 39 11.

20. Put the bearing caps back onto their respective sides that you marked. Torque the bolts to 63 ft lbs.

21. Now that you have the carrier in. You need to put the new axle shaft bearing and seals in. A seal driver kit makes this super easy.



The bearing goes in first, then the seal over that. Use some wheel bearing grease on that bearing. Just to aid in the first time you drive it until it gets coated in gear oil. Also coat the end of the axle tube with your gear oil so you aren't going in dry.... thats what she said.

22. Now remove that carrier pin bolt and carrier pin. Time to put the axle shafts back in.

NOTE:

I fought for 3 weeks to get axle shafts. The ones I pulled out got chewed up on the bearing surface. I first ordered USA Standard Gear axles. They were too long and I could not get carrier pin back in. ZJ axles are 30.25" for driver side. 29.25" for passenger side. You might see 30 3/8" for driver side. BEWARE!!

I then orderd Alloy USA chromoly axles. Driver side went in fine, passenger side splines didnt slide into the spider gears. Got a replacement passenger axle from Alloy USA.... same result. I sent all 3 axles back and got Dana Spicer axles. 74871-1x is passenger side. 74871-2x is driver side. No problem with them.

23. When sliding the axle shafts in, be careful. Don't let the axle shaft splines gouge the new seal. It will leak then. Push them in until you hit the spider gears. You must then rotate them until the splines mesh and you can push the axles in far enough to put the c-clip back on.

24. Now put the carrier pin back in and rotate the driveshaft so that you can slide the carrier pin bolt into its hole. Use your 12 pt socket/wrench to screw it back in. FSM says to torque to 13 ft lbs.

25. I wanted to put a magnet to catch any metal I couldn't get out and to catch other shavings that may come in the future. I bought a Neodymium magnet. These are rare earth magnets that have tremendous magnetic pull. Mine had 88 lb force. It held up 3 golf clubs with ease. These WILL pinch your skin off if you aren't careful when you go to apply to a metal surface.

I put mine as close to the bottom of the cover as I could get without it hitting the ring gear or the carrier. Hope it works.

26. Use your Ultra Black RTV on the cover to make your gasket. A small continuous bead about 1/16" is sufficient. I actually spread mine evenly over the entire surface that contacts the housing with my finger. NO LEAKS! The instructions on the tube say to apply, then finger tighten bolts while it is still wet. Then wait 1 hour and torque the bolts to specifications.


Torque the bolts with the 1/2" socket to 30 ft lbs. Tighten them in a criss cross pattern like you do the lug nuts. Start with the bolt that is the bottom of the ID tag. If you are missing the ID tag, then just start with the bottom bolt that you see in my pic for the ID tag.

27. Now the RTV must cure before you pour in that nasty smelling gear oil. Label says wait 24 hours. I did, but most dont and most say it wouldnt leak if you didnt wait. While you wait for however long you want... might as well put the brakes and wheels back on.

28. Good time to service the caliper bolts and the parking brake springs/parts. Caliper lube is good enough.

29. Torque the caliper bolts to 15 ft lbs. FSM says 7-15 ft lbs. I always go the max when it gives ranges. Better tight than loose.... that's what she said.

30. However long you waited for RTV to cure I don't care but now pour about 2.25 quarts of your gear oil in. Good rule of thumb is that the gear oil should seep out of the plug hole. Put the wheels back on and torque the lug nuts to 110 ft lbs. Clean up all your crap and tools (I hate how long it takes to clean up). Take it for a test drive, my differential is now so quiet that I can hear my flowmaster again.

Last but not least... my little helper. Love him so much!



96 5.2 242 3" 32x11.5
http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f13/1996-grand-cherokee-laredo-5-2-a-2570290/
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post #2 of 45 Old 10-14-2016, 04:48 AM
coralman
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Good pics and description! Glad it went well, you deserved a break after all the axle shaft aggrevation.

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Originally Posted by HighLonesome
lol...if life is as a simple as a 5.9 making you happy, I'd say go ahead and buy it on impulse. ZJs are the way of Zen. Wax on, wax off
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post #3 of 45 Old 10-14-2016, 03:02 PM
Timo_90xj
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Good write-up!

Few notes:

* Carrier shims can be re-used, but gear backlash should always be checked after changing carrier bearings. In most cases, it will be pretty much exactly the same as before - but not always. If backlash is out-of-spec., a new shim pack is needed.
* Diff cover bolts have 1/2" head and are SAE thread, they are not metric.
* RTV ultra black tube says to finger tighten, wait 1 hour and fully torque, then wait 24 hours -> I've ALWAYS laid the ~1/4" bead of RTV, torqued to spec., poured in diff fluid and drive. No leaks - ever.

1998 Grand Cherokee 5.9 LX daily driver, 1.75" BB, 32" KM2s, HPD30 Eaton e-locker/D44a stock LSD, 4.56 gears, custom- fabbed tube bumpers and tube fenders,...


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1990 XJ Limited (4-door), 4.0 I6, AW4, NP242, ***rolled and totalled @ 165k miles***

***Under construction***
1990 XJ (4-door), 4.0 I6, AW4, NP242, PBR 42" tires, Unimog 404 portal axles, 110" WB, full cage + uniframe completely rebuilt, front 3-link + panhard / double triangulated 4-link rear,... ***SOLD***
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post #4 of 45 Old 10-14-2016, 03:26 PM Thread Starter
Boone96ZJ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Timo_90xj View Post
Good write-up!

Few notes:

* Carrier shims can be re-used, but gear backlash should always be checked after changing carrier bearings. In most cases, it will be pretty much exactly the same as before - but not always. If backlash is out-of-spec., a new shim pack is needed.
* Diff cover bolts have 1/2" head and are SAE thread, they are not metric.
* RTV ultra black tube says to finger tighten, wait 1 hour and fully torque, then wait 24 hours -> I've ALWAYS laid the ~1/4" bead of RTV, torqued to spec., poured in diff fluid and drive. No leaks - ever.
- I said to NOT reuse the carrier races. I said to always make sure you keep the same shims and what side they go to.

- I figured it was SAE, but I am so use to using metric since everything seems to be going that way now a days. Thanks for the correction.

- I said most just bead, torque and fill with no problems. After the time I had with this whole process, I wasn't chancing anything.

96 5.2 242 3" 32x11.5
http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f13/1996-grand-cherokee-laredo-5-2-a-2570290/
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post #5 of 45 Old 10-14-2016, 03:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boone96ZJ View Post
- I said to NOT reuse the carrier races. I said to always make sure you keep the same shims and what side they go to.
I didn't say anything about the races, I wrote about shims as you can see


Quote:
- I said most just bead, torque and fill with no problems. After the time I had with this whole process, I wasn't chancing anything.
Yeap, I just verified for anyone reading this write-up that it is not an issue to torque the bolts and fill-up immediately after
When I've done axle setups with the axle sitting on my garage table, I've always waited for at least overnight. Same goes for engine/ transmission gaskets when using RTV. Better safe than sorry..

1998 Grand Cherokee 5.9 LX daily driver, 1.75" BB, 32" KM2s, HPD30 Eaton e-locker/D44a stock LSD, 4.56 gears, custom- fabbed tube bumpers and tube fenders,...


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1990 XJ Limited (4-door), 4.0 I6, AW4, NP242, ***rolled and totalled @ 165k miles***

***Under construction***
1990 XJ (4-door), 4.0 I6, AW4, NP242, PBR 42" tires, Unimog 404 portal axles, 110" WB, full cage + uniframe completely rebuilt, front 3-link + panhard / double triangulated 4-link rear,... ***SOLD***
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post #6 of 45 Old 10-17-2016, 10:04 AM
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Where did you purchase the carrier bearings from?
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post #7 of 45 Old 10-17-2016, 01:14 PM
Timo_90xj
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Rockauto has SKF bearings + races for about 15$/ side.

Bearing + race numbers are LM603049/LM603012.

1998 Grand Cherokee 5.9 LX daily driver, 1.75" BB, 32" KM2s, HPD30 Eaton e-locker/D44a stock LSD, 4.56 gears, custom- fabbed tube bumpers and tube fenders,...


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1990 XJ Limited (4-door), 4.0 I6, AW4, NP242, ***rolled and totalled @ 165k miles***

***Under construction***
1990 XJ (4-door), 4.0 I6, AW4, NP242, PBR 42" tires, Unimog 404 portal axles, 110" WB, full cage + uniframe completely rebuilt, front 3-link + panhard / double triangulated 4-link rear,... ***SOLD***
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post #8 of 45 Old 10-17-2016, 02:13 PM Thread Starter
Boone96ZJ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StPaul59 View Post
Where did you purchase the carrier bearings from?
Advance Auto. I got them for about $11.78/ea. A-36 is the part number at Advance Auto

96 5.2 242 3" 32x11.5
http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f13/1996-grand-cherokee-laredo-5-2-a-2570290/
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post #9 of 45 Old 10-17-2016, 05:09 PM
StPaul59
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Thanks! Did the carrier bearings slide off easily , I understand about having to press them on, but do they just slide off after all these years of wear?
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post #10 of 45 Old 10-17-2016, 05:58 PM Thread Starter
Boone96ZJ
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no they have to be "pressed off". The tool I showed you in the picture can do both.

96 5.2 242 3" 32x11.5
http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f13/1996-grand-cherokee-laredo-5-2-a-2570290/
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post #11 of 45 Old 10-17-2016, 07:53 PM
StPaul59
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Nice, cuts down on a tool for each action. I bought me a 64oz dead blow. This should be interesting 😂 Can you hit the side of that large 'gear' without damaging it?
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post #12 of 45 Old 10-17-2016, 10:46 PM
Timo_90xj
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If you don't have a press, you can CAREFULLY cut off the old ones with a 4.5" angle grinder. New ones can be installed using a piece of metal tube that sits on the bearing center cone, and a deadblow hammer.

1998 Grand Cherokee 5.9 LX daily driver, 1.75" BB, 32" KM2s, HPD30 Eaton e-locker/D44a stock LSD, 4.56 gears, custom- fabbed tube bumpers and tube fenders,...


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1990 XJ Limited (4-door), 4.0 I6, AW4, NP242, ***rolled and totalled @ 165k miles***

***Under construction***
1990 XJ (4-door), 4.0 I6, AW4, NP242, PBR 42" tires, Unimog 404 portal axles, 110" WB, full cage + uniframe completely rebuilt, front 3-link + panhard / double triangulated 4-link rear,... ***SOLD***
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post #13 of 45 Old 10-18-2016, 05:44 AM
coralman
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Miller made a similar tool that I have. It works well but i like the tool 1130 in the pic.

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Originally Posted by HighLonesome
lol...if life is as a simple as a 5.9 making you happy, I'd say go ahead and buy it on impulse. ZJs are the way of Zen. Wax on, wax off
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post #14 of 45 Old 10-18-2016, 10:04 AM
StPaul59
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Would a parts store have that same tool 1130 to rent?
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post #15 of 45 Old 10-18-2016, 10:59 AM Thread Starter
Boone96ZJ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StPaul59 View Post
Would a parts store have that same tool 1130 to rent?

I asked my local Autozone if they had one. They didn't have it at the store but I could have had them get one, it would have taken a couple of days to get there..

so yes. I like Autozone for tool rental. They seem to keep "better" tools in stock. I use Advance Auto because my buddy works there and gives me discount but can't just lend me the tools and they always seem to be missing a nut or something so I go to Autozone for tool rental.

96 5.2 242 3" 32x11.5
http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f13/1996-grand-cherokee-laredo-5-2-a-2570290/
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