Setting up used/abused gears.
I recently realized the relatively newly installed gears and Super 35 kit in my Jeep were installed by someone completely clueless. I don't know who did it, I bought the Jeep a year ago and supposedly this work was done just prior. When I discover the pinion seal leaking, it opened a whole can of worms. The crush collar was never crushed and there was a lot of play in the pinion bearings. There was also zero carrier bearing preload. To try and make a long story short, Ive been trying to fix this mess. Ive installed new pinion bearings and have found it impossible to get the gears to run what I would consider an acceptable pattern. Ive run the pinion depth from 0 to .050 thousandths with proper backlash. The old pinion depth was 0 and Randys ring and pinion recommends .045 as a starting point. At zero I cannot see contact anywhere on the drive side of the teeth. At .050 Ive got a 7/16'' pattern on the drive side toe end. It is triangular in shape with the large end of the triangle at the toe. It also is in contact with the face. At this pinion depth the gears do not run smooth. Somewhere in the middle of 0 and .050 the gears run smooth but the contact pattern on the drive side is tiny. Barely 1/4", triangular in shape, and in contact with the toe and face. Through most of the range the coast side is oddly irregularly shaped and somewhat centered on the tooth heel to toe and face to flank. Ive adjusted backlash within the range without much improvement. Ive come to the conclusion these gears will never set up to an ideal pattern. Probably due to having been run with the pinion flopping around. I'm either going to take the axle to a shop where someone who has done hundreds of axles can make the best of it, or go with new gears. Any input would be appreciated.
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