I have an 83 CJ7 with 2.73 gears. When I put the lift and 33" tires I basically lost 5th gear(t5) and need a tail wind to break 55mph. I found a set of narrow track axles on KSL with 4.10 gears. The guy wants $150 for the axles and as far as axles go, they look OK.
Question #1 Am I right to assume that I can take the gears and carriers out of those axles and put them on my wide track axles? (both are dana 30 and model 20 axles)
Question #2 Is this something I can do myself, having never done anything like this before? I am pretty handy, did my own lift, and YJ spring conversion, but I am not sure if this is too far above my pay grade.
Yes they can be swapped in, but they will have to be set up just like new gears. Its not impossible to do yourself, but it does require some special tools. Be sure to do plenty of research before you begin.
If you decide you don't want to tackle it yourself, you can save a lot of labor cost by dissembling the axles yourself & removing them from the Jeep. Thats what I did and labor was just about $300 for the gears installed in both axles, bearings pressed on the rear shafts, and ball joints pressed in knuckles. I still want to learn to set up gears, but didn't really have to time.
You need special tools(dial indicator that reads .001", a FT/LB torque wrench and bearing puller, etc)and the knowledge on how to use them.
It would be best for you to watch a pro do it and take notes/pictures for the future.
R&P set-up is about the most critical operation on any vehicle.
Have'n you along, is like loose'n 2 good men
I think patience is more important than knowing exactly what you're doing. There are plenty of tutorials and step-by-step instructions available online. The "special tools" are readily available, and not prohibitively expensive. I did mine after a bunch of research and studying of online write-ups. Once I got started, it took the better part of two weekends to get both axles done. I did end up taking my carrier and pinion gears to a local shop to have the old bearings pressed off, totally worth the $20 he charged me.
As long as you have another vehicle to drive while your Jeep is immobile, I'd encourage you to tackle this one yourself.
I recently decided to have someone else change mine for me. If I had a garage instead of a spot in the mud and sleet I might have tried it myself.
Unfortunately - I understand this all too well.
[FONT="Trebuchet MS"]My childhood was typical. Summers in Rangoon, luge lessons. In the spring we'd make meat helmets.
When I was insolent, I was placed in a burlap bag and beaten with reeds. Pretty standard, really.[/FONT]