Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Colorado Springs
if it varies on 180° that seems like the bore in the gear that the shaft goes into is not centered or the camshaft has a warp or casting flaw resulting in that gear not being centered on the camshaft axis.
However, I don't think that's what's causing the wear because it appeared that mine was perfectly uniform (though each tooth was more worn on one side than the other, presumably the loaded side).
With the axes of the two gears being perpendicular to eachother you get more sliding movement between the engaged gear teeth than you would in a transmission gear where they are parallel. That explains the striations in the wear marks. And the wear marks look pretty much exactly what I would expect from normal wear over 200,000+ miles...not 100k or less.
So that leads me to believe that either the material is substandard or that the OPDA gear is too large, putting excessive loading between the gears. However, if there was excessive loading I wouldn't expect it to come in and out s easy...unless it was loaded excessively when new and then got looser due to the wear.
1999 Wrangler Sahara
2005 Wrangler Unlimited (Sold 9/2012)