Dana Super 44 Difficulties
First the background: This Spring I installed new outer (shaft) bearings and seals, as well as inspected the limited slip carrier for excessive signs of wear, excessive backlash etc. Everything checked out. I reassembled everything and filled 'er up with fresh fluids.
Fast forward to July, add 500 miles and we arrive on the trail.
Spider Gear Grenade Goes Off.
The Spider gears both blew to pieces while on a hill climb. One of the pieces cracked open the stock diff cover like a can opener as the ring gear finished off the pieces and ground them down to fragments.
Trail run over.
That brings me to today. After much research, discussion and agonizing I decided on the following direction for my d44 rear:
Replace Stock 3.72 gears with G2 4.89 gears
Replace Stock carrier with Eaton's Detroit 33 Spline 'Super 44" locker
Replace Stock Shafts with G2 Alloy 33 Spline Shafts
Replace all bearings etc. (obviously)
Move carrier shims outboard of the carrier races instead of on the bearing journals (Eaton, Randy's, watercooler all agree)
Now as I am attempting to do the setup I come across the following problem - I cannot get enough side-to-side adjustment to correctly set the backlash.
Eaton says the carrier is 1/4" narrower because they make only one variant instead of a 3.92 up and a 3.92 down. This way they can accommodate all gear sets. MY issue with this statement is that I only have .136 of shims in place and that is WITH the recommended case spread of .015 applied via Case Spreader Tool.
When I install all .136 of these shims on the left side of the carrier and .000 (none) to the left side I still have .028 of backlash. The recommended range is .006 - .0012.
It would take .030 of adjustment further into the pinion to achieve a .007 setting ( Yukon estimates .010 of shims shifted from right to left moves the backlash .007 downward).
So I am stuck with a dilemma here. What to do?
The option that seems both the most logical and the most crazy at the same time is to machine down the inner surface of the housing where the bearing cup/shim makes contact. This would be a tricky business as I am not a machinist nor do I have a professional machinists tools. What I do have is a very good air sander and a lot of 400, 1000, and 1500 grit discs for said sander. I think I can be very very patient while carefully removing .035 or so of the surface to give me my theoretical additional adjustment that is needed.
Own a Jeep