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Unread 01-11-2006, 08:41 PM   #1
mud n rox
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lesson learned......the hard way

Back at the first of Dec. I found a guy that could install some used 4.10s in my TJ for $400 parts and labor. Wow that's cheap, and thinking of the grand Id save I let him go ahead with the project. I mean lets face it; anywhere it would have cost a grand if not more to get it done. So I took a shot. I figured with some incidental costs, few extra parts here and there, maybe a couple hundred more.

Well, after a week of waiting and several phone calls about those extra parts; I picked up the jeep. We went for a ride and it made a howling noise when I let off the gas. I was told the the lockright I had him install was making the noise. Well Ive never had a locker but knew i should be hearing clicking from the locker. Anyway ,being excited about my new gears and locker I left for home. Something wasn't right. It felt, and sounded like there was something dragging from the rear. I was told that the gears would have to "break into set a wear pattern". Hmmm these are used and the pattern should already be there, I thought. After a few days I called him and expressed my concerns. So I took the jeep back to him. He pulled the covers off both axles and politely told me there was no metal in the fluid. Once the jeep was back together, I was on my way; with it still making noises.

At this point I'm very concerned about it. The noises are getting louder. Now I cant reach the gentleman that did the work. And he's not returning calls. The only answer was to call a professional. Enter Greg Pert at Expert Off Road in Topeka KS.

I explained my whole situation to Greg. He was very understanding and more than willing to help. So New Years Eve I'm off to Topeka to leave my rig with Greg. Greg and his staff were to check it over and see just what was wrong. I'm praying for a carrier bearing or something simple.

That following Tuesday I get the call. The rear gear had NO backlash at all. The fronts which are suppose to have 6-8 thousandths backlash, was close to 12. There were shims where they weren't suppose to be and none at all where they should have been. The pinion nut was overtightened so much the bearing failed. The cross pin in the rear had punch marks on the end of it .The front carrier had air chisel marks on it. I guess he didn't have a case spreader. The staff there was surprised that it made it as long as it did. So Expert Off Road rebuilt my front and rear axle, replacing everything but the shafts themselves. I did have them install Truetrac diffs in the front and rear. I'm extremely happy with the service and work from Expert Off Road. My only regret was that I didn't wait to have them do it the first time. Now I have new 4.10s and Truetracs.

Now I have new 4.10s and Truetracs. Thank you Expert Off Road!!!

Please be very careful who you let work on your rigs. I learned the hard way. Don't let this happen to you.

The lessons learned are:
1) You get what you pay for.
2) If its too good to be true, then it most likely is.
3) Good things come to those who wait.
4) Listen to the wife...she just might be right.

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[B][FONT="Comic Sans MS"][I]2001 TJ Sport - With a little lift, some armor, four mud tires, and a few decals.

Caution: Rock and a hard place just ahead.

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Unread 01-11-2006, 08:44 PM   #2
1966cj5
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What did it cost you at Expert to fix it?
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Unread 01-11-2006, 08:47 PM   #3
method84
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im sorry to hear what happened to you but Im glad eveyrthing worked out for the best. When it comes to something like gears it probablly better let off to the pro's Have you got in contact with the guy who installed the gears first that destroyed eveything? what is your relationship with him? club member? I would be super pissed if I were you
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Unread 01-11-2006, 08:53 PM   #4
mud n rox
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Total spent at Expert was just over $1600 including the Truetracs; which was almost half. No I have not heard from the "butcher" and at this point I really dont expect to. But since I posted this about the whole situation I might. He was referred to me by a friend of a friend.

Yes I am/was pissed, but I learned from my mistake. I'm just glad that Expert Off Road was able to make it right.
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[B][FONT="Comic Sans MS"][I]2001 TJ Sport - With a little lift, some armor, four mud tires, and a few decals.

Caution: Rock and a hard place just ahead.

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Unread 01-11-2006, 09:05 PM   #5
Dannyboy18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lug nut
Total spent at Expert was just over $1600 including the Truetracs; which was almost half. No I have not heard from the "butcher" and at this point I really dont expect to. But since I posted this about the whole situation I might. He was referred to me by a friend of a friend.

Yes I am/was pissed, but I learned from my mistake. I'm just glad that Expert Off Road was able to make it right.
That sounds about right. My shop wanted $1300 to $1400 to do 4.10s + a rear locker in my XJ.

I imagine adding a front locker would bring the cost to what you paid...

Glad to hear everything worked out good in the end; must be nice having factory power again; I sure as hell can't wait till this summer when I get my 4.10s...

--Dan.
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Unread 01-11-2006, 09:10 PM   #6
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Unread 01-11-2006, 09:15 PM   #7
Kerndone
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I had about the same thing happen to me, but it cost me much more for this guy to screw things up and for me to get it fixed.

Since you may be kind of familiar with truetracs, there is a center block that acts in the same way as a center pin. Well my lovely professional gear installer did not install the set screw that holds this block in place. Mind you this was not a side job for him, I brought it to the shop and everything. Anyway, he claimed he installed the center block to specs and he had nothing to do with it. I went through 3 R&Ps, he had two of them, the first set he claimed that they did not set up well. The second R&P was the one that got damaged when the center block was roaming around my diff. And the third is in there now, properly installed by a very competent and trustworthy mechanic.

Left is what it should look like. The right is what happens when its on the spin cycle in the housing.




Its just so hard to know who works on your rig, it makes me want to do everything myself. Anyway, congrats on getting the new LSDs and gears. Oh and congrats on getting it fixed!

-Frank
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Last edited by Kerndone; 01-11-2006 at 09:39 PM.. Reason: Added pics
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Unread 01-11-2006, 09:20 PM   #8
Dannyboy18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kerndone
Its just so hard to know who works on your rig, it makes me want to do everything myself. Anyway, congrats on getting the new LSDs and gears. Oh and congrats on getting it fixed!

-Frank
I hear ya. I trust my shop though since they have done all the serious work in my sig. and I've had zero complaints. Plus, both the head mechanics worked for Chrysler so they know their crap.

Hopefully my opinion of them won't change after this summer when gears + rear locker go in...

--Dan.
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RE 3.5" Super Ride w/ full packs (4* shims) + OME shocks + RE SYE w/ Tom Woods CV
Yukon 4.10s
AR Baja Alloy Wheels - 15x8 + Bridgestone Dueler Revo A/Ts - 31x10.50x15
TeraFlex Adj. Trackbar + TeraFlex Quick Disconnects & WARN T-case skid
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Unread 01-11-2006, 10:29 PM   #9
nhlbill
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Man that sucks!
I had a similar situation with a Tacoma I had before the Jeep. Friend of a friend referral "Oh yea, he has set up hundreds of gears, he will do it out of his house for extra money"....that sort of thing. After the first install of a lockrite and new gears in the front I was driving down the road and "BANG" then my truck jerked all the way around in the middle of the street. Get the thing to his house and take it apart and find the pinion bearing seized (probably from the wrong preload on the bearing).
The Jeeps have a similar set up as the Tacoma's in that there are no unlocking hubs. Something happens to a "locked/locker" set up and the whole thing stops dead. I was only going about 15mph when it happened, If I was going 50mph+, I surely would have rolled (the truck was sitting on 9" of lift and 35" tires).
Without manual hubs, I will never put a fulltime locker in the front again, and as far as gears go, it's the only thing I have not done myself to all my rigs, and the only thing I will leave to a professional from now on!
Glad to hear nobody got hurt and you got your stuff fixed ok. The guy who set it up originally should make it right with you IMO.
Bill
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Unread 01-11-2006, 11:34 PM   #10
bradb511
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I have a expert offroad here in dallas and i love the guys there... they are always doin what they can to help a broke college student out. Justin (pert) and kenny are the most honest guys and cool to hang out with when im bored. I would reccomend anyone to them. They did my gears and when they finished the found out that my axle bracket was broken off so they replaced my axle and did new gears for 300$. Expert offroad is possibly the greatest thing to happen to plano for the jeep world.
Just my .02c
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