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Unread 12-04-2008, 04:08 PM   #1
incredibull
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2004 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Bremerton, WA
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Pinion nut was loose

A couple of days ago I quit slacking and replaced the pinion seal on my D35 that has leaked since I bought the Jeep this summer. Now, after I got everything apart and was prepared to fight tooth and nail to get the pinion nut loose, it came off with almost no effort at all. I'm fairly sure I could have loosened it with my smallest ratchet.

I'm worried that the pinion has been rocking around, so I pull the outer bearing, and both the bearing and race look fine. Although I marked the depth and position of the pinion nut before removing it, at this point it looks like whatever it was at, it was way too loose.

I've seen around the web that I can get away with tightening the nut back to 180 ft-lbs. So I install the new seal, put everything back together, reinstall the nut with loctite (been told to get a new nut, but the threads are all fine), and tighten to 180 ft-lbs. This put the nut at a position slightly tighter than what it was at, so it had probably backed off a whole lot from the "new" install torque of 210 ft-lbs. The pinion rotates freely and everything feels good and tight.

So a few hundred miles later, everything seems good. No leaks, no noise, and a mysterious light vibration is now gone. Should I be worried? It looked like someone else in the past replaced this seal, and just threw the nut back on until it felt "tight enough."

Cheers

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Unread 12-04-2008, 05:04 PM   #2
lumpster
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the reason people say to get a new nut is, it has a crimped end on it that hold tighter to the threads so it wont back off. that is why htey squeak when you loosen them, its metal on metal rubbing. locktite might work, but it isnt the same. and if the nut warms up loctite aint gonna keep it tight
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Unread 12-04-2008, 05:22 PM   #3
incredibull
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I guess I'll have to check back on the nut after a bit more driving to see if it's backed off from where I marked it after I torqued it down.
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Unread 12-04-2008, 07:08 PM   #4
kloppk
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Hopefully your pinion pre-load isn't too high...
Without using a new crush collar, an inch-pound touque wrench and correct setup sequence you may have inadvertantly set your pre-load too high. If so you may kill your pinion bearings....
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Unread 12-04-2008, 08:34 PM   #5
incredibull
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This is what I'm worried about.

However, is there any reason at all that the pinion nut should have been that loose? I'm thinking there's no way that the preload was properly set if it was that easy to get off, and that I'm probably closer now to where it should be.
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Unread 12-04-2008, 08:36 PM   #6
lumpster
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the nut would be tight even if the bearings were shot, a new nut is tight the whole time your loosening it. so yeah i would someone has had it off a few times to be able to turn it by hand
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