So, as promised in the "Regearing for Novices" thread... here is a bit of a write-up for you guys to get an idea of how involved a regearing process is. It will not be 100% complete in each and every thing you need to do... I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that you guys know lefty loosey righty tighty for the pinion nut, and are competent enough to remove a pinion yoke.
I WILL be trying to document the actual gear "setup" process itself in the (likely) repetetive guess and check trial and error attempts to get a good pattern and all the numbers in spec.
First off some info:
The TJ D44 does NOT use a crush sleeve... in fact you CAN'T because the solid spacer is incorporated into the pinion. You change pinion bearing preload with shims. This is a GOOD thing because on the trail you can break a u-joint and wipe out your pinion yoke, remove the pinion nut, pull the yoke off, replace it, and simply torque a NEW pinion nut to spec(200ft-lbs). No worry about changing the pinion bearing preload or the nut coming undone on it's own because you had to reuse a crush sleeve(if you use a NEW pinion nut!).
We are installing Yukon 4.88 thick gears(for use w/ a 3 series carrier... same carrier as 3.07, the old ratio) with a Yukon Install Kit. Also using some pre-made carrier setup bearings and an inner pinion bearing setup race. All was purchased from www.completeoffroad.com
Some specs for the D44(According to Mitchell):
-Ring gear bolt torque: 45-60ft lbs - I will be torquing to 55ft lbs
-Pinion nut torque - 200-220ft lbs - I'll be torquing to 200ft lbs
-Pinion bearing preload - 20-40 INCH
lbs for NEW
pinion bearings. If you need the spec for old pinion bearings, the spec is 10-20 INCH lbs. If you happen to only need to replace one of the two pinion bearings, I would personally just aim for 20-25 IMO.
-Carrier bearing cap torque: 70-90ft lbs - I'll be torquing to 80ft lbs
-Backlash spec - 0.005-0.008" w/ 0.002 max difference between any 2 spots around the ring gear.
-Carrier bearing preload isn't easily measurable, but since I'll be doing this without a case spreader, I will be adding 0.010" total shim under the carrier bearings after the final setup is determined(0.005" on each side).
Onto the write-up
First off, Jake brought the axle over tonight and was kind enough to have already cleaned the hell out of it so there was little grease and gunk anywhere which was awesome.
For starters pull the diff cover and have a look inside. Make sure there are no crazy metal chunks floating around, chipped teeth, anything that could have gotten somewhere it shouldn't be and take out other parts. This mainly goes for those reusing your carrier(much like Jake has chosen to do... it has OEM trac-loc). I have seen a few and heard of many other D35s have destroyed the left side of the housing when the carrier bearings get worn beyond their limits and it's basically a big paperweight after that. A thick metallic jello-like substance is a good indicator of this
Now you mark the bearing caps... these CANNOT be reinstalled any way EXCEPT how they are now! They are machined specific to their original housing and to their specific side in that housing and cannot be flipped on that side or else you are asking for trouble! MARK THEM CLEARLY!!! I do it simple... use a black sharpie and put a big "R" on the right cap and "L" on the left cap. As long as you can keep your alphabet right-side up and you know left from right you'll be okay
Wipe off the bearing surface on the caps and set them aside. You can now remove the carrier. This took a bit of prying on one side, then the other, then back, etc etc... At one point we were both prying on both sides at the same time. The reason for the "carrier bearing preload" is to basically give the differential housing no chance of flexing under heavy loads. The pinion basically wants to push the ring gear to the left side of the housing under loads... without sufficient preload the gear teeth will deflect and you'll have a broken ring and pinion and/or at least be shredding teeth more than likely.