ARB carrier shims in Dana 30 -
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 10 Old 07-18-2021, 09:07 PM Thread Starter
Registered User
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Shafer
Posts: 80
ARB carrier shims in Dana 30

I just finished getting an ARB air locker installed in my '99 XJ Dana 30 front end.

According to ARB, they want to shim the outer bearing races against the housing as opposed to putting them between the bearing and the carrier. This does make a bit of sense in that the shape of the ARB carrier doesn't really allow for shims to be reliably used between the carrier and bearing. In addition, the ARB carrier bearings have a larger ID than the original carrier, so there are no shims in the 4.56 gear kit, nor the ARB kit that will fit that... not that they would work anyway.

Getting it in there is one thing, but my concern is that the bearing cap isn't going to hold the shims in there as the cap doesn't entirely cover the outermost one. I have the thickest shim (what ARB calls a master shim) on the outer edge of the pack with a thin one in the middle and a thick one against the bearing cup so the thick ones protect the thin one during installation. If that master shim was thicker, it would be held in with the bearing cap.

The shims on the other side go between the thing that seals the air to the carrier and the bearing, so that side has all the shims buried beneath the bearing cap, so those aren't going anywhere.

If I weren't such a ding-dong, I would have pictures to explain it better. Does anyone understand what I mean and/or have a solution to that problem? I was thinking about a really light tack weld of the master shim to the housing while it is all installed in there. It'll be a bit of a surprise if it ever needs to get serviced again, but its not like there's a lot of options here... unless someone knows some tricks that I do not.

phantomrt is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 10 Old 07-18-2021, 10:56 PM
Registered User
1934 CJ7 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Joplin
Posts: 748
Your wording has kinda confussed me... not confused, it confussed me... but I'm guessing this is your first ARB dealing? This is normal and required due to the air mechanisms and such.

If you're worried about or having issues with sliding everything in and not FUBARing the shims which are now not captured, this is why a case spreader is pretty much standard practice for ARB installs.

IMO I wouldn't go welding on any machined bearing surfaces.

Sent from my SM-A015A using Tapatalk

80 CJ7-304/T176/D300 HEI hdrs-WT D30/D44 4.56s, lockright/spool-SOA YJs W/RE AAL-35 MTRs beadlocks
jeep_boy02 is offline  
post #3 of 10 Old 07-19-2021, 06:45 AM Thread Starter
Registered User
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Shafer
Posts: 80
Yep, this is the first time dealing with ARB. My first time rebuilding an axle if you don't count the Chrysler 8.25 that I just finished last week. The first time building a purpose-built overland vehicle.

Differential spreader or not, it doesn't solve the potential issue of the bearing cap not being wide enough to hold in the shims.

I have done countless jobs over the years without having various special tools such as a diff spreader. Things *CAN* be done with some ingenuity and simply being careful and kinda knowing what the F you are doing.

I called and walked into transmission shops at a much younger age, asking if they'll sell me differential carrier shims or maybe even help lead me to where I could find some and was given the "get out of here kid, you don't know what you are doing." Although that may have been true, I had to make-do with what I had laying around. A modified piston ring and some .004" thick aluminum rings cut out with a scissors from a pop can made for some pretty decent bearing shims and I still have that car to this day and it fricken worked.
phantomrt is offline  
post #4 of 10 Old 07-19-2021, 07:42 AM Thread Starter
Registered User
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Shafer
Posts: 80
I couldn't sleep last night, so in my OCD stupor, I did this. Now there is at least something other than bearing preload friction holding it in there. Eventually that preload goes away, and... I guess when you modify stuff, a person cannot be afraid to improvise.
Attached Thumbnails
IMG_20210719_083829_1626701978186.jpg   IMG_20210719_080333_1626702133319.jpg  
phantomrt is offline  
post #5 of 10 Old 07-20-2021, 12:19 PM
Web Wheeler
80cj's Avatar
1980 CJ5 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Hawaii
Posts: 8,744
I understand your problem. Too bad you can't find a single thick shim that is as thick as the total shim pack on that side. I've done quite a bit of work on rearends and have an assortment of shims in my parts drawers. Why don't you measure your total shim thickness, OD and ID and PM it to me. I'll see what I can find. Oh, don't forget to include your mailing address.

Edit: Well since you got the shim tacked in, I guess it's there for good now. Well, next time...
80cj is offline  
post #6 of 10 Old 07-22-2021, 07:40 PM
2004 TJ Wrangler 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Lake in the Hills
Posts: 3,328
Ratech has the correct thick shims. Newer D30s use this type of shim


Of all the things Ive lost
The one I miss most is my mind

Its like a fart in a windstorm
It smells good but thats about it

Registered Six Offender
Home of the Buzzin Half Dozen
rjbruzan is offline  
post #7 of 10 Old 07-23-2021, 06:52 PM Thread Starter
Registered User
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Shafer
Posts: 80
I wish I knew that going into it. I would also think that a company who sells $1,000 carriers would throw in a shim to accommodate this.
phantomrt is offline  
post #8 of 10 Old 07-24-2021, 03:51 AM
Registered User
1987 YJ Wrangler 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Beer City
Posts: 3,198
If your carrier bearings have the proper preload, the shims will never be able to move. I understand exactly what you are describing. A lot of GM rearends were built with the shims between the bearing races and the case and never were a problem.

If you cannot fix it with a hammer then it has to be an electrical problem.
Boojo35 is offline  
post #9 of 10 Old 07-25-2021, 08:39 AM Thread Starter
Registered User
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Shafer
Posts: 80
Yeah, the shim behind the bearing race won't ever be a problem as long as the bearing cap is able to hold it in there, but that's not the case here, or at least it does not appear to be the case. What happens as the bearings wear down a bit and the preload goes to just about nothing and you are wheeling where it puts some stress on the axle housing? Add in some thermal cycles and time and....
The axle shaft will keep it from falling all the way out, but.... ehh. Maybe it'll stay in there, but I prefer a much more robust setup to account for some unusual variables that occasionally happen.
phantomrt is offline  
post #10 of 10 Old 07-25-2021, 08:48 AM Thread Starter
Registered User
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Shafer
Posts: 80
Hell, when I went to remove the original carrier, all I did was grab it with one hand and give it a tug and it came right out. There wasn't much preload there, meaning not much friction to keep a shim in place.
phantomrt is offline  

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid e-mail address for yourself.

Email Address:


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome