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Discussion Starter · #41 ·
You just always have to bring new stuff to the table, dont you? LOL.

Your paint marks are scary. I have no idea of how many diffs I have set up over the years. Some for sure are of the shortcut methods but many are of the very correct methods. Like using diff spreaders to really set carrier preload etc. very accurately and with no pounding, banging and guessing. I have looked at tons of gear patterns but admittedly pay most of my attention to the ring gear, not the pinion gear. I do not paint the pinion gear so how could I ever know what its pattern looks like. Right? I am reasonably sure that your pattern is not ideal. LOL. Glad you ordered the gearset.

It is bizarre to me that Jeep guys preferred brands of things and drag racing guys preferred brands of things do not always line up. Moser stuff, spools, 8.8, 9", D44s, 12 bolt GMs and other half ton options that are built do not seem to have any traction within the Jeep world. The Jeep world ideal is to put the heaviest, bulkiest and not necessarily any stronger in meaninful places diff into our Jeeps with tons of work and mods to fit it.
The paint on the ring gear looks WAY better but it's a moot point considering it was torn up when the locker grenaded. Checking things before taking them out, the pinion depth was actually only 0.002" deeper than nominal for the 8.8 so if I was off from what the gearset and housing tolerance was meant for, I wasn't off by much and the backlash was right at 0.008".

Yeah, even telling some of my wheeling buddies my plan, I had to deny no less than four FB marketplace links to 14B axles being sold locally.

That said, I weighed everything on my axle...
Housing with truss and all my 1/4" crap all over it - 122 lbs
D44 front brake rotors and calipers - 43 lbs (stock 8.8 brakes are 7-8lbs lighter)
Ox locker, diff cover, and ring gear - 55 lbs (I suspect a spool will weigh a lot less)
Both chromoly axle shafts with bearings - 35 lbs
Total weight of what I was running = 255 lbs

That sucks you have to do the gear set too but at least it will give you piece of mind knowing its all new. Very interested to see how this turns out as my wife wants to run 37-38s on her 2door xj with a super D30 and a super 8.8 currently on 35s. Its bare bones and weighs well under 4k
I don't see any problems with the 8.8 considering I was on 38.5x14.5 TSL's for a year and then another year on 39 stickies with a V8. However, I broke the D30 gearset when I was on 35's. Granted I did bounce and they were fairly cheap Dana SVL gears. That said, I wouldn't upgrade the D30 until you have to.
 

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Something that popped into my head about checking gear patterns. The carrier needs to have some load or resistance when turning the pinion to make the pattern accurate. It can be done by lightly dragging the brakes, wedging a rag in between the ring gear and case, etc. A trick I learned is to use a wrench on the ring gear bolts and rotate the ring gear against the pinion. It seems backwards but it leaves a better pattern.

Your paint pattern is bizarre and I agree that your setup backlash and depth wise sounds reasonable. I only ever put paint on the ring gear but I guarantee you that I will put it on the pinion the next time around and see what happens. Curiosity is killing me. I am of the school of thought that gearsets are a little more forgiving than some guys make them out to be. I have done a lot of diffs over my career and especially when I was doing the mail trucks. I, like yourself, measure and inspect on teardown. I saw some stuff in mail trucks that would make you shake your head but yet the gears were not noisy. Dont get me wrong. I set them up correctly but you see threads on the forums where I would call it good and guys are still chasing shims and patterns for days after it is good.

I am really looking forward to seeing this build.
 

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Discussion Starter · #43 ·
There wasn't much drag on the ring gear or pinion when I was doing it and I wasn't able to offer much resistance just holding the ring gear. Either way, I wasn't too motivated to really inspect it. However, one more thing to add to the mix that makes me thankful I'm changing gears....the pinion bearing walked up quite a bit and the shims could be flipped around by hand. Maybe it was caused by removing it or when it hit the broken cross pin but who knows.
 

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Do you have a crush sleeve eliminator? If not, did you reuse a crush sleeve when you did the gears? I guess that the cross pin hitting it could have had some negative effects. I think that I am understanding that the pinion was no longer deep enough if the bearing walked up it. That would explain the pattern for sure.
 

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Discussion Starter · #45 ·
Do you have a crush sleeve eliminator? If not, did you reuse a crush sleeve when you did the gears? I guess that the cross pin hitting it could have had some negative effects. I think that I am understanding that the pinion was no longer deep enough if the bearing walked up it. That would explain the pattern for sure.
It would've been the bearing under the gear so it would've been too shallow and too close to the ring gear. It had probably a 0.040-0.050" gap which makes me think it wouldn't have had any backlash which it definitely did. I used a new crush sleeve when I assembled those gears and thought about checking the pinion preload before disassembling but didn't. It had a little drag but not a lot. Maybe the crush sleeve got crushed a little more but it's consistent....it may have also just gotten loose after beating the snot out of it trying to get the pinion out of the housing.

On a separate topic... Thinking I should support my truss a little better with a center web or more likely just some side braces that come off the truss. The square tube is 2x2x.25" and it does support the center diff section but everything supports the axle from twisting and nothing is really keeping it from bending.

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Discussion Starter · #46 ·
Well finally got the new G2 gears and started setup. Oddly enough, they set up really easily but curious what others think. On the gears themselves, there is the number 43 etched on the pinion and ring gear and the ring gear has .006 etched as well. I wasn't sure what the 43 meant until I checked my existing pinion shim which was 0.042" and thought I'd give that a shot. There is also a pinion depth measurement which I can't confirm. However, I setup the gears with a 0.042" pinion shim and a 0.008" backlash and the pattern looks very good to me. This was basically 2 pinion depth attempts and a handful of backlash attempts which felt like a massive win compared to the last time several times I've tried to set up gears. The 0.006" is probably the recommended backlash but the gear looks like a face milled ring gear which seems to prefer larger backlash so in case I'm wrong on what the numbers mean, I'm running 0.008" since that is the Ford recommended backlash setting. I snapped a picture of the markings on the pinion gear that was transferred from the ring gear as well to show where the contact is on that as well.

Still working on getting the Moser axles. Moser has sent a bunch of questions back asking me to confirm dimensions but hopefully they've got it figured out now.
 

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I think your patterns look very good. I would run it. Nice work.

Some ring and pinion gear companies put meaningless numbers on them and IIRC G2 was the gearsets we put in my sons TJ. I could not make sense of the numbers and called their customer service and responded that the numbers had nothing to do with pinion depth, etc. The numbers were engraved with a hand engraver. I was very unimpressed with the customer service person I spoke with. He really never set up a gearset himself which was obvious but acted as though I was the one that did not know what is up.

Dana gearsets are an example that the pinion comes stamped with a + or a - and a number in thousandths of an inch which are how much you add or subtract from the baseline or standard sized shim for that particular gearset. Honestly. Most quality gearsets will run the same shim or awfully close to it. Factory gearsets will more commonly than not use the same shim and give a good pattern.

As far as your backlash, perfect. Backlash only gets tighter with heat. .008" is good to go. I would prefer the 8 thou to the 6.

One of the biggest things IMO is setting the pinion preload. I have a bar type inch pound torque wrench that has the needle pointer thingy that bends and indicates on a scale. I do not guess at this setting because it ends up being tighter and harder to turn than my guts tell me it should be. I probably could fake it with my experience but have seen to many pinion bearing failures that I know were due to poor setup. I want to say I found the one I have now at an Autozone. It is 1/4" drive so I have to adapt it to 3/8 and then again to 1/2 to use it.

On a side note. This thread got me thinking about my diff builds for my 94. I looked forever for a Waggy front D44 and finally stumbled into one. I never thought I would find one but kept scouring and searching and finally got lucky. That diff is all that everyone says it is. Very robust and heavy duty. Once I scored that I found a 97 Passport rear D44. The reason I went with a Passport is it has the same hub bolt pattern and the year I chose is because 96 and 97 years are the same WMS width as the Waggy front. The older years are slightly narrower much like the exploder 8.8 rears. I know that it would be ok, but my OCD kicks in. I am too much of a perfectionist at times. LOL. Anyways. The Passport D44 has smaller tubes than the Waggy front and actually flares back up at the hub ends for the bearings. I am not concerned at all with the strength of the waggy diff but am considering trussing the passport one. Maybe, maybe not. It is not high on the list of priorities but something that is brewing in the back of my mind.

Hopefully Moser comes through soon for you. This really is going to be a killer build.
 

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Discussion Starter · #48 ·
Yeah I'll probably start a new thread with a bunch of info on why I think the 8.8 will hold up to the punishment once the new axle shafts come in.

Just for the record...I bought one of the bar style torque wrenches years ago just for setting up gears and I think it was autozone as well for maybe $30 or so. The only two things I can't really do and therefore kind of half arse is torque the ring gear bolts and torque the pinion nut because I don't have a torque wrench that goes that high. Buying the torque wrench wouldn't be that bad but I also have to buy/make something to hold both items in place while I torque them. So I've been using the calibrated 'uga duga'. I hit the ring gear bolts until the gun starts to significantly slow and use red loctite. The pinion nut is like a million 'uga dugas' anyway and I just keep hitting it until the crush sleeve crushes enough to give me the right pinion preload. When I get close, I switch from the air impact to a battery powered impact because it's less powerful and takes a few more hits to move the nut a tiny amount.
 

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I love your description of how tight to get em. Uga dugas works well in the hands of the correct user. Ring gear bolts are a beeatch to torque because how do you hold the damn carrier to do it. Right? For me it is a 3/8 impact and red loctite. Just remember that some carriers have left hand threaded ring gear bolts and some are right hand threads when taking it apart. I have worked on too many brands of diffs to remember which are which sometimes but if they do not come lose the one way, try the other. LOL.

Crush sleeves are tough to get started to crush but when they finally do the torque to crush them further goes down so care and caution is needed. You have obviously caught on to this.

Crush sleeve eliminators need gobs and gobs of torque on the pinion nut to be correct. It is the downside of them IMO. You can only get them right with a yoke holding tool, a lot of muscle, and most likely a cheater bar.. Put a longer truck on a car type hoist and you might think that you are going to pull the damn truck off the hoist before you get them tight enough.

A thread on why the 8.8 build will hold up would be really cool. Notice that I said why it WILL hold up, not why you THINK it will hold up. Through all of my years of interest in drag and circle track racing and street rods and I do not think that I have ever seen a 9 second Camaro on slicks running tons. JS.
 

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Ever since this thread and having some BFG 39's (non sticky) in my backyard I've been floating the idea of getting a 35 spline 9. I like knowing I can wheel without being overly cautious. Also thinking putting 35 spline axles in my super 88 but I'm particular to the Grizzly lockers for a little streetability which they don't make and not digging putting in a spool. So the axle shafts being almost identical what becomes the weak link? Super 88 kit with a Grizzly currently, trussed. So the gears? Case of the locker? Are crush sleeve eliminators a plus?
 

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I happen to have a EB Ford 9” trussed housing and a 8.8 exploder rear that I am currently cutting the short side on, both are for my CJ-7. My tape measure says the 9” and the 8.8 center section ground clearance is within an eighth of an inch, with the favor going to the 9”. You can’t really see it in my pictures, but that is what I saw when I measured both. 5 11/16“ to 5 3/4”respectively.

My experience running a #3400 drag car that runs 10 flat in good weather, is the R&P will fatigue, and eventually fail if not replaced after several hundred passes. My current engine makes about 675 HP, but more importantly over 600 ft lbs torque between 4000 and 6500 RPM, which is where the engine runs during a pass. I run a Chevy 12 bolt rear (8.875”), with a spool and 30 spline aftermarket axles, on a 9x30 radial slick. I have run 373, 411 and currently running 390 ratios, all have been street gear-sets, not the softer pro gears. I believe I am pushing the 12 bolt to it’s limit, similar to how you are pushing your 8.8.

I think running the 8.8 with the large tires you run, while rock crawling like you do, you are putting a lot of stress on the gear-set. You are stressing the entire rear, every part. I don’t know how frequently you get out and wheel your Jeep, so it’s hard to judge how long it will take to stress the gear-set to failure from fatigue, but I do believe it will happen eventually.

What I am saying is replacing the gear-set prior to failure is a smart move.

When you are pushing parts to their limit, or close to the edge, the parts will not last forever.

I believe R&P replacement should be a scheduled maintenance event in your case.


Fixture Motor vehicle Automotive tire Gas Circle
Motor vehicle Automotive tire Automotive exterior Automotive lighting Gas
 

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Discussion Starter · #52 ·
Thanks @Axhammer that is good information to have. I actually grenaded my OX locker in Jan on the 8.8 and while doing research to upgrade to the 9 decided to stick with the 8.8 for now. The problem is all the extra costs of building the 9 capable of running 35 spline shafts and recalculation my 4 link setup was going to be grossly expensive and time consuming.

Since you drag race, you're probably familiar with Moser but it seems to be very uncommon ground in the off-road community. I decided for around $1000 I could get 35 spline Moser axle shafts for the 8.8 with their spool and install new G2 gears. Both carry a 10 year warranty so I might be out of a weekend trip if I break something but I'm covered if it does.

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