I have 110,000 miles on this truck and think I need to replace the
pinion bearings inside the axle. Is it safe to leave the existing shims
and drop the new bearings in there or do I have to start from scratch
and calibrate everything? I really don't want to have to measure
everything and start with new shims if I don't have to.
You shouldn't have to change anything from stock, just mark the location of
the preload/backlash shims for reinsatllation, you will need a new pinion
bearing preload crush collar, an inch lb torque wrecnch, and a shop manual
of some type if you are unfamiliar with this repair.
What do you disagree about, I gave him very general; instructions here, not
knowing his level of expertise , I suggested he follow a shop manual
procedure. I am not going to walk him thru the use of a dial indicator, gear
marking compound and the possibility of having to reset the ring gear
position to achieve proper backlash and tooth contact.
When you change bearing, you always do a new setup because new bearings
can have a different depth. (a few thousandths can make a big
difference) I depth gauge is not needed here though and you can get by
without one if you can "read" the gear patterns.
There is some merit to what you say but if he is over his head to do it
properly, he should not be changing the pinion bearings because if you
change gear tooth contact pattern because of depth changes he could wind
up with even more noise or a different nature too.
If I were giving the advice, I'd say keep the old shim, change the bearings
and use a new crush sleeve and nut. If he is not equipped to set the pinion
depth, he's in for a worse time if he tries to set it.
But, I'm not giving that advice because we have no idea what is wrong. It
may have a bad gear set and good bearings. And, he has to pull the carrier
and put it back in. My real advice would be to take it to a professional and
pay the price. Or, swap in a different axle. If it's not a 4X4 it would also
give him the opportunity to analyze the ratio he has and change it if it he
could find a better choice for his use of the truck.
Rear axle are not that hard if you can be logical in working on them. If
you can used tools and understand how to read gear patterns and how to
adjust it (ie folllow a good service manual), they are not that hard to
do. But if you lack the proper tools and patience to do it correctly it
is best not to do it at all and farm it out. Usually too when pinion
bearings do go bad, you are likely to have other problems too.
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