Ring and Pinion
When dealing with the vehicle's ring and pinion, you can't just tinker around and experiment. You have to know the right patterns, gear ratio, and other specs. To help you out, here are answers to frequently asked questions about these gears:
What are things that need to be checked when setting up the ring and pinion?
Check the rear axle assembly to see if the axle tubes are straight and sound and if the housing is intact. If the housing is shot, it's better to replace the damaged housing instead of repairing it. The bearing should also be inspected for failure and leakage. In case the bearing will be replaced, you can use the same factory shim but may have to install a new crush sleeve. The preload should be set properly; the pinion shouldn't spin or turn freely once the nut is tightened completely. The gear backlash should be checked by turning the yoke back and forth. A dial indicator setup can be used for a more precise measurement. In case there's looseness or the balance or setup is off, the shims can be modified.
For ring gear installation, remember that factory shims are not interchangeable.they go to different sides.and should be set properly so that the ring gear will be aligned. They should be handled carefully since they can break easily. Use factory presets as your guide. The teeth pattern should be checked, making sure that the gear is set properly and the pattern is centered.
What do digits on the ring and pinion mean?
These gears may be stamped with numbers that may be used as reference for the part information or the date these were manufactured. In some gear, the digits indicate the number of teeth on the said gears and the drive ratio. The drive ratio determines how many times it will take for the drive shaft to turn before the axle shaft will rotate or spin. These digits may help the mechanic in installing these gears properly or may guide buyers in looking for the right gears for their car, depending on the specs and performance requirements.
What will happen if the ring and pinion gears don't have the right teeth ratio?
These gears must have the right number of teeth or gear ratio. If not, they will fail over time. The grooves won't match and these will cause them to grind and get damaged after some time.
How can you check the ring and pinion gears? How do you figure out the gear ratio?
Since these gears are located at the vehicle's rear end, you have to raise the vehicle with a jack and support the lifted rear end with stands. You have to drain the gears' lubricant, so you'll have to put a pan underneath. To drain oil, loosen the bolts in the rear housing's center, which is known as the pumpkin. Use a wrench for loosening the bolts. In the pumpkin, you'll find the ring and pinion. Take note of the number of teeth for the gear ratio. If the ring has 38 teeth and the pinion has 8 teeth, the gear ratio would be 38/8 or 4.75.
How do you break in the ring and pinion? What is the easy way to do this?
Around 15 to 20 minutes after a new set has been installed, you have to drive the vehicle to break in these gears. Let the differential cool for about 15 minutes before you continue driving. For the first 100 miles, maintain the speed at under 60 mph. If the vehicle will be used for towing, long-distance driving, or other heavy-duty applications, make sure that the vehicle had been driven for at least 500 miles after the new gears had been set. When used for towing, you have to stop the vehicle for a while and let the differential cool for about 15 minutes. Drive 15 miles at a time until you've completed the first 45 miles.