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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have gotten some good pointers from people on this forum. I was working on building some TJ Rubicon Dana 44’s this weekend and the 2 fronts were showing they need .278 of pinion shims. That’s over 1/4” of shims to get the pinion depth correct. I started with a refresher of taking apart a known good Dana 44 and checking all the measurements so I know I am doing this correctly. That seems like a lot. I will have to put something close to that to set the preload. Is this normal?

Are their any shims besides the oil slingers that press on under the pinion bearing. I got nothing in the kit. I have some old left over shims but the ID is too large and won’t fit snug on the shaft. Seems like I would be better off putting the majority of those shims under the bearing instead of under the cup

Also the Rubicon side shims shim go behind the bearing cup like a GM. Are their any super shim packs available? Their is nothing to hold the side shims on the carrier in place. GM has a tab on the cap to hold the shims in. Is this normal?
The Master rebuild kits don’t have enough shims to set these up. I got all of these Diffs in pieces. No factory shims to reuse. Do you have any good suggestions on where to get them? Yukon sells side shim packs but no pinion shim packs and they are pricy. It seems the TJ Rubicon shims are difrent than other Dana 44’s
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Can’t answer your shim question, but are you sure you have the TJ Rubicon specific thick gear sets?
Defenetly. Not a problem with the pattern or backlash. Just a lot of shims to get the pinion height correct. I would rather shim under the press on bearing and fine tune with bearings under the race. I need to find the small pinion shims. I have some that are loose on the pinion. The ID is to large and I don’t think its a good idea to use them
 

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0.278" can't be right... that is beyond shim territory!

Not a problem with the pattern or backlash. Just a lot of shims to get the pinion height correct.
How could there not be a problem with the pattern if the pinion isn't even making contact with the ring gear?

If we take a step back... in the other thread you said you were building these from parts collected over the years, so for these two TJ Rubicon D44 fronts what exactly are you doing to them? Replacing the bearings, replacing the R&P, etc.?

If the former, I can't think of a reason why the pinion depth would be 0.278" off from original. If the latter, BobsLJ offered a great thought that could explain why this is happening: if you are trying to install a normal D44 / non-Rubi / non-thick ring gear then it will be further away from the pinion centerline, which would make it seem like you need more depth to come into contact with the ring gear. Check out this article: Thick Gears vs. Thin Gears and Axle Carrier Breaks Explained

For your question about the carrier bearing / side shims, there isn't anything that holds them in place except proper carrier bearing / side preload, and gravity, assuming you're working on the axle housing with the "opening" tilted upwards.

Check out this article for great info on a R&P install: BillaVista.com-Gear Setup Bible Tech Article by BillaVista
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
RubiconRick, I have not gotten to installing the carrier. I stopped when I saw how much I would have to shim out the pinion gear. I know the difference between the thick and normal gears. The thick gears were made to work with the 2 series style air lockers used in 03-06. Its like putting 411 gears into a 1969 camero with a 2 series carrier and having to install a ring gear spacer. They just integrated the spacer into the gear. None of this changes the pinion measurement. I did not mean to be confusing. I am building form parts 2 TJ Rubicon front diffs, factory lockers. All parts cam from different places. No factory shims. The ring and pinions are 488 USA alloy kits with master kits including some shims and bearings. No shims included for underneath the press on bearing on the pinion. The desired pinion depth is marked on the new pinion gears. I also went through a complete TJ Rubicon rear Dana 44 with 488’s already installed before I started this project as a refresher coarse. All the measurements, pinion depth, preload drag, back lash and pattern all turned out perfect. I did not remove the pinion on this because their was not problem with the diff. I also have a TJ Dana 44 that I am pouting a front Rubicon locker in. I notched a bearing cap for the air line and drilled a hole for the air hose. I also have another set of 488 USA alloy gears for it i got used along with new bearings. I am a retired ASE Master tech and BMW Master tech. This is not the first diff I hav had apart. I hope this clears things up.
  • Is this amount of shims acceptable?
  • Where can I get shims for under the press on pinion bearing?
Thanks for any help.
 

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I am a retired ASE Master tech and BMW Master tech.
Nice! No worries about being unclear... I can't imagine doing what you're doing... I've only done a couple re-gears for my Jeep only and reused what I could.

Here is a pic of my front diff:
75695


You'll see there is only the thick inner oil slinger behind the pinion. I say thick because I believe it is around 1/16", and in a rebuild kit I bought there was one that was only around .031" if I recall correctly. The factory used this to set pinion depth and their thicknesses ranged from 0.038-0.084", which is why I said earlier 0.278" doesn't sound right.

In the pic you posted in your first thread, the slinger on the right that you said was too big I'm pretty sure will work for you. By too big I'm assuming you mean the OD is larger than the rear OEM slinger? If the ID is valid, and I'm guessing it's around 0.31" thick, I would just try that with the rest of the shims behind the inner race.

I've never bought just the inner oil slinger before but it looks like this may be what you need (albeit less thick than OEM): Dana Spicer 30764 pinion oil slinger 4.0 inch OD fits Dana 44

And on a different note about the side shims, the rebuild kits include a bunch of thin shims (0.030 or less) used for adjustment. The OEM ones are thick (around 0.125). So if you don't have any of the thick ones you'll have to stack a bunch of thin ones together.
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
With the original slinger.040 thick that came with my used 488’s (same ID smaller OD and thicker than the one that came in the kit) and .010 shim under the bearing cup, my pinion depth was .218. That means .218+.060 gave me .278. I have no OE side shims
 
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