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View Full Version : opinions wanted


noah
April 26th, 2004, 09:41
I've got 4.56 gears & (2) powertrax for my fresh-from-the-junkyard ford 8.8 and stock Dana 30 on the way from Randy's. I'm debating whether to do the gear install myself or pay somebody. I just got back from the only off-road shop in my area (that I know of) that will do the work. And I've heard bad things about the only other shop that does gear installs (not off-road specific). So anways, this off-road shop quoted me $800 for both front and rear gear & locker installs AND welding of the perches on the ford 8.8 for the correct pinion angle for a CV drive shaft. In theory I could do all the work myself (got a welder and everything). I know this isn't exactly the deal of the century but considering it would be my first gear install I'm wondering if it would be worth it to get it done right the first time and support local business. I feel pretty confident in their gear install ability. He made it a point to talk about how meticulous they are.

Any opinions? Go for it all myself? Get it done at the shop?

Fergie
April 26th, 2004, 09:48
I'd say have the shop do it. I am sure that with enough time and hassle that you would be able to do it right without too many problems. But consider how much your time is worth, having the parts and such under warranty and not having to deal with all the hassle yourself.

You have the right idea of spending a bit more to have it done right the first time. Have the shop do it.

Fergie

BrettM
April 26th, 2004, 09:55
have them do the rear, since it will be under constant use and it would suck to get stranded somewhere, and try the front yourself, just take your time.

azxjman
April 26th, 2004, 09:56
so they will do all the work for 800 dollars. When I think about install costs I think of it like this. How long does it take me to earn 800 dollars if it takes more time to earn then it would to do the work then I do it myself.

ChuckD
April 26th, 2004, 09:59
I've got 4.56 gears & (2) powertrax for my fresh-from-the-junkyard ford 8.8 and stock Dana 30 on the way from Randy's. I'm debating whether to do the gear install myself or pay somebody. I just got back from the only off-road shop in my area (that I know of) that will do the work. And I've heard bad things about the only other shop that does gear installs (not off-road specific). So anways, this off-road shop quoted me $800 for both front and rear gear & locker installs AND welding of the perches on the ford 8.8 for the correct pinion angle for a CV drive shaft. In theory I could do all the work myself (got a welder and everything). I know this isn't exactly the deal of the century but considering it would be my first gear install I'm wondering if it would be worth it to get it done right the first time and support local business. I feel pretty confident in their gear install ability. He made it a point to talk about how meticulous they are.

Any opinions? Go for it all myself? Get it done at the shop?

I vote DIY, if you are patient and not in a hurry you 'll do fine. The extra tools on the low end are about $50-75. I do recomend buying the caier bearing install kit, they are basically carier bearings that are honed out to fit just over the carrier. You are not reguired to use a puller and can adjust your backlash very easily.

If you have a camera, post pictures of your pattern, we can help you though it.

BrettM
April 26th, 2004, 10:09
so they will do all the work for 800 dollars. When I think about install costs I think of it like this. How long does it take me to earn 800 dollars if it takes more time to earn then it would to do the work then I do it myself.


exactly, but also factor in cost of tools and the possiblity of messing it up and having to buy new gears or getting stranded somewhere.

noah
April 26th, 2004, 10:18
Thanks for the opinions so quickly!

Unfortunately I am neither patient nor not in a rush ;) But I do like the idea of having the shop do the rear end and me trying the front. Truth be told - I do want to learn how to do it and that way I could still drive around. But I'm still not totally sold on DIY yet. Especially that risk of potentially messing up the gears due to a shitty install.

my dirty little secret: I was in such a rush to install my powertrax in my 8.25 that I hammered in one of the c-clips. The locker works but that c-clip is never, ever coming out - short of an axle breaking... just one of the many reasons to switch to the ford axle.

So if one were to judge from past experiences.. having the shop do it is probably a good idea.

More opinions wanted though!

*edit: the clip was just a hair too large to slide into the slot.. for some reason grinding it down didn't enter my thought process.

BrettM
April 26th, 2004, 10:22
if you are patient, check the backlash properly, and post pictures of your gear pattern for the more experienced to analyze, you won't ruin anything.

lincolncrawler
April 26th, 2004, 12:19
Just remember, "Gears are not sacred"

FarmerMatt
April 26th, 2004, 12:37
Just remember, "Gears are not sacred"
Mine are... The Rabi blessed each & every tooth.

REDXJ4FUN
April 26th, 2004, 13:18
I did my own in my 44 and 30 I used to have. it took dang near 4 hours for the 44 but I took it slow and looked at everything to understand what needed to be done. the 30 took much less time and both are holding up very welll concidering the fist time they were run was on the trail with no breakin time and i wasn't easy on them. Now there in my buddies DD xj andso far so good. most places in my area charge 350 and axle to regear and I'd say it would only be about 100 bucks at the most to do the perches. but some may charge more for the locker since they are a little more time consuming than a full case locker.

ECKSJAY
April 26th, 2004, 14:07
Mine are... The Rabi blessed each & every tooth.

You mean both of them? :shhh:



For the Dana 30 save yourself some labor...take the shaft assemblies out yourself and pull the inner shaft and ujoints. Keep the stubs in, shove a couple of rags in the tubes, and have them install the gears. That cuts down quite a bit of the labor cost that way. Local shop here quoted me at $200 for installation if I did it that way. Considerably more if I kept the shafts in. Think about it: Take the wheels off, take the brakes off, take the unibearings off, pull the shafts....install the gears....put everything back together. Humor yourself and call them back...ask them what they would charge from the front end if you pulled the shafts and brought it in that way.

woody
April 26th, 2004, 15:36
I did both my 30 and 44 myself with about the same experience as REDXJ

They're not exactly as easy as changing sparkplugs, but not rocket science either. The big gear shifts left to right and the little gear shifts front to back :D

I don't look forward to my next regear, but I'll have some setup bearings this time ;)

Locally, I paid $45 to have the old spring perches cut off and new ones installed.

Good advice about getting another quote with the front shafts out.

88woody
April 26th, 2004, 15:55
Noah, you're from Maine too! Cool!
I was just down at Lewiston Transmission (in Lewiston) and he refered me to a mechanic in Sabattus that is very knowledgeable with differentials. I'll get you the name if you want it. I have it written down at work....I think....

noah
April 26th, 2004, 16:15
Hey 88Woody! Not too many Mainers on here I guess... I'm itching to get my XJ legal again (waiting on flares) so I can get out there.

Yeah, I wouldn't mind getting this mechanics name. I suppose it wouldn't hurt to get a quote from him as well. Although if he's good I don't imagine he's going to be charging any less than other folks =\

Are there any good Maine group rides that I don't know about?