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1st post in the axle section - be nice

ForOffRoadDriving

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this is my first post in the axle section, though ive been a member since 2007. im going to be setting up a 7.5" with a set of richmond 4.10 gears and a lock rite (as soon as money permits, its sitting on the shelf at work just waiting on me to get the $$$). this will be my first time setting up an axle from scratch, but ill be doing it on a work bench and since its not in the truck im not in a hurry to get it done, i just want to get it right.

so far ive got the donor axle (not sure of the gear ratio yet since i havent opened it up and theres no tag on the cover), the ring and pinion set, pinion and carrier shims, the replacement bearing set with seals, new crush sleeves, ford marking compound, a dial inicator with magnetic base, and a spare inner pinion bearing so i can sand down the inner race and use it to check my pinion depth.

is there any advice you guys have or tips you can give me other than dont do it your self?
 
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RavoHimself

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you should have got an 8.8...

but seriously. just read the how to's a lot and take your time. make sure you got everything right. and if you think you can't do it right or are worried about it, have someone else who knows come check it out
 

ForOffRoadDriving

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i really would have liked an 8.8, but the reality is that its a 2wd that is mostly driven on the road. i already had the other 7.5" axle so ive got nothing into it (it was in the back of another ranger that i got, there was also 2 A4LDs in the bed with it), and i dont plan on running anything over a 31" all terrain on the truck. the last time i did an axle (i was just refreshing it after 200K+ miles) i disassembled and cleaned everything, did all the bearing press work myself, and then took it to a local shop and had them check the pattern and tighten the carrier caps and the pinion nut. i dont know if they reused the old crush sleeve or if the didnt crush it enough, but ever since then ive had a strange whine in the drive line. this isnt the reason for the gears, but its reason enough to try it myself since the last guys didnt do a perfect job.

im going to try to explain the process as i understand it, in simple terms, and you guys can tell me how far off i am. im going to dissasemble it after marking which carrier cap goes on which side, remove all bearings and races and replace bearings and races on carrier and outer axle tubes, remove and install new ring gear, take spare inner pinion bearing and grind the ID out slightly so that it fits loosely onto the pinion shaft, play with shims until proper pinion depth is reached via pattern checking. once depth is established move shims around on carrier until proper coast and drive patterns are achieved. remove carrier and note the shims and locations, then remove the pinion and test bearing and press new bearing on, reinstall pinion followed by outed bearing, crush sleeve, drive flange, and nut. torque to? install carrier and torque caps down, install coever and fill with fluid, follow break in procedure, await funds for lock rite...... somewhere i missed checking the backlash?
 

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Always start your initial set up using the original shims from the old diff. That is usually a very good starting place, sometimes you even get lucky and its pretty much bang on.
 

ForOffRoadDriving

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i got home from work and decided to pop off the cover to see if i could figure out what ratio was in there, but i couldnt make heads or tails of it so i took pics in hopes that they would be legible and some one could tell me what they are.







 

ForOffRoadDriving

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it looks like it says " 6 342 6 SW A something 28 2K3 "? i guess its not really important what was in there, the fluid looked clean (black but no water was present) and the spiders look fine, so ill just keep gathering info until i have time to start on it.
 

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Count the teeth on the ring, divided by teeth on the pinion
 

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I would have got the shim kit instead of the crush collar. I'll never use a crush collar again on my own stuff!!
As Farmer said, just count the teeth of the ring and pinion.
 

ForOffRoadDriving

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ill check the tooth count when i get home tonight, my truck broke down this morning and after missing out on 4 hours of work Fing with it i got it figured out and now im just waiting on parts.
 

ForOffRoadDriving

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well i didnt get lucky eoungh to end up with 4.10s in the axle already, but thats ok cause i was planning on having to do the full job anyways. its got 3.45s in it now, so as soon as i finish clearing out a space on the bench to work on it ill be posting more pics.

 

Surrey

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Really? All this money/time into a 7.5"?
I understand the reasoning for saying a 8.8" is not needed... But this sounds like a lot of time and money that could be spent on better things... 4.10 axles (the 7.5s, at least) are quite common in a wrecker, I would find one with a stock L/S and rebuild the L/S in it, and call it a day... I could see it being cheaper, and faster, and then you have this 3.45-geared 7.5" to strip for spare parts.
 

ForOffRoadDriving

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i snuck all this axle stuff under the gfs nose (were having a kid so truck stuff is supposed to have been stopped), so by already having the 7.5 at home and only having to buy a couple of boxes of parts it looks (to her anyways) like im doing this on the cheap, going to the junkyard would blow tmy cover haha! i understand the spider gears are the weakest part of the 7.5, the axle shafts are 28 spline either way (7.5 / 8.8), and the ring gears are weak?, but if im putting a bigger ring and pinion in and replacing the spiders with a lockrite what is there left to fail? i dont jump my truck and its mostly just my DD and rescue vehicle so the need for a locker is even questionable, but if im giving up my LS thats in my current axle i want to atleasttake a step forward and lock it rather than be left open. not trying to argue my point, just trying to gain more knowledge.
 

Surrey

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Well you never replace a 7.5 with a Ranger 8.8... Explorer or dont waste your time.

The 8.8 Explorer axle just has the largest aftermarket, you cant even get a spool or mini spool for a 7.5.

And its still the same size ring gear... A bit beefier being aftermarket maybe, but thats all. That will be your new weakest point with the lockrite, and Im not sure how much added stress that will put onto the ring/pinion.
 

ForOffRoadDriving

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thats what i wanted to hear, that theres no point in swapping a ranger 8.8 in place of a ranger 7.5. i have the skills to perform an explorer swap, but i dont want the added headache at this point of having to flip the perches and set the pinion angle and then go through the disc brakes and replace all the old stuff, and then get the parking brake cables hooked up after fabbing some kind of custom bracketry. i just want to match my gears to my tires and get my MPG back, 15-16 out of a 3.0l 5spd 2wd ranger is crappy.
 

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