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Old 09-07-2019, 07:10 PM   #1
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DIY ARB Air Locker Install.

I have been working on converting my van to 4WD. The biggest hurdle after installing the UJOR kit was going to be re-gearing and installing a locker. Which means pulling the rear axle.

When I installed the rear lift blocks, it gave me fits. So I knew I wasn't excited at all about this. I have to rebuild the transmission, which I will do myself also. But that seems easy compared to the fight I knew I was gonna have with this rear end.

It's almost been a year since my UJOR kit install, and I need to finish it. No reason I haven't other than the fact I just didn't wanna. But I got it done.

Anyway, here is my DIY install of gears and a locker. Skill level? If you can do a UJOR DIY kit and rebuild everything on a front axle (other than gears), you can do this. Lot's of people act like it's pixies and fairy dust when it comes to this job. The main thing you need to have is patience.

Tools I used other than common hand tools.

A dial type inch pound torque wrench. I used a Precision Instruments PRED2F150HM.



1/2" and 3/8" torque wrenches.
Shop Press. I have a small 12 HF press. Works great.
Bearing puller. Also HF. $10.
Digital calipers.
Magnetic dial indicator.

Cost me about $300 in extra tools I didn't have. But will use again.

First thing I did was pull everything off the axle I could. I have steep driveway (yay, lucky me), and wanted to take everything off I could before I pulled it. The e-brake cable is a bear to take of btw.



Axle out!



My van had a ABS tone ring. This doesn't fit between the gear and diff. It fits around the ring gear with a tab holding it. It kinda freaked me out when I saw it:



Everything out, knocking out races. You need to replace all the bearing races.



Testing the fit:



My pinion used pre-load shims, not a pre-load sleeve. You need to install the pinion bearing with the shim from the old pinion for baseline. Then add preload shims until you get enough preload from the pinion to meet specs.

After getting the pinion pre-load right, I installed the diff. After taking it in and out about 200 times, I finally got the right backlash from the ring gear. Then I decided to check the mesh pattern.

After a couple adjustments, perfect tooth patterns:




Locker installed:



All buttoned up:



This isn't a tutorial, just saying that you can do it. Just takes time, and more time. I could have paid someone, but I like knowing I did it myself.
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Old 09-07-2019, 08:35 PM   #2
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I'm not brave enough to attempt a job like that, so I paid big bucks to have mine rebuilt. In the end I probably could have done just as good of a job myself as I had to take it back several times before they got it right. You certainly did the right thing by doing it yourself.
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Old 09-07-2019, 10:21 PM   #3
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Kudos 225... thanks for posting and good on ya
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Old 09-08-2019, 09:34 AM   #4
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225: Always envious of people like yourself that have the gumption to tackle a project like this..I include myself in the group that takes a project to an individual with the proper skills - it's a convenience thing (I've convinced myself of this so I don't have to admit I don't trust myself).
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Old 09-08-2019, 11:13 AM   #5
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Thanks everyone. I dont have a shop or even a garage. I did this in my covered carport.

Sometimes, you just gotta do it. The hardest part (for me) is just starting. Once I start I power through it.

A couple things I learned.

Differentials are heavy. Its almost impossible to grip the ring gear and slowly drop it in place and not bend shims. I used a piece of paracord wrapped around the outside of the ring gear that I used to hold it. Then slowly dropping it in.

Keep a document of your shims each time you move them from one side or the other on the diff. Saves a lot of headache.

Slow down. If youre like me, and trying to bang things out ASAP, this isnt one of those jobs. Go slow, pay attention to everything you do. It matters.

Glad yall enjoyed the post. Im not a pro. I had to ask Rob / Chris at UJOR for help about my gear pattern.
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Old 09-17-2019, 12:17 PM   #6
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That's awesome that you took this pretty big job on yourself! That pattern looks great! I'm surprised you had to remove the housing, was that because you needed to press out the inner and outter pinion races in a press?



I replaced bearings in an 8-3/4" Ford drop out style third member as High School auto shop 'major project' 40yrs ago. Fortunately I have a drag racing friend with a boat/automotive repair shop, his 30yrs of experience make this kind of thing look easy, but I know it's not.


Awesome job!
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Old 09-17-2019, 12:56 PM   #7
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If anyone attempts this, a bearing puller such as this is very useful, or a fantastic investment - https://shop.broncograveyard.com/Dif...uctinfo/29659/
As stated, recording the original shim stack for each side is very helpful for determining the final shim arrangement. I never had to remove a pinion...
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Old Yesterday, 12:43 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TomsBeast View Post
That's awesome that you took this pretty big job on yourself! That pattern looks great! I'm surprised you had to remove the housing, was that because you needed to press out the inner and outter pinion races in a press?



I replaced bearings in an 8-3/4" Ford drop out style third member as High School auto shop 'major project' 40yrs ago. Fortunately I have a drag racing friend with a boat/automotive repair shop, his 30yrs of experience make this kind of thing look easy, but I know it's not.


Awesome job!
Thanks!

I removed the axle housing because I wanted to paint it and I knew it would be easier to work on when it's on the bench instead of crawling under a van 30 times.

I REALLY hate crawling under a vehicle. Just hate it. So I try to avoid it by pulling the axle.


Quote:
Originally Posted by unreng View Post
If anyone attempts this, a bearing puller such as this is very useful, or a fantastic investment - https://shop.broncograveyard.com/Dif...uctinfo/29659/
As stated, recording the original shim stack for each side is very helpful for determining the final shim arrangement. I never had to remove a pinion...
I changed gear ratios or I wouldn't have pulled the pinion. If I have to do it again, I'll be buying the Yukon bearing puller setup for sure.


Right now I don't have enough miles on the rear to see if there's any issues yet. I'm going to put as many miles as I can on it next time I'm off (I work on a boat), to make sure everything is great before I head out West for 2 weeks.

The front axle will be getting a Spartan lunchbox locker.
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