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Old 06-23-2009, 11:21 AM   #1
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Default Replacing the spider gears?

A friend broke the two spider gears in the rear of his '90 XJ.
He has the Dana 35 with c-clips. I want to help him with a quick and cheap fix for it. I found that you can buy kits to replace the spider gears. I am a newbie at rear ends so what is involved in replacing the spider gears? Can this be done with the carrier unit still in and can it be done with the axles in? It looks like there might be clearance for the side gears to fit between the axles once I drive the cross pin out.
Are there any right ups on this - I didn't find any.
Any easier fixes?
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Old 06-23-2009, 12:53 PM   #2
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You need to remove the axleshafts, but C-clips are easier and faster.

The carrier stays in. Remove the centerpin retainer (rollpin or bolt), pull the center pin out. Then push the axleshafts in a tad and the c=clips should fall out, then back out the axleshafts some. Remove the broken spiders.

Make sure you use thrust washers on the new spiders, reinstall. For the two floating spiders you place them in position and rotate the sidegears pulling the floating spiders into position to reinstall the centerpin and bolt. Dont forget to reinstall the c-clips.
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Old 06-23-2009, 04:40 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OverlandXJ View Post
You need to remove the axleshafts, but C-clips are easier and faster.

The carrier stays in. Remove the centerpin retainer (rollpin or bolt), pull the center pin out. Then push the axleshafts in a tad and the c=clips should fall out, then back out the axleshafts some. Remove the broken spiders.

Make sure you use thrust washers on the new spiders, reinstall. For the two floating spiders you place them in position and rotate the sidegears pulling the floating spiders into position to reinstall the centerpin and bolt. Dont forget to reinstall the c-clips.
x2...

Should be a bolt holding the cross shaft in. 12pt 1/4" is the size.
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Old 06-23-2009, 05:27 PM   #4
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make sure that the carrier isnt cracked or broken at all before you go spending money on new gears
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Old 06-23-2009, 07:37 PM   #5
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X 2, if you did something routy enough to break spider gears in a D35, you may have more damage than you know. Give the whole diff. area, carrier and axles a REALLY close inspection while you have it apart.
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Old 06-24-2009, 08:09 AM   #6
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X 2, if you did something routy enough to break spider gears in a D35, you may have more damage than you know. Give the whole diff. area, carrier and axles a REALLY close inspection while you have it apart.
Yeah, I hope it is all that he broke. He said that it broke while he was playing tug against a Silverado. He had been pulling other trucks so I'm sure the diff was getting hot. This is what he told me, but I was not there, and perhaps he did somthing more dumb and didn't want to tell me. IDK?
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Old 06-24-2009, 08:16 AM   #7
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A close inspection will tell for sure.
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Old 06-24-2009, 08:18 AM   #8
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Since it was beat on pretty hard, I'd pull the carrier so you can get a better look at it. It's not that much more work, and you'd be able to see any potential damage. As long as you put everything back on exactly like it came off, you don't have to reset the gears. HTH!!
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Old 06-24-2009, 08:39 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OverlandXJ View Post
You need to remove the axleshafts, but C-clips are easier and faster.

The carrier stays in. Remove the centerpin retainer (rollpin or bolt), pull the center pin out. Then push the axleshafts in a tad and the c=clips should fall out, then back out the axleshafts some. Remove the broken spiders.
What else is involved in pulling the axles? Can I do this without dealing with the wheel bearings and wheel seals. I know it would be a good time to replace them but I am trying to keep it under $200 and make it a back yard - in the grass job as I don't have a shop. Can I get by with just pulling one axle shaft and leaving the other one in?
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Old 06-24-2009, 08:46 AM   #10
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You'll have to pull both axle shafts. Only need to pull them back a couple inches. BUT... Like you said, while in there, you might as well. And bearings and seals aren't that expensive, maybe $30-45 total. Good time to check the rear brakes too...
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Old 06-24-2009, 09:08 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by COSXJFAN View Post
Since it was beat on pretty hard, I'd pull the carrier so you can get a better look at it. It's not that much more work, and you'd be able to see any potential damage. As long as you put everything back on exactly like it came off, you don't have to reset the gears. HTH!!
I think I will pull it out. I failed to mention it, but in all his wisdom he pulled the two carrier bearing retainers and attempted to pull the carrier out. Guess he didn't know that the axles were holding it in . So I might as well pull it out now.
But yeah on the more serious side he didn't have the foresight to mark the location of the retainers. He has a lot to learn. Hopefully if nothing else he may walk away with some decent knowledge. I guess this means that I should be concerned about putting them back wrong and causing the gear alignment to change -- the one thing that I was trying to avoid.

I think I will have to take my chances on the alignment - I really don't have any other choice. I know I don't have the means to do it correctly. So someone please tell me there is still hope. Tell me that I haven't gone from a simple spider gear installation to a full fledged rear end rebuild.
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Old 06-24-2009, 09:51 AM   #12
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You may be able to figure out the bearing caps by checking them when the carrier is out. They are machined surfaces so they should line up perfectly.

But on a more practical note, if the side gears are broke it is an indication that the carrier and case have probably been stretched. It is probably not going to be possible to repair this to factory specs since there will be small amounts of distortion in both. This might be a good time to weigh the cost of repair with an 8.25 or Ford 8.8. Then he can get back to playing rough.

Last edited by 4.3L XJ; 06-24-2009 at 09:55 AM.
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Old 06-24-2009, 09:15 PM   #13
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There are stampings on the carrier bearing caps, you can tell orientation by matching them up to matching stamping on the housing. These are located on bearing caps face as your looking at it, and on the housing where the gasket would be behind the diff cover.

These need to be torqued to the proper value, which i dont remember offhand. Hopefully someone can fill that in...
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Old 07-03-2009, 07:24 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OverlandXJ View Post
There are stampings on the carrier bearing caps, you can tell orientation by matching them up to matching stamping on the housing. These are located on bearing caps face as your looking at it, and on the housing where the gasket would be behind the diff cover.

These need to be torqued to the proper value, which i dont remember offhand. Hopefully someone can fill that in...
Thanks,
I will have to check for those Stampings again. I totally forgot that you said they were on the housing where the cover seals up. I didn't see them because I haven't scrapped the gasket material away yet. I did see a "Y" stamped on both of the caps but turned sideways on one.

Last edited by toy4x4; 07-03-2009 at 07:51 AM.
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Old 07-03-2009, 07:48 AM   #15
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I finally got the time to pull the diff out yesterday. I checked both axles and the carrier unit for any other damage. The only other thing I found was that the center pin was bent pretty good. I didn't find any cracks in the carrier itself but one of the carrier bearings was starting to pit the race and rollers a bit. Also found one of the pinion teeth had a small chipped area on the contact side of the tooth. The chipped area was out near the top of the tooth and out on the end of the tooth closest to me. I would say it was just over a half inch long and close to an eighth of an inch deep. I wonder how long it will hold up?
If I attempt to replace the carrier bearings will I then find myself having to shim the carrier to make the new bearings fit or should the new bearings be the exact same width as the stock bearings? I don't want to order new bearings and find that the new bearings are wider or more narrow and that I will need to shim them differently to make them fit right. Not to mention this would definitely screw up ring and pinion alignment. Currently I just have a single thick shim on each side. Are these bearings preloaded by the shims? Mine slide in and out nicely but are not tight nor are they loose.
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