How to Install your Pinion Shim Set
If you own a lowered vehicle, then you are aware that you need to maintain some special car accessories. If you have full-size trucks, then pinion shims are among the parts that always need to be in good condition. This part is used to rotate the axle and line up the drive shaft, especially when you are using hangers and shackles. When this part fails, you might be compromising your vehicle. It is important that you replace it immediately to avoid further damage. Don't worry; you can choose to replace it by yourself using a trusty pinion shim set. The only thing that you should bear in mind is where the shim goes.
Difficulty level: Moderate
What you'll need:
- Two clamps
- Measuring tool
- Torque wrench
- Pinion shim set
Step 1: Make sure that the pinion shim set that you bought is complete. Check if there are any signs of damage in the parts before installation.
Step 2: Jack up your vehicle using a jack and support it with jack stands. Drain the oil and dispose it properly.
Step 3: Remove the axle shafts and don't forget to mark the bearing caps to ensure easy reassembly later. Next, remove the old gear set and clean the area first to remove dirt and debris. Inspect if there are other parts that need to be replaced as well.
Step 4: Install the pinion in the housing based on the pinion depth dimensions. The depth can be obtained by using the pinion shims behind the inner pinion bearing. This is critical before proceeding with the installation.
Step 5: Install a new crush collar, outer pinion bearing, pinion seal, yoke, and new pinion nut. Do not reuse a crushed collar or pinion nut. Torque them based on specifications and prevent over-tightening.
Step 6: Measure and record the backlash in three places equally spaced around the ring gear. Remove the nut and center bolt by using two clamps, one on each side of the bolt. Slide the spacer on to the bolts and secure it with the nut provided.
Step 7: Cut off the excess bolt and set the shim between the axle and the leaf. Line up the pin with the hole in the axle. Install the U-bolts and tighten them based on the specifications.
Step 8: Check the tooth contact pattern with a marking compound to ensure that the specifications produced correct patterns.
Step 9: Make sure that the housing is filled to the correct level using proper lubricant. Let the axle assembly cool down completely before attempting to break it in.
You can finish the installation in an hour or two. If you weren't able to follow the steps properly, you will experience overheating and problems with the bearing assembly. Take time to check the condition of your pinion shims regularly. This is to ensure that they will not affect the performance of your lowered vehicle. Do not reuse old and worn out pinion shims as they will no longer perform as good as new.