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Old 05-07-2019, 10:24 AM   #13
Jesse B.
Registered User
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: Carmichael, CA
Posts: 79
Re: Swap Gears or Whole Axle

To the OP: At the risk I'll get flamed too, or maybe I already have, what I think this boils down to is you have a variety of folks offering to you their opinion. While I do not have as much experience installing gears as a couple of the posters claim to have, I have done it and I have paid to have it done. I currently pay to have it done (gear swaps), because it is a lot of work to do correctly, and because I simply have someone I know and trust to do it. In the gear swaps I have done, I've never been able to just swap gears without making changes to either pinion depth or ring gear location. Usually both have to be changed when new gears are used. In order to do this on your truck, not only will you have to buy set up bearings for both a 12 bolt and a dana 44 (you could do it without, but it is easier with the set up bearings) and also buy a dial indicator to measure backlash, and you possibly may need a carrier remover tool to pull the dana 44 carrier out of the axle. The carrier fits in TIGHT and it is difficult to remove without the right tool. Some use crow bars, but I would not. Also consider that since you are going from 3.08 to a higher gear ratio, you are going to need a new carrier for both axles, unless you buy a special gear to fit the lower carrier. With new carriers, you will most certainly need to adjust both pinion depth and carrier location from the factory set up. After you spend the money on acquiring these tools, and spend the time on setting up the gears, are you really going to save any money doing it yourself when you consider your time invested? As far as gear brand, I have Richmond and Yukon (as well as Motive, which I really like) and neither make any noise, because they are set up correctly. I also have an Auburn posi in the front of my truck, and I've had Detroit lockers, True-Trac and Power Locks. Each has its own benefits and drawbacks. My favorite limited slips are the True-tracs and Auburn units. I've broke one Power Lock. I dislike the Detroit locker as it was noisy and locked and unlocked at times on the freeway while changing lanes, which is unpleasant. Other folks may have their favorites too. For your purposes, if you are going to pay someone to do it, just go with your installer's recommended brand, right? They are the one who will be giving you the warranty, so go with what they think is best for you. My $0.02. Good luck with your truck.
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