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> Jeep Articles > Technical & Installation - Engine / Drivetrain > 45 Minutes To a Tighter Rear End

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Technical / Installation Articles - Engine / Drivetrain

45 Minutes To a Tighter Rear End

Article written by Adventure Bob

Date Added: 10/11/2010

Rear ends get old, tired, and well eventually they all get loose. If you have this problem in your Jeep, we?ll show you how to tighten it up: Just like on late night tv? We'll do it in just 45 easy minutes.

If you own an older, high mileage Jeep that has done some towing, chances are you may have noticed some whining or slop in your rear end. The Gopher, our 96 ZJ, has 210K miles on it; and the back end was getting a bit out of shape. We contacted Superior Axle for a Dana 44 HD internal spider gear kit (PN 85-2033HD) that includes all the hard parts to firm up your rear end. For $110 plus shipping you get: 8620 hardened steel side and pinion gears, thrust washers, cross shaft and a retaining pin with a roll pin. Comparatively Jeep dealerships sell a similar product set made from 1050 steel for $330. If you'd like them to install it, that'll be another $400.

With this article we're gonna show you just how easy this is and, best of all, save you a couple of hundred bucks.



1. With the Jeep on jack-stands, drain the gear oil and remove the diff cover. Also remove the rear wheels and brakes.

2. Remove the cross shaft retaining bolt.

3. Remove the cross shaft.

4. Remove the axle c-clips.

5. Rotate the pinion gears 90 degrees inside the carrier.

6. Remove the pinion gear.

7. Rotate remaining pinion gear 180 degrees and remove .

8. Remove the side gears.
 Ensure you get the thrust washer

9. Install the new side gears and thrust washers.

10. Install the new pinion gear 180° apart.
 The trick is to get them exactly 180 degrees apart and in the opposite order of removal

11. Rotate pinion gears into place, push axles back in, and install c-clips.

12. Install the new cross shaft.

13. Install cross shaft retaining bolt.

14. Reinstall brakes and wheels, replace the diff cover, and fill with gear oil.

15. Fill diff with gear oil

Installation Issues

There were none! No screaming, no yelling and no throwing things.

Final Thoughts

Yup, it's just that easy. No lipo suction, not messy creams, and no over-enthusiastic exercise videos. This was a simple project for a Saturday afternoon that nearly anyone can accomplish. The difference in cost between stock parts or parts from Superior makes this a no brainer when it comes time to tighten up that old rear end.

Purchase / Vendor Info

Vendor Name: Superior Axle and Gear
Address: 9580 Commerce Center Dr
Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91730
Phone: 1 888 845 0470
E-Mail Address:
Website: http://www.superioraxlegear.com

Our Thank You's!

Thanks to the folks at Superior for the the help and listening to us rant.

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