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Discussion Starter #1
I've been trying to decide whether I want to buy the pumpkin from Justin or install my own gears. I'd have to install the trac-loc and the new gears and have been reading up on it. I know that If I had to purchase everything new than I'd be way better off getting the pumpkin, but lets say I could get the trac-loc and gears for a couple hundred and install everything myself, I stand to save at least $100 when finished which is enough to motivate me to do it myself, I've had some experience in a rear end(no pun intended) and from what I have read it seems like the hardest part about doing this is setting the pinion depth. What I want to know is for those that have done this is it has difficult as it sounds?
 

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I would highly recommend getting the pumpkin if you've never set up gears before.

It is very easy to ruin a set of perfectly good gears if they aren't setup correctly.

There are a lot of things involved such as setting the contact pattern, backlash, preload on the bearings, etc... It's not just a matter of setting them in there and bolting them up. The guy who sets up my differentials usually does it about 3 times each to get it perfect. (But he's doing this for professional NHRA racing, so everything has to be perfect)

And if you don't do it yourself, then you'll be paying someone to set it up ($200) and you have to trust them to do it right.

Just my .02. :thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Well I've been reading up on it and it looks very involved. My initial plan was to get the pumpkin but a friend of mine says that the gears would be easy enough to do myself, he has set them up in some trucks that he has had, and so I thought I'd look into it. I've seen write-ups that make it seem like its impossible to do for the home mechanic, all the way to write-ups that say its a piece-o-cake. I was hoping to hear some of the experiences here. Some people(including some manuf.) say that the contact pattern is the final judge of the setup. I would like to have the privilage to just bolt up a new carrier but I would also like to get the experience of the total rebuild.

Adam
 

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I'm a "Gear-Head" from WAY back, & I won't even attempt a ring/pinion setup. Pay a pro once, or buy all the parts AGAIN when it fails, & still end up paying the pro!!!!!

68COUGAR
 

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If you're going to go with 3.73 gears, just get the FRPP pumpkin and be done with it. There is no better deal available, and you won't save an money buying the individual pieces to assemble yourself.
 

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Setting up the ring and pinion is not "that" hard, it just takes time, and the appropriate tools. My 4.10's make no noise what so ever, and have been flawless since we put them in. The guy I bought them from had only setup a couple sets before mine (maybe only one), but he had guides for when he did his on his Capri. He also had all the right tools plus he is very mechanically inclined, which I think I am pretty mechanically inclined myself. He wouldn't take any money for helping me neither. With the like-new Ford Racing gears from him plus the seals it was a $130 mod (I already had limited slip).
Since you don't already have limited slip (I assume since you said you need to install it), and you want 3.73's, then I would say the pumkin from Justin would be the best deal for you.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Yeah, all I have right now is 3.08 open. I was trying to save some money on the gears so the gear/chip mod wouldn't hit my pocket so hard. I've seen some on ebay with a trac-loc for about $200 and with my friend telling me it would be easy I figured I'd take a look and see what it would take. Looks like I'll be sittin on it for a while.

Adam
 

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I agree in saying that gears are actually quite easy when you know what you're doing. I spent a grand total of about $320 to buy brand new gears, new bearings, new clutchs, all that jazz. The install cost me a case of Bud Light. And this is a guy who's recommended the highest by everyone in this 150,000 population area. As he showed me and taught me how to install, its a matter of having access to the proper tools and taking your time. Mine haven't made a single peep since the new clutches stopped chattering. Mine were set up with a .006" backlash (recommended range is .008"-.015") and they don't make any noise at all. Check the wear pattern a few times before you call the job done, than break them in proper and you'll never have a problem.

Ask around the local hot rodders, and see who's good at setting up gears. Then talk to them about a price to do the job, you might be able to find someone like me who'll do it for beer as long as you do the nasty work (cleaning everything).
 

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Discussion Starter #12
About how long did it take you do do the swap? I figured like a weekend would be long enough to drop the pumpkin, do the swap and put it back together. I've seen the pinion depth tool for about $100-$150. I figured that plus maybe $300 for the gears/trac-loc would run me under $500 for the gears and then I could put the extra towards the chip. I'm gonna continue to read up on it. Thanks for all the input too!

Adam
 

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You don't need a pinion depth tool, just a dial indicator for checking the backlash. When we did mine we started with the biggest shim available for the pinion gear (.030") and were prepared to go smaller if necessary. We bolted it all together and checked the backlash, aweful tight, but the installer said that was fine. Brushed gear checking compound onto the ring gear and ran it around a few times, the wear pattern came out perfect so we got kinda lucky there.

Also, I spent about 2 hours dropping my pumpkin the first time, did it with zero help and zero power tools. The swap took about 4 hours since I was slow, and then spent about 1.5 hours putting it back in. Easily done in a saturday, let alone a whole weekend.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
So you basically went by the backlash and wear patter for the measurement? I think that this wouldn't be too hard to do but the thing that gets me is it seems like you don't really know if you did a good job untill its too late. I guess I'll check around for dial indicators. I think that I might try and tackle this! Thanks for the the different opinions.

Adam
 

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Like I say, you check the wear pattern VERY VERY closely and that'll let you know of the pinion depth is acceptable. Its your choice wether or not to do it with a pinion depth tool, but one thing thats a must is a bad *** impact. Otherwise you'll never get the new pinion nut and crush washer on.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I have a decent impact and I'm sure if I needed more I could borrow one of the big ones from my buddies work. He's got the big indutrial ones to take lugnuts off mack trucks. Those things are nuts!
 

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If you don't have access to a lift, removing the pumpkin would make it a lot easier.

I would say if you wanted to attempt it, go for. Just take your time, and "good enough" probably means wrong in this case. You need everything almost perfect.
You could either get a barebones install kit (Summit sell them), or just get the separate parts locally. Shims are important, so you will probably want new ones incase you need to add any to have it setup right. I actually didn't need to add any to mine, but not every setup is gonna be the same.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Aaron_T said:
If you don't have access to a lift, removing the pumpkin would make it a lot easier.

Does this mean it could be done while the pumpkin is still in the car? My buddy said that it could be but I didn't think it would be too easy that way. He says its easy and I'm convinced that its a lot harder. I don't have a lift but could get it up in the air pretty good.
 

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It could be done, but I think it would just be a big PITA. It doesn't take much to get the whole pumpkin off of the car, then you could just use a work bench or whatever for setting them up and cleaning everything out (we were able to get mine spotless o the inside). Also I think you would be hard pressed to get an impact wrench powerful enough to crush that crush collar, except maybe that one for mack trucks. You need a lot of force to get it to crush all the way, which if you use a ratchet/socket, you need a pry bar for sure, and underneath the car there isn't much room to move one around.


94t-birdlx said:


Does this mean it could be done while the pumpkin is still in the car? My buddy said that it could be but I didn't think it would be too easy that way. He says its easy and I'm convinced that its a lot harder. I don't have a lift but could get it up in the air pretty good.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I'll probably pull it out just to make sure that I get it right, The actuall pumpkin drop is a piece-o-cake. I'd rather do the fun stuff in the garage!

Adam
 
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