How To Use a Pinion Depth Gauge

by birtanpublished on August 5, 2020

Greetings viewers ere at the car guy thank you for tuning in today and in today's episode I'm going to share with you what I feel is the best and most accurate way to measure and set pinion depth when rebuilding a differential like this 10 volt GM I'll start by

Saying this is not a sponsored video but through my research and also through my own use of this tool I have found it to be the best way to measure pinion depth it comes at a price for sure but you'll never have to worry about setting up

Pinion depth again if you're able to borrow or purchase one of these tools it's from T&D machine products and this is everything that comes with the tool the only thing I'm not sure about and maybe you and the audience can enlighten

Me is what this is for with all these holes and things in here not really sure what this is for but I haven't had cause to use that yet but everything else in the kit will pretty much cover the majority of differentials that are out

There that you may be working with so in short what I'm showing me with this works on Ford it works on GM works on Dana works works on all different types of differentials here's my new pinion and this is the old pinion shim that I

Got off of the differential that was on the truck originally that I'm going to start with also I have a set up bearing here and this is a Timken bearing what I've done is I've gone through and hollowed out the inside of it so that it

Slides easily over the top of the pinion and can easily come off so this means that I won't have to press it on and press it off in order to check things if I need a different sized shim i also for the other pinion bearing did the same

Thing so that would slide on and off more easily now something to note on these bearings there seem to be two major manufacturers of these bearings Timken and tole and Koya make sure that your set up bearing is the same as the

Type that you'll be using for final assembly and also that the races are the same so make sure that the bearing races that are in the differential housing or the same type because if they use a different type bearing and a different

Type of race it won't work out because they are different I have Timken bearings here I will be installing Timken bearings for final assembly so I'm good I also have over here a used crush sleeve that I'll be

Using for initial setup and checking of measurements but obviously for final assembly you want to use a new crush leave I'm going to start by checking the thickness of that shim so that I've got

An idea of where it is and it looks like it's right about 40,000 s so I'm gonna make a note that my shim is starting out at 40,000 and I'll install that an opinion and then my opinion bearing I don't want to forget my setup crush

Leave either now I'll install the pinion inside the differential housing no pinions deal or anything because we're just we're checking the depths and everything else we don't need our opinions sealed just yet now for initial

Setup I don't necessarily go for like the exact drag on the pinion gear and all that kind of stuff I just try to get it snug and with a little bit of drag just so I can take my measurement there there's a little bit of drag on that now

Let's measure it a good question to ask at this point is what exactly am I looking for in my measurement well on the tops of the pinions in new gear sets traditionally they either scribe or paint on the top of them that

Measurement and in this case I have two point five four eight inches on the top of this pinion and that will be the measurement that I'm targeting for starters you'll need to select two of these hubs and you can see that there's

Stepped on the outside for different sized bearings and I found out that on mine this inner one here on these two parts of the tool or what I'll be using I will also need this metal bar because that is going to go in between the two

So I'll start with these three parts of the tool next we're going to install the pieces that I just showed you a bit before the installation the part that you're using put a little bit of oil on it to help prevent galling of the metal

A little bit of oil on the tool I put a little bit on the inside here to help the inner bar go in easier and move around nicer as well but yeah on both of these hubs a little bit of oil before the tool gets inserted now I'll take

This bar in the middle there install it like so in the bearing caps this bar when the flat side is facing up it's awesome if you see the screw hole right here so in other words when you put this in see if you can do it with a flat side

Up and the screw facing out towards you like this here's the important thing that I want you to take away from this and that is you need to have the ability to spin this Center shaft if you run this down and you can't spin it then

These are probably cocked to one side and you need to loosen things up once you're sure the shaft can move torque it down torque the caps down to 25 foot-pounds make sure that that shaft can still move freely there's a magnet

In the tool kit this thick one you'll need that now you might wonder what this is it is a spacer that goes on the head of opinion similar to this one see the instructions for specific applications

For this spacer take that magnet and put it on the head of the pinion like so you want it sticking up a little bit something like that next I'm going to need the dial indicator that I'll be installing in the tool but before I go

There with this tool there are three different calibrated ends that screw into the end of this dial indicator the longest one which actually covers most differentials from what I read this one is three point three seven five inches

Long when installed this next size here is two and a half inches and this last one here is 19 inches should have mentioned that you also need an Allen wrench of the appropriate size for the tool I sorry I don't know what size this

Is now we need to install our dial indicator into the shaft here and when you insert it you want to insert it on the side with the round not the flat so one side is flat one side is round so you insert it

Through like this and then I'm just gonna Snug this screw I'm not gonna tighten it just yet where I still have like maybe a little bit of movement remember those calibration bars that I showed you on the bench this is the

Three point three seven five one and take the cap off and inside there is one of these that you'll end up screwing on to the end of the tool here there we are screw down to the end there and now we'll take that same tube that

Everything came in slide that down over on to the flat side like this now we want to position everything so that both needles are pointing straight down to six o'clock so I'm going to pull this down a little bit this doesn't need to

Be a hundred percent exact but if you can get him close to six o'clock it's helpful that's what you're looking for and you want to make sure that the small dial hasn't gone around a lap so make sure that that is also on zero so both

Of these needles pointing straight down to six o'clock now I'm going to take it one step further I'm gonna rotate the whole gauge and everything ninety degrees and I'm doing this so that I can read it when I'm done so I'm still gonna

Have that straight down six o'clock position and then once I have everything in position tighten this screw and remember this is a precision tool you don't need to like super tighten this just snug it up before you remove the

Calibration tube zero everything up so take the dial and move that so that that is pointing now exactly to zero and now remove that calibration tube you might notice that things move that's why it doesn't exactly matter that you're

Dead on zero you're just calibrating three point three seven five inches up here so now you can rotate this down to come in contact with that magnet on top of the pinion pull up on the plunger and then you can just rest it right down on

There now we rotate this rocking it back and forth until I find the highest reading right about there you see where the needle stopped and started going in the other direction find that highest point

Then you've got your measurement and like right about there is what I think mine is now it's time to take our reading and we're gonna start with this motor reading on the small dial and know that I made the mistake of

Misinterpreting those readings the first time I measured with it you notice there are two sets of numbers that's for when that dial goes all the way around at least once and I know that it has in this case so it's not a three that's my

First number it's actually an eighth so starting with the point eight the rest of the measurement here looks like it's going to be 38 so this measurement is 08 3 8 so here's what we do with that point eight three eight measurement that

We just took we set our tool and everything up and calibrated it for three point three seven five inches so what we want to do now is subtract that point eight three eight from that and what we get is two point five three

Seven that is our measurement so that's the actual pinion depth that the tool is measuring now spec is two point five four eight looks like there's an eleven thousand difference between those two now we have a forty thousand shim

Underneath opinion right now so if we want to get this closer into spec so this two point five four eight is a bigger number than the five three seven so we need to increase the distance so in order to increase the distance

We're going to subtract from this point forty point zero one one okay so we should we would be looking for a shim that's this size now I'm gonna let you in on something stacking the shims and everything by the

Time I was all done I actually ended up with a shim stack of points zero three six I believe and my final measurement was two point five four four so I was point zero zero four different from spec I didn't consider that to be too much

But because I was stacking shims like I said the shim stack that I actually ended up with was somewhere around point zero three five or zero three six I don't remember exactly what it was so you may not necessarily be able to trust

This that this will give you a guide the thing to take away here is if you want to increase the distance like I did here you want to decrease the shim size if you want to if you're too high and you want to lower it then you want to

Increase the shim size and that will raise the pinion head up thus making the distance smaller now once you have your pinion depth correct or as close to it as you possibly can I would suggest installing the carrier and checking the

Gear tooth pattern before pressing on the pinion bearing for the last time and installing the pinion seal this way you're sure everything is correct before you make that commitment one more helpful tip here is as you're doing your

Shims and you're taking the pinion in and out you can leave this tool in a differential I did just that just be very careful getting past it and every so often I would go back and recheck the calibration just to make sure that it

Was correct well I hope the information contained in this video is useful and helps you save some time when you're setting up the rear end and your vehicle like I said this information works for all different kinds of differentials not

Just for this Chevy here but this information the general information I showed you on how to use this tool pretty much applies to any differential that you're setting up I think it is the best way yes I had to take things in and

Out a couple of times but it was a lot better than putting the carrier and everything in checking gear tooth pattern and going by that I have an exact measurement for my opinion depth of this tool so borrow it from a friend

Or if you're gonna set up for you know more than one differential I'd bite the bullet by the personally anyway I'll link that down in the description along with additional information that you might find useful

Including stuff that I've done to this truck thank you very much for watching today please be sure to LIKE comment subscribe share the video with the world appreciate it when you do that be safe have fun stay dirty thank you so much

For watching today and I'll see you next time you

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