Nova Rearend Build - In The Rear With The Gears

Building the Much-Maligned 8.2-Inch 10-Bolt Into A Diff That Can Live

John Nelson Mar 17, 2008 0 Comment(s)
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The pinion bearings come out easily enough, but the bearing races must be driven out. The 10-bolt architecture conveniently provides notches, allowing the races to be knocked out with a punch.

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The new gear carrier bearings had to be pressed onto the Eaton limited-slip we utilized for this build (background). While he was busy pressing bearings, Galloway took a moment to press the bearing off our 8.2-incher's original pinion. His goal was to obtain the pinion shim, which would be used later as our starting point for setting pinion depth.

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The rearend rebuild kit from Randy's Ring & Pinion contained everything we needed for the job at hand, including marking compound, two different crush sleeves, a shim pack for setting gear backlash, and top-quality Timken bearings. We only had to pick up new axle bearings and seals to be fully equipped.

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Skipping ahead a bit, Galloway had emptied the 8.2-inch housing of all its innards and thoroughly cleaned it. As we prepared to reconstruct our beefier 10-bolt, he laid out the correct tools. A proper bearing installation tool guards against damage when driving in new races. It also makes the job much easier.

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Before mating a new ring to its carrier, Galloway always runs a file lightly over the gear's backside to remove any burrs. The ring was then joined to the carrier with the provided bolts. Each fastener was dabbed with Loctite and torqued to 55 ft-lb.

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Once our new Eaton LSD (limited slip differential) was outfitted with its new ring gear, Galloway set it into the housing, using the original carrier shims as a starting point. Gear backlash should be set at 0.006 to 0.010 inch. Getting there is a trial-and-error process-in fact, this shot is of Galloway's second attempt. Using the original shims yielded only 0.002-inch backlash; reversing them made it 0.015.

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Galloway turned to the shim packs contained in our master rebuild kit. In short, increasing shim thickness on the left side decreases backlash; doing the opposite increases it. And remember, when you change the shim thickness on one side, a corresponding increase or decrease must be made on the other. Galloway carefully measured each side and used the kit to create the proper shim thicknesses.

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