We're building up a salvage Dana 60 front axle we got from an old county-owned pickup purchased at an auction. The driveline was cheap, but parts of it needed some TLC. So, it's getting a rebuild with some new components. For this tech feature we'll show you how an ARB Air Locker and new Yukon gear set were installed and reveal a few of the technical details involved in setting up any ring and pinion assembly.
To do a job like this requires your basic hand tools, a couple of torque wrenches (one heavy-duty and one-light duty to measure pinion preload), a large breaker bar or impact wrench, a dial or test indicator, micrometer or caliper, and access to a shop press for bearing installation.
Gear installation requires some meaningful understanding of the setup parameters, and the precision and patience to bring them all into spec for the final assembly. Careful attention to the details will yield you a gear set that has proper strength and doesn't have an annoying whine when you're trekking down the highway at speed.
We started with teardown and cleaning of the axle. Since our axle had suffered neglect, all new differential components were installed except for a few of the original shims. Take a look at the process and we'll explain the steps and detail involved in gearing and locking our Dana 60.