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Checking Gear Pattern

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The point of the differential shims is to help tune in the ring-and-pinion gear mesh pattern. While a feeler gauge will let you know how much of a gap you have in terms of thousandths, marking the gears with paint will show you a clear indicator of where the pinion is riding on the ring gear. When checking for a correct pattern you are reading the marks on the drive side (convex outside) and coast side (concave inside) of the gear.