Dana 35 Pinion Bearing Replacement
Janice’s Jeep was making a roaring noise from the rear end. After just a short test drive, the pinion on her Dana 35 was much warmer than the rest of the axle. Listening with a stethoscope confirmed that the pinion bearing was noisy.
I tried just changing the outer bearing and seal but since the race was worn was well, I had to disassemble the differential and change both the pinion bearings.
I ordered a Pinion bearing kit from Crown Automotive. This kit came with bearings, a new crush sleeve, shims and a reusable gasket.
I removed the wheels, and brake drums. Then I removed the cover and drained the fluid. Next I removed the carrier. I was careful to keep the bearing races and shims in the proper order. I noticed that the bearing caps were marked with and X to keep them on the correct sides. One X was vertical and one was on its side.
I dropped the drive shaft and removed the pinion nut. I used a dead blow hammer to knock the pinion out of the front bearing. I then used a pry bar to remove the pinion seal.
I used a chisel to tap out the two bearing races. I used a soft punch to drive the in the new bearing races. I used a bearing separator and hydraulic press to remove the inner bearing from the pinion. I ended up breaking the bearing race while pulling it off, so I was glad I was not trying to reuse it. I reused the shim under the bearing. I used my heat gun to warm the bearing and then slipped it onto the pinion shaft.
I installed the new crush sleeve on the pinion as well. Next, I cooled the pinion in the freezer for a while before slipping it in to the housing and placing a warmed outer bearing on the shaft.
I installed the seal and yoke and then tightened the pinion nut until the preload on the bearing was about 15 inch pounds. To check the preload, I had to use several adapters to get from the ¼ inch drive of my torque wrench to the ½ inch drive of the socket.
With the preload set, I reinstalled the carrier. I used a dead blow hammer to tap the bearings into place. I reinstalled the caps making sure they were turned the right way round and they were on the correct sides.
I slipper the axle shafts back in place and re secured the C clips. I then reinstalled the center pin set screw.
I put the cover back in place using the reusable gasket from the kit. I put some silicone on the cover to glue the gasket to it and cleaned the housing well. I put the bolts back in and tightened them evenly. I filled the housing with gear oil and the Limited Slip friction modifier compound.
I reinstalled the brake drums and wheels before taking it for a test drive. It was much quieter and the pinion did not heat up as before.