Jeep Cherokee Rear Locker Installation Chrysler 8.25
In order to boost Jenny’s Jeeps off road abilities, I recently installed a Richmond Gear Lock Right locking differential. It is one of the few available for the Chrysler 8.25 that she has in her Jeep Cherokee.
I like the lock right for its simple and strong design. It simply works and works well. I found it surprisingly easy to install as well.
The installation manual that comes with it is very thorough and describes the exact procedure you need to use to install the locker in place of the spider gears. However, it was very confusing to me to read. I was confused because it covers so many different options like if c clip or not, thick gear or not that I got lost skipping from section to section. I think I read the manual about three times before I figured out I could skip three fourths of it.
First I coated my hands with Market America Clearshield.
I began by cleaning the cover and cover bolts of off road mud. I think I saw traces of Harlan, Aetna and Golden Mountain still on there. I used a wire brush to clean the bolt heads.
With the cover bolts out, I pried off the cover and let the grease drain into a pan. Then I set the cover aside.
Next I inspected the differential carrier and gears. There was some wear on the pinion from where the nut had backed off a while back but otherwise every thing looked good.
I then removed the bolt that secures the cross shaft. Then I removed the cross shaft and the two spider gears on it. Next I bumped in the axles and removed the C clips and the other two spider gears.
I removed and inspected the thrust washers. I used some heavy grease to secure them on the appropriate new drive gears.
I then spent some time studying the locker parts and trying to figure out how it actually worked. By the time I had test fit all the pieces in place – making sure it was the right spline count etc.- I had completely assembled the locker. However, I had not installed the pins or springs along the way so I had to find the disassembly instructions and take it back apart to continue with the installation.
Next, I coated the parts in axle grease to glue them together. I assembled the concentric springs as described in the instructions and set them aside.
First I set in the ring gear side gears and installed the C clip. Then I set all the pins in place. Next I set the opposite side cog in place. I used a dental pick to fish the C clip into place through the slot in the gear. The instructions talk about making a tool but I did not need it for either installation or removal. The grease on the cogs held them firmly in place while I installed the clip.
Next I installed the springs on top of the pins. Then I slid the cross shaft back in to place and tightened the securing bolt.
I was done before I knew it.
I rotated it all around to make sure I had not missed anything. Next I cleaned and replaced the cover. I used Black RTV for a seal. I then filled it with the recommended 85-140 gear oil.
I then took it out to the wide spot in the driveway and did a couple of doughnuts to prove that the rear was in fact locked. See the locker test video here.
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