Question about 1998 Dodge Ram 1500 4WD

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98 dodge ram 1500 rear axle, setting the backlash

I've got a 98 ram 1500 4x4. just replaced carrier bearings and pinion bearings. How do you set the backlash on the ring gear?

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  • Richard Scordino May 11, 2010

    You need to set more than backlash. You need to get bearing pre-load, gear pattern, pinion depth and backlash specs to finish the job. Unfortunately I don't have that info but just thought I'd mention this 'cause it's important.

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There are adjusters on each side of carrier. do most of adjusting from driver side.need about 8 thou of backlash

Posted on Aug 03, 2009

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1 Answer

What if no pinion bearing preload was recorded before disassembly of rear diff pinion seal


The only way you can get an accurate preload reading is with an in/lb torque wrench on the pinion nut with the carrier removed.

Not knowing which differential is in the truck, I'm guessing a 9.25" rear loader type.

The correct way to do it is remove the axles and ring gear carrier. Set your preload with a NEW crush sleeve and in/lb torque wrench. Re-install the ring gear carrier and check contact pattern and backlash.

That said, you probably will be alright if you re-torque the pinion nut to spec plus a hair. Look it up in a manual. EXAMPLE: if it's 210 MINIMUM ft/lb add 5-10 lbs. Preload is 10-20 in/lbs. I have seen shops do this to save the customer money (or charge them for complete disassembly and not do the work). It should take up the slack from the crush sleeve.

This is NOT the correct way, but if you are in a bind it might work. I can't guarantee the bearing won't fail in the future.

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1 Answer

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1 Answer

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1 Answer

Pinion nut torque spec chev


Axle Preload and Backlash Specifications 8.0 Axle Preload and Backlash Specifications Application
Specification
Metric
English
Backlash
0.08-0.25 mm
0.003-0.010 in
Backlash (Preferred)
0.13-0.18 mm
0.005-0.007 in
Pinion Bearing Preload, New Bearings
1.7-3.4 N·m
15-30 lb in
Pinion Bearing Preload, Used Bearings
1.1-2.3 N·m
10-20 lb in
Pinion and Differential Case Bearing Preload, New Bearings
3.4-6.2 N·m
30-55 lb in
Pinion and Differential Case Bearing Preload, Used Bearings
2.8-5.1 N·m
25-45 lb in

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1 Answer

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