2007 Jeep Wrangler JK Build-Up 2007 Jeep Wrangler goes from Mild to Wild

6Apr/071

JK Lockers and Gears – Installed

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We are just wrapping up the installation of 5.13 gears front and rear and Auburn ECTED lockers front/rear in our 2007 X model Wranglers. The installation was straightforward, but there are some things you need to know before cracking those axle open.

Finding parts for your axles is about as easy as fiding wheels, they are out there, but not readily available at most places. We had to get several parts from the dealer. Here is a list:

  • Dana 44 ECTED Locker (3.73 & Down, our Jeeps use thick gears) $569.95
  • Dana 30 ECTED Locker (3.73 & UP) $569.95
  • Dana 44 JK 5.13 Superior Ring and Pinion $229.95
  • Dana 30 JK 5.13 Superior Ring and Pinion $229.95
  • Front Crush Sleeve (5183525AA) $1
  • Rear Crush Sleeve (5066047AA) $10
  • Front Pinion Nut (4720895) $11
  • Rear Pinion Nut (sorry lost the part num/price)
  • Pinion Shim Kit (4856368) <-- This works on the front and rear pinion, but just has the .035-.039 thicknesses that we needed, you might need thicker
  • Front Oil Baffle (68004076AA)
  • Varying carrier shims for the 44 and 30. The dealer had a selection and let us just buy the individual ones we needed. These shims (both f/r) use external style shims.
  • If you don't have a high quality bearing puller, then get some new bearings and races from the dealer. The carrier bearings/races are the same as older vehicles, but the pinions are much different.

We started with disassembling the rear axle. Our luck of quality continued with this vehicle with the studs being loose that retain the axle to the housing. After squeezing some vice grips in to hold the stud we removed the shaft and sent it to the dealership to have the retaining plate and studs replaced.

Next we removed the carrier and pinion. We used a Yukon bearing puller to remove the bearings from the carrier and pinion, they were all reusable. We were left with plain old carriers and gears from the stock Jeep, now it was time to start the fun exciting part.

img_0001.JPGTo install the ring gears on the lockers we started a couple ring gear bolts in the gears partially and then used a press to press the ring gear the rest of the way on to the lockers. On the Dana 44 locker, we had to drill the ring gear bolt holes out to 7/16" from 3/8". We have been told that newer 2007 models use 1/2" bolts, but you will only want to drill out to 7/16", that way your new gears will work with the locker without spacers. If you are installing a locker with your stock gears, then drilling to 1/2" is required. After that, we pressed the carrier bearings on to the locker. There are no shims that go between the locker and bearings, which is convenient.

Next, we transferred the stock pinion shim to our new pinion gear and pressed on the inner pinion bearing. The stock shim is always a good place to start; Both of our axles were within a couple thousandths of the origional shim thickness.

Our first test fit left the carrier bound up because of too little backlash. We ended up having to make a drastic change to the carrier shims to get the backlash acceptable. A few fittings later and we ran a pattern that looked good.

img_0004.JPGSide Note: We have confirmed with Superior that the patterns on some of these gears are reading really weird. Specifically, our front showed the pinion to be too deep on one side of the tooth and too shallow on the other. Superior said to set up the gears as best as possible and they have been performing quietly and without trouble.

On the rear, we chose to route the wire for the ECTED locker through the differential cover. We usually try to run the wire through the housing, but it wasn't practical to drill the housing without removing the axle from the vehicle in this application. There is nothing wrong with routing the wire through the cover, it just requires extra effort to remove and replace the cover. Luckily, these axle all have drain and fill plugs, so removing the cover shouldn't be required.

img_0003.JPGAt the front end, we did more of the same removal. It's worth noting, the front pinion yoke fits extremely tight. The front locker also does not use any carrier shims between the locker and bearings, so you can press those on right away. We had to remove the magnet to fit the ring gear on the locker, but the magnet only uses a slip fit, so that's no big deal. Again, our backlash was at about .013 on the front, we adjusted the shims and got it to .006, which is acceptable. We did manage to detroy the oil slinger when removing the inner pinion race, so we had to wait a few days on our local dealer to order one in. Other than that, the install was easy. It's amazing how much smaller and lighter the Dana 30 parts are compared to the Dana 44.

Wiring the Dana 30 locker was done with a hole in the housing. We drilled it right by the vent tube. We had to remove the sway bar link to give room for our drill, but this location worked great. It is recessed away from the main part of the housing, so there shouldn't be much oil slung in that area and, like stated above, we like running the wires through the housing whenever possible.

Friction additive comes with the ECTED units. Make sure to use 80W90 NON-synthetic gear lube and add the additive at a rate of 3 onces of additive to 1 quart of oil. The rear diff should use about 2.25 quarts, the front should use about 1 quart. Auburn sends the additive in a bottle that contains more additive than needed.

Check back with us for performance reports!!!!