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Old 09-30-2006, 09:01 PM
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crush sleeve / solid pinion spacer

alright im about to install a 3.73 gearing and a posi in my cutlass, and im doing a little research. I wanted to know if and how a solid pinion spacer replaces the crush sleeve altogether, and which would be considered better option. My cousin's going going to help me he's a heavy machine mechanic for CAT. So im not too worried about messing up.

thanks guys!

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Old 09-30-2006, 09:31 PM
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Re: Crush sleeve or Spacer

Ratech makes a spacer kit for the pinion. I've been told that crush sleeves can take up to 800ft/Lbs to start crushing!!! Hope your mechanic friend is real BIG!!!

A solid spacer kit provides a thick spacer that gets you to about 90% of the thickness needed, then provides various very thin spacers that allow you to get the proper pinion depth, without the need for man-handling a crush sleeve.

Checkout Ratech's website at:

Best of Luck,

Kevin-Chandler, AZ
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Old 10-01-2006, 08:09 AM
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Personally I would go with the crush sleeve, they have been around forever and work well. The other option if for someone who changes gear sets very often. It does not take a huge amount of effort to preload bearings with a crush sleeve. Just do not be tempted to use an impact wrench. Secure the yoke so that it does not turn as your are tightening the yoke nut. Use a long cheater pipe on the breaker bar and socket. It will be real easy to tell when you have reached the point you need to stop.

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Old 10-01-2006, 08:27 AM
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I use an impact wrench to install the crush sleeve. It takes a lot of torque to get the initial crush and you'll have a couple of turns of the nut to get to the pre-load point. I use a socket marked so I can see it turn, a light finger on the trigger, and when I feel the slack in the bearing getting to zero I switch to a breaker bar. The final adjustment takes a lot less torque than the initial crush.
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Old 10-01-2006, 09:40 AM
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Crush sleeves or spacers have nothing to do with pinion depth. Once pinion depth is set, usually by using shims, the bearings will need the proper preload placed on them. New bearings require more preload than used bearings and is usually measured in inch pounds. Crush sleeves eliminate the use of bearing shims to set preload and speeds up the factory production of rearend setups vs using shims for bearing preload. Pinion depth setup is still the same. As for crush sleeves.....I hate them. Don't know about GM or Ford but the Mopar sleeves are a bear and a half to get them to crush down. Of the 3 common 8 3/4 carriers that are still in circulation, the lastest one from about mid 68 or so and newer all have crush sleeves. If I have the option to put in a solid spacer in one, I will.
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