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Old 12-16-2007, 01:40 PM
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GM 12 bolt, Solid Pinion Spacer?

Has anyone set up a Chevy 12 bolt pinion using a Solid Pinion Spacer, instead of the repeated crush collar method?

Also, my Richmond gear installation instructions has an illustration that shows that the pinion shims can be put on either side of the of the bearing?

Thanks

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Old 12-17-2007, 01:06 PM
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I just called Richmond Gears.

Their Tech. support guy stated that the pinion shims only go between the pinion gear & the large bearing.

I let them know that their Illistration C in the written Installation instructions that came with the gear set,

and their web page:

http://www.richmondgear.com/01instructions.html

Both show 2 arrows and state that the shims can be placed on either side of the bearing.

Soooo, either their instructions OR their Tech. guy are WRONG!

Probably the instructions?
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Old 12-17-2007, 01:38 PM
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The instructions are universal and cover applications like Danas where the pinion depth is controlled by a shim under the rear bearing race(cup), rather than under the pinion rear bearing(cone) . A 12bolt is normally shimmed under the bearing cone rather than the cup but some builders doing racing setups put the shim under the cup to prevent the shim from being forced out when the bearings tries to spin on the pinion.

Solid pinion bearing spacers are OK for street use but not really needed in most cases. There is some consideration in the angle of the bearing tapers and how much preload is necessary to maintain longterm roller to race contact. The crush spacer is like a really stiff spring and will allow some wear of the bearings without losing all the preload. I do lots of setups both ways and really have no preference so I usually use a crush spacer since they are much easier and faster for me.
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Old 12-17-2007, 04:13 PM
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I'm ordering the Ratech 1401 Solid pinion spacer (replaces the stupid crush collar & 6' breaker bar method, trying to get 21 inch/pounds of bearing preload, be careful & don't go too far, what B/S)

I'm also ordering the Ratech 1901 kit, which moves the pinion shims to the accessible outside of the large pinion bearing (replaces the stupid, trial & error method of pressing & removing & ruining the bearing)

BBP
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Old 12-18-2007, 07:51 AM
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I only want to drive the race in and out once so I use a setup bearing for determining the pinion depth. A setup bearing has an oversize ID which allows it to slide off and on with just a little help from a prybar making pinion shim changes only take a few seconds. I also have a bearing puller which will take most bearing cones off without damaging them but it is always a risk.
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Old 12-18-2007, 10:27 AM
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Imsport, thanks for the responce. Your seconds must be like my hours, hehe.

I looked around the internet for a test bearing & could only find new expensive ones. I don't have an old one to open up & I live very remote, no shops around.

I only want to press the bearing ON, once.

I hope that GM made at least 5 cents per vehicle by engineering this arcane setup (known or understood by very few; mysterious; secret; obscure; esoteric)

So you think that the crush collar may act like a stiff spring? I'm not so sure about that idea. Did you read that somewhere?

I know that they can be crushed too far, at install by the 6' breaker bar OR by a vehicle with a lot of power.

BBP
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Old 12-18-2007, 11:13 AM
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I understand your position. Be careful not to damage the race with a puch when driving it in an out. I use a big aluminum tube of the race OD as a driver.

The 12bolt is what I call an Eaton design which became the standard for light duty car and truck for the domestics in the 60s. Dana has always done their thing and that sounds like what youre familiar with.

The spring idea is how I have always understood the spacer to function. When I do some rears with tall spacers like the Dana44HD in a late Vette, I often will put the spacer in the press and crush it a little to get it started. When pressing it, I use a snap gauge to check my dimension and have to crush it more than I want the new free length to be as it springs back. That one and some of the big corporate axles from GM and Ford are a real fight to crush.
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