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Old 06-13-2013, 07:19 PM
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Pinion Depth Tool

I am getting ready to put the 8.8 together for my olds cutlass in a couple weeks here. What do you guys think of these tools for measuring the pinion depth?
http://www.summitracing.com/parts/rat-10006
I read the included directions and it makes perfect sense how it works.

Anyone have experience with these?

Thanks
Shane

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Old 06-13-2013, 08:44 PM
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Yea, I have experience with them. Save your money and spend it on something that you really need. Set the pinion depth by reading the contact pattern. That is the ONLY correct way to do it. A pinion depth tool will get you close, but the contact pattern is always the final word. If you can't read a contact pattern then post pictures here and we will read it for you and tell you what you need to do.
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Old 06-14-2013, 08:43 AM
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I have this tool. I hardly use it. I did use it the other day to set up a used gear in a Ford9. Adjusting the depth to the pattern is required so using the depth tool is redundant most of the time.



T&D Machine Products 11001 Deluxe Pinion Depth Checker
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Old 06-14-2013, 08:46 AM
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Imsport, I had that same tool and every time I used it I always had to go back and change the shim after reading the pattern. It was always off by at least .003 inch. I got rid of it after a while.

Just start out with the shim that came off of the original pinion gear and read the pattern. Make adjustments from what the pattern tells you. It will usually be pretty close the first time and it shouldn't take more than 2 or 3 shim changes to get it right.
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Old 06-14-2013, 12:52 PM
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Originally Posted by big gear head View Post
Imsport, I had that same tool and every time I used it I always had to go back and change the shim after reading the pattern. It was always off by at least .003 inch. I got rid of it after a while.

Just start out with the shim that came off of the original pinion gear and read the pattern. Make adjustments from what the pattern tells you. It will usually be pretty close the first time and it shouldn't take more than 2 or 3 shim changes to get it right.
I am replacing everything in the rear end besides the housing. New gears, differential unit, bearings, seals, shims, etc... Will that procedure still get me ball park to run a pattern and see how it looks?
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Old 06-14-2013, 12:57 PM
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Yes, just take the original shim off of the pinion that you remove from the rear end and use it, or measure the thickness and use a new shim the same thickness. That should get you close on the pinion depth. Then the pattern will tell you what you need to do from there. You will have to shim the differential to get the backlash set. Most of the time the original differential shims are not close enough to work.
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Old 06-14-2013, 01:05 PM
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Originally Posted by big gear head View Post
Yes, just take the original shim off of the pinion that you remove from the rear end and use it, or measure the thickness and use a new shim the same thickness. That should get you close on the pinion depth. Then the pattern will tell you what you need to do from there. You will have to shim the differential to get the backlash set. Most of the time the original differential shims are not close enough to work.
Alright cool. I will post back next weekend with some pictures of the contact pattern.

Thanks
Shane
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Old 07-05-2013, 08:08 AM
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I have a tool set that's similar to the one in post #3 and after using it and the pattern not looking quite right (maybe I didn't know what I was seeing?), I just trusted the settings the tool was giving me and have never had a set of gears run noisy. IIRC, my setting tool is a Pro Parts brand but I can't find it on the internet....
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