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3.55 gear set install and shim selection #1334064 Sun Nov 17 2019 07:44 AM
Joined: Jun 2017
Posts: 112
P
posey Offline OP
Shop Shark
So I have had good luck installing new NOS bearings correctly installed everywhere on the pinion shaft assembly and nice parts new ring gear installed new carrier bearings, I keep reading mostly the Chevy manual although I’ve looked at several other articles from the various members on the site. Everyone has a different answer. Should I go by the shim selection of the Chevy manual which suggests using one 0.18” shim when installing new ring and pinion or should I short cut to some other shim selection?
What I had in there originally was one 0.15 shim and it was a sloppy mess with huge backlash, at least 0.70

Running in a 54 half ton with a 53 gear carrier

Thanks Todd

Re: 3.55 gear set install and shim selection [Re: posey] #1334074 Sun Nov 17 2019 02:38 PM
Joined: Jan 2019
Posts: 71
B
Bill39568 Offline
Wrench Fetcher
I’m going thru this gear swap right now and can’t find a source of pinion shims but I’m working on a 40’s rear. Can you find shims for the 50’s? Think the 0.18 was the stock starting point and adjusted up/down at the factory and marked on the pinion.


44 Canadian chevy 1/2 ton
Re: 3.55 gear set install and shim selection [Re: posey] #1334078 Sun Nov 17 2019 03:08 PM
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 19,258
H
Hotrod Lincoln Offline
Boltergeist
There is no "standard" pinion shim thickness. The whole purpose of shimming gears is to correct for manufacturing tolerances that add up and build in errors in tooth contact patterns. OEM pinion gears had depth adjustment information electro-penciled on the back end of the gear, which might be "(+4)"- - - -"(-3)", etc., which indicates the distance in thousandths of an inch from the centerline of the ring gear the pinion gear needs to be positioned. If the markings on the original gearset can still be inspected, a WAG can be made about how to alter the shim pack. Final tooth contact patterns MUST be checked and adjusted as required, using some type of indicator dye such as Prussian Blue or white lead. Somehow, I think it's impossible to get a backlash of nearly 3/4" "(.7)" ?????? Maybe that was intended to be ".070"? Yes, decimal points and place-holder zeros do matter! There's no substitute for an extensive amount of experience in setting up rear ends, except maybe blind luck!
Jerry


The murder victim was drowned in a bathtub full of Rice Krispies and milk.
The coroner blamed the crime on a cereal killer!

Cringe and wail in fear, Eloi- - - - -we Morlocks are on the hunt!
Re: 3.55 gear set install and shim selection [Re: posey] #1334092 Sun Nov 17 2019 04:59 PM
Joined: Jan 2013
Posts: 1,520
S
sstock Offline
Shop Shark
Originally Posted by posey
So I have had good luck installing new NOS bearings correctly installed everywhere on the pinion shaft assembly and nice parts new ring gear installed new carrier bearings, I keep reading mostly the Chevy manual although I’ve looked at several other articles from the various members on the site. Everyone has a different answer. Should I go by the shim selection of the Chevy manual which suggests using one 0.18” shim when installing new ring and pinion or should I short cut to some other shim selection?
What I had in there originally was one 0.15 shim and it was a sloppy mess with huge backlash, at least 0.70

Running in a 54 half ton with a 53 gear carrier

Thanks Todd

The pinion shim will not have any impact on the backlash, it will have an effect on the contact pattern of where the pinion rides on the ring gear, I would start out with shim thickness of .023 since you had a .015 in there originally. You stated .15" but surely you meant .015"
Backlash is adjusted with the side to side nuts on either side of the differential side bearings.


1953 Chevrolet 3100
261 cu inch, sm420, 3.55 rear, omaha orange, still 6 volt, RPO green glass, side carrier spare, all done
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bli...n05i04t1aokgm4p04jiwgffwhyyih5xbk0h00410
1964 GMC 1000
305 Big Block V6, sm420, the next cab off restoration
Re: 3.55 gear set install and shim selection [Re: posey] #1334124 Sun Nov 17 2019 08:41 PM
Joined: Jun 2017
Posts: 112
P
posey Offline OP
Shop Shark
So you are all right with my decimal point being off. Please take a look at these and let me know your thoughts, I think I am close.
The shims I am using are 1 - .018 and 1 - .012 let me know your thoughts.

Thanks

Attached Files
IMG_0926.JPG (225.85 KB, 162 downloads)
IMG_0927.JPG (154.41 KB, 165 downloads)
IMG_0928.JPG (194.46 KB, 157 downloads)
Re: 3.55 gear set install and shim selection [Re: posey] #1334125 Sun Nov 17 2019 08:46 PM
Joined: Jun 2017
Posts: 112
P
posey Offline OP
Shop Shark
Maybe I should mention backlash is .007"

Re: 3.55 gear set install and shim selection [Re: posey] #1334137 Sun Nov 17 2019 11:39 PM
Joined: May 2015
Posts: 1,555
K
klhansen Offline
Shop Shark
I think your contact is a little high on the ring gear teeth. You also need to look at the coast side pattern.
Here's a pic I got off the web. It would indicate that you need a little more shim thickness on the pinion. But again, you need to look at both drive and coast patterns.

I see that you're reusing the carrier that the pinion ate into. Hope you at least deburred it and cleaned everything up.

Attached Files
Pattern Interpretation.jpg (42.6 KB, 116 downloads)

Kevin
First car '29 Ford Special Coupe
#2 - '29 Ford pickup restored from the ground up.
Newest Project - 51 Chevy 3100 work truck. Photos
Re: 3.55 gear set install and shim selection [Re: posey] #1334158 Mon Nov 18 2019 01:59 AM
Joined: Jan 2013
Posts: 1,520
S
sstock Offline
Shop Shark
Almost there, If it were me try a little more pinion shim, no more than .003 to start with. Looks like you are working with a deep bore carrier. You are getting there, keep creeping up on it.

Last edited by sstock; Mon Nov 18 2019 02:11 AM.

1953 Chevrolet 3100
261 cu inch, sm420, 3.55 rear, omaha orange, still 6 volt, RPO green glass, side carrier spare, all done
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bli...n05i04t1aokgm4p04jiwgffwhyyih5xbk0h00410
1964 GMC 1000
305 Big Block V6, sm420, the next cab off restoration
Re: 3.55 gear set install and shim selection [Re: posey] #1334163 Mon Nov 18 2019 02:47 AM
Joined: Jun 2017
Posts: 112
P
posey Offline OP
Shop Shark
Thanks for the help

Re: 3.55 gear set install and shim selection [Re: posey] #1334164 Mon Nov 18 2019 02:53 AM
Joined: Feb 2000
Posts: 4,026
J
Joe H Offline
Shop Shark
Be sure to load the gears as hard as possible when turning the pinion to check tooth pattern, and always use the pinion to turn the gears, not the ring when checking. Another really good trick is to take a new pinion bearing and have the center honed out for a slip fit on the pinion gear, use this bearing to set up with, once you are happy with the set up, replace the slip fit bearing with a press fit. If the pinion bearing is tough to get back off, cut some steel shim material to fit behind the race. The races are pretty easy to knock to and put back in.

I tend to agree on the pattern shown, needs to be a bit deeper into the ring gear.

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