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Brian W
Brian W, Master Chrysler Tech.
Category: Dodge
Satisfied Customers: 585
Experience:  Chrysler Gold Certified, Ase Certified
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howdo you set up a rear end in a 2002 dodge ram 1500 9.25

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how do you set up the rear end going back into a dodge ram 1500 we took it out and got a new one no instuctions as to set it up all new bearings and seals ready to install in the rear axle now im lost

Hello, Do you have all the special tools required to perform this job?


Customer: replied 10 years ago.
Reply to Brian W's Post: I have a dial indicator and a didgital caliper also have a tool to turn the adjustment rings I made a plate to position the pininion gear at 2.816 like it said on   pinion from the center of the chunk all together with 9thousands backlash and marked the gears with marking grease it looks like the pic that came with the whole kit but it still howles upon deacelration   I used the carirer bearing mounting as a referane for the center of the pinion with the back of the clamp off

What parts are new, Did you replace the ring and pinion gear set?


Ring gear and pinion are supplied as matched sets only. The identifying numbers for the ring gear and pinion are painted onto the pinion gear shaft and the side of the ring gear. A plus (+) number, minus (-) number or zero (0) along with the gear set sequence number (01 to 99) is on each gear. This first number is XXXXX amount (in thousandths of an inch) the depth varies from the standard depth setting of a pinion marked with a (0). The next two numbers are the sequence number of the gear set. The standard depth provides the best teeth contact pattern. Refer to Backlash and Contact Pattern for additional information.

Compensation for pinion depth variance is achieved with select shims. The shims are placed behind the rear pinion bearing. .

If a new gear set is being installed, note the depth variance painted onto both the original and replacement pinion. Add or subtract the thickness of the original depth shims to compensate for the difference in the depth variances. Refer to the Depth Variance chart.

Note where Old and New Pinion Marking columns intersect. Intersecting figure represents plus or minus the amount needed.

Note the painted number on the shaft of the drive pinion (-1, -2, 0, +1, +2, etc.). The numbers represent thousands of an inch deviation from the standard. If the number is XXXXX add that value to the required thickness of the depth shims. If the number is XXXXX subtract that value from the thickness of the depth shim. If the number is XXXXX no change is necessary.


Original Pinion Gear Depth Variance Replacement Pinion Gear Depth Variance
-4 -3 -2 -1 0 +1 +2 +3 +4
+4 +0.008 +0.007 +0.006 +0.005 +0.004 +0.003 +0.002 +0.001 0
+3 +0.007 +0.006 +0.005 +0.004 +0.003 +0.002 +0.001 0 -0.001
+2 +0.006 +0.005 +0.004 +0.003 +0.002 +0.001 0 -0.001 -0.002
+1 +0.005 +0.004 +0.003 +0.002 +0.001 0 -0.001 -0.002 -0.003
0 +0.004 +0.003 +0.002 +0.001 0 -0.001 -0.002 -0.003 -0.004
-1 +0.003 +0.002 +0.001 0 -0.001 -0.002 -0.003 -0.004 -0.005
-2 +0.002 +0.001 0 -0.001 -0.002 -0.003 -0.004 -0.005 -0.006
-3 +0.001 0 -0.001 -0.002 -0.003 -0.004 -0.005 -0.006 -0.007
-4 0 -0.001 -0.002 -0.003 -0.004 -0.005 -0.006 -0.007 -0.008


Measurements are taken with pinion bearing cups and pinion bearings installed in the housing. Take measurements with Pinion Gauge Set and Dial Indicator C-3339 .

  1. Assemble Pinion Height Block 6739, Pinion Block 8542 and rear pinion bearing onto Screw 6741.
  2. Insert assembled height gauge components, rear bearing, and screw into the housing through pinion bearing cups .
  3. Install front pinion bearing and Cone-Nut 6740 hand tight ).
  4. Place Arbor Disc 8541 on Arbor D-115-3 in position in the housing side bearing cradles . Install differential bearing caps on arbor discs and tighten cap bolts to 41 N·m (30 ft. lbs.).

    NOTE: Arbor Discs 8541 has different step diameters to fit other axles. Choose proper step for axle being serviced.

  5. Assemble Dial Indicator C-3339 into Scooter Block D-115-2 and secure set screw.
  6. Place Scooter Block/Dial Indicator in position in axle housing so dial probe and scooter block are flush against the rearward surface of the pinion height block
    2 - ARBOR
    4 - CONE
    5 - SCREW
    8 - ARBOR DISC

    . Hold scooter block in place and zero the dial indicator. Tighten dial indicator face lock screw.
  7. Slide the dial indicator probe across the gap between the pinion height block and the arbor bar with the scooter block against the pinion height block ). Continue moving the dial probe to the crest of the arbor bar and record the highest reading.
  8. Select a shim equal to the dial indicator reading plus the drive pinion gear depth variance number marked on the shaft of the pinion. For example, if the depth variance is -2, add +0.002 in. to the dial indicator reading.


The following must be considered when adjusting bearing preload and gear backlash:

  • The maximum ring gear backlash variation is 0.003 inch (0.076 mm).
  • Mark the gears so the same teeth are meshed during all backlash measurements.
  • Maintain the torque while adjusting the bearing preload and ring gear backlash.
  • Excessive adjuster torque will introduce a high bearing load and cause premature bearing failure. Insufficient adjuster torque can result in excessive differential case free-play and ring gear noise.
  • Insufficient adjuster torque will not support the ring gear correctly and can cause excessive differential case free-play and ring gear noise.

NOTE: The differential bearing cups will not always immediately follow the threaded adjusters as they are moved during adjustment. To ensure accurate bearing cup responses to the adjustments:

  • Maintain the gear teeth engaged (meshed) as marked.
  • The bearings must be seated by rapidly rotating the pinion gear a half turn back and forth.
  • Do this five to ten times each time the threaded adjusters are adjusted.


  1. Use Wrench C-4164 to adjust each threaded adjuster inward until the differential bearing free-play is eliminated . Allow some ring gear backlash (approximately 0.25 mm / 0.01 inch) between the ring and pinion gear. Seat the bearing cups with the procedure described above.
  2. Install dial indicator and position the plunger against the drive side of a ring gear tooth . Measure the backlash at 4 positions (90 degrees apart) around the ring gear. Locate and mark the area of minimum backlash.
  3. Rotate the ring gear to the position of the least backlash. Mark the gear so that all future backlash measurements will be taken with the same gear teeth meshed.
  4. Loosen the right-side, tighten the left-side threaded adjuster. Obtain backlash of 0.003 to 0.004 inch (0.076 to 0.102 mm) with each adjuster tightened to 14 N·m (10 ft. lbs.). Seat the bearing cups with the procedure described above.
  5. Tighten the differential bearing cap bolts 136 N·m (100 ft. lbs.).
  6. Tighten the right-side threaded adjuster to 102 N·m (75 ft. lbs.). Seat the bearing cups with the procedure described above. Continue to tighten the right-side adjuster and seat bearing cups until the torque remains constant at 102 N·m (75 ft. lbs.)
  7. Measure the ring gear backlash. The range of backlash is 0.006 to 0.008 inch (0.15 to 0.203 mm).
  8. Continue increasing the torque at the right-side threaded adjuster until the specified backlash is obtained.

    NOTE: The left-side threaded adjuster torque should have approximately 102 N·m (75 ft. lbs.). If the torque is considerably less, the complete adjustment procedure must be repeated.

  9. Tighten the left-side threaded adjuster until 102 N·m (75 ft. lbs.) torque is indicated. Seat the bearing rollers with the procedure described above. Do this until the torque remains constant.
  10. Install the threaded adjuster locks and tighten the lock screws to 10 N·m (90 in. lbs.).

    After the proper backlash is achieved, perform the Gear Contact procedure.


The ring gear and pinion teeth contact patterns will show if the pinion depth is correct in the housing. It will also show if the ring gear backlash has been adjusted correctly. The backlash can be adjusted within specifications to achieve desired tooth contact patterns.

  1. Apply a thin coat of hydrated ferric oxide or equivalent to the drive and coast side of the ring gear teeth.
  2. Wrap, twist, and hold a shop towel around the pinion yoke to increase the turning resistance of the pinion. This will provide a more distinct contact pattern.
  3. With a boxed end wrench on a ring gear bolt, rotate the differential case one complete revolution in both directions while a load is being applied from shop towel.

    The areas on the ring gear teeth with the greatest degree of contact against the pinion teeth will squeegee the compound to the areas with the least amount of contact. Note and compare patterns on the ring gear teeth to Gear Tooth Contact Patterns chart and adjust pinion depth and gear backlash as necessary.


When measuring side gear clearance, check each gear independently. If it necessary to replace a side gear, replace both gears as a matched set.

  1. Install the axle shafts and C-locks and pinion mate shaft.
  2. Measure each side gear clearance. Insert a matched pair of feeler gauge blades between the gear and differential housing on opposite sides of the hub .
  3. If side gear clearances is no more than 0.005 inch. Determine if the axle shaft is contacting the pinion mate shaft. Do not remove the feeler gauges, inspect the axle shaft with the feeler gauge inserted behind the side gear. If the end of the axle shaft is not contacting the pinion mate shaft, the side gear clearance is acceptable.
  4. If clearance is more than 0.005 inch (axle shaft not contacting mate shaft), record the side gear clearance. Remove the thrust washer and measure its thickness with a micrometer. Add the washer thickness to the recorded side gear clearance. The sum of gear clearance and washer thickness will determine required thickness of replacement thrust washer . In some cases, the end of the axle shaft will move and contact the mate shaft when the feeler gauge is inserted. The C-lock is preventing the side gear from sliding on the axle shaft.
  5. If there is no side gear clearance, remove the C-lock from the axle shaft. Use a micrometer to measure the thrust washer thickness. Record the thickness and re-install the thrust washer. Assemble the differential case without the C-lock installed and re-measure the side gear clearance.
  6. Compare both clearance measurements. If the difference is less than 0.012 inch (0.305 mm), add clearance recorded when the C-lock was installed to thrust washer thickness measured. The sum will determine the required thickness of the replacement thrust washer.
  7. If clearance is 0.012 inch (0.305 mm) or greater, both side gears must be replaced (matched set) and the clearance measurements repeated.
  8. If clearance (above) continues to be 0.012 inch (0.305 mm) or greater, the case must be replaced.


I hope this helped if so an accept is appreciated

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