Rear axle rebuilding, viz. Dana 30

Jim Perry

Volvo Enthusiast
I'm trying to get adept at rebuilding Dana 30 rear axles to create my own limited slips. I have some of the tools for bearing removal and installation. I am missing the tool that would allow me to determine the shim size for the pinion depth. Anyone know the source a particular tool like that?

I have watched numerous videos. Some show a tool kit that uses a bar that is inserted into cylinders that are set into the carrier bearing saddles; the bar has a hole in it for a dial indicator to measure pinion depth. Other videos show a simple steel bar that one lays across the flats on the saddle to measure the pinion depth. The latter seems much more simple, so why the former process (requiring expensive tools?)

For example:

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Staff member

The problem with the "bar type" tool is that the flats are not always centered about the bearing opening. You can easily double check that the flats are "centered" with a suitable depth micrometer or a dial indicator with a small "bridge". Equal dimensions for the housing depth and the cap depth mean the the "flats" are centered. BTW, a good machinist could calculate the "offset" of an off center housing and adjust the dimension to suit the installation.

The better quality tools all measure from the center of the bearing housing bore. And that is usually how ring and pinion manufacturers typically mark the the "pinion depth" dimension. Some manufacturers though, expect installers to use a certain measuring fixture, typically their expensive model . . .