Pinion bearings, engines and suction guns

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Ok, yea, yea, yea… it’s been a few weeks… er… months… er…OK!… years since I last posted. I’ve been a little busy. We have a new passenger for the Jeep, my 18 month old son, Alex (I’ll have him under the Jeep with me any day now.). And a second new passenger due in about 5 weeks. Needless to say, the Jeep hasn’t gotten as much attention as she used to.

But, I’m going out on a trail ride this weekend and had to get her road/trail worthy so I’ve had an excuse to work on her a little. So, to catch everyone up on the last year or so… the biggest bit of work I’ve done was a full axle swap front and back last winter. I killed the front differential climbing a long hill. Threw the front pinion bearing and the gears kina ate themselves. One of the members of the club had an old CJ-5 carcass sitting out behind his garage that had 3.4 gears. He didn’t want them (too high for him, he’s running 4.3 I think.) Me? I’ve had 2.7’s in the old girl all along and 3.4’s are a step up! I graciously took them and stuck them under her last fall.

I then took her out the next spring and it was wonderful! All 15 minutes of it. Till my engine seized up. Spun the rear crank bearing. Once again a friend from the club ( saved my ass with a spare 258 straight six he had sitting out back. One poor man’s rebuild (new main rear seal and oil pump) later she was installed and I was back in action.

Took her out a couple of times over the summer and it’s great. The new gears are amazing. Second best mod I’ve done to her. Second only to the locker in the rear.

So, I’m driving back from a local festival (on a level paved road I might add) with Jen and Alex when I hear a strange noise coming from the rear axle. I get home and look under it and see the rear pinion shaft is wobbling all around. Uh oh! After pulling the rear axle out, I see the pinion bearings are shot and luckily I didn’t kill the gears. Phew. Stuck in some new bearings and put it back on and we’re good again.

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