Diff and gears

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Feb 15, 2007
Santa Rosa, CA
So when i got my cruiser it came with everything needed to install the 4.56's and the rear locker, so i have all the parts the real question is how hard is it to do this, im pretty handy and would like to do it myself unless thats a horible idea, what special tools are needed and how long does it take? cause i figure for the cash it would cost to have it doen i could probly buy what ever tools i need and more plus it's valuable experiance.
Holy $#!T that sounds alot more complicated than i was hoping for and i only read throught the tools list...
Gary is in your back yard....give him a call.

Pick up a third sometime and play with it if you really want to 'learn' about a diff.

costs, other thoughts

I had one third member converted from 3.70 to 4.11 and I supplied the parts (total rebuild kit and gears). It cost me $230 labor, which was higher than what Kurt at Cruiser Outfitters had quoted me ($175) but the shipping would haved killed that deal. Thus, if you need to have 2 of them set up, plus a locker install, its going to cost something. Hopefully, when you ask about two diffs, the price will come down some.
The other costs associated with the deal are gaskets and seals. Rear axle rebuild kit is $65.60 plus shipping (new wheel bearings, seals at Cruiser Outfitters). Install kit for each differential (bearings) will cost you $110-$120. That is not including pinion flanges at $37.50. Would you want to do rear brakes??, New gear oil (Mobil 1 synthetic 3 quarts=$21). Grease, brake cleaner.

I assume that you are going to remove and install the thirds yourself. If so, it would be smart to recruit an extra set of hands for the removal and replacement of the 3rds..they are heavy/awkward. Also, check the condition of the studs on the housing to make certain that the nuts can be hand threaded on BEFORE you put the new third back in. The threads on mine were damaged and I did not know it until the 3rd was in place and the gasket sealed up. No, there is not enough room to use a re-thread die with the 3rd in place.
You will need a slide hammer to help you get the wheel bearings out properly; try to borrow that item if you don't have.

In short, its going to cost. And with lower gears, you will want bigger tires and that means some type of lift. With small tires, you motor will be screaming when you are going 60mph. Good luck!
Oops, Forgot the knuckle stuff

You are going to have to pull the front axles to get the front diff out. Be sure to get gaskets for that. Knuckle kit from Kurt at Cruiser Outfitters is $145 plus shipping. You will need a brass drift; NAPA sells a good big one. You will need about 4 tubes of grease and 3+ more quarts of gear oil.
Be prepared to cut the two rivets off the front brake backing plate when you need to take the brake calipers off. I used a dremel tool with a small cutting wheel. A lot of this stuff is not needed if you are not doing the knuckles at the same time, but the only thing more "fun" than doing it now is doing it again later!

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