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Technical Dana 41 gear set

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by modagger, Mar 9, 2021.

  1. modagger
    Joined: Jul 2, 2013
    Posts: 293

    modagger
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Greetings All

    I want to change the ratio on my Dana 41 from 4:27 to 3:55. Early Ford parts sells the new gears but it isn’t something I’ve done before and my confidence level is not where it needs to be for this job.

    I got a price for the labor today and thought it was just a tad, well, not just a tad but quite higher than I expected.

    I was quoted $800.00 for the labor. I don’t mind paying for something that I can’t do myself. I just don’t want to get raked over the proverbial coals in the process.

    I am in the Northeast and expect to pay a premium, but my question is, does this sound reasonable for the labor involved?

    The rear end is in my ‘30 Model A.

    I eagerly await the flow from the fount of wisdom.

    Be well and safe
    Jeff
     
  2. Budget36
    Joined: Nov 29, 2014
    Posts: 7,267

    Budget36
    Member

    Might I suggest a different rearend ? Ie Other than the d41.
    What bolt pattern do you have and the current WMS. Also how the rear is mounted, etc.

    I too just needed years back a new r/p in my step daughter’s OT Blazer, was a grand even if I brought it in. Easier to pull one and much less expensive and swap it out.
     
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  3. modagger
    Joined: Jul 2, 2013
    Posts: 293

    modagger
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    E6908E2E-9FAA-4CD2-851B-77C69D46B80D.jpeg
    Hmmm......, I was hoping not to have to change the complete rear end, but I can start looking at that option also.
     
  4. FrozenMerc
    Joined: Sep 4, 2009
    Posts: 2,762

    FrozenMerc
    Member

    The labor is to cover the time it takes to shim the ring and pinion correctly. The shop may drop it in right away and the gear mesh pattern is fine. Then again, they may drop it in, the pattern is off, then they have to pull the chunk, shim it, put it back together, check the pattern, and it may be off again. Add additional shims, wash, rinse and repeat. They are making sure their asses are covered, as it can get quite time consuming, especially in older axles were the machining tolerances weren't nearly as tight and precise as stuff is these days. Make sure they charge you for actual time spent, and not a flat rate.
     
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  5. modagger
    Joined: Jul 2, 2013
    Posts: 293

    modagger
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Now that’s what I’m looking for. Knowing how involved it can become and how time consuming it may be puts it into perspective for me.

    Many thanks
     
  6. jaracer
    Joined: Oct 4, 2008
    Posts: 1,230

    jaracer
    Member

    If the 41 requires a case spreader, it's a pretty big job. Like FrozenMerc said it is spread the case, put it together, check the gear tooth pattern and if it isn't correct, spread the case and move the shims. Repeat as necessary. I see that it has the holes in the housing for the case spreader.
     
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  7. modagger
    Joined: Jul 2, 2013
    Posts: 293

    modagger
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I’m beginning to think that $800.00 may be a fair price after all.
     
  8. saltflats
    Joined: Aug 14, 2007
    Posts: 10,941

    saltflats
    Member
    from Missouri

    You need to check that new gears may require a different carrier.
    On the Dana rear ends the shims are behind the carrier bearings, so those bearing need to be removed to change the shims. The pinion bearing shims are behind the rear bearing race, so it has to be removed to change that shim.
    They can be very time consuming.
     
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  9. greybeard360
    Joined: Feb 28, 2008
    Posts: 1,813

    greybeard360
    Member

    I have built a lot of differentials. The integral rear ends are the most time consuming because they use shims for pinion depth and backlash. If the rear end has never been rebuilt chances are the pinion depth shims will work that are in it. If someone built it before and changed them... You don't know how close they got.

    They have special tools to measure the depth so you know what to put in without guessing or doing it a dozen times. Once you get the depth set, now you play with more shims to set backlash. When you are happy with that.... Check the pattern. If you got lucky... It will be good to go. If not you have to determine from the pattern if the pinion depth is ok and backlash can be adjusted a bit to get the pattern right. If not..... You start all over!

    On top of this you need a bearing puller that can remove the pinion bearings if you have to change those shims.

    Yes.... It can be very labor intense and requires some special tools to make it easier.
     
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  10. Hollywood-East
    Joined: Mar 13, 2008
    Posts: 1,545

    Hollywood-East
    Member

    To ponder.. Old mail Jeep's had 44's one piece axle's, posi, 3:73 , 5x5 1/2... Rare to find today, but they're out there...
     
  11. modagger
    Joined: Jul 2, 2013
    Posts: 293

    modagger
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Once again, I got just what I needed by going to the well. A schooling!

    Thanks everyone for all of your input. I now realize how time consuming this job is to do correctly. And also that it’s way above my pay grade.

    This gear change will hopefully lower the rpms enough so I can at least cruise at 60 without the Y block screaming at me.

    Be well
    Jeff

    P.S. you also succeeded in making me feel like a cheapskate! :rolleyes:
     
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  12. miker98038
    Joined: Jan 24, 2011
    Posts: 653

    miker98038
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I don't know about the 41, but on the 44 there's a carrier change, 3.73 and down, 3.9? and up.
    After paying a shop for 3 gear changes (different transmission combinations) I'd have been lots of money ahead with a modern rear end.
     
    modagger likes this.
  13. This is one reason the Ford 9" became so popular....
     
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  14. japchris
    Joined: Apr 21, 2001
    Posts: 344

    japchris
    Member
    from England

    I've just paid out for exactly the same job on this side of the Atlantic. Had 4.27 gears taken out of my Dana 41 and replaced with 3.54 gears.
    It cost me the equivalent of about $775 for the work. ( I supplied the parts - gears, bearings, oil seals, gasket.)
    In fairness the oil seal on the front they didn't use as they machined for a larger Jaguar seal as they found there was some wear that the original oil seal might not have coped with. Price also included spark eroding the old drain plug out that had sheared off.
     
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  15. cjsavage
    Joined: Oct 28, 2011
    Posts: 58

    cjsavage
    Member
    from eastern nc

    Wow. I'd like to have had $800 for every Dana rear I've built. Check with the local 4x4 guys. They use a lot of Dana rears. The spreader is nice, but in most cases not required. Others are correct about the carrier change on some gearset swaps. Setting up ring and pinion sets is something many shops will not touch.

    Sent from my moto z3 using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
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  16. modagger
    Joined: Jul 2, 2013
    Posts: 293

    modagger
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    That’s a heck of a cliffhanger there japchris! So do tell, did it make enough of a difference to justify the cost?
     
  17. dumprat
    Joined: Dec 27, 2006
    Posts: 3,159

    dumprat
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from b.c.

    $800 labour seems steep. It shouldn't take 8 hours to do a dana diff if it's out of the car. If it's in the car it makes it more work, so that may be what yo are paying for.
     
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  18. japchris
    Joined: Apr 21, 2001
    Posts: 344

    japchris
    Member
    from England

    Not been able to take the car out yet, (which incidentally is like yours in that its Y-Block powered), as I have some building work going on in front of the garage door at present. It's got to be better though. Long journeys were costing a fortune in fuel and all a bit revvy! The gear sets are a lot more expensive for me. I believe they are made in Italy - shipped to USA, then I buy a set, ship back to Europe, (so they've had a nice round the world cruise at my expense), and then the British Government present me with a hefty customs duty charge that includes duty on the cost of shipping. Couldn't find them for sale on this side of the pond.
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2021
  19. hemihotrod66
    Joined: May 5, 2019
    Posts: 451

    hemihotrod66
    Member

    I really never liked the integral rear axles...Always preferred the drop out center sections...
     
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  20. Marty Vanin
    Joined: Feb 22, 2017
    Posts: 67

    Marty Vanin
    Member

    Most shops where I live are over $100 an hour,so $800 would be a days labour.You take that diff apart a few times and change the shims a few times to get a good pattern you could be all day.
     
  21. modagger
    Joined: Jul 2, 2013
    Posts: 293

    modagger
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Thanks Marty

    With every response it’s becoming clearer that what I thought to be a “raking” is actually not too bad considering the work necessary.
     
  22. modagger
    Joined: Jul 2, 2013
    Posts: 293

    modagger
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Maybe if I rev it up, dump the clutch, I can turn this one into a “drop out” rear member. :p
     
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