Ring gear has a chipped tooth

GNRick

Retired member
Joined
Mar 21, 2004
I need to replace my ring gear in my 87 GN with Posi. It has a broken tooth. Who has the best price and do I also have to replace the pinion gear at the same time? Is this a big job?
 
Richmond is the only ones I know of making gear sets. Summit or Jegs carries them. And if you don't know how to/have the tools to set one up, plan to spend an extra $200 to get it set up right.
 
A friend of mine says he can do the ring gear, but the pinion gear would be too tough. The pinion gear looks good. How important is it to replace them as a set?
 
I was thinking about having the body shop install my body cushions. I may ask him if he can install gears, too.
 
As I understand, a ring and a pinion develop a wear pattern...

Correct

I was thinking about having the body shop install my body cushions. I may ask him if he can install gears, too.

I dont think thats a good idea. Take it to someone that can set up the rear right the first time. A trans shop should be able to do it for you, I doubt the bodyshop has the right tools to properly set up pinion depth, backlash......
 
I agree with DailyDrifter, a job that unless you have good mechanical skills, best to let a pro do it. It involves the use of a magnetic base/ dial indicator not to mention the pinion depth gage tool. Then theres the PITA of trying to get the crush sleeve to crush, not to mention having no leaks when the job is done. There's more to it then that but this should give you a idea, that it involves special tools and patience to get it set-up right. My adventure http://www.turbobuicks.com/forums/buick-v6-turbo-tech/74434-rear-end-oil-change-busted-gears.html and over here too http://www.turbobuick.com/forums/general-turbo-buick-tech/247601-setting-new-gears-rear.html

Chuck
 
My $.02..

R&P sets are "run in" as a set, when they are made. You do not use just 1 part of the set.
In our experience, Richmond has gotten the rep for being noisy, and in some cases, difficult to get a good pattern with.[Bad patterns cause noise, excessive wear].
Most mfgrs have 2 different types.
1. Race gears. [These are of different material and heat treat. Won't do well w/ high mileage use]
2. Street gears. [Live well on the street, w/ some track use].
Also, once the gear set has been installed, and run for some time, readjusting pinion depth, and/or backlash, can lead to problems.:eek:
Thus, it's VERY important to get it done right the first time.
[I use a hard roll and the die grinder to remove the sharp edges on all the teeth, and file the carrier and ring gear mating surfaces, to assure there are no burrs, etc. I also use new bolts, and Loctite].
We use Gearmotive, or Detroit gear sets, and solid crush sleeves...[They adjust w/ shims, and stay put under hard launches].
Given you have had a failure, all new brgs are MANDATORY!
Take a look at Randy's Ring and Pinion site. He has some good info.
 
Richmond is the only ones I know of making gear sets. Summit or Jegs carries them. And if you don't know how to/have the tools to set one up, plan to spend an extra $200 to get it set up right.

Thanks for the info, chuck. I saw in another post you recommended Motive gears. If I have a shop do the whole job- ring gear, pinion gear, bearings, shims, pinion seal, crush sleave, etc. how much would the labor be? I can price the parts myself. They charge around $65/hour here. I assume it would be over $200. Or is it about a 3 hour job? Thanks.
 
We use Gearmotive, or Detroit gear sets, and solid crush sleeves...[They adjust w/ shims, and stay put under hard launches].
Given you have had a failure, all new brgs are MANDATORY!
Take a look at Randy's Ring and Pinion site. He has some good info.

Who sells the solid "crush sleeves"? I have always used just the sleeve, and they work fine, HOWEVER......they are a pain to crush. Alot of Ford guys just leave the crush sleeve out. There was a LONG debate on that topic years ago on another web site. I never really deciphered which is better. A buddy of mine said he use to set up tons of rear-ends and they would just hammer the crush sleeves back-out a little, and they rarely had a come-back. Sounds like a plan on my next set-up. (for me of course)
I have personally met and dealt with Randy from Randy's Ring and Pinion. He is a pretty serious business guy. He does alot of work for guys around here. I've not heard any serious complaints, either. His shop is about 200 yards from where I work.
 
MW and I think Randy sells the solid crush sleeves. MW has the Motive Gear sets. Randy's shows that they have choices other than Richmond, too.
 
As an installer of gear sets for 20 plus years , I have never liked installing a customer provided gear set...you cannot guarantee the job not knowing the quality of the parts ,regardless of the box they came in.A manufacturer will more likely replace a product for me than for a final consumer because of my experience. Bottom line,let the guy doing the job buy what he likes to work with and he will give you a good warantee(not against breakage..that is classified as abuse) for leaks ,noise etc.Total job should run $400-$600.
Motive Gear is one my preferred for ease of set-up.American Axle is OE and a little harder to read and a little more expensive.All the rest are second choice.Genuine is last with Richmond next to the last.
 
The guy who I might have do the job quoted me $740. He said it is a 5 hour job. He will be using Motive. Going labor rate around here is $65/hour and I think that is what he charges. So he will be marking up the parts some but I guess that is normal. He was hesitant to give me any kind of warranty since it is a Grand National. But we discussed it and he agreed if the gears start wining and there is no sign of abuse then he would see if Motive would stand behind the parts. I'm not sure what that means for labor though. Should I continue to look around for a shop? This guy said he has something like 20+ years experience at local Buick dealership. He is a one man show (shop is less than a year old) and he seems to be pretty busy. Soonist he can get me in is 3/31/09 and this is 3/10/09. He told me today that he will hold that date open for me but he would like to know what I decide to do ASAP. He said he has worked on GN's before when he worked for the Buick dealer.
 
I think your quote is fair...I can't get that labor rate in this rural area. He should be willing to guarantee the set-up to be quiet,and Motive will back him up if he doesn't have a bad history.Ask how many gear set-ups he has done...dealership techs specialize so that time spent might have been in tune-ups or ?? Unless it breaks a tooth,which Motive will classify as abuse,he should cover anything else at no addition charge. Likely nothing will break unless you get violent wheel hop.If you have a good gut feeling that he knows what he is doing and is willing to meet you on common ground for a warantee and is located close to you,it's probadly OK.I would request Timken bearings , even it it adds a little to the cost.As a kit ,the addition cost is less that $20.Also he will want to add charges for worn parts (axles ,wheel bearings ,seals etc ) that might be discovered during tear-down...expect this, and go by in inspect what he finds.It will be the cheapest time to to do these repairs as most of the labor is already done.
 
I think your quote is fair...I can't get that labor rate in this rural area. He should be willing to guarantee the set-up to be quiet,and Motive will back him up if he doesn't have a bad history.Ask how many gear set-ups he has done...dealership techs specialize so that time spent might have been in tune-ups or ?? Unless it breaks a tooth,which Motive will classify as abuse,he should cover anything else at no addition charge. Likely nothing will break unless you get violent wheel hop.If you have a good gut feeling that he knows what he is doing and is willing to meet you on common ground for a warantee and is located close to you,it's probadly OK.I would request Timken bearings , even it it adds a little to the cost.As a kit ,the addition cost is less that $20.Also he will want to add charges for worn parts (axles ,wheel bearings ,seals etc ) that might be discovered during tear-down...expect this, and go by in inspect what he finds.It will be the cheapest time to to do these repairs as most of the labor is already done.

Thank you.
 
Rear end repair is done and I've driven the car some. Seems like he did a good job. He said he has done dozens of them- although this is probably his first GN.
 
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