Pinion depth - Nissan Frontier Forum
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-11-2017, 02:02 PM Thread Starter
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Pinion depth

Curious if anybody has measured differential pinion depth? What did you use to measure it?Don't want to spend a lot for measuring tool. Maybe make a tool using depth mic.
Have everything else I need to set- up new gearing for my differentials.
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-12-2017, 12:00 AM Thread Starter
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I figured out how I am going to do it.Just need to make the tool.
The pinion gear is marked 1.570, that is the depth I need to be able to measure.
I think I pretty much have everything to do the job.
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-19-2017, 12:57 PM
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What did you end up doing? Have you found any other info? I have experience setting up ford 8.8" differentials using Ford's pinion depth tool but I'm not sure how to properly do it on Nissan differentials.

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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-19-2017, 11:22 PM Thread Starter
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Still have not started on the differential. Still plan on making a tool that will line up to the centerline of the axle tube. I will use a Depth mic to measure the pinion depth. Don't think it will be a problem.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-20-2017, 11:12 AM
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Still have not started on the differential. Still plan on making a tool that will line up to the centerline of the axle tube. I will use a Depth mic to measure the pinion depth. Don't think it will be a problem.


The Ford tools have a solid cylinder that is machines to the o.d. of the carrier bearing races that you install in place of the carrier and bearings. There is another tool that installs in place of the pinion gear and you slide different shims between the two (like using the shims as feeler gauges) until you find the right shim. It could be done as you said by having flats machines onto two sides of the cylinder and a hole for the depth mic to insert through. I don't have access to a machine shop but I think there could be a small market for these.


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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-20-2017, 08:26 PM Thread Starter
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The market would be too small to be profitable. How many people here on this site would even attempt to do their own differentials?Not just the ability but having the equipment. Not many people even know how to read a depth mic.
Anybody with these skills such as yourself would be able to figure it out.
Compared to what I did in my 30 plus years as a machinist(also spacecraft assembly, intergration and test, tooling, composites etc.)
like I said it should not be a problem.
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-22-2017, 12:40 PM
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Is the pinon depth a trial and error thing. Install initially by a measured depth, then paint the gear teeth. Run. Look at pattern in the paint. Pull pinon, add or subtract shims. Rinse repeat till pattern in paint is right.

I remember helping a friend set up gears in his truck. What a PITA operation that took several nights.

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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-22-2017, 04:14 PM
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Is the pinon depth a trial and error thing. Install initially by a measured depth, then paint the gear teeth. Run. Look at pattern in the paint. Pull pinon, add or subtract shims. Rinse repeat till pattern in paint is right.

I remember helping a friend set up gears in his truck. What a PITA operation that took several nights.


I believe that's the way most DIYers do it and there's nothing wrong with it except for the time involved. If you have a proper way to measure pinion depth, it is a much quicker process and the only PITA is crushing the crush sleeve, especially if you're working under the vehicle on jack stands and don't have a real strong impact wrench.


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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-22-2017, 06:48 PM Thread Starter
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The pinion depth alone will not give the correct lash.
Side bearing adjustment also must be accounted for.
When I installed the "Trutrac" the pinion depth remained unchanged but still had to adjust the side bearings.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-22-2017, 07:02 PM
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The pinion depth alone will not give the correct lash.

Side bearing adjustment also must be accounted for.

When I installed the "Trutrac" the pinion depth remained unchanged but still had to adjust the side bearings.


Yes but backlash can be measured, as shown in your post, with a dial indicator. Dial indicators are more available than pinion depth tools, especially oem pinion depth tools.


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