1981 CJ7 Restoration - 2020.05.09

I started reassembly/rebuilding of the transfer case today after finally painting all the housings and things that could benefit from a rust protection layer. The photo below is that of a Crown Automotive master rebuild kit for the Dana 300 transfer case. It's a decent kit, but was missing some shims - like the ones for the rear output shaft and for the input shaft. These are pretty important shims for a "master rebuild kit" that were absent. I was going to complain about it and see if the vendor I bought the kit from would send me the parts, but it was much faster to spend $9 and have them shipped to me within 48 hours. I figured since I got the kit at a substantial discount, I could eat that - beats waiting.

The Dana 300 master rebuild kit, sans some shims.

Laying everything out for the rebuilding process. As mentioned, there are some amazing YouTube resources available and they have been lifesavers!

Everything laid out on the "table" ready to go.

The easiest thing to tackle is the input shaft sub-assembly. It doesn't take much effort to move the pieces on and off and that was appreciated since I needed to remove and reinstall the bearing and shims multiple times, since I wasn't satisfied with the end-play that I was getting. I over-shimmed it just slightly and the snap ring was not engaging all the way. I took a few thousandths of an inch off the stack height of the shims and it worked out perfectly. The snap ring fully engaged and the end-play was imperceptible. The dial gauge showed that we were within the specifications, 0.001" to 0.005"

Input shaft sub-assembly complete.

The next part was something I was really anxious to get right and into the main housing - the rear output shaft. This is the main link to drive the rear wheels. Noted earlier, I replaced the rear output shaft because of the excessive wear on the teeth. The little cup bearing goes inside of the rear output shaft and needs to be pressed in. The needle bearings surround the end of the input shaft.

At left, the new input shaft cup bearing that goes inside the rear output shaft. To the right, using a bearing cup driver to press in the cup bearing.

Next, the front output shaft sub-assembly is pressed together. This has to be done inside the housing, just like the rear output shaft. This is very cumbersome and challenging, but things worked out just fine. Below, both output shaft sub-assemblies are installed.

At left, the rear output shaft sub-assembly in the housing with the input shaft sub-assembly next to the case. To the right, the front output shaft sub-assembly pressed together.

This is as far as I got today after 8 hours in the garage! Takes some time, but it's all starting to make sense.

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