Except for the fact that I had to do ten times as much work as the instructions and recent reviews described, the installation was really easy. Since I have 3.73 gears, my ring gear was too big to remove the pinion shaft from the carrier. This means that you have to remove the carrier and remove the ring gear to get it out. Don't worry... it's no more difficult than the original install. If anything, it makes it easier because you can do all of the work on the bench instead of upside down on the concrete.

This will be a detailed procedure, combining the instructions provided by Powertrax for installation into a Dana 30 with open carrier and the instructions from the Jeep Service Manual. I am in no way responsible for the accuracy of this procedure, this is simply a detailed account of what I did to install the Powertrax No-Slip Locker in my 2000 TJ with a Dana 30 Front axle with an open carrier.

After all is said and done, it was well worth the hassle. The instructions fail to go into any detail about the work required for high-geared vehicles, but they can't make specific instructions for every vehicle. I was happy enough to get a set of instructions for a Dana 30 with an open carrier.

On-road performance had not changed at all. I have made tight turns at 25+ mph with no ratchetting sound. Once in 4WD, this baby is locked. I'll put an off-road performance rating up here after I take Scrappy to the Badlands next.

Update: 07/28/01 Once I put on the 33" tires, I have heard the ratchetting noise a few more times, but only when doing a U-turn. Steering performance is not affected, it only makes noise.

Update: 08/20/01 It performs awesome off-road.. at least as well as an automatic locker can. I know that after two days of off-roading I didn't think about it once... and that was nice.

Procedure:

  1. Safely place the vehicle on jackstands. Only the front axle is required at this time, but the testing phase will require both axles off the ground.
  2. Remove the differential cover, and drain fluid. Clean the diff cover and housing sealing surface.
  3. Remove both front tires.
  4. Remove the brake caliper retaining bolts (2), and safely set the caliper aside.
  5. Remove the speed nuts from the brake disc, and remove the disc.
  6. Remove the axle retaining bolts (3) from the steering knuckle.
  7. Slide the axle shaft out of the tube, and safely set aside. The shaft my be pulled out only a few inches to remove the carrier, but damage to the axle seal is more likely.
  8. Loosen axle bearing retaining bolts, and mark the bearing collars as they must be replaced with the same orientation. Remove the bearing collars.
  9. Remove the cotter pin and the Tie rod-to-drivers side steering knuckle nut. Use a fork to pry off the tie rod. This will allow you to remove the carrier from the axle housing.
  10. Gently work the carrier out of the housing making sure not to damage the gear teeth. The majority of the new installation can now be performed on the bench.
  11. Remove the ring gear bolts, and slide the ring gear over the carrier and set it aside.
  12. Remove the pinion shaft retaining pin (roll pin) by pushing a screwdriver or roll pin removal tool through the hole on the back of the ring gear mount. Save the roll pin, it will be needed with the new pinion shaft.
  13. With the carrier removed, you can now remove your new paperweights. Remove both spider gears and their thrust washers from the carrier. Remove the side gears and their thrust washers.
  14. Verify the gaps in the coupler teeth are aligned with the gaps in the synchro ring. Align with an active spacer if necessary. They do come from the factory in the correct position, so if you didn't play with it too much, it should be fine.
  15. Apply liberal amounts of wheel bearing grease to the driver teeth and spacer. Also, apply wheel bearing brease to the saddle springs (8) and seat in the holes in the drivers.
  16. Place both couplers into the ends of the carrier. Make sure that the paddle opening (widest gap) in ring gear side synchro ring is facing towards you.
  17. Insert an active spacer in the driver, and seat the spacer paddle at the paddle opening of the driver (missing extended tooth).
  18. Place the spacer/driver into the carrier on the ring gear side. Place the spacer paddle of the spacer in contact with the paddle opening on the coupler. If you do this wrong, the gear teeth will not mesh perfectly. If the teeth do not mesh, line it up again.
  19. Insert the other active spacer into the second driver. Seat the paddle at the paddle opening in the driver.
  20. This time, ensure the paddle opening in the other synchro ring is facing away from you, and install the driver/spacer again making sure the paddle is facing away from you.
  21. Verify the paddle is aligned with the paddle opening and ensure the driver teeth are fully engaged all the way around.
  22. Insert the longer, smaller springs inside the larger, shorter springs. Rotate the locker as necessary to insert the springs in the spring slots (2). Compress the inner springs to squeeze them into place. Visually inspect the notches in the spring slot to make sure the inner spring is fully seated.
  23. Powertrax supplies you with a check block, a go/no-go key. While spreading the drivers with a screwdriver, check that the narrow end of the key fits, while the wider side should not. If this is not true, stop immediately and call Powertrax tech support; you may have the wrong locker.
  24. Make sure the saddle springs are fully seated in their holes in the drivers. Use the check block/key to drive the pinion shaft into the pinion shaft opening.
  25. Align the pinion shaft pin hole with the hole in the carrier, and insert the old retaining bolt/roll pin.
  26. Slide the ring gear over the carrier, and torque the bolts to the ring gear to 70-90 ft-lbs following the pattern defined on the carrier.
  27. Place the carrier assembly back in the axle housing, turning the ring gear slightly to mesh with the pinion gear. Reattach the bearing collars in the correct places (using the reference letters), and torque bearing cap bolts to 45 ft-lbs.
  28. Reattach the tie rod, and replace the castle nut and cotter pin.
  29. Clean all surfaces, and slide the axle shaft back into the axle, taking care not to damage the seals. Tighten the axle retaining bolts.
  30. Replace the disc, and caliper. Torque the caliper mounting bolts to 7-15 ft-lbs.
  31. Replace the tires on the on the Jeep.
  32. Testing phase
    • Place transfer case in 4WD high or low, and put the transmission in gear. Jack up the rear end of the Jeep.
    • Turn the drivers side wheel forward and hold.
    • Passenger side wheel should not be able to rotate in the same direction, but rotate freely in the opposite direction.
    • Repeat the test for the other side.
  33. Coat the sealing surfaces of the housing and diff cover with RTV, and torque the diff cover bolts to 30 ft-lbs.
  34. Lower the vehicle, and add differential fluid. Torque the fill hole plug to 25 ft-lbs.