dial indicator for ring gear backlash

dial indicator for ring gear backlash

Postby gordo999 [OP] » July 23rd 2015, 8:44pm

I picked up a dandy little dial indicator cheap, made by Peacock. I got it cheap because some of the mounting assembly is missing and I need to fab something.

Thought I had the ideal rig from Acklands in Vancouver for only $19, but when I called to enquire as to availability, I was told the $19 was just for a slide rod and that the entire unit cost over $300.

I would appreciate input on this, ideas on how I might proceed, whether that be buying a holder for a reasonable price or fabbing one.

What I have is a small plastic unit with a thumb screw on it that came with the indicator. It has two clamps that take 6 mm rods and the clamps are able to swivel in the same plane with respect to each other. When the position is right, the thumbscrew tightens both clamps at once.

That allows me to set the indicator to various positions in one plane. Obviously, I need something else that will allow me to set it in various positions in 3-dimension.

One of the clamps takes a 6 mm shaft extending from one end of the dial indicator. Now I need another 6 mm extender rod (1/4" should work) with enough length to reach the diff housing so I can secure it to one of the diff housing bolt holes.

A strong magnet would work as well. I have seen magnetic extractors with weaker magnets that have ball-joint swivels on them. A ball joint swivel would work for my purposes with a stronger magnet.

What I need is something to attach the extender rod to the housing and another one of those thumbscrew/swivel clamps would be good. But where to get one? I don't even know what they are called.

The dial indicator manufacturer is not well represented in Canada, from what I can see, so getting info from them is unlikely..

What I am thinking is fabbing a piece of angle iron that sits with one side perpendicular to the diff housing. I could bolt one end to the housing and have the perpendicular side with a hole though it that will take a short 6 mm shaft threaded at one end. A 1/4" bolt with a 1" or longer unthreaded shoulder on it would work if I sawed the bolt cap off and bolt the threaded end to the angle iron.

Using another thumbscrew/ swivel clamps assy, I could have 3 degrees of freedom, so I could set up the dial indicator from any one of 3 directions. One clamp would go over the 1/4" bolt on the angle iron and the other would take the 6 mm extender rod going to the dial indicator.
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gordo999
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Re: dial indicator for ring gear backlash

Postby paulo57509 » July 25th 2015, 11:56am

Sounds like you need a magnetic dial indicator stand.

Image

I got it at Harbor Freight for $13 and some change.

http://www.harborfreight.com/multiposit ... -5645.html
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Re: dial indicator for ring gear backlash

Postby gordo999 [OP] » July 25th 2015, 11:17pm

paulo57509 wrote:Sounds like you need a magnetic dial indicator stand.


Holy mackerel, that is a good deal. Thanks for the tip Paulo.

Now, if they just ship to Canada. I think there's some secret pact between the US and Canadian government to stop the hoi polloi shopping in the States. They are forever at each others' throats over NAFTA and we are caught in the middle.
Original Poster [OP]
gordo999
Firing on 7 Cylinders (L1)
Firing on 7 Cylinders (L1)
Years of Membership: gordo999 has been a member for 6 full yearsgordo999 has been a member for 6 full yearsgordo999 has been a member for 6 full yearsgordo999 has been a member for 6 full yearsgordo999 has been a member for 6 full yearsgordo999 has been a member for 6 full years
Posts: 747
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Joined: October 2014
Gender: Male
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Van Model Year: 2001
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Extra Info: Cargovan 4.3 RWD

Re: dial indicator for ring gear backlash

Postby gordo999 [OP] » July 26th 2015, 12:38am

paulo57509 wrote:Sounds like you need a magnetic dial indicator stand


I'm thinking of doing something similar to the setup in your photo to check the pinion face depth from the surface of the diff housing, using a straight edge, or the angle iron you have shown. I want to take a relative measurement when I remove the ring gear/carrier and compare it to the measurement when I have changed the pinion bearings.

I understand that not all bearings by different manufacturers have the same dimensions, some being different by several thousands of an inch. By taking a before and after I hope to know the difference so I can ballpark the shims.

I know there's an official definition for the pinion depth and I think it's from the face of the pinion gear to the centre line of the axle/ring gear. I don't have an accurate way of determining the axle centre line so I was hoping to get a rough starting point for the shims by doing a before and after measurement, using a micrometer, from the surface of the diff housing to the pinion bearing face.

I have a stock pinion depth measurement for a GM 10 bolt 7.5 axle for the master housing dimension of 3.787 inches. That is measured from the axle centre line to the bearing surface at the back of the pinion gear, as far as I can see. By measuring from the back surface to the front surface of the pinion gear, you get the pinion head thickness, and by subtracting that from the master housing dimension you get the pinion depth.

I could do all that if I had the dimension on a GMC 10 bolt 7.5" housing from the axle centre line to the housing cover surface.
Original Poster [OP]
gordo999
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Years of Membership: gordo999 has been a member for 6 full yearsgordo999 has been a member for 6 full yearsgordo999 has been a member for 6 full yearsgordo999 has been a member for 6 full yearsgordo999 has been a member for 6 full yearsgordo999 has been a member for 6 full years
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Van Model Year: 2001
Van Make/Model: GMC Safari
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