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What Size Gears Do I Have?
 
1) What do you think you have?
  This is probably one of the most asked questions on the forum. What size gears do I have? Well, let's reverse it, what size gears do you think you have? There are tons of websites out there that have this information. Granted there is a chance that you have some newer axles swapped in or perhaps someone changed out the ring and pinion in your axles, but for the most part, the charts that are available from places like jeeptech will give you a good starting point.

If you find the letter stamped on your housing and you know if you have wide or narrow tracks, you can look it up pretty easily.
2) Do you have a Jack?
  If you do, jack up the rear end. With the wheels off the ground, mark with some chalk a spot on the tire. Also mark a spot on the drive shaft. When you turn the wheel 1 full revolution, count the number of times the drive shaft spins. This will give you a rough approximation as to what the gear ratio is. If it spins almost 3.5 times, then you might have 3.31 gears. If it is a little more then 3.5, then it might be 3.54 or 3.73 gears. This is just a guess doing it this way, but it will help to determine where you are at approximately.
3) Are you strong enough?
  The jack was the easy way, if you are strong enough, you can push the Jeep and do exactly what was said up above. Nah, if it is in gear you have to be really strong... Go onto the next step.
4) Wanna Get Messy?
  Easiest way by far, pop the cover off and count the teeth on both sides and divide. Or even easier yet, look on the side of the ring gear, it will tell you what you need to know. There are 2 numbers in a row, like 43/13, that is the teeth on the ring and the pinion. Dividing these up gives you 3.31.

 



5) Tach numbers, or does it sound too loud?
  This is not what the gear ratio is, but whether or not you should have larger or smaller gears. Basically what I am saying is that there are charts out there which will show you WHAT size tires and gears you should have for comfortable highway cruising... if that is what you are after.

  Conclusions
  So... I think I have given you all the possible combinations to determine the gear ratio. You can read and go on the fact that you have stock axles, you can guesstimate what it is, or you can actually do your Jeep a favor and pop off the cover, drain the oil, count the teeth, and then put it all back together with fresh gear oil and new seals and it will be happy for many moons to come.

cb (07/13/07)

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