One of the most overlooked parts of a build - Gears
Wow I am off to a GREAT start, said this was going to be weekly and already missed one! Anyways, everyone wants the biggest and baddest lift, wheels, and tires they can get on their vehicle, but many forget about the gearing. Either they are not aware of it, or feel it is not worth the money to have it regeared because they are not fully aware of what it does and the benefits of regearing. So this is going to take you through what regearing it, what it does, and who our gear company of choice is based on the many years of personal experience.
Starting off what what they are and what they do. "Gears" being the common general term for the ring and pinion in the differential of your vehicle, regearing said gears involves changing the ratio of how fast the tire spins in comparison to the driveshaft. For example, a 5.13 gear ratio means with every single tire rotation the driveshaft spins 5.13 times. You will also HAVE to do front and rear when you regear, Your diffs need to spin consistently with each other otherwise you will grenade the transfer case. I hear a lot of "I won't put it in 4WD", which is great until you forget, put it in 4WD and hear some God awful noises. So what do they do? The taller the gearing is, the more "off the line" speed you have, but your top highway speeds decrease, the shorter gearing you have the slower you are to start but once you get up to speed you can go faster up top. We gear taller to help our(usually) factory engines try and keep up with the weight and size of larger wheels and tires. This also allows some of the higher gear transmissions to hit 7th and 8th gear again because the tire speed vs gearing will be more like factory again allowing the proper shifting to happen.
Who do we use for gears? Revolution Gear and Axle. That is it. We don't even bother with anyone else anymore because many other companies use multiple sources of suppliers and many times you can get bad batches that have horrible QC. Revolution is actually one of these suppliers for some brands and that is how we found out about them, other suppliers have these multiple sources so you can get a good Revolution batch or you can get a bad batch that was acquired elsewhere. They supply all their own gears so no need to worry about having to "get lucky", they are all produced in a high quality plant in South Korea. What they also have is the REM Surface Finishing which is an additional finishing process that they do to make the products even more precise. This REM isotropic finish helps the gears run cooler, have a better break in period with less metal being chewed up in that process(as shown on the magnets that we pull when we service the differentials after about 1000 miles), and run quieter. They have shown us over the years that they are a quality company and one that we will be sticking to for the foreseeable future. You will also NEED a speedometer calibrator, many modern vehicles will go into limp mode if the wheel speed and speed being read do not match, something like a .SuperChips FlashCal, Tazer Mini, or Hypertech Speedo Calibrator will do the trick.
On another note, I HIGHLY recommend you go to a reputable shop for gear installation, sure YouTube can be a great tool when installing nerf bars but gearing takes a lot of precise work that lead to catastrophic failure if done wrong. Not to mention the specialty gauges and tooling required to measure backlash to ensure a proper set up. I am not saying it is impossible for the average person to do, I am saying it is not a good idea and even if done properly will likely take days and a lot of cursing involved for having to take the diff out for the 15th time.
To cap it off, gears are overlooked by many, but offer some of the best benefits that you can have; better acceleration, regaining your 8th and sometimes even 7th gear, and help your vehicle perform similar to it's stock performance. Revolution is the only brand of ring and pinion that we deal with so much so that we will not install any other gear set. The only time we will is if you bring us a gear set and there is a little K with a circle around it because that is their signature logo in their private labeling. Also just for anyone wondering a typical regear takes about two days, MAYBE 1 day if we really knock it out fast but we typically still need to test drive it.
- Jake Dinelli