Turn the Gears Slowly

I’m told I need to work in new gears per manufacturer specs. Is this true or just hullabaloo?

A: Without a doubt, yes! Gears need to be installed to the manufacturer’s exact specifications, and they also have to be broken in properly: They have to go through heat cycles and must not suffer any major shocks during this time.

Remember, the manufacturer made that product, and if they do their part to stand behind a warranty, the break-in procedure needs to be followed as closely as possible. After the break-in period, the gear oil should be changed and gears need to be inspected for any signs of abnormal wear or problems that may arise.

Nuts and Bolts

John Ryzowicz is an experienced mechanic and trail leader and the owner of Trinity Auto Worx in Odessa, Fla. He recommends following the manufacturer’s specifications to the letter when breaking in new gears on your Jeep.

Failing to properly break in your new gears can cause overloading and overheating. It can also prematurely break down your gear oil. It can also void the manufacturer’s warranty, and they will know it the second they inspect it. So before you ride that expert trail or climb that new obstacle, follow the guidelines set forth by the experts at Differentials.com:

  • After driving the first 15 to 20 miles at around 60 miles per hour, it is best to stop and let the differential cool completely.
  • Maintain a speed below 60 miles per hour and drive conservatively for the first 100 miles.
  • The gear oil should be changed after 500 miles.
  • Drive at least 500 miles before any heavy use or towing.
  • During the first 45 miles of actual towing, only drive 10 to 15 miles at a time before stopping to let the differential cool.

My advice? Don’t skip a single step. Regearing requires time and money. You don’t want to waste either one, and you certainly don’t want to void your warranty.

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