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Old 11-06-2019, 11:18 PM   #1
mobileortho
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Richmond gears, any good?

Picked up a 10 bolt posi with 3.23 gears and want to swap in a set of 3.73s for a bit more spirited driving experience. I see mixed reviews on the Richmond gears but wanted to see what you guys thoughts were. Anybody running those?

FYI Iím running a mild 350 around 320hp, 700r4 & 285 55 18 rear tires.
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Old 11-07-2019, 02:18 AM   #2
mr48chev
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Re: Richmond gears, any good?

My thinking is that unless you just flat like to spend money swapping gears I'd be hunting a 3.73 posi rear in good shape even if I had to pay a bit of a premium for it and then sell the 3.23. No matter what gears you buy you are looking at 6/700 bucks to have it all changed over by the time you end up buying bearings an paying for the labor shop time.

At least price the whole nine yards out before you spend any money.
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Old 11-07-2019, 08:07 AM   #3
1project2many
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Re: Richmond gears, any good?

Richmond used to be one of the largest gear manufacturers. Their gears were always high quality and AFAIK they are still good. I wouldn't hesitate to install a set.

Most gear installations go badly due to insufficient cleaning. I cannot stress how important it is to clean the housing if you want the gears and bearings to last. We're talking electronics clean room level of clean. You have to dig around where tubes meet center housing, inside the axle bearing area, inside both pinion oil passages, between pinion seal and outer pinion bearing. Over, over, and over again if necessary. I use brushes attached to poles, I push rags down the tubes, I use compressed air and gallons of wash solvent if necessary. I do whatever I need to do in order to make the housing clean. And the number one mistake people make? "Well, it should be clean inside because the axle was good. It's just a gear change." If the axle has 100k or more miles it's probably not clean inside.
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Old 11-07-2019, 09:01 AM   #4
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Re: Richmond gears, any good?

I've used Richmond with no issues....but give a choice I'd go with yukon...
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Old 11-07-2019, 09:37 AM   #5
burnin oil
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Re: Richmond gears, any good?

I say if you have the tools learn to change them yourself
It's not hard but can be frustrating. I learned to do it recently. Did a R&P to match a new axle in a jeep. Then the junkyard rear cracked a pinion so I got a chance to swap them out again. So it's clear my work didn't break but I did get to swap 3 ring and opinions. Right now Jegs has kits with bearings and shims for $265. I think the house brand is precision. I used Spicer and Yukon.
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Old 11-07-2019, 11:07 AM   #6
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Re: Richmond gears, any good?

Both great gear products, but Yukon is known for a quieter set. What I installed in my corporate 10 bolt with TruTrac and 3.73's.

Cheers, Jim
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Old 11-07-2019, 11:33 AM   #7
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Re: Richmond gears, any good?

I am in the mr48 and 1project camp.
1st-price the whole thing out and ensure your carrier/housing is going to work with the different gear set. some gears would not fit on the carrier

2nd-(my preference from a cost and labor standpoint) price out a good used axle with 3.73 posi and simply swap the whole housing. sell the old one when done if you get the results you wanted from the 3.73. that would cover costs better and there is basically no down time except for the actual swap, maybe a morning if you have done your homework and have all the stuff you need. ensure to pull the cover off any used diff you find to check the gears and also the condition of the guts. if the 3.73 turns out like you think and it is a keeper then you could get a bearing set for it and redo the "new" axle so you know what you have. simply place the shims where they were behind the new bearings and the gear pattern and backlash should be the same.

3rd-if you decide to go ahead with a gear swap do some research on how this is done and what is involved. set up a pro/con sheet and price it all out. some axles need a special tool to spread the housing so the carrier can be removed and installed. you will also need a dial indicator and the specs for the new gears along with a torque wrench and some gear marking compound. you should plan on completely disassembling the diff, axle bearings and all. ensure to mark the bearing caps so they go back in exactly like they came out. they are machined in place so they can't get swapped side to side or upside down. like an engine main bearing cap that is line bored. grab a nylon wire brush that will fit inside the axle tubes and on your drill. 1/4" shank usually. thread the shank of the brush. grab a length of 1/4" round stock longer than the longest axle tube, weld a long nut on the end of the round stock, like one used for threaded rod. then the wire brush can be screwed onto the end of the rod and used on the drill to clean down the axle tubes. I use a garden sprayer with a long wand filled with solvent (get one with viton seals and o rings if you wanna be able to use it again after) to flush everything out after. clean it, power wash it with detergent, dry it, check it for problems. check the other parts as well. axle bearing surfaces, seal bores, carrier for out of round (do this before the take apart and use a dial indicator) signs of previous welding on axle tubes (if done all at once the heat generated can warp the axle tube), brake backing plates for wear or rust etc. if you purchase a bearing and gear set it should come with everything you need for seals etc. you may need a bearing splitter, H bar with long puller bolts or a shop press, a micrometer to check shim thickness as well as other tools to go with it in order to get the old bearings off the carrier and/or get the proper shims placed while setting up the gear set. if you don't have the tools or access to them it may be cheaper to have a gear shop do the gear set for you after you have cleaned/checked the housing. the staff at most gear places will be well versed in set up, they would have all the tools, shim packs etc and they do this all the time so shop time would be reduced compared to a first timer, and they should be adjusted correctly when you get it back, not a "I think it's good" scenario. if it were me I would at least check with a gear shop for pricing and other things the guys in the back would be possibly more in tune with than the parts guy may be.

https://itstillruns.com/tell-spider-...-12037103.html

https://fuelandfriction.com/weekend-...rential-noise/

https://www.differentials.com/diagno...tial-problems/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dAqAqODmcj4

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C-srB9pUEE4

https://www.differentials.com/techni...lure-analysis/
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Old 11-07-2019, 01:02 PM   #8
Ziegelsteinfaust
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Re: Richmond gears, any good?

All gears from there respective manufacturers start from the same blanks for the most part. The biggest difference from a $150 dollar set to a $250 dollar set is the quality of the finish machining. The cheaper ones have a tendency to have a bit of whine to them or gear noise. The expensive ones do not. They have the same strength to them. I asked 3 different gear companies, and got the same answers.

On my Camaro project I went with cheap ones since slight gear whine would hardly be noticeable over 500 hp through barely exhaust.
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Old 11-07-2019, 02:21 PM   #9
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Re: Richmond gears, any good?

One thing to think about is that Richmond gears have been the go to aftermarket gears for racers for as long as I can remember and some of the bad feedback may be due to the abuse from racing or from someone who got their hands on a rear that had been under a race car for a lot of runs and then tried to run it on the street.
The other thing is amatures installing them without proper knowledge or equipment.


I don't suggest attempting to install the gears yourself unless you have some serious experience and the correct tools and gauges. I've worked on drop out units in the past including the 55/64 Chevy car rears but won't touch a ten or bolt on a bet. Mainly because I don't have the equipment to do it right and don't have access to the extra and different thickness shims it takes to do it right.
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Old 11-07-2019, 03:26 PM   #10
mobileortho
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Re: Richmond gears, any good?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mr48chev View Post
I don't suggest attempting to install the gears yourself unless you have some serious experience and the correct tools and gauges. I've worked on drop out units in the past including the 55/64 Chevy car rears but won't touch a ten or bolt on a bet. Mainly because I don't have the equipment to do it right and don't have access to the extra and different thickness shims it takes to do it right.
Oh no! Definitely something I'll be leaving up to someone with experience. There's a local guy here that does a lot of work for the racers over at Langley Speedway that I'll get to do it for me. I see a couple of Richmond kits on Amazon and Summit but the problem I'm having is identifying if it's an 8.5 or 8.2. I'm getting conflicting info as to which one came on the 68 Camaro. Can't locate any numbers on the axle, but the two tabs on the bottom rear of the cover suggests 8.5.
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Old 11-07-2019, 03:33 PM   #11
Ziegelsteinfaust
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Re: Richmond gears, any good?

68 Camaros had 8.2" rear ends stock. My 69 for quite a few years had a Chevy 8.5 from a 74-79 Nova.

I have ran 8.2's behind 400 hp with no issue, and they can handle 500 with a proper build. Plus a main cap support cover.
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Old 11-07-2019, 09:35 PM   #12
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Re: Richmond gears, any good?

48chevy. I felt the same way for years until I tried to do it. Its not so bad. Doing anything with timed gears is definatly harder. Extra shims are dirt cheap. I bought spare shims and crush seal and gave it a whirl. A bearing splitter and a good gear puller is needed. A dremel tool can be used to grind out the old bearings so that they can be used as setup bearings. You can do it at home but sometimes you have to improvise. A bottle jack and a truck frame can press a bearing. My point is that we all think that there is some voodoo going on in the chunk. It's not. It just takes patience.
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Old 11-07-2019, 09:48 PM   #13
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Re: Richmond gears, any good?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mobileortho View Post
Oh no! Definitely something I'll be leaving up to someone with experience. There's a local guy here that does a lot of work for the racers over at Langley Speedway that I'll get to do it for me. I see a couple of Richmond kits on Amazon and Summit but the problem I'm having is identifying if it's an 8.5 or 8.2. I'm getting conflicting info as to which one came on the 68 Camaro. Can't locate any numbers on the axle, but the two tabs on the bottom rear of the cover suggests 8.5.
Post a picture. It's usually easy to tell. 8.2 rear looks "flattened" and the OE cover has an oil passage in the cover.
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Old 11-08-2019, 12:05 AM   #14
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Re: Richmond gears, any good?

Iíve been scouring the net and everything I see lead me to believe that itís a 8.5 and it may not be the original Camaro rear. I inspected the gears and find no broken or worn teeth anywhere and there are no weird noises coming from the unit so I may just slap my disc brakes on it and call it good.
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Old 11-08-2019, 04:42 PM   #15
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Re: Richmond gears, any good?

Definitely an 8.5" center. Yes to tabs, but carrier shape and design are also telltale. 8.2 posi has coil springs and plates like 12 bolt while 8.5 uses S spring. Also has rounded end opposite RG flange where 8.5" Eaton has more squared corners.

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Old 11-08-2019, 06:39 PM   #16
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Re: Richmond gears, any good?

[QUOTE=1project2many;8623830]Definitely an 8.5" center. Yes to tabs, but carrier shape and design are also telltale. 8.2 posi has coil springs and plates like 12 bolt while 8.5 uses S spring. Also has rounded end opposite RG flange where 8.5" Eaton has more squared corners.

The ďSĒ spring is there so itís gotta be the 8.5. Also, if Iím right, according to the gear stamp, itís a 3.73 too!
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Old 11-08-2019, 07:33 PM   #17
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Re: Richmond gears, any good?

HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY!
so, whatcha gonna find to occupy your time now? lol.
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Old 11-08-2019, 09:10 PM   #18
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Re: Richmond gears, any good?

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Originally Posted by dsraven View Post
HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY!
so, whatcha gonna find to occupy your time now? lol.
Lol! Plenty! Iím shortening the bed, repainting, lowering... and the list goes on!
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Old 11-08-2019, 10:54 PM   #19
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Re: Richmond gears, any good?

Quote:
Also, if Iím right, according to the gear stamp, itís a 3.73 too!
Yes, that's a 3.73 gearset.
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Old 11-08-2019, 11:54 PM   #20
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Re: Richmond gears, any good?

Posi, 3.73 and $75. I think I did pretty good!
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Old 11-09-2019, 10:44 AM   #21
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Re: Richmond gears, any good?

I feel cheated, I was waiting for the rebuild.
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