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Traction Lok Rebuild
If you have not already, go back to the page titled "Center Section Disassembly" for disassembly of the Traction Lok unit.
  1. Soak the friction disks in the friction modifier. I chose to leave the disks soaking for about an hour.
The friction disks soaking in friction modifier. I moved the position of the disks around a few times so they would get evenly coated.
  1. Decide your stacking order. From the factory the Traction Lok comes with frictions and steels stacked in a particular order. From being around the messageboards I've noticed that a popular "upgrade" is to use an alternative clutch disk stacking order. I chose to rebuild the differential the way it came from the factory but I have included some information on the alternative set up.
The standard Traction Lok clutch disk stacking order. From left to right: .045" shim, friction disk, 2 steel splined disks, friction disk, 2 steel splined disks, friction disk and side gear.
The alternate Traction Lok clutch disk stacking order. From left to right: shim (size is speculative,) friction disk, 1 steel splined disk, friction disk, 1 steel splined disk, friction disk, 1 steel splined disk, friction disk and side gear.

Notice that the alternate stacking order includes four friction disks. A Traction Lok rebuild kit only comes with three friction disks. If you decide to use this stacking order you will have to reuse one of the old friction disks.

Also notice that the alternate stacking order only uses 3 steel splined disks. I'm not sure that this could make a difference strength and durablility wise, but it is possible. I chose the factory stacking order for this reason. I have not heard anyone have any problems with the alternate stacking order, but then again, other than through the messageboards, I know very few people that like cars, let alone have rebuilt a Traction Lok.
In case you have decided to use the alternate stacking order I have included some measurements for you to use. The first measurement that I took was of the original shim, friction disks and steel disks. The thickness measured .645" which is no doubt thinner than it was when it was originally installed. If you look at the new friction disks versus the old ones you will notice that the old disks are quite a bit thinner because the friction surface has been worn down. The second measurement that I took was of the new shim, friction disks and steel disks. That measurement was .764". The third measurement I took was of the new parts stacked in the alternative order. The stacking thickness was .775".
What I take away from these measurements is that probably the best shim to use for the alternate method will be .035". If I would have chose that method I would have started with the .045" shim and if the pinion gears did not install I would have dropped down to the .040" shim, and finally to the .035" if need be. I just wanted to give you that have already decided to use the "upgraded" stacking order a point of reference.
The components stacked vertically awaiting installation into the carrier. (These are the old frictions and steels in this picture; I did use the new disks when I actually installed them.)
The side gear and disks installed into the "bottom" of the housing.
  1. Install the other side of disks and side gear into the top of the housing. You will have to hold this side up in the housing as you go to the next step.
Holding the side gear and disks in the "top" of the housing.
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One of the pinion gears in place, meshing with the teeth on the side gears.
  1. On the other side of the carrier, place the other pinion gear and shim in place as you did above. The pinion gears must be in the exact opposite positions of each other so that once rotated in place the holes in the center line up. This took me a few tries to get right until I figured out that you can check whether the gears are lined up before they are rotated into position.

After you put the pinion gears in place so that you think they are exactly opposite each other look down through one of the pinion gears and you'll be able to see if the other lines up. Getting the gears rotated into position isn't exactly easy and you would rather not do it more than once.
  1. Rotate the pinion gears into place by lightly tapping on the teeth of one of the pinion gears using a hammer and a punch. The pinion gear should tap into place rather easily. If it does not do not force it with heavy pounding. Instead, drop down the the next shim which will probably be .040". Having said that you should not pound the gear in heavily, don't give up on the first shim used just because it doesn't work out right away. We do want to have the largest shims in as possible without breaking things getting the pinion gears in. Take your time and be gentle.
Rotating the pinion gears in place using a punch and a light hammer.
  1. Look down through the pinion shaft hole to make sure that the holes in the center of the gears line up. You may want to slide the pinion shaft through the holes just to be sure.
Looking through the pinion shaft opening to ensure that the pinion gear holes line up.
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