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  1. #1
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. Jimmie Neutron's Avatar
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    Post Setting up your bulkhead

    This is the procedure I used:

    1) Complete tear down; even the differentials
    (not to be confused with the bulkheads)
    2) Top off the differential with 30K
    (or whichever weight you want to use. 30K is stock)
    3) Clean excess grease off of ring and pinion
    4) Clean up the interior of the bulkhead
    5) Add 4 shims to proper side of differential between bearing and differential.
    (not bearing and bulkhead)

    (my reason for this location: this side of the bearing is greased, allowing the shims to slide on each other; hopefully not wearing down their thickness)
    6) Install internal parts of bulkhead
    (differential, pinion, ect)
    7) Lightly lubricate the ring and pinion with a dry lube.
    (this is to help resist the attraction of dirt)
    8) Bolt up the lower skid plate
    (it holds the bottom half of the bulkhead together)
    8) Install long bolt holding two halves together
    (snug it up, do not over-tighten)
    10) Spin the drive shaft attached to the pinion. It should spin with slight resistance. If you have to work to spin it, there are too many shims. Remove one shim, repeat the process.
    With that being said: mine spun nicely except for one spot where the teeth on the ring had a few nubs. In that location, it was more difficult to spin, but not hard to spin. If that makes sense. lol

    This is how I set mine up. I have had 0 issues with gear mesh... no clicking, even when slamming it into reverse or forward while it is still rolling. No issues with binding either. When I set it up, my theory was that the new ring and pinion need to wear into each other while pushing the flex of the plastic bulkhead near its max.

    I ended up with 3 shims in each bulkhead.
    Associated 21141. They come with 4 shims per pack.

    I have yet to tear it down to see how things are wearing into one another, but I imagine that the tooth surfaces of the gears are shiny. Just as they are in a properly meshed 1:1.

    Oh, a few more tips:
    1) Pay attention to what side the ring is on in the bulkhead!
    2) After setup, I did not go out and run a full pack through it. I ran it a little, then let it cool down. This might not matter at all, it is just how 1:1 gears are broke in.
    3) Take your time. Don't be rushed. Setting this up properly will save you in the long run!
    Last edited by Dadx2mj; 07-09-2011 at 02:28 PM. Reason: Per Request
    Whatever it is I just said... I could be wrong.

  2. #2
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    Great post Jimmie, worthy of a sticky and nice to confirm that this is exactly how i did mine!!
    Last edited by revomikey; 07-09-2011 at 01:45 PM. Reason: typo!!!
    Signature removed due to excess awesomeness.

  3. #3
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    Very nice guide and great explanation. Thanks for posting.
    Just accelerate, and only good will come.

  4. #4
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    Very nice Jimmie. This will help a lot of people, I know this would of came in handy on my first diff rebuild!

    This should be a sticky
    E-Revo - - Merv 5700kv Sv2

  5. #5
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    Make a note, 4 shims is not always needed, in my case I needed none on my new style bulkheads, on my wife's with old style bulkheads I needed only one, two was too much and caused binding. Four sounds like it would be overkill in most cases.

  6. #6
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    I use metal bulkheads with 2 shims each.

    Great post with very helpfull info.

  7. #7
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    For sure sticky worthy cause man I wish I wouldve had this around the first time I rebuilt my diffs...I just jumped in without a clue, just winging it. It worked but took FOREVER...

  8. #8
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    Thanks Jimmie - very useful

    Sticky please!

  9. #9
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    do you find you strip many of the screw holes on the bulkhead often? ive stripped the skidplate screw holes, the shock tower screw holes and the rear toelink holes many times. before you say that im not screwing properly, i have no other stripped holes on the car at all. all of the holes above should tighten to a stop, correct?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by varunaX View Post
    do you find you strip many of the screw holes on the bulkhead often? ive stripped the skidplate screw holes, the shock tower screw holes and the rear toelink holes many times. before you say that im not screwing properly, i have no other stripped holes on the car at all. all of the holes above should tighten to a stop, correct?
    I bought a torque adjustable driver and once set to a light setting all screws/bolts on my merv are all exactly the same with no fear of stripping as the handle just spins when its tight enough
    MERV│
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  11. #11
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. Jimmie Neutron's Avatar
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    In my opinion, plastic will never screw to a "stop"

    I snug everything down, making the threaded bolt end flush with what it is going through... if possible. I copy that feeling of tightness with the bolts I cannot see for flushness.

    With that practice, I have yet to strip out anything.
    Whatever it is I just said... I could be wrong.

  12. #12
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. jimbo74's Avatar
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    looks like how i do it, but i don't use 4 shims, sounds excessive.... i think i have 1-2in each diff

  13. #13
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. Jimmie Neutron's Avatar
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    I think only one person ended up with four shims... in an aluminum bulkhead.
    It is easier for most to "feel" proper shimming when they start with binding gears rather than loose gears; and you got to start somewhere. lol
    Whatever it is I just said... I could be wrong.

  14. #14
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    one question. do you shim the pinion shaft, the ring shaft or both? For some reason I cannot see the pics. Its an issue with my computer, not the website.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmie Neutron View Post
    I think only one person ended up with four shims... in an aluminum bulkhead.
    It is easier for most to "feel" proper shimming when they start with binding gears rather than loose gears; and you got to start somewhere. lol
    We must've got a set made on Monday, my kids Summit took four also.....

  16. #16
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. jimbo74's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MERVracer View Post
    one question. do you shim the pinion shaft, the ring shaft or both? For some reason I cannot see the pics. Its an issue with my computer, not the website.
    you shim the ring gear, on the ring gear side

  17. #17
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    whats the thickness of the shims in the associated set? i only have metric shims, in mm 0.1, 0.2 and 0.3
    i screwed up two diffs today with 1 shim in both front and back bulkhead.
    should i add in a bunch of shims and take them off until theres no binding?

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Umar Musa View Post
    whats the thickness of the shims in the associated set? i only have metric shims, in mm 0.1, 0.2 and 0.3
    i screwed up two diffs today with 1 shim in both front and back bulkhead.
    should i add in a bunch of shims and take them off until theres no binding?
    Keep adding them until there is very little side to side movement. My Integy rear bulkhead required 4 shims in order to be tight.

  19. #19
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    only one the ring side? no ones had gear mesh too tight, and needed say, 3 on ringside, 1 one the other?

    why hasn't this been stickied? err, stuck?

  20. #20
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. Jimmie Neutron's Avatar
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    The stock bulkheads are made to have the proper clearance and mesh for the gears... until the plastic they are made of flexes, causing mesh issues. Shims push the flex to the max, forcing the mesh to be tighter and hold under greater stress. I do not see the need to add any shims to the opposite side of the ring gear unless, perhaps, you are using an poorly machined or miss-machined aluminum bulkhead. If the mesh is too tight, remove a shim as stated in the instructions. Chances are the bulkhead flex has reached its' max and is the cause of the binding issues.

    Upon further thought...
    I suppose a few stock bulkheads could develop a greater amount of flex and require a need for opposing side shims... but I believe that this would be an exception to the "norm" and adding this to the general shimming procedure will just murk up the water; so to speak.


    -- I do not know why this has not been stickied. That decision is completely up to the moderators... I think.
    But, if this topic is really that crucial, constant conversation on it will keep it to the top anyway. lol
    Last edited by Jimmie Neutron; 09-05-2011 at 09:36 PM.
    Whatever it is I just said... I could be wrong.

  21. #21
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    Thanks for post Jimmie

    Is it safe to say that you if shim one diff you pretty much have to shim the other?
    Happy Trails!

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmie Neutron View Post
    -- I do not know why this has not been stickied. That decision is completely up to the moderators... I think.
    But, if this topic is really that crucial, constant conversation on it will keep it to the top anyway. lol
    ^You're just about correct. The moderators have the power to sticky threads (I would know from my FAQ, of course), and if it's not worthy of a sticky and has wrong information (like the FAQ...lol) it won't be stickied. I honestly do think that this is worthy of a sticky but many moderators do not like sticky threads because they simply crowd up the forum.



    E'VXL
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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by ElectricEvolution View Post
    Thanks for post Jimmie

    Is it safe to say that you if shim one diff you pretty much have to shim the other?
    No. My stock front diff required no shims.

  24. #24
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    Is it possible to determine if shims are needed by pushing the diff. assembly back and forth within the bulkheads once the drive shafts are off? That's how I've done it on various transmission gears in other vehicles, but I'm new to the merv.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by jackj View Post
    Is it possible to determine if shims are needed by pushing the diff. assembly back and forth within the bulkheads once the drive shafts are off? That's how I've done it on various transmission gears in other vehicles, but I'm new to the merv.
    thats how i did it. but because the bulkhead flexes it is best to shim it but keep feeling for any binding
    slash revo vxl x4 rally x2 ped 2wd slash vxl rus

  26. #26
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    hey guys would you recommend shimming the diff's before they start going loose?

    Dan

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by flyingwolf View Post
    Make a note, 4 shims is not always needed, in my case I needed none on my new style bulkheads, on my wife's with old style bulkheads I needed only one, two was too much and caused binding. Four sounds like it would be overkill in most cases.
    What is the part number of this new style bulckheads?

    Thank you

  28. #28
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. Jimmie Neutron's Avatar
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    I shimmed before I ever ran it.

    The new part number has an "X" behind the old part number.
    Whatever it is I just said... I could be wrong.

  29. #29
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    can some put a link to the shims? [;z

  30. #30
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. Jimmie Neutron's Avatar
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    Links to outside retailers are not allowed.
    Whatever it is I just said... I could be wrong.

  31. #31
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    Great write up. I'm gonna try this tomorrow if our lhs has the shims. I'm getting a clicking and don't know if I tightened the dif screws to tight, if it's the ring/pinion or the clutch ( pinion/spur ). First mistake I did when trying to lubricate the dif ( to the driveshaft , not inside the dif ) was to use dif lube. Talk about a dumb move and a dirt magnet :/

  32. #32
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    Does somebody have a pic they could post to show where and how exactly the shims go. That would be awesome and helpful.

  33. #33
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. jimbo74's Avatar
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    see where the arrow is in the first pic? it goes right there

  34. #34
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    I have had zero issues with my ring & pinion while running a big block motor and on 3S. I'm running the Integy aluminum rear bulkhead and 4 shims. That's one part that Integy has made well.

  35. #35
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    aluminium bulkheads are great, i run the gpm unit with 2 shims on both front and rear. at first, i had binding issues with 2 shims on the front bulkhead, so i put only 1, this lead to the ring gear being chewed up on a 4s high speed run. if your going the gpm route, they ALL use 2 shims. very nicely cnc machined units, just pricey, but i guess all good things come at a price huh
    Last edited by Umar Musa; 10-26-2011 at 05:19 AM.

  36. #36
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    Very nice thread. This task is very easy now. Planning on getting rear aluminum bulkhead

  37. #37
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. Jimmie Neutron's Avatar
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    Thank you!
    Whatever it is I just said... I could be wrong.

  38. #38
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    Ok. So I got a new ring and pinion and some shims. It's either gonna be one or none. When I spin the driveshaft it doesn't bind or stop but you can hear the gears. Like theyre almost to close.

  39. #39
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. Jimmie Neutron's Avatar
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    Does it spin with two shims?
    I could hear the gears without shims too, yet it took 3 to remove slop.
    Whatever it is I just said... I could be wrong.

  40. #40
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    2 shims was binding. One shim it didn't bind but I heard clicking. No shim was a lil sloppy but not bad at all. I ended up just cleaning the diffs adding new dif lube and going with one shim front and rear. Amazing what one tiny little washer can do lol

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