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Old 02-29-2012, 11:05 AM   #1
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What is the break-in procedure for gears?

I'm probably going to get a set of LPE gears pretty soon. I know I need to break them in before really getting on it hard. I've seen/heard of a couple different procedures to do so I wanted to get the steps others have heard or done. Last thing I want to do is break some gears. These things aren't cheap at all.

Also, is it recommended to change the rear end oil after a short time in order to get any metal out?
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Old 02-29-2012, 11:08 AM   #2
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Old 02-29-2012, 11:15 AM   #3
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All the gears I've ever bought come with break in instructions from the supplier. It's also on the gear companies websites.

Most say something like... several short drives, light accel and decel loads, cooling off time between each drive. You go through some drive cycles like that for xxx miles, then change the gear lube. Any noise after that break in and the pattern needs to be rechecked. No noise, change the fluid and have at it.

What you don't want to do, is take a long drive for the first couple drives or put heavy loads to it on those first few drives. It will be getting quite hot inside the diff on those first few drives. Short easy drive, cool off, repeat.... repeat.... repeat....
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Old 02-29-2012, 11:21 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caverman View Post
I'm probably going to get a set of LPE gears pretty soon. I know I need to break them in before really getting on it hard. I've seen/heard of a couple different procedures to do so I wanted to get the steps others have heard or done. Last thing I want to do is break some gears. These things aren't cheap at all.

Also, is it recommended to change the rear end oil after a short time in order to get any metal out?
This is what my installer gave me. Also said to change oil after 500 miles.

AAM 3.91 Gear Break In Procedure

The break in is VERY specific.
-Drive 30-35 MPH for 20-30 minutes.
-Drive 55-60 MPH for 20-30 minutes.
-Come to a complete stop and let the diff cool (15 minutes minimum)
This is one cycle. Repeat this cycle 4-5 times.
If you don't do this EXACTLY, the diff WILL whine.
500 miles will be needed for a full break in.
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Old 02-29-2012, 11:44 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by toml_pa View Post
This is what my installer gave me. Also said to change oil after 500 miles.

AAM 3.91 Gear Break In Procedure

The break in is VERY specific.
-Drive 30-35 MPH for 20-30 minutes.
-Drive 55-60 MPH for 20-30 minutes.
-Come to a complete stop and let the diff cool (15 minutes minimum)
This is one cycle. Repeat this cycle 4-5 times.
If you don't do this EXACTLY, the diff WILL whine.
500 miles will be needed for a full break in.
Thanks. Those are the gears I'll be getting and this is one of the procedures I've heard as well. It will be a little tuff to do exactly but I guess I need to mark off 1/2 a day to devote to just breaking them in.
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Old 02-29-2012, 11:59 AM   #6
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I just had a Gforce 9" conversion installed with 35 Spline S-trac posi unit and new 3.50 gears. The break in recommended driving at normal speeds for up to 50 miles, stopping for 30 minutes then continuing for another 50 miles.
Then repeat till 500 miles is accumulated.

I drove back from FtWorth but did not exactly follow the first part of this. I drove for about 65 miles, stopped for some food for about 12 minutes then continued on home. the rest of the breakin was driving around town at normal speeds for about 10 to 20 miles at a time the parking it for the day.

From my research, the big thing is not to let the lube get too hot. This is alot more critical for the higher rations 4.33 and up. I am at 3.50 and the drive home my RPMs were only at 1700. So i think its ok. I notice no noise or abnormalities. Only a very slight whine when coasting or not under load.
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Old 02-29-2012, 01:43 PM   #7
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If these gears are made by the same company as stock, why is break in required on these but not factory gears?
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Old 02-29-2012, 06:03 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by inferno camaro View Post
If these gears are made by the same company as stock, why is break in required on these but not factory gears?
Same thing I was thinking.
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Old 02-29-2012, 10:57 PM   #9
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Good reading and good advise.... My car is in the shop now getting the 3.91's installed I should be picking it up tomorrow, however I have a 50 mile ride home on the freeway, I'm wondering if I should stop halfway and sit for 20 mins??
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Old 03-01-2012, 12:10 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by rick john View Post
Good reading and good advise.... My car is in the shop now getting the 3.91's installed I should be picking it up tomorrow, however I have a 50 mile ride home on the freeway, I'm wondering if I should stop halfway and sit for 20 mins??
My guess is you'll be fine going all the way home. But get it heated up then cooled down a few more times before hammering them. I will probably put at least the 500 miles then new oil before I hammer or race them.

Like someone mentioned, AAM mfg as the same as stock gears. I can tell you that I drove my car hard right off the bat and the gears haven't been any issue at all.

Please post up your initial thoughts once you get them.
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Old 03-01-2012, 07:57 AM   #11
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I'm having 3:91 gears installed next week and JRE is 142 miles away. Considering the AAM break in routine above, should only take me a week to get home...
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Old 03-01-2012, 09:56 AM   #12
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You guys running 3.91s, are you running any 1/4 mile stuff? lingenfelter says you will top out at115 at 6700 rpm in 4th gear with a6
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Old 03-01-2012, 11:21 AM   #13
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You guys running 3.91s, are you running any 1/4 mile stuff? lingenfelter says you will top out at115 at 6700 rpm in 4th gear with a6
Pumpkin has run 12.35 @ 113 up against the rev limiter in 3rd gear with the stock gears. Hoping the LPE/JRE/LPW 3:91 set up will make the difference. My diff builder wants four or five heat and cool cycles before I romp on it.

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Old 03-01-2012, 12:55 PM   #14
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Thanks Caver.... I should be getting the call to come pick up my car today or tomorrow. And i will take it easy driving home and do a couple of the heated and cool off runs before I let it rip.

And double fatty, I am an ls3 6 speed w/ cam, c.a.i., Lt's, 3 inch, high flo-cats, dyno tune 6 months ago @ 440whp. But my gear installer is going to re-run the car on his dyno-jet before and after he puts the gears in, so I too am anxious to see what if any diference there will be... Running the 1/4 mile last year i was 12.7 w/ 3rd gear against the limiter @110. So it's gonna be a whole different ball of wax this year, I think.
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Old 03-01-2012, 02:34 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by rick john View Post
Thanks Caver.... I should be getting the call to come pick up my car today or tomorrow. And i will take it easy driving home and do a couple of the heated and cool off runs before I let it rip.

And double fatty, I am an ls3 6 speed w/ cam, c.a.i., Lt's, 3 inch, high flo-cats, dyno tune 6 months ago @ 440whp. But my gear installer is going to re-run the car on his dyno-jet before and after he puts the gears in, so I too am anxious to see what if any diference there will be... Running the 1/4 mile last year i was 12.7 w/ 3rd gear against the limiter @110. So it's gonna be a whole different ball of wax this year, I think.
You probably won't see any HP gain from gears...maybe some torque but the butt dyno and 1/4 mile times should be much better. Post up what the dyno says. It will be intresting to see the differnce.
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Old 03-01-2012, 05:05 PM   #16
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I wouldn't be surprised to see a small decrease in HP from some articles I've read. But real world will be night and day difference.
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Old 03-01-2012, 06:52 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rick john View Post
Thanks Caver.... I should be getting the call to come pick up my car today or tomorrow. And i will take it easy driving home and do a couple of the heated and cool off runs before I let it rip.

And double fatty, I am an ls3 6 speed w/ cam, c.a.i., Lt's, 3 inch, high flo-cats, dyno tune 6 months ago @ 440whp. But my gear installer is going to re-run the car on his dyno-jet before and after he puts the gears in, so I too am anxious to see what if any diference there will be... Running the 1/4 mile last year i was 12.7 w/ 3rd gear against the limiter @110. So it's gonna be a whole different ball of wax this year, I think.
Quote:
Originally Posted by caverman View Post
You probably won't see any HP gain from gears...maybe some torque but the butt dyno and 1/4 mile times should be much better. Post up what the dyno says. It will be intresting to see the differnce.
I'm doing the gears purely for the fun factor. Gears will not increase RWHP. I'm currently at RWHP 463 and TQ 427, so the gears should be fun.
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Old 03-01-2012, 06:55 PM   #18
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Pumpkin has run 12.35 @ 113 up against the rev limiter with the stock gears. Hoping the LPE/JRE/LPW 3:91 set up will make the difference. My diff builder wants four or five heat and cool cycles before I romp on it.

Hey Mercuryman, have you got your LPE 3.91 gears in yet? Looks like they're "in the works", but guessing you haven't taken your car out yet in our crummy weather.

I'm looking to put in the 3.91 gears also. Could you tell me who's your diff builder is? I'm not having much luck finding a competent place to take my car to in Vancouver.

Thanks.
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Old 03-02-2012, 09:31 AM   #19
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Hey Mercuryman, have you got your LPE 3.91 gears in yet? Looks like they're "in the works", but guessing you haven't taken your car out yet in our crummy weather.

I'm looking to put in the 3.91 gears also. Could you tell me who's your diff builder is? I'm not having much luck finding a competent place to take my car to in Vancouver.

Thanks.
I have yet to swap the diff. Bob's Driveline Service in Aldergrove, they can handle it for you.

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Old 03-02-2012, 10:47 AM   #20
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I have yet to swap the diff. Bob's Driveline Service in Aldergrove, they can handle it for you.

Out of curiosity, about how much do you have in your gears setup? Parts + labor?
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Old 03-02-2012, 11:31 AM   #21
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I just had a Gforce 9" conversion installed with 35 Spline S-trac posi unit and new 3.50 gears. The break in recommended driving at normal speeds for up to 50 miles, stopping for 30 minutes then continuing for another 50 miles.
Then repeat till 500 miles is accumulated.

I drove back from FtWorth but did not exactly follow the first part of this. I drove for about 65 miles, stopped for some food for about 12 minutes then continued on home. the rest of the breakin was driving around town at normal speeds for about 10 to 20 miles at a time the parking it for the day.

From my research, the big thing is not to let the lube get too hot. This is alot more critical for the higher rations 4.33 and up. I am at 3.50 and the drive home my RPMs were only at 1700. So i think its ok. I notice no noise or abnormalities. Only a very slight whine when coasting or not under load.
I just changed the lube (conventional 85W-140 Lucas) at 500 miles. Wow, was expecting to see a couple very tiny slivers of metal with some powdered metal in the old oil. I did notice a pretty good amout of metal slivers, probably a couple dozen, in the old lube. Not real big but enough to make me glad i changed out the oil.

The new rear end is even smoother now!
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Old 03-02-2012, 02:42 PM   #22
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I have yet to swap the diff. Bob's Driveline Service in Aldergrove, they can handle it for you.

Thanks Mercuryman, I'll look them up. I just went to see IWE Rearends Only in Burnaby yesterday and they're looking into it for me too, but they admit they have not yet worked on our Camaro IFS diffs yet.

BTW, where'd you get those pics from your other post from? Is that your diff being worked on?
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Old 03-02-2012, 02:43 PM   #23
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Out of curiosity, about how much do you have in your gears setup? Parts + labor?
Are these AAM gears not available directly from AAM?
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Old 03-02-2012, 03:25 PM   #24
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Are these AAM gears not available directly from AAM?
You have to go to Lenginfelter (LPE) to buy them from my understanding.
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Old 03-02-2012, 05:31 PM   #25
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Thanks Mercuryman, I'll look them up. I just went to see IWE Rearends Only in Burnaby yesterday and they're looking into it for me too, but they admit they have not yet worked on our Camaro IFS diffs yet.

BTW, where'd you get those pics from your other post from? Is that your diff being worked on?
That's my LPE/JRE/LPW 3:91 diff having the finishing touch's being put on it at Bob's Driveline Services. All I got to do now is swap it out.

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