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Psa - Dana 18 Thrust Washer Issue

Discussion in 'Early CJ-5 and CJ-6 Tech' started by TIm E, Aug 14, 2019.

  1. Aug 14, 2019
    TIm E

    TIm E Member Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

    NW Arkansas
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    I am not sure if anyone else has experienced this, but the last 3 Dana 18 rebuild kits I have ordered from Novak included intermediate gear thrust washers that are out of spec. All three kits have been for the 1 1/4" intermediate shaft, so this issue may be limited to the 1 1/4" version.

    Long story short, the thrust washers are too thick and will bind-up the intermediate gear (if you can even get them in there). The replacements mic out at .097", but according to Novak, the spec is .092-.094". Novak also stated that they were aware of this from the manufacturer and they are now milling them down to proper spec before sending them out. To their credit, they were very knowledgeable and promptly offered to ship 6 of the properly machined thrust washers right away.

    If you order a new kit from Novak, they likely will have the issue addressed. If you have an older kit from them or order them elsewhere online, you may want to check. I can verify across 6 thrust washers and 3 different t-cases, .097" is no bueno.
     
  2. Aug 14, 2019
    scott milliner

    scott milliner Master Fabricator

    Seattle Wa.
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    I found the last one fit good. The previous one didn't even go over the shaft. I used my old one.
     
  3. Aug 14, 2019
    TIm E

    TIm E Member Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

    NW Arkansas
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    If you are talking about the one on the mainshaft by the bearing and snap ring, I have had a similar issue there too from time to time, but I am talking about the intermediate gear thrust washers, like this...

     
  4. Aug 15, 2019
    juffer

    juffer Juffer Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

    Netherlands
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    I have the same experience I made them thinner by grinding. It was not novak.
     
  5. Aug 15, 2019
    TIm E

    TIm E Member Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

    NW Arkansas
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    Novak did indicate that the manufacturer (Omix? Crown?) made a bunch of them and that they (Novak) are the only ones they are aware of actually machining them to proper thickness before shipping them out. I suspect most of the 1 1/4" thrust washers on the market right now are out of spec.

    When the replacements come from Novak, I will measure them up and post some pics.
     
  6. Aug 15, 2019
    juffer

    juffer Juffer Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

    Netherlands
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    I also noticed on the rebuild of my T 14 that the washers on the clustergear are to small. My öld"ones were thicker than the new ones. I think most aftermarket stuff is not to precise
     
    Thean likes this.
  7. Aug 15, 2019
    scott milliner

    scott milliner Master Fabricator

    Seattle Wa.
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    Guess I didn't read to well. I was talking about the trust washer on the output shaft.
     
  8. Aug 20, 2019
    TIm E

    TIm E Member Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

    NW Arkansas
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    UPDATE: Novak sent 6 replacement thrust washers that have been machined. Bad news is, all six of them are out of spec as well :n:

    It may be tough to see in the picture, but the thickness varies across each individual thrust washer by as much as .011"...definitely not McRuff-quality machine work here. I've sent an email back to Novak with the photos as well, we'll see what they say. Always good to check your parts, just because they are new doesn't mean they are right.


    Machined washer on the left, un-machined on the right...

     
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  9. Aug 21, 2019
    Thean

    Thean Member

    HSB Idaho
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    Taper roller setup and drive on. Costs a good bit more initially, but long term, I haven’t heard of or seen the issues that are associated with aftermarket cluster pin, needle bearings and thrust washers.
     
  10. Aug 21, 2019
    TIm E

    TIm E Member Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

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    That does look to be a nice upgrade, may have to try that one of these days.

    For now, update from Novak: I guess their general manager had a secret stash of NOS thrust washers and agreed to send 6 of those to me in order to make it right. Both he and the customer service rep measured them to ensure they were within spec. Hopefully they can get things sorted out with their supplier and/or get a micrometer for their machinist person.

    All that being said, I have had really good results with Novak products otherwise and they really have seemed to do everything they can to remedy the situation.
     
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  11. Aug 21, 2019
    Thean

    Thean Member

    HSB Idaho
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    Just to clarify, my response wasn’t meant as a dig at Novak. I know they are using a third party vendor for these thrust bearings and they are at the third parties mercy for manufacturing quality. Novak is for sure the best option when going back in with the factory style cluster bearing setup.
     
  12. Aug 26, 2019
    Vanguard

    Vanguard Chief Cook and Bottlewasher Staff Member Sponsor

    Brighton, MI USA
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    A swipe is more than justified. They're not at the mercy of a third party supplier. They're selling a product and you should expect quality, instead of an opportunity to do or pay for a job twice.
     
  13. Aug 27, 2019
    Norcal69

    Norcal69 Resident Taco Maker 2019 Sponsor

    Cottonwood, Ca
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    I’d go tapered roller bearing upgrade and never look back. Several years ago I had one of these get spit out of my D18 and jamb up between my intermediate and input gears. That was at 55 mph.....
    Threw all that away and went with the tapered roller AA kit.
    My new D20 has the AA conversion in it as well. That 55 mph transfer case lock up will leave an impression on a guy......:shrug:
    I mean if your looking for Mc gruff level machine work.... go the the source. :whistle:
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2019
    Thean likes this.
  14. Aug 27, 2019
    Thean

    Thean Member

    HSB Idaho
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    Are you implying they mfg the thrust bearings in house or that they should have a team of QC people to check a $3 part? I agree that you shouldn’t have to do or pay for the job twice. Cheap part, heavy competition, made overseas for a limited market. :shrug:
     
  15. Aug 27, 2019
    timgr

    timgr Jeepin' Nerd Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

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    A micrometer for something like this is an inexpensive addition to the tool kit. If you can't get a suitable replacement, you could possibly reuse the old washers with appropriate shims behind to make the proper thickness. Certainly I would measure the old parts to see if they could be reused.
     
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  16. Aug 27, 2019
    Howard Eisenhauer

    Howard Eisenhauer Super Moderator Staff Member Sponsor

    Tantallon, Nova...
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    If we were talking a $3 generic part from a hardware store then no, but this is a special order piece designed & custom manufactured to highly precise measurements for one application only, so I'd think it would be incumbent on Novak to at least spot check incoming parts to make sure they are selling what they advertise.
     
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  17. Aug 27, 2019
    47v6

    47v6 junk wrecker! Sponsor

    Washington DC.
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    Novak makes great adapters and parts.. They also have excellent customer service. Its why people would buy this kit from them and not an overseas competitor. To buy the kit from Novak implies that, yes they do make sure their parts are the correct ones for your application and ys, they do the QC. You are paying a premium for that.
     
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  18. Aug 27, 2019
    ITLKSEZ

    ITLKSEZ Volvophilic

    Post Falls, ID
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    Same happened to me, but mine locked only enough to chirp the tires, then completely split my case in half and threw the lower half and parts of the driveshafts in the bushes. Catastrophic failure! Apart from it being 2am and having to walk 5 miles home, it was pretty awesome.
     
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  19. Aug 27, 2019
    Hellion

    Hellion Rust covered & junky

    Eastern TN
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    Wow. o_O :rofl:

    What model transfer case was this?
     
  20. Aug 27, 2019
    ITLKSEZ

    ITLKSEZ Volvophilic

    Post Falls, ID
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    Late ‘69 Dana 18
     

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