Chris's 2014 Tundra also sees a set of Nitro Gear 488's for the front 9" clam
(86 BIG pics loading)
JULY 21 2017

The stout aluminum clam only weighs about 65 pounds. Nitro mini install kit shown in the background.

11 bolts hold the lid on.

It only took 5 instapacks of foam to secure the clam for the trip from Alabama.

This axle stub seal was tapped on flush from the factory and I will do the same with the new one.

The other side shown here has a steel tube that bolts in 4 places. This short axle stub was being stubborn.
It would not pry out so it will be removed with the lid.

This is the Nitro mini install kit that Chris included in the box.

Now to remove the lid.

Tap tap and it came off with no real fanfare.

The mini-stub was not cooperating........ it was much easier to just access the stub from the inside.

Wedge a chisel or large screwdriver next to the crosspin...some gentle taps.... and then it pushed out rather easy.

Separated finally.

The carrier bearings on this 2014 model are in super condition....totally reusable.


It's important to have an impact socket that will fully contact the limited surface area on the 12 flange style ring gear bolts.

The Makita electric impact made quick work of it.

A few taps from a hammer and the old ring gear fell off.

The new Nitro 488 took some good pressure to coax it on.

Blue Loctite and 101 ft/lb per the FSM service manual.

This piece is complete.

Pinion end next. Remove the pinion nut.

Something I welded up last year for the big 9" clams. The pinion pressed out so very nicely.

The factory had the pinion seal recessed about .235"

Genuine OEM part number on the factory pinion seal.

Made by NOK...Japan's first oil seal manufacturer in 1951.

Pinion flange was removed first.

Not a cheap outer pinion bearing. These ball bearings are in the same excellent condition as the carrier bearings.
No surprise with the low mileage involved.

The "old" inner pinion bearing will be transferred over to the new Nitro 488 on the right.

A 12 ton Harborfreight press and a bearing splitter(QTC-1130) make the job easy.

The bearing is pressed onto the 488 pinion with a "tool" I fabbed up.

In order to remove the carrier bearing race and the washer plate, the cv axle seal will probably be coming off very soon.



Pinion and pinion flange are reassembled and snugged up to give about 15 to 20 in/lb of pinion preload feel.
Notice that the red FIPG was wire brushed off of the case mating surfaces.

Placing the center carrier in place and then the lid on top showed right away that the backlash was close to zero
and a good paint test can't happen with zero BL. Washer plates have to be changed now.

Pressing the deep dish side washer plate out.

It's good to have a decent selection of factory washer plates on hand.

It can be a bit tricky to measure backlash thru the gear oil drain hole but it can be done.

Backlash was checking in at .006" now so this will suffice.

Disassemble once again to paint the ring.

Drive side with .083" and it's a little too deep.

Coast reflects that.

Even the pinion tooth says too deep by having the comet tail swinging to the outside.



The process of tearing it down again. To do one of the 9" clams correctly with pictures and documentation can take 6 to 8 hours.

Pressing out the pinion.

The shim is placed BEHIND the large inner pinion race. I have a very large selection of shims that will fit perfect.
OEM washer plate was .083" so will try a little thinner .0795" and see how that looks.

HA! This is the challenging get the race back in without cracking the aluminum case
which has happened(not to me but to a shop over in Kauai).

All back together and fresh paint applied. This is the drive side and this looks much better.

Coast side is telling me the depth is perfect.

Reverse painted drive side.

Reverse painted coast side.

Nice. The comet tail is flaring right in the middle of the tooth.


Disassemble again and add the new crush sleeve in. Now to put the OEM pinion seal in.
The grease is to prevent the garter spring from popping loose.

Tap it carefully down til it is recessed .230" all the way around.

The flange surface was in excellent condition but I now always sand all the flanges with 1500 wet/dry paper.

Crushing the crush sleeve with extra leverage.


Measuring repeatably 14 in/lb of pinion preload(start torque).

DING!! and the pinion end is complete.

Now we can start the tweaking process of balancing backlash and the carrier bearing preloads.

This side was changed a couple times....

...and so was this side as indicated by the notes at the end of this link.


I finally arrived at 23 inch/pounds of total preload......

....and the backlash was in balance with .007" minimun BL.

Using .0748" and .0827" was very close but I made one more tweak to get the backlash to .007"

Just cleaning the last bits of FIPG off.

Final backlash check and .007" is what I was happy with.

The FSM recommends 00295-01281 FIPG for these surfaces.

I guess this is the path I will follow with the red stuff.

I can do this :)

Good coverage. Lid was loaded in place and 48 ft/lb per the FSM on all 11 bolts.

New cv axle seal is tapped in place.




Notes taken of the install.

Now to pack it in the same manner as Chris packed it since he did such nice job in the first place.

Business cards and the seal for the long axle tube side are sent to Chris.

Fedex ground.