Auto Tips from a Classic Car Lover

How To Select A New Ring And Pinion For Your Custom Car Or Truck

The ring and pinion gear located in the rear end housing of your car or truck has a single purpose, yet there are so many variations and ratios to be considered when building a car or truck with a specific purpose. In most cases, the ring and pinion gear is not something that wears out or requires replacement on a regular basis but there are some times when you will need to select a gear set for your car or truck to optimize performance.

Understanding The Function of a Ring and Pinion

The ring and pinion gear set is located in the rear end housing of your car or truck. The two gears work together to transfer the power from the engine to the rear wheels. The transmission of your vehicle turns the driveshaft which is connected to the pinion gear inside the rear end housing. The pinion gear is in contact with the ring gear, also located inside the housing, and transfers that power to the differential and turns the axles, transferring the power to the wheels. It is a complex system but when the ratio between the ring and the pinion is altered, it has a direct affect on the amount of power and acceleration that the car has. A lower gear will give the car more power, while a higher set will give it more speed.

Selecting A Gear Ratio For Your Vehicle

Because the gear set affects the way the car or truck drives, it is important to choose the right gearing for your application. One of the most common reasons to change the gears is to get more acceleration or more power to the ground in a performance car. If you are building a car for drag racing, for instance, you need to have a gear set that is low enough to let the car accelerate very quickly when the starting light turns green but if it is too low, the car will not have any top end speed. The balance is very difficult to find and often requires a lot of trial and error. The are companies that specialize in ring and pinion kits and if you give them all the information about your car and what you want it to do, they can help you calculate the gear ratio that will work best for you.

Care of Your New Gears

Once the ring and pinion are installed, you don't have to do too much to it. Changing the oil in the rear end once a year is about all that is required under normal circumstances. If you are submerging the axles under water regularly, as you might with a 4-wheel drive truck, or racing your car on the weekends, you may need to do it more often. Use a good gear oil and new gasket every time you service the rear end and the ring and pinion gears should last a lifetime in most vehicles.