Daily Dirt Education Maintenance


What are Gears: The Gears in your differential control the rate at which your wheels/tires rotate. The differential is the bulb looking part of the axle. A 4WD vehicle has a differential and gears in the front and rear axle.

Gear Ratios: What does “I have 4.10 gears” mean? There are multiple gear ratios available. A vehicle with a higher numerical ratio will have more torque, power, towing capacity and a lower top speed. Whereas, a smaller ratio will increase fuel economy but lack the torque and power needed for bigger tires.

What is Your Ratio:

Technical: Open the differential to see the number of teeth on the ring gear divided by the number of teeth on the pinion.

Easier: Jack up your tires, rotate the tire exactly one time and count how many times the driveshaft rotates.


Setting Gears: Use a qualified professional. Setting gears is a talent. Ask for recommendations and pay the rate. It is very technical with settings to the 100 thousandths. The pinion gear and the ring gear must match perfectly or it will grind, create metal flakes and not engage.

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Breaking in Gears: After getting new gears installed it is important to go through a break in process. It is a series of short 15-20 mile heat cycles for 100 miles to allow the gears to expand and contract. No towing or aggressive driving for 400 more miles keeping excess load on them. At 500 miles, get a complete fluid change to flush out break-in metal debris and gear coating. It is very important to follow this routine to ensure that your gears get the mileage that you want and expect.

Changing Diff Fluid: Changing your differential fluid is a regular maintenance item that should be completed at least every 15,000 miles using correctly rated Gear Oil. You can do it!!!

Pro Tip: You should check the fluid after your axles are submerged under water to ensure that water didn’t seep through the gasket into the oil. Open the filler hole and use a zip tie as a dipstick into the oil. If it comes out “with a milky texture” then you did get water in the oil and need to replace your oil.

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