Since the early part of the 20th century, Dana Holding Corporation has contributed to the growth of the automotive industry by producing reliable parts. While the company is also a frontrunner in advanced sealing and thermal management solutions, auto enthusiasts know Dana for its first-class driveline products like axles, driveshafts, ring and pinion sets and transmissions. One product that is particularly popular is the Dana 30 ring and pinion set. These gear sets are among the strongest and best-performing available.
Generally, the first question most people have about any car part is “what does it do?” To put it simply, ring and pinion gears help spin wheels and axles forwards and backwards. They give extra power to the wheels and improve drivetrain performance, while providing stability for the car. These benefits are important for vehicles that carry heavy loads, which is why ring and pinion sets are common in pickup trucks and tractor-trailer rigs. Also, ring and pinion sets are exclusive to rear-wheel-drive cars and trucks. In other words, a modern, front-wheel-drive vehicle will not even have a ring and pinion set.
All ring and pinion gears, including the Dana 30 set, come with a grooved ring that connects to the drive axles of the vehicle’s rear wheels, plus a pinion that connects to the drive shaft. These components take power from the engine and convert it to energy that can be used by the car to move the wheels. The size of the pinion will depend greatly on the size of the vehicle. It can range anywhere from a diameter of 2 inches to 4 inches. The pinion gear is housed within the differential gearbox by a bearing that primarily reduces friction.
A pinion cannot perform its duty without its other half: the ring gear. The two gears create a 90-degree angle, which makes it possible to convert the vertical movement from the engine into the horizontal movement of the rear wheels. Just like the pinion, the size of the ring gear depends on size of the vehicle. Typically, ring gears range from 6 inches to 12 inches in diameter.
Replacing a ring and pinion set requires some expertise. Installation is made easier by Dana 30 ring and pinion kits, which are available in some of the most popular performance and replacement ratios. These kits include pinion bearings, pinion seal, pinion shims, differential shims, pinion nut and preload shims or crush sleeve. The only other required parts are differential bearings. These can be purchased separately for hassle-free installation.