Sterling 10.25 rebuild???

Clutch, transmission, rear axle

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Sterling 10.25 rebuild???

Postby zakt on Mon Mar 09, 2009 9:45 am

Just picked up a sterling 10.25 for the rear of my 72' F350 but needs a rebuild..  I will be able to get the shafts out and the hub off but havent found too much on doing the guts.. this will be my first axle experience :woohoo: I will be putting an ARB in it and changing the gear ratio to probably 4:88 so now I believe the ring gear bolts to the ARB correct.  Is the spider gear then part of the ARB and the pinion gear is seperate or??

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Re: Sterling 10.25 rebuild???

Postby averagef250 on Mon Mar 09, 2009 11:39 am

If you're not familiar with setting up gears it's probably a job best left to someone that knows the ins and outs. Pinion depth, pinion preload, carrier preload and backlash all have to be spot on for the axle to work right. A special bearing puller is pretty much necessary to work on differentials. Yukon sells them under their name if you decide to buy one and a pinion depth tool and checking bearings are nice for changing gear ratios with aftermarket gears.
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Re: Sterling 10.25 rebuild???

Postby zakt on Mon Mar 09, 2009 12:03 pm

Doesnt sound hard to do just need the right tools.. Im thinking for someone to do the axle would cost more than the tools, then I would have the tools for later??  I have the chilton for the truck the axle came out of so that might have some of the measurements also??

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Re: Sterling 10.25 rebuild???

Postby averagef250 on Mon Mar 09, 2009 2:03 pm

The tools will cost about 3-5 times average gear change labor. Diff bearing remover is about $450 by itself without the adapters for the sterling. Setup bearings you'll have to make and they're around $20 a piece. Pinion depth tool is around $250. You don't need the depth tool or a case spreader if you know what you're doing, but you do need a 5 pound deadblow and a real good feel for what things are supposed to feel like when dealing with an axle that uses solid carrier shims.
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Re: Sterling 10.25 rebuild???

Postby zakt on Mon Mar 09, 2009 3:10 pm

yea, that is alittle expensive for using 1 or 2 times.... other questions for ya  :D  So I want to put an ARB in the back then and 4:88 so I assume then I just buy the ARB and a ring & pinion set and should be good??  Any brand better than another?  I also will be welding on the new perches to fit the 72 and powder coat the housing after.  Now I was thinking of powder coating the hubs also (change bearing races and bearings) but will the center caps fit on with the hubs powder coated (coating to thick??)  Should I buy all other parts also and just give to the axle place to put together or let them get the other parts??  Also the 86-92 sterling 10.25 has that smaller yolk with the smaller pinion gear... assume all the aftermarket have the newer longer pinion gear 93-up so I would then need the longer yolk and not the short one??

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Re: Sterling 10.25 rebuild???

Postby zakt on Mon Mar 09, 2009 5:48 pm

leaf perch pin center to center is what 36.5 on the new 80-97 and 32.5 on 67-72??

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Re: Sterling 10.25 rebuild???

Postby willowbilly3 on Tue Mar 10, 2009 8:27 am

First off I would find a good shop to work with you BEFORE I bought the parts. Not many good mechanics want to see a guy show up with an armload of new parts he sourced himself. When I was a shop owned that was almost always a recipe for disaster and a tore down vehicle taking up valuable floor space while the guy was trying to get the right parts.
I started out setting up Dana 60s and used an old Motors Manual for the instruction. They have good pictures of the gear mesh patterns and tell you what to do to correct/adjust it. That first one took me a day. I have done most all of them in the truck but nowdays I might be tempted to pull the axle and work on stands. I only attempted to use a spreader once (in the vehicle) and after much cussing and pinched fingers I realized it was for use with the housing out. Also, I don't know if this applies but it was always kind of a rule of thumb that you needed a different carrier if you went from a 3.XX to a 4.XX gear ratio.
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Re: Sterling 10.25 rebuild???

Postby averagef250 on Wed Mar 11, 2009 12:59 pm

Out of curiosity, Why 4.88 gears? With a 460 4.10's should be fine for 35-38" tires.

Also, if you do buy the tools I just bought a puller set for a friend of mine and found West Coast Differential has the best price. They get $325 for the basic tool plus $100 for the big clamshell set to work on the sterling, 70HD and D80.
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Re: Sterling 10.25 rebuild???

Postby mouse on Thu Mar 12, 2009 11:52 pm

If you can name this tool and now how to use it, you can rebuild a rear end. 3 months back I rebuilt a friends 2500 suburbans 14 bolt in his driveway and rented a puller from advanced, it had a exploded posiy

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Re: Sterling 10.25 rebuild???

Postby averagef250 on Fri Mar 13, 2009 7:37 pm

I don't feel the drop in lockers are smart investments. They put the whole axleshaft load through the crosspin. They break if you work them.

If you really, really wanted a spline locker buy a full case detroit (atleast they're tough). If you hate spline detroits like 80% of people who have one on the street save the bucks and use 4 sticks of welding rod to do the same thing without all the banging and teeth chattering. I've welded several sterlings with no issue, they're a tough SOB.

If a spider replacement spline locker for $400 is in your budget I'd say spend another $120 over that and get a detroit tru-trac for the sterling the best darn locker you can get and it's smooth as glass.

I'm not much of an ARB fan in the rear. I'd prefer a spool or tru-trac for something I drive on the street or mildly offroad. The ARB is far more complex, gives two options: locked or nothing and costs an arm and a leg. That air line rips out or your compressor craps and you've got a bone stock rear axle until you can fix the issue.
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Re: Sterling 10.25 rebuild???

Postby willowbilly3 on Sat Mar 14, 2009 9:44 am

You drive welded spiders on the street?
If I like this truck and keep it on I will probably go with a Detroit. I put a limited slip in my D60 on the 72 years ago and it made a whole different truck out of it. It did deteriorate after 60,000 miles but still got around dam near as good as a 4x4 with an open rear, even better sometimes.
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Re: Sterling 10.25 rebuild???

Postby averagef250 on Sun Mar 15, 2009 3:40 pm

I had one detroit locker and hated it. The things clank and bang more than you could ever imagine if you haven't had the pleasure of owning one. They're scary and downright dangerous if you have weight on the rear axle when it decides to skip a spline.

Detroit spline lockers are fully locked any time you're even thinking about breathing on the gas pedal and half the time you're coasting or going around corners. I would much, much rather have a full spool/welded spiders as opposed to a spline locker. With the spool I know both tires are locked and know exactly how the rear of the vehicle is going to behave in any circumstance. A spline locker has it's own mind. Yes, I've driven many rigs with welded spiders on the street and don't see what the fuss is- No different than a spline locker except less clanking and banging.

The Tru-Tracs never wear out, don't have splines or clutches. They're all gears and have impressed the crap out of myself and everyone I know who has put one in their vehicle- muscle car, pickup or medium duty truck.
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Re: Sterling 10.25 rebuild???

Postby willowbilly3 on Mon Mar 16, 2009 7:36 am

Is the tru-trac like an Auburn? I put some of those in Chevy vans for a moving company but never got to drive one. They really liked them I guess. Of course anything would be better than a gov-loc I guess. I like my old clutch disc limited slip just fine but on it's best day I think 250 ft.lbs. of torque would slip it. I did have it bust loose the uphill tire with a 1500# load a couple times when I really needed it to grab.
I have not actually driven any of the aftermarket lockers or other limited slips.
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Re: Sterling 10.25 rebuild???

Postby zakt on Tue Mar 24, 2009 9:49 pm

Any body else experience with the true trac, that sounds the way to go but they say not over 33" tires...??  priced a shop and they want  2300 with labor and parts... hum, think might do it myself still  :hmm: found a kit for for the seals and races at quad 4x4.  Anyone get me an exact list on what I need to do the whole thing minus the below  :thup:

Master Kits include 4 bearings with cups, 2 oil bath wheel seals, 2 axle shaft o-rings, spindle nut socket, seal installer, bearing cup installers, & driver handle.

Another question, the diff cover doesnt cover all the mating surface *all rusted up* so thinking of por15 that surface then put the dif cover on that (thoughts??)

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Re: Sterling 10.25 rebuild???

Postby averagef250 on Wed Mar 25, 2009 1:31 pm

Who says not over 33" tires for a 10.25 tru-trac? They're built like tanks, every bit as much beef there as a powerlock.

AAM makes most of the late model pickup axles these days. AAM uses tru-tracs as the OEM limited slip. I've never heard of anyone breaking one even under lifted balls out commonrail Cummins trucks.

What is $2300 for? Is that for a tru-trac, new gears, bearings and labor? Depending on gear ratio that sounds a little high. If that's just installing the carrier then that's rape. A 10.25 tru-trac is around $500, carrier bearings are $30 and labor should be around $150 for a carrier change, but you can easily do that yourself if your keeping the same gears.
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