What does EXC. I & EXC. II gear upgrade mean?
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Before creating another question, let's explain where on the Pinzgauer these gears are located.
Each Pinzgauer axle has of course a differential. The differential has a spider gear cluster on the center shaft which goes thru the housing from the front to the rear. Unlike regular car and truck differentials which have one ring gear and one pinion gear, the Pinzgauer really has two of each.
For that reason the right side axles are located further towards the front of the vehicle compared to the left side. By doing that the engineers were able to eliminate the need to have any joint in the left or right side axles in order to allow the suspension to move up and down. This was a very unusual and clever solution.
However, there was a flaw in the design of the spider gears which created a lack of lubrication for the spider gears on their carrier shaft. The gears and shafts eventually wear to the point of seizing up and causing catastrophic damage to the complete differential. Several people have criticized me over the years for overreacting with my concerns regarding this problem. Many times I have been told there is no problem.
My answer is always this:
"If there is no trouble with the EXC.I gear version, why does the manufacturer go to the extent of offering an upgrade kit for this problem and therefore admit that there was a flaw in the original design?" Some people also say that they have never seen a catastrophic failure based on using the EXC.I gear version. I would invite such individuals to my shop and hand them the broken parts to look at.
The EXC.II version has redesigned spider gears: The inside diameter of the gear is larger and the shaft diameter is smaller. It allows the use of a brass "sleeve" which runs between the two surfaces and has holes in it to allow better distribution of oil. The shaft is also designed differently and has a hole in it for allowing better oil flow.
It's simple and it works, but the conversion is a lot of work and expensive. In any case the conversion is far less expensive compared to the purchase and installation of a complete new gearbox once the original is destroyed beyond repair. The last time I priced a differential gearbox in Austria it was over $7000, and that was without shipping and installation! You do the math.
Before looking at the pictures please keep in mind that ALL trucks offered through T-LO's Ultimate Offroad, DO HAVE the EXC.II gear upgrade in ALL differentials. This is just one of the reasons why my trucks are higher priced compared to some other vehicles offered for sale in the U.S.
Click on the photos to see the differences between the gear versions and the potential damage waiting to happen when using the EXC I version for too long.
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