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Old 09-12-2022, 11:13 AM   #1
H34choctaw
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Join Date: Sep 2021
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Default Dana Spicer rear in a dune buggy/kart build

I know this is a golf cart forum but the differential in question has been used in gas golf carts so here goes.

I got a Dana Spicer rear end and axle off of a Cub Cadet Big Country 4x2. I'm going to put it into a Chinese dune buggy/go kart. It's a bit over kill but its pretty stout, has a locking diff and has reverse. I'll be using a B&S Vanguard 18 hp v-twin for power.

In order to keep the rear swing arm with the coil over shocks from being too long I need to install the engine BEHIND the differential whereas before it was in front of it.

Can I rotate the differential upwards about 75 degrees or so so that the CV belt will clear the axle if the engine is mounted in the rear? The oil level would come up to the rubber fill hole. I wouldn't rotate it anymore than the bottom of the hole. Would everything still be lubricated properly?

Other option is to turn the axle/diff around so that REVERSE is now FWD and FORWARD is now RVRS. My gear ratio with the 25" tires would be what 14 to 1 now? From around 12 to 1?...Would that be a bad thing for driving on my property with a lot of steep hills?
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Old 08-07-2023, 12:55 AM   #2
OHyundai
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Join Date: Aug 2023
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Default Re: Dana Spicer rear in a dune buggy/kart build

Quote:
Originally Posted by H34choctaw View Post
Other option is to turn the axle/diff around so that REVERSE is now FWD and FORWARD is now RVRS. My gear ratio with the 25" tires would be what 14 to 1 now? From around 12 to 1?...Would that be a bad thing for driving on my property with a lot of steep hills?
Keep in mind that when it was designed the thrust forces from the helical gears will be directed into larger bearings or thrust surfaces. When you drive in reverse the thrust forces will go in the opposite direction, into the smaller pinion shaft bearing and smaller thrust surfaces.

It is the same as excessive engine over-run in a manual gearbox vehicle, when you drop down a gear with no throttle and the gearbox is spinning the engine (instead of the engine spinning the gearbox)... it makes a cool exhaust note as it pops and cackles, but it's sending all the thrust forces from the helical gears into the smaller bearings, wearing them out more quickly.

As for moving the diff around, I would think that as long as the ring gear is sitting in oil, the splash-lubrication would still take place as it slings it around inside the casing.
Just make note of the proper fill level in the original position then drain it fully and measure what comes out. Catch any oil that drains as you re-position the diff, and that is the amount of oil you'll need to add when you have it installed in the final position you need.
Whatever method is used in the stock position won't work for you any longer, so you'll need to know how much to put back in, then figure out a way to check the level when filled properly, so you can check it in the future.

Between the 2 options, I would rotate the diff around as needed rather than reversing the direction of travel
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