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Hybrid R230 Armada/300ZXTT Pictorial

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Pictures are worth a thousand words. Nothing is more difficult than trying to make sense of someone's custom work through words on a page without the aide of pictures. So here is the process of my Armada/300ZXTT R230 Hybrid Differential.

 

Thanks to Hybrid Z member Cyrus who helped pioneer this and give me helpful insight.

 

Parts needed to begin:

 

2007 Nissan Armada R230 2.94 ratio

1990 Nissan 300ZXTT R230 3.69 ratio

 

 

Notice the subtle differences in the carrier between the Armada R230 and the 300ZXTT R230:

 

post-826-12726357187454_thumb.jpg

 

post-826-12726358192265_thumb.jpg

 

The bottom of each carrier:

 

post-826-1272635866571_thumb.jpg

 

post-826-12726359192387_thumb.jpg

 

The mounting height differences:

 

post-826-12726359625608_thumb.jpg

 

post-826-12726359921051_thumb.jpg

 

Rear Covers. Notice the 300ZXTT LSD sticker (very important). The 300ZXTT cover WILL NOT bolt directly onto the Armada carrier without grinding off the ABS provisions. The Armada wall thickness at the rear of the case is thicker than the 300ZXTT and the ABS sensors provisions hit the Armada mounting surface.

 

post-826-12726362530647_thumb.jpg

 

Armada:

 

post-826-12726362968592_thumb.jpg

 

300ZXTT:

 

post-826-12726363236646_thumb.jpg

 

 

Output Flange size difference:

 

post-826-12726364486887_thumb.jpg

 

 

Check your ratios:

 

Armada 47:16 2.9375 ratio

 

post-826-12726365396656_thumb.jpg

 

300ZXTT 48:13 3.69 ratio

 

post-826-12726365871893_thumb.jpg

 

Ring geat vantage:

 

Armada

 

post-826-12726366477729_thumb.jpg

 

300ZXTT

 

post-826-12726366824882_thumb.jpg

 

 

 

This is a start. Next I'll pull out the ring gear and document that process and add to this post.

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Great pics!

 

Not sure if you saw what Z-Gad did for his R230 Hybrid, but here's a quote from a post on another thread. Hope this helps:

 

http://forums.hybridz.org/index.php?/topic/75078-some-2jz-gte-questions/page__view__findpost__p__716864

 

The 2.94 and 3.36 R230 diffs come out of the 2004-2009 Nissan Armada (some are AKA Pathfinder). The front mounting ears are in different places than the Z32 R230, but the Z32 rear cover fits the Armada R230.

The Armada gearset doesn't fit into the Z32 pumpkin (pinion is too wide), but the LSD from the Z32TT R230 fits into the Armada pumpkin, as do the Z32TT output shafts.

Here is what mine consists of...

Armada 2.94 gears

Z32TT LSD

Z32TT output stubs

Z32 rear cover

Armada pinion flange (was easy to redrill for the Chevy pattern so it did not require a special adaptor like the Z32TT pinion flange does...), allowing me to use 1350 u-joints

Regards,

Mike

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Good job!!

 

This picture blows me away, as I've never heard anyone state the bolt pattern of the 6 bolt R230 CV's had two different diameters...

 

post-826-12726364486887.jpg

 

I remember reading that the CVs were beefier on the Armada R230...I'll do some searching and try to find that post.

 

Looks like Z-Gad ditched the Armada output flanges/stubs in favor for the Z32TT R230 output flanges/stubs so they don't have issues matching up with the CVs on the Z32TT/Q45 axles.

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mrcheeze36,

 

I read every R230 discussion on this site and found them all very helpful to get started. I appreciate the insight others have given as it has answered so many questions for me. Unfortunately, most R230 discussions list the basic items needed to interchange the diffs, however, none detail each step necessary to complete the diff for use(ex. bearings, shims, seals, what goes where, and where goes what). My goal is to photo detail each step so that anyone who visits this page has a clear understanding to complete the job themselves and clear up any details that may not be exactly right.

 

Ex: I've read in 5-6 places that the Z32 LSD finned cover will fit the Armada...it absolutely WILL NOT. The bolt holes line up, but the wall thickness on the back of the Armada carrier interferes with the ABS sensor provisions on the sides of the Z32 rear cover. Those provisions have to be ground off to get the cover to fit.

 

 

"Looks like Z-Gad ditched the Armada output flanges/stubs in favor for the Z32TT R230 output flanges/stubs so they don't have issues matching up with the CVs on the Z32TT/Q45 axles."

 

That might be the case, but with what I'm reading I think it was an ease thing. The R230 obviously has some mounting issues. With the Z32TT output shafts flange in the Armada case there is a clearance issued with the lower A arms and the upper unibody. Because the Armada flanges are bigger, it would make that clearance issue more pronounced. The easy way to solve that issue is to use the smaller diameter output flange. It might also be that it is done this way to mate to CV's. But CV's are yesterday's news. TTT has a straight through design which eliminates that weak point altogether.

 

 

What I thought was interesting was the thickness difference of the ring gear between the two. I would have thought that the Armada ring gear would be thicker. I'm not sure this plays a factor in anything, but it raised my eyebrow.

 

 

Keep posted for the next round of the swap.

Edited by 231Z

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That might be the case, but with what I'm reading I think it was an ease thing. The R230 obviously has some mounting issues. With the Z32TT output shafts flange in the Armada case there is a clearance issued with the lower A arms and the upper unibody. Because the Armada flanges are bigger, it would make that clearance issue more pronounced. The easy way to solve that issue is to use the smaller diameter output flange. It might also be that it is done this way to mate to CV's. But CV's are yesterday's news. TTT has a straight through design which eliminates that weak point altogether.

 

Yes, it's ease of installation. If maintaining the Armada output flanges/CVs, you run into obstacles going either route (TTT vs. 4-CVs). Going 4-CVs, modern Motorsports has the CV adapter and shortened axles for the Q45/Z32TT CVs...you'll need different CV adapters and possibly differrent axle shafts (if Armada axle shafts are larger in diameter). If going the TTT route, same deal with the axle shafts if larger diameter-wise...also if planning on using the Z32/Q45 hubs, you need to use the Z32TT/Q45 CV/input from the axle (on the hub side) to work.

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Okay, so I'm back on track with some new updates:

 

Here are two photos showing the LSD Finned Cover from the ZXTT R230 on the carrier of the Armada R230...it doesn't fit without shaving the ABS sensor provisions.

 

post-826-12733812244559_thumb.jpg

 

post-826-12733813214716_thumb.jpg

 

Next was removing the inner stub axles from each differential. I'll show the Armada as the ZXTT R230 inner stub removal is the same process. Notice that each inner stub has a ring to help hold the inner stub in place inside the differential.

 

post-826-12733815547975_thumb.jpg

 

post-826-12733817411191_thumb.jpg

 

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The inner stub axles are removed with a slide hammer:

 

post-826-12733818725027_thumb.jpg

 

post-826-12733819473797_thumb.jpg

 

Now you can see the visual difference between the Armada R230 inner stub axles and the ZXTT R230 inner stub axles. They are very different. From the top working down to the flange the Armada stub diameteres are approx. 34mm, 36mm, 50mm and the same length. The ZXTT stub diameters are 32mm, 40mm, 50mm and vary in their length.

 

ALSO NOTE, THE ARMADA STUBS ARE 33 SPLINE, THE ZXTT STUBS ARE 31. THE ARMADA R230 STUBS WILL NOT FIT IN THE LSD FROM THE ZXTT R230.

 

post-826-12733821941459_thumb.jpg

 

post-826-12733823190539_thumb.jpg

 

Lastly for this series of the post, notice the difference in the ring gear. The Armada on the left, the ZXTT on the right (LSD). The Armada and ZXTT use 17mm bolts to secure the ring gear to the gearing or LSD. The Armada bolts are larger in diameter though and will not fit through the LSD holes from the ZXTT. These need to be drilled out to pass the Armada bolts through to secure the Armada ring to the ZXTT LSD. A quick trip to the machine shop and this was done in 5 minutes. The LSD is not hardened, it almost appeared cast for as easy as it was to cut through.

 

post-826-12733824465106_thumb.jpg

 

Armada:

 

post-826-12733826008402_thumb.jpg

 

ZXTT:

 

post-826-12733826988682_thumb.jpg

 

Armada bolt in ZXTT LSD.

 

post-826-12733828325925_thumb.jpg

 

The spider gears from the Armada and the LSD from the ZXTT show bearings/races at each end. When inside the housing, the side to side lash is minimized by shims as shown beneath the bearing/race cover in the next photo. This shim varies based on the tolerance difference in each item made from the factory. Once I've determined what my variance will be, I'll photo what I've used.

 

post-826-12733829410088_thumb.jpg

 

That's it for now. I still have to remove the pinion. To make this right, I'll buy new seals, races, and shims. I'll send out the carrier, inner stubs, and pinion to be powder coated.

 

Stay tuned.

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Finally got some time to hit the project again. I removed the pinion flange. The pinion took a huge beating before I gave up and looked for this puller. The pinion was in there super tight.

 

post-826-067893800 1278714778_thumb.jpg

 

post-826-084417300 1278714791_thumb.jpg

 

post-826-067709700 1278714765_thumb.jpg

 

I removed the remaining gaskets and finally have a bare case to work with. I've sent it out for powder coat, along with the inner stubs and pinion flange.

 

post-826-094388300 1278714758_thumb.jpg

 

I noticed that the 300ZXTT cover where the anti-lock brake sensors go, where pressed in. SO...I WAS INCORRECT ABOUT THE FITMENT OF THE 300ZXTT COVER ONTO THE ARMADA DIFF NOT WORKING. INFACT, IT WILL.

 

post-826-028261300 1278714743_thumb.jpg

 

When the parts come back, I'll show the reassembly. Making progress.

Edited by 231Z

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Got the diff case back from Spray Technology (Santa Clara, CA). I went with 40% black on the case and pinion flange.

 

post-826-001335100 1290278596_thumb.jpg

 

Also did the stub axles in 40% wet.

 

post-826-045338900 1290278545_thumb.jpg

 

I'm waiting on the last of the bearings to put it all back together. On the next phase, I should have it back together less the shims for the side to side clearance of the LSD.

 

Tyson

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I'm trying to figure out what you guys are doing here. Why are you trying to hybrid these two diffs together?

 

Obviously the best option would be with the larger Armada 33 spline shafts with the TT VLSD carrier. But that is not an option due to the spline count difference.

 

So please forgive me, but what is it you are trying to accomplish here other than having I nice new rebuilt and painted diff?

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Why are you trying to hybrid these two diffs together?

 

Buried in several previous threads/posts on this subject is the fact that the 3.36 or 2.93 Armada R&P will not fit in the Z32TT case. The Z32TT was only available with a 3.69 ratio.

 

Regarding input/output flanges: In my case, I went with the Z32 outputs and input because I wanted to use Z32 CVs with Z32 outer stubs and already had a Z32/1350 flange for my driveshaft.

 

This is a really good, detailed thread - I can't provide many details because I had a shop do my diff hybridization.

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Satan,

 

I wanted the 2.94 ring gear, so I have combined the two diffs into one. I am using the LSD from the 300zxtt and the pinion gear and ring gear of the Armada. Since the LSD is matched to the 300zxtt stub axles (spline count match), I used those to finish off the diff.

 

The benefit to me is that I will have a four speed automatic. By lowering the rear gearing, it will be hwy friendly and better matched for my over all combo. I will be running a Buick Grand National turbo v6 motor with a 200r4 brf transmission.

 

Hope that helps.

 

Tyson

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I've hit a road block as mentioned in Cyrus's post at this hyperlink:

 

http://forums.hybridz.org/index.php/topic/40615-2941-3111-and-3361-gears-in-a-r230-i-did-it-sort-of/page__p__331349__hl__cyrus__fromsearch__1#entry331349

 

CYRUS WROTE:

"The set up will work but I need shims of ~1.6mm on the left and ~3.54mm on the right, but nissan only sells 2.0 mm-2.5 mm. The shims are 99mm in dia.

 

The only other issue is the right bearing only is in contact with 2/3 rds of the machined case. This leaves 1/3 of it to float in air. I am not sure if this is significant."

 

 

The pictures below demonstrate what the issue is. The Armada comes with one set of shims from the factory that are the same size (2.1 MM). The 300zxtt has different size shims. I saved mine and the ones from the 300zxtt to mock up the LSD fit into the Armada. The factory shims will not work to provide the right fit. The issues are back lash and side to side lash.

 

Back lash is the slight "play" in the pinion and ring gear movement (about 5-7 thousandths is what I'm told is correct). By moving the pinion in one direction then the other, there should be a slight play before the ring gear engages. You can feel this in your hand and hear it when you are setting this.

 

The issue in my case is that if the side to side lash is too tight, I lose the back lash when spinning the pinion gear. So a loose fit determined what I've shown in the pictures below.

 

I set the LSD into place with no shim on the left side and stacked up shims on the right side (8 MM shim and a 2.1 MM). With no shim on the left, I maintained some back lash. When I put in a 2 MM shim, the back lash went away. I have a little room to play here, but not much. The bigger issue here is that the bearing does not fully seat inside the race. If I do push it all the way in by moving the LSD over more to that side, I lose my back lash, but the LSD nearly hits the inside of the case where the bearing caps bolt to. To correct this I think I'm going to have to shim the back side of the bearing to move it into the race.

 

I still have a lot of playing to do and right now, I could easily put in another 20 hours to figure this out. I've got a call into Z-GAD and Cyrus who have both done this. Hopefully they will have some insight on this issue. It is going to take some playing around. Unfortunately, Nissan only makes shims from 2 MM to 2.7 MM in .05 increments. I will have to make custom shims or find the Ford Raytech shims that Cyrus used.

 

More to follow as I figure this out.

 

post-826-091765500 1295068140_thumb.jpg

 

post-826-015577200 1295068157_thumb.jpg

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Having the right tools has made this job much easier. My friend Lewis at Oller Brothers Auto in Santa Clara (2555 Lafayette St) has also been a huge help. He's put up with my questions and led me every step of the way. Here are some more shots:

 

post-826-067744600 1295068277_thumb.jpg

 

post-826-021961900 1295068308_thumb.jpg

 

post-826-045372200 1295068354_thumb.jpg

 

post-826-036565700 1295068382_thumb.jpg

 

post-826-061675900 1295068414_thumb.jpg

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I've hit a road block as mentioned in Cyrus's post at this hyperlink:

 

http://forums.hybridz.org/index.php/topic/40615-2941-3111-and-3361-gears-in-a-r230-i-did-it-sort-of/page__p__331349__hl__cyrus__fromsearch__1#entry331349

 

CYRUS WROTE:

"The set up will work but I need shims of ~1.6mm on the left and ~3.54mm on the right, but nissan only sells 2.0 mm-2.5 mm. The shims are 99mm in dia.

 

The only other issue is the right bearing only is in contact with 2/3 rds of the machined case. This leaves 1/3 of it to float in air. I am not sure if this is significant."

 

 

 

 

Don't know if Mike ZGAD passed this on to you, but while doing my diff (the initial one), Donny, the guy at the shop who did both Mike's and mine, had me research a thicker carrier bearing because he ran into this same thing. I came up with Timken # 32211 92KA "TRB-ISO ASSY" - I actually took the old bearing of the desired thickness into my local Miller Bearing store to match up. I think he used two of them - and the diff build was completed.

 

I think the way Donny knew that a thicker bearing was required was that he measured one of the old bearings removed from the Armada diff ( As best I recall - the desired ones may have been in the Z case), and found that they were thicker than the ones from the Z32. Memory is foggy but at one point He was thinking about making some shims but I believe the thicker bearing solved the problem. Mike's build went a lot smoother as a result.

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@ yessir - ???????? Not sure what you mean. Can you re-drill the output flanges? Do you mean change the spline count? The reason for using the 300zxtt diff is for the LSD. The reason for using the Armada ring gear is the gear ratio. The reason for using the 300zxtt output flanges is that they are the same spline count as the LSD and they clear the lower A arms on the car better when bolted up to a modified moustache bar.

 

So here is a little progress on my side to side lash issue and back lash. To create the correct amount of back lash needed I milled .025 off the LSD housing shown in the photo below. This moved the ring gear over to the left (driver side) enough to gain just the right amount of back lash.

 

post-826-028542100 1299457498_thumb.jpg

 

I'm left shimming the side to side lash now. Issues others have had is not fully seating the bearing into the race as shown in the photos above. Additionally, there are no off the shelf shims you can use, so they have to be fabbed or use what you have. I'm using the shims from both the 300zxtt and the Aramada and I'm close but too tight. I will sand down the shims to fit. I'll post a photo showing this process later.

 

Almost there. Sorry it is taking so long, but it is possible. Let it be known that it is difficult to do this without some machining and replacing parts. I'll be in about $1000 when all is said and done. That includes the cost of two rear ends, all new bearings, races, seals, and powder coating.

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as seen in this picture the flanges on the armada diff are slightly larger with a larger bolt spacing also.My question is, why cant you just re drill the armada output flange to match the 300zxtt/q45 bolt pattern and just bolt in armada diff in place of my q45 diff?

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Good job!!

 

This picture blows me away, as I've never heard anyone state the bolt pattern of the 6 bolt R230 CV's had two different diameters...

 

post-826-12726364486887.jpg

 

 

as seen in this picture the flanges on the armada diff are slightly larger with a larger bolt spacing also.My question is, why cant you just re drill the armada output flange to match the 300zxtt/q45 bolt pattern and just bolt in armada diff in place of my q45 diff?

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why cant you just re drill the armada output flange to match the 300zxtt/q45 bolt pattern and just bolt in armada diff in place of my q45 diff?

 

Because the side mounting ears on the Armada diff are in a different position and need a different front mount.

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Was there ever any progress on this?

 

I have a 300zx twinturbo that I plan on using a 370z 6speed.

 

If I use the 3. 69 tt diff. It will be way too close of a gearing setup.

 

The armada 2.94 would be a good swap for it.

 

I was planning on using a 350x 3.36 rear due to the ease of the swap.. Besides welding in supports to bolt into my NA rear subframe.

 

Or an first few m45 has a 3.13 rear but no lsd.. That would require me to buy a 350z diff with lsd and swap that.

 

But this swap seems it would be the same amount of work and a stronger/more desired rear ratio.

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