Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Columbus, OH
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If the price difference is only a few hundred dollars, I think that you would be money well spent on the 9" high pinion over the Currie 8.8.
I believe that the high pinion application in a rear axle is weaker than a 'standard" pinion application in the rear axle. This has to do with drive side and coast side of the gears.
The Currie "high pinion 9" has some limitations as to the tire size and horsepower it can handle. The True High 9 also has limitations, I am sure, but it has been, if not currently, used in rock crawling competitions.
I realize that this does not answer your question of the cost to build vs cost to buy. You could look at Randy's Ring and Pinion website and figure out pricing for ring and pinion, ring gear bolts, bearings, etc.