Front Driveshaft - Rebuild or Buy New? - JeepForum.com
 
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post #1 of 10 Old 04-17-2017, 06:55 AM Thread Starter
SmashDN
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Front Driveshaft - Rebuild or Buy New?

Last time I took my Xj in for an alignment after my issues with the steering gear the shop removed my front driveshaft stating it was worn out and was a danger to "blow apart."

It has been in the back for about two months now and I am now finally ready to do something about it.

So my question is, the full rebuild kits look to be about $90 (u joints, cardan block thingy) and a new one can be had for around $150, better to rebuild or buy a new custom shaft?

Rig has an [advertised] 3" lift that has settled, adjustable lower control arms, stock uppers. No real plan to go significantly higher but I am going to replace the leaf spring shackles and rubber coil spring isolators on the front.

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post #2 of 10 Old 04-17-2017, 09:41 AM
imthehink
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Rebuild, simple and easy. Unless you really want a new drive shaft.

1999 XJ
4.5" BDS and Stuff.
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post #3 of 10 Old 04-17-2017, 10:32 AM
Timo_90xj
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There's no way you can get a NEW front DS for 150$ if it's built from high quality parts like Spicer or Neapco.
Check the front DS part prices from any driveline- related shop and you will understand that it costs a whole lot more to build a new one.


If you have no play/ minimal play in the front DS slip joint, I'd just rebuild the front DS.
I'm using a front DS out of my first XJ on my ZJ niner. I rebuilt the front DS about ten years ago - it was then used on my first XJ, then on my second XJ, and now on my ZJ. Front DS currently has 250k+ miles on it, and the slip joint cointing on the male splines is still there.

1998 Grand Cherokee 5.9 LX daily driver, 1.75" BB, 32" KM2s, HPD30 Eaton e-locker/D44a stock LSD, 4.56 gears, custom- fabbed tube bumpers and tube fenders,...


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1990 XJ Limited (4-door), 4.0 I6, AW4, NP242, ***rolled and totalled @ 165k miles***

***Under construction***
1990 XJ (4-door), 4.0 I6, AW4, NP242, PBR 42" tires, Unimog 404 portal axles, 110" WB, full cage + uniframe completely rebuilt, front 3-link + panhard / double triangulated 4-link rear,... ***SOLD***
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post #4 of 10 Old 04-17-2017, 10:42 AM Thread Starter
SmashDN
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So what do I need to rebuild it? U-joints are a given but what else? Should I worry with balancing it? This particular one was a rebuilt one that lasted about a year before the shop said it was a problem. I don't care to rebuild just need to know what all to get.
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post #5 of 10 Old 04-17-2017, 10:49 AM
RedJeepster1
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Did they say why it was an issue? A driveshaft should not be worn out after a year. I have never had to replace the u joints in the double cardian joint in any of my Jeeps. I have replaced the u joints at the other end when they get worn out. $20 and an hours work with none of the right tools.

88 YJ with a 4.6l stroker, AX-15, NP231, 2.5" lift, 4.10's and 33's
2000 Red XJ w/ 350k+, AW4, NP231, Locked Rear, HD Crown Leafs, trimmed to fit 33's, soon to be a donor
2000 Silver XJ, Drivetrain from the Red XJ, Stiffened, IRO leafs, RE coils, custom 3 link, WJ knuckles, 35's <=== In the works
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post #6 of 10 Old 04-17-2017, 11:33 AM
Timo_90xj
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SmashDN View Post
So what do I need to rebuild it? U-joints are a given but what else? Should I worry with balancing it? This particular one was a rebuilt one that lasted about a year before the shop said it was a problem. I don't care to rebuild just need to know what all to get.
3 x Spicer 1310- series u-joints, the centering yoke assembly + the small parts.
Google "Spicer 1310- series double cardan joint rebuild kit" and you should get plenty of results.

As for a front DS failing within a year after it was rebuilt sounds like either a bad job, crappy/ cheap chinese parts used, or a failure of the driveshaft slip joint, or slightly bent DS. Ie. a worn slip joint or bent DS can cause enough vibrations to eat the u-joint needle bearings - without causing too much vibes that you would feel them in the cab.
If the shop used low quality u-joints, it is very much possible for the DS to fail quickly. Do NOT buy any other u-joints than Spicer, do NOT buy any other DS parts than Spicer or Neapco.

1998 Grand Cherokee 5.9 LX daily driver, 1.75" BB, 32" KM2s, HPD30 Eaton e-locker/D44a stock LSD, 4.56 gears, custom- fabbed tube bumpers and tube fenders,...


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1990 XJ Limited (4-door), 4.0 I6, AW4, NP242, ***rolled and totalled @ 165k miles***

***Under construction***
1990 XJ (4-door), 4.0 I6, AW4, NP242, PBR 42" tires, Unimog 404 portal axles, 110" WB, full cage + uniframe completely rebuilt, front 3-link + panhard / double triangulated 4-link rear,... ***SOLD***
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post #7 of 10 Old 04-17-2017, 12:11 PM Thread Starter
SmashDN
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They did not say. When the lift was put on way back when the stock shaft was removed because "the splines on the old shaft were worn badly where it would see the most use going forward do to the lift." The shop replaced the front drive shaft with a rebuild that had to be sent back due to vibration. Another (the current one sitting in the cargo area now) was put on and used without issue for a good while. When I took it in the other day after the steering gear replace for an alignment they thought it was nearing death due to the noise and vibrations they heard/felt. Didn't try to sell me anything else, just took it off and said I need to rebuild it or replace it.

For what it is worth I have what was advertised as a 3" lift that has no doubt settled. I have a 1" transfer case/transmission drop on it.

I will look at the rebuild kits. Also need to send the steering gear that is currently on it back as the "hard spot" in the steering never did go away and it is sketchy to drive at speed.
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post #8 of 10 Old 04-20-2017, 11:35 AM Thread Starter
SmashDN
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Update

I pulled the driveshaft out of the back and started taking u-joints out in preparation for the rebuild. The u-joints themselves ae in pretty good shape except I think someone got lazy along the way and didn't install the zerks in all the joints. After removing the "ball" piece on the inside of that mess I found that the little stubby shaft thing was dry as a bone and the needle bearing just fell out of it. That was likely the issue.

I am in Atlanta all next week and I found a driveline shop not far from where I will be that comes highly regarded. I plan to drag the shaft down with me and either get it rebuilt with quality components and balanced or purchase a new drive shaft.
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post #9 of 10 Old 04-26-2017, 08:53 AM Thread Starter
SmashDN
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$372 for a rebuild (u-joints, the ball thingy, and the front pin - front pin was trashed due to no grease, rebalance and slip joint was worn)

$385 for newly built shaft - went with new shaft. They are going to build it just a touch longer for my lift.
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post #10 of 10 Old 05-01-2017, 09:26 AM Thread Starter
SmashDN
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Location: Franklin
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Installed driveshaft yesterday. Drove rig around a few places in 2wd only and smooth as silk up to 65mph.
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