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Unread 07-10-2013, 04:27 PM   #1
Charley3
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Are there any short axle CV kits for XJs?

My 99 XJ's U-joints on the short axles are going bad. I can feel it in steering wheel when backing up while turning.

I could just have them replaced with new U-joints, but I'd rather replace with CV joints.

Are there any kits for replacing with CV joints?

Edited in Later:

I mean not overly expensive options. Don't need chromoly axles. The only options I've found so far in Google are super expensive with chromoly axles, which I don't need, or stock Grand Cherokee CV stub shafts, which might be OK?

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Unread 07-10-2013, 05:10 PM   #2
Charley3
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What is RCVS?

Edited in Later: I found this in Google. Great stuff, but to spendy.
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Unread 07-10-2013, 05:58 PM   #3
CJ7-Tim
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Is your Google.com broken ?
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Unread 07-10-2013, 07:21 PM   #4
Charley3
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Originally Posted by CJ7-Tim View Post
Is your Google.com broken ?
It's working fine.

I Googled CV stub shafts for XJ and learned some, but still need to learn more, but obviously I won't be learning anything from you.
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Unread 07-10-2013, 08:10 PM   #5
RockRodHooligan
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The CV shafts from a Grand Cherokee is the cheapest option, but they are not as durable as the stock u-joint shafts. If you want CVs, the only thing stronger than stock are going to be RCVs.
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Unread 07-10-2013, 08:31 PM   #6
Charley3
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Are RCVs the same thing as Bobby Longfield CV shafts? They look kind of similar.

I had Longfields on the LJ I used to have.

The Longfields were great, but to spendy for 31" tires on my XJ.
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Unread 07-10-2013, 11:45 PM   #7
Charley3
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I found what I was looking for at NAXJA.

See posts 25 & 27. http://www.naxja.org/forum/showthrea...1099811&page=2

When comparing stock XJ U-joints to stock ZJ CV-joints, the CV are fine with modest size tires (I'm only going to use 31 x 9.5 R16 aka 245/75R16). However, the stock XJ U-joints are stronger (at least when not turning sharp).

There are the really highend RCV and Longfield CV options, which are really strong and excellent, but cost $1100. Those defineatly are strong, and smooth during turns, but I don't need that much strength for 31s and don't want to spend that much cash.

The affordable solution I found is a Cardone Select brand upgraded ZJ CV-joint front axle that has stronger than stock CV joints on stock strength shafts (not chromoly shafts). So it is more than strong enough for my needs and has CV benefits, and cost is only $56 x 2 (left and right shafts and joints).

A respected guy at NAXJA runs the Cardone Select CV axles on his MJ with 35s. He does some hard core stuff and has never broken a joint. He once broke a shaft, but the joint was fine. Perhaps he use RVC or Longfield CV shafts so he could have chromoly shafts, but for my 31s the Cardone Select CV axles are more than strong enough and are affordable too.

See here at SummitRacing for $56. http://m.summitracing.com/parts/aaz-66-3221

Rock Auto has them too.
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Unread 07-11-2013, 12:05 AM   #8
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Thanks to RockRodHooligan for your helpful advice. It helped me know what not to do. You helped me know NOT to use stock ZJ CV-axle.
The Cardone Select aren't a stock ZJ CV-axle. The Cardone Select are stock strengh shafts with upgraded CV joints. Their price is affordable.
No thanks to CJ7Tim. Go stuff yourself. You are never helpful.

Thanks to myself for finding my answer.
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Unread 07-11-2013, 01:22 AM   #9
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Neither aftermarket or OEM ZJ CV shafts are too strong really - all of which I've seen neck down at the CV joint area by around 1/4". That makes them as much as 70% weaker at the neckdown area compared to stock ZJ/TJ/YJ/XJ/MJ U- joint shafts which IIRC don't neck down at all.

Granted, front of an XJ with the 4.0 doesn't weigh as much as a V8 ZJ and doesn't have as much torque, but I managed to snap three CV shafts on my ZJ turning 32s on fairly easy spots. One of them with stock 3.73 gears and two with 4.56s - all of which broke at the end of the shaft, not the CV itself. I had zero issues with the XJ stock shafts turning 35s on 4.88s, although I certainly was on "borrowed time" with the stock shafts at that point.

However, I have to say there is a significant difference in the smoothness between CVs and u- joints, I couldn't imagine it was that big. I should've bought the RCVs instead of U- joint cromo- shafts You can expect some life out of the ZJ CVs by staying smart, but if you're ever planning on doing WOT assaults make sure you've got spare shafts when on the trails All of mine broke under torque, not wide open throttle..
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Unread 07-11-2013, 09:16 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Timo_90xj View Post
Neither aftermarket or OEM ZJ CV shafts are too strong really - all of which I've seen neck down at the CV joint area by around 1/4". That makes them as much as 70% weaker at the neckdown area compared to stock ZJ/TJ/YJ/XJ/MJ U- joint shafts which IIRC don't neck down at all.

Granted, front of an XJ with the 4.0 doesn't weigh as much as a V8 ZJ and doesn't have as much torque, but I managed to snap three CV shafts on my ZJ turning 32s on fairly easy spots. One of them with stock 3.73 gears and two with 4.56s - all of which broke at the end of the shaft, not the CV itself. I had zero issues with the XJ stock shafts turning 35s on 4.88s, although I certainly was on "borrowed time" with the stock shafts at that point.

However, I have to say there is a significant difference in the smoothness between CVs and u- joints, I couldn't imagine it was that big. I should've bought the RCVs instead of U- joint cromo- shafts You can expect some life out of the ZJ CVs by staying smart, but if you're ever planning on doing WOT assaults make sure you've got spare shafts when on the trails All of mine broke under torque, not wide open throttle..
Were your Grand Cherokee CV axles stock? I assume so.

I want CV mainly because I have a 242 Tcase and smooth CV would be really nice when in Full Time 4wd on patchy snow/ice on road. I know from prior XJ this system works good, except when turning sharp. When turning sharp the steering wheel oscillates from the stub shaft U-joints.

After further research, I now believe the Cardone Select stub shafts are a stronger than stock, and the CV joints too.

There is a YouTube video about them that I'd like to post, but my POS phone won't paste the link, and my knee blew out this morning and I can't walk to my computer. **** My knee needs a new joint! ****!
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Unread 07-11-2013, 10:00 AM   #11
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I'm debating on swapping in CV's to my XJ. I wheeled a 5.9 and never had any problems with the CV's, even put several thousand miles (including wheeling) on CV's with torn boots. Took 6 months before one of them started making noise, had the boot not been torn, it would've been fine.

My debate is a money issue... I'm gathering a lift and need every penny I can save, new u-joints will probably be the cheapest route to get me going.
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Unread 07-11-2013, 10:08 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charley3 View Post
Are RCVs the same thing as Bobby Longfield CV shafts? They look kind of similar.

I had Longfields on the LJ I used to have.

The Longfields were great, but to spendy for 31" tires on my XJ.
they are the same. IIRC the RCV units are re-badged BL or RCV bought out BL or something like that.
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Unread 07-11-2013, 10:26 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gs69350 View Post
I'm debating on swapping in CV's to my XJ. I wheeled a 5.9 and never had any problems with the CV's, even put several thousand miles (including wheeling) on CV's with torn boots. Took 6 months before one of them started making noise, had the boot not been torn, it would've been fine.

My debate is a money issue... I'm gathering a lift and need every penny I can save, new u-joints will probably be the cheapest route to get me going.
Stock ZJ CV shafts - including the niner - have shafts that neck down almost 1/4" right before the CV joint. As I wrote above, assuming same material and heat treatment is used, that makes them close to 70% weaker compared to similar diameter shaft without the neck-down at the end.

Like I wrote, I broke three CV shafts of which all had clean breaks at the neckdown area. Snapped because of torque, not slamming to a rock ledge at WOT. A couple of my friends have broken ZJ CV shafts on their XJs as well. They are not too strong, trust me. The joints aren't the weakest spot, it's the shafts.

Edit: I'll post a couple of pictures when I get home to show what I mean..
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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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Unread 07-11-2013, 11:16 AM   #14
gs69350
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Timo, I get what you are saying. For me, this is a DD with a maybe 4x a year wheeling trip, nothing extreme, no plans for locking the front either. (i'm assuming your front is locked, which is probably why you are breaking the axles)
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Unread 07-11-2013, 11:24 AM   #15
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U-joint cromo-shaft diameter is eaxctly equal to the CV shaft from the splines all the way to neckdown; you can clearly see the difference after that:




Another picture showing the neckdown from 1.16" (29.46mm) down to 0.97" (24.5mm or so, picture is lying a bit on the numbers due to camera angle)



..and the fairly clean cut (every one of the shafts broke in a similar way; two stock shafts and one aftermarket version). No play on the CVs, no sounds before snapping, boots were intact:

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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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