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Unread 05-06-2010, 07:58 AM   #1
Nucklez
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Any tips to keep from destroying my front drive shaft?

My Jeep has a solid front axle. So, this forces my front drive shaft to spin since I no longer have to lock the hubs. This was installed by a previous owner, and throughout the life of the Jeep since then it has destroyed two front drive shafts. Typically, the front u-joint will fail and drop the drive shaft into the road. This causes all sorts of loud noise, fun, and some hefty damage to the drive shaft. I've replaced the front yolk, the one that connects to the front axle, with a yolk from a Cherokee. It has a much better way of locking the u-joint to the yolk, with the big u-bolts through the yolk. At least that helps to keep from ringing the heads off of the little tiny original bolts. I also got the drive shaft custom rebuilt so that it will fit better with the suspension lift.

I'm just wondering if any of you have ever "made" some sort of metal loop or something that could possibly mount to the frame? Say, make the loop big enough to not touch the drive shaft, or get it it's way when it flexes, but so that when the shaft ever breaks free from the yolk then it will "catch" the drive shaft and keep it from burying into the interstate. I haven't had any problems since those two mods I've done, but any noise I hear from the drive train makes me worry that my u-joints are about to break.

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Unread 05-06-2010, 08:18 AM   #2
Louie4
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So you put solid shafts in the axle itself? I've seen guys make loops to catch their driveshaft and keep it from puncturing their gas tank. Usually it was for the rear. The front might be a little tricky because there isn't much room or structure there to put a loop in.

I've been running mine with a locker for around 5-6 years which causes the front DS to spin all the time and I haven't had any issues. When I swapped the gears out the higher rpm's really made the vibes come out so I got my front DS balanced and it's fine now. I don't think the u-joints should fail as often as you say. What is your front DS angle like?

Probably not cheap but you could look into a manual hub conversion. Warn doesn't make one anymore but I think there is another company out there that does.
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Unread 05-06-2010, 08:54 AM   #3
Nucklez
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Louie4 View Post
So you put solid shafts in the axle itself?
Yea, that would be the correct term for that. It still has the stock externals, just everything internal has been replaced. I didn't actually do this mod, it was that way when I bought it. I grew up with the previous owner of the Jeep, and he always called them axles so sorry about that. The u-joints do not appear very loose, but they do have some wiggle too them right now. They have grease fittings, but grease guns don't tend to fit in there to fill them up very well. I bought a cheap grease gun so that I can grind the fitting on it down some, but I can't get the stupid gun to work in the first place. It's very annoying.
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Unread 05-06-2010, 09:24 AM   #4
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I am not sure if cheep metal strapping would contain a spinning D-shaft but you could try. anything like a bent metal tube would work if it was low enough but then you have a big metal hoop to catch on stuff. I would go the high strength u-joint way if possible.

Maybe go to a CTM front u-joint. not sure who would make a D-shaft that would fit it properly. maybe ask Tom Woods?
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Unread 05-06-2010, 09:29 AM   #5
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Maybe the yoke is damaged and is causing your u-joints to fail? Got any pics?

FWIW, the u-joints shouldn't have any wiggle.
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Unread 05-06-2010, 09:58 AM   #6
Nucklez
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ritjobbie View Post
Maybe the yoke is damaged and is causing your u-joints to fail? Got any pics?

FWIW, the u-joints shouldn't have any wiggle.
Ahh, Ok! The yoke was replaced after the last incident, and I haven't had any failures since then. I'm just paranoid at the moment. I am probably just got crappy u-joint from the local chain store to make them wobbly already. You guys have any recommendations that would fit in the stock shaft and yolk? Do you guys use u-joints from the local chain stores?

Edit: Ahh, I see you recommend the CTM u-joints. I'll look into those right now.
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Superior Rear Axles and Rear Locker 4.56 Ring Gear
Warn Front Axles
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Unread 05-06-2010, 10:00 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Nucklez View Post
Ahh, Ok! The yoke was replaced after the last incident, and I haven't had any failures since then. I'm just paranoid at the moment. I am probably just got crappy u-joint from the local chain store to make them wobbly already. You guys have any recommendations that would fit in the stock shaft and yolk? Do you guys use u-joints from the local chain stores?
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Unread 05-06-2010, 10:13 AM   #8
Joe Dillard
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I do not use anything except Spicer joints in my drive shafts. 1310's to be specific.

I get the feeling there's something going on with the front driveline that's not quite right & contributing to the "premature" failure of the ujoints/shaft.

Bent pinion
Bent yoke
Bent or deformed drive shaft
Out of balance drive shaft

Or something along those lines.
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Unread 05-06-2010, 12:01 PM   #9
fyrdriver
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When you switched DS, did you have the new on balanced? Alot of people have to balance them after putting a locker in the front. When I brought mine to the DS shop it nearly vibrated the balancing machine off the floor. After that fix I was good. It may cost a few bucks but maybe pull yours out and have it checked for balance/straightness, then you could rule that out. Also check your pinion angle, I see you have a lift. Did you check it after the lift was installed?
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Unread 05-06-2010, 12:36 PM   #10
Nucklez
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Well, I didn't think to ask them if they balanced it at the time. They made it out of an old Cherokee drive shaft. I saw the machine that would do the spinning and I assumed they would balance it. I bought the Jeep after the lift was installed, but I know the guy who installed it. I'm also not 100% familiar with the internals of the axle there, but he changed the gear ratio and originally had a locker installed on the front axle. He ringed the front locker apart the first time he drove it. When I first bought the Jeep it didn't have a front drive shaft at all because it fell off on its way to Camp Jeep. I bet that was a fun ride, and I think those guys taking it to Camp Jeep with only two wheel drive and some really rough trails is the reason I just had to change the engine out too.
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Unread 05-06-2010, 02:50 PM   #11
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I want to see some pics if you do it ...
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Unread 05-06-2010, 07:46 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nucklez View Post
Ahh, Ok! The yoke was replaced after the last incident, and I haven't had any failures since then. I'm just paranoid at the moment. I am probably just got crappy u-joint from the local chain store to make them wobbly already. You guys have any recommendations that would fit in the stock shaft and yolk? Do you guys use u-joints from the local chain stores?

Edit: Ahh, I see you recommend the CTM u-joints. I'll look into those right now.
CTM u joints are for axle shafts only. They are not made for the driveshaft.
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Unread 05-06-2010, 09:19 PM   #13
88blkyj
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Mine always spins also...I thought it was just how the early Yjs were?
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Unread 05-06-2010, 11:04 PM   #14
MJMPC
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Has your ft yoke still have both the tabs that jold the u-joint caps on?
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