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Joe Dillard 06-08-2009 06:48 PM

How to: Vacuum Disco Elimination, Axle Tube Sleeve Fix, ubolt eliminator - 56K beware
Last year while wheelin’ in Colorado with some friends, I developed a serious crack underneath my passenger side SOA perch. The problem didn’t surface till the next day while I was in Moab doing a relatively easy trail. All the sudden my front axle started making some interesting noises, and looked as if I had balljoint issues at first glance. So Randy (Rock_Worm) and I got out to take a look. Next thing I know, Randy say’s something to the effect – hey Joe, I think I’ve found the problem”. :laugh:

Anyway, we did a trail repair & then towed it back to our campsite in Moab. The following day, Randy, Larry & I welded it back up as a temporary fix so that we could continue wheelin’ for the next week. It has held up fine ever since & has several other trail runs on it – but I wanted a more permanent fix. So, this is where my “Disco Elimination & Axle Tube Sleeve Fix and ubolt eliminator” begins.

Here’s what the initial crack looked like:

Face of the axle tube:

View from underneath:

View from the back:

So, back at my campsite, I borrowed a friend of mine’s Lincoln MIG welder and we cleaned up the crack and welded it back as best we could.

My friend Larry, from WA, helping do some welding:

Beginnings of the repair:

Okay, now that I’ve explained how my troubles started – here’s what I’ve done as a more permanent fix. Yea, it’s a HPD30 and some may say; “why polish it?” This fix cost me a grand total of ~$30.00 for the 3”x.250” DOM, including hardware. I already had everything else laying around my garage.

I had a pair of perches, so I got some 3”x.250” DOM and started doing some measuring.
I secured the Jeep on jack stands & pulled my tire, then started to remove the Warn hubs:

Then I removed the Warn spindle & Vanco calipers and rotor:

Joe Dillard 06-08-2009 06:49 PM

Next was to remove the Warn passenger side axle shaft:

Remove the steering links from my MORE steering bracket:

Remove & tape up the axle breather & ARB fitting:

Then the drive shaft and secure it out of the way:

Next up was to remove the ubolts & spring plates:

HPD30 removed. You’ll notice I didn’t bother removing the brake rotor, hub spindle etc from the driver side since there was no need.

Now it’s time to start chopping up the disco housing & completely remove it so I could sleeve the tube with the DOM.

I opened up the vacuum disco block-off plate and stuffed a rag in it so that debris wouldn’t enter the tube as I cut portions of the tube off:

As you’ll notice here – I cut off the tube close to the axle perch so I could take advantage of as much of the axle tube as possible when I sleeve it.

Here’s the outer portion of it that I’ll reuse. Notice how I marked the tube so that when I reattach it – my caster should be correct:

Next up, I opened up the disco housing block-off plate & move my rag to the inside of where I’d be making my second cut.

Vacuum disco gone:

Joe Dillard 06-08-2009 06:51 PM

No, Iím not a dentist :D there are some deburring tools I use to help remove those nasty/pesky burrs after cutting:

Then I removed the old RE axle tube shock mount:

Cleaned up the axle tubes with a flap disc:

Test fit of the new sleeve, perch & rechecking castor with my angle finder:

I drilled some holes in the new sleeve so I could plug-weld it in place:

Test fit & checking castor:

Marking the new spring perch for welding:

Fabricating new spring plate and ubolt eliminator plate:

Joe Dillard 06-08-2009 06:52 PM

Since I did a 1Ē wheelbase stretch some time ago Ė I needed to drill an offset hole in my spring perch so the centerpin has an exit:

Measure twice Ė drill once ;)

Ubolt eliminator test fit:

Plug welds complete & beginnings of the sleeve welded:

Spring perch & ubolt eliminator tact welded & angle rechecked:

Starting to paint/reassembly & getting ready for final welding:

Perch & new lower shock tabs welded:

Joe Dillard 06-08-2009 06:53 PM

Nothing ever goes perfectly Ė right? :laugh:

I checked the tube and noticed that the rag I put in it earlier was accidentally left inside. No big deal, I took a broomstick handle & retrieved it:

Thatís better. Notice the ARB crosspin:

On to the reassembly. Brakes, steering, spindle, shocks, check:

Drive shaft, breather ARB Ė check:

Joe Dillard 06-08-2009 06:53 PM

Hubs & tires, check:

Well, thatís about it. This is just the first fitting. Iíll be changing this design in the future, but you get the idea as to why & how itís done.

ghost183 06-08-2009 07:15 PM

wow joe...

you actually made it look easier than what i thought it would be.. very nice, and clean!!

rustywrangler 06-08-2009 07:39 PM

First class work man. Very nice.

EnFuegoUno 06-08-2009 07:44 PM


bartolo 06-08-2009 08:22 PM

never thought it could be done nice job and very clean

havasu 06-08-2009 08:39 PM

I wish I had half the ambition that you have Joe! Great write up!

Joe Dillard 06-08-2009 08:48 PM

Thanks guys. :)

I must admit - it was time consuming, and I could have done thing better in certain areas. I'll address a few items in the next couple days. EG: paint, better hardware, and a couple other items.

I took it for a test drive today. Other than the need to adjust my drag link, everything seems fine so far.

Brads_nky_yj 06-08-2009 08:54 PM

Bout frikin time Dillard!

RockWoRM 06-08-2009 10:43 PM

I think this shows how a little fab skill and willingness and patience can "get 'er done"! :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

I am currious where ya came up with the u-bolt eleminator idea? Looks cool, though. :)

Pic for nostalgia sake. :D

WRM :cheers:

Joe Dillard 06-08-2009 11:15 PM

That was NOT a "happy camper Kodak moment" for me Randy. :rofl:

It was certainly nice to have you along to assist/advise/pitch in wherever you could. :cheers2: Looking forward to our next run together.

As far as the ubolt eliminator approach I did goes - I thought "what easier way is there than this?" Plus, it's cheap, easy to make, and effective.

I have seen a few designs that are a little bit like mine, but not completely.

What I like alot about it is that it seems I can torque each bolt to specs easier and that the bolts are out of harms way a little better than before.

The time now is 11:41 PM.

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