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Unread 05-23-2011, 02:52 AM   #1
MrBeefyZJ
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Join Date: May 2011
Location: Shawano, Wisconsin
Posts: 4
93 ZJ Dana 30 grenaded !!

Hello,
This is my first post here on JeepForum. I just picked up my first Jeep a 1993 Grand Wagoneer w/5.2 and quadratrac. It needs exhaust and both tail lights are missing. I loved the thing from the test ride. Turns out the truck is an Arizona native! Little rust, just on the front passenger side door. Took it down some mild trails nearby and was thoroughly impressed. I paid the guy $500.00 started driving home but never made it. About a mile from home I started to smell oil burning so I began to pull over when the front end made a noise and I felt a learch. I go out and looked at the front axle assuming it was a toasted caliper or something. I noticed diff fluid squirting out of the pinion seal and the diff housing was steaming hot! My old man was following me so I told him I was just going to drive it home as is. I started to pull out and my dad was yelling "It's on fire !!". I got out and looked and the pinion area was on fire ! Thinking quick I jumped in and ran the jeep into a mud puddle on the self-storage parking lot I pulled into. That put the fire out for a few seconds. While I was standing there looking at it, the fire started back up! I knew there was a jug of anti-freeze/coolant in the back seat so I pulled it out and doused the diff a few times. The fire was pretty minor and didn't damage anything. I took my wife and dad to dinner to let the truck cool down. I went back and drove it home from there. The front axle made groaning and grinding noises all the way. I knew the front axle was toast. So now the plan is to tear out the front axle and replace it complete. Anything to watch for? So far I gather that the front pinion bearings have a habit of grenading randomly in the ZJ. I don't know my gear ratio yet, I have to crawl under there and get a good look. I'm assuming 3.73s, it has a hitch and tow package ZJs had 3.73s and it felt well geared when I drove it. No idea yet though. Anybody know if the Wagoneer had a specific ratio? My dad's friend owes him a favor and this favor owing friend just happens to own a salvage yard so I have the ability to get an axle free.

My queston is are there any known problems to look out for other than pinion play ?

How about getting the axle out?
Jack up the truck by the axle
Set the jackstands under Lower Control Arm mounts
Remove tires
Let front axle droop
Remove Drive shaft
Remove calipers and zip tie up out of the way
Remove tie rods
Remove anti-sway bar links
Remove track bar
Remove upper then lower control arms
Pull axle out from under
Install new axle in reverse

Missing anything ?
Are any of the nuts/bolt problematic?
Any special tools other than a tie rod remover?

Thanks in advance guys, this is my first jeep and I hope to be all together and running with a set of 31's for the Jeep Jamboree in Mole Lake this year !!


Last edited by MrBeefyZJ; 05-23-2011 at 02:57 AM.. Reason: mis-spellings
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Unread 05-23-2011, 03:33 AM   #2
TallyZJ
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1996 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Tallahassee, Florida
Posts: 1,140
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrBeefyZJ View Post

My queston is are there any known problems to look out for other than pinion play ?

How about getting the axle out?
Jack up the truck by the axle
Set the jackstands under Lower Control Arm mounts
Remove tires
Let front axle droop
Remove Drive shaft
Remove calipers and zip tie up out of the way
Remove tie rods
Remove anti-sway bar links
Remove track bar
Remove upper then lower control arms
Pull axle out from under
Install new axle in reverse

Missing anything ?
Are any of the nuts/bolt problematic?
Any special tools other than a tie rod remover?

Thanks in advance guys, this is my first jeep and I hope to be all together and running with a set of 31's for the Jeep Jamboree in Mole Lake this year !!
The gear ratio should be stamped on a tag that is bolted to the differential cover.

Put jack stands under the frame rails behind the control arm mounts, not under the mounts themselves. Get the Jeep as high up as possible.

Put a floor jack under the front differential to lower the axle once it is loose. Remove wheels and brake calipers.

Remove steering tie rods from the knuckles and at the pitman arm and anti-sway bar links. Unbolt shocks at the axle, remove drive shaft at the pinion or entirely, remove track bar completely, and let the axle jack down so the axle will droop as low as possible. Remove coil springs. Remove upper and lower control arm bolts at the axle.

You will need some Torx sockets for the upper control arm bolts. Other than that pretty much a standard set of tools with sockets up to maybe 22mm. If you are going to remove the axle shafts you will need a a twelve point socket in 13mm to remove the unit bearing bolts. You will also need a 1/2 inch drive ratchet and a 36mm socket for the axle nut.
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Unread 05-23-2011, 04:54 AM   #3
MrBeefyZJ
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Join Date: May 2011
Location: Shawano, Wisconsin
Posts: 4
Thanks for the tips Tally ZJ

Ok it's 5am and I'm bored. I took a look under my Jeep.
The front pinion has some serious slap to it.
The gear ratio is 3.73
Looks like I gotta find the right ratio'd axle today !

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Unread 05-23-2011, 05:57 AM   #4
newfieZJ
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Join Date: May 2008
Location: , Alberta
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Any V8 Grand will give you the same 3:73 ratio . Always check the tag , and make sure . These things are getting old and who know what was done to it .

I prefer to jack the jeep up first at the axle , then , use the jack stands under the frame behind the CA bracket to hold up the jeep . The jacks will be ready to lower the axle to full drop when ready
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Unread 05-23-2011, 08:26 AM   #5
KJK
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Location: Dallas, Texas
Posts: 936
Be sure it has the same tires on it all the way around. A mismatched set can cause a severe strain on the driveline and could overheat the front or rear diff. significantly on the freeway.
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Unread 05-23-2011, 02:54 PM   #6
ratmonkey
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Assume the transfer case is toast at this point. The bearings don't go out at random, they usually go because the case is locked with a bad viscous coupler.

The early zj's have a long pinion d30(cj style), plus the v8 has the longest trans. That combines for an interesting front drive shaft length. Try to get your replacement from a zj made before 96.
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Unread 05-26-2011, 08:16 AM   #7
MrBeefyZJ
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Location: Shawano, Wisconsin
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Ok so i's been a bear to find a replacement front dana 30. Turns out his happens a lot and I believe you ratmonkey, probably VC's going ou and taking front axles with 'em ! Well I'm thinking about going high pinion while I'm at it. What year XJ to look for ? I read something about 92 and newer to avoid CAD ? I know the XJ with 3.73 is rare as chicken's teeth but I'm gonna cross my fingers and hope I find one.

I'm probably going to go 242 while I'm at it if I can find one.
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Unread 05-26-2011, 02:15 PM   #8
ratmonkey
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the only 3.73 xj's i'm aware of had d44 rears and were earlier production units.
the good axle to get is between 92 and 99, after 96 they all had the 297 u-joints. prior to that you'd need to find a 242 equipped xj with abs to get the ujoints and non cad housing.
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