My WJ, with 3.5in lift, happens to have a front drive shaft with a CV joint at both the transfer case and front yoke end. A new OEM drive shaft from NAPA is listed at $399. To keep it cheap I went to a local salvage yard in Durham last week and they brought out a drive shaft with a CV on one end and u-joint on the other, saying this should fit. While this didn't match mine, it did get me thinking about possibly using this opportunity to move towards something better.
This Tom Wood setup below, for N247 or N249 t-cases, costs $429.00
Drive shaft: $299
CV conversion at the yoke (front) end: $55
CV conversion at the transfer case: $75
*** This drive shaft assembly places a double cardan joint at the t-case and u-joint up front at the front yoke. As is always possible, you could spend more by moving to having a double cardan joint at both ends, but it's a heavier unit that's also tougher to balance.
I may move to 4in springs rather than a spring/BB combo setup later, but don't foresee doing any heavy off-roading with my primary vehicle. Would I be alright by buying Tom's yoke conversion and just move the CV & U-joint OEM shaft available...which will be a whole lot cheaper...or spending the $400+ for the Tom Woods package above?
dickensheets - I don't know if I can say that mine 'failed' since I'm not sure when/how the vibration came on. I installed my 3.5in and had been battling DW for over a year, slowly trying this and that. In August, after I had collected all the parts and was ready to replace the ball joints, TRE's, CV drive shafts, and move to a JKS trackbar - I decided to take it for it's first off-road adventure since, heck, if anything broke that it would be replaced the next day anyway. While the wheeling didn't account for much other than navigating a steep gully, some sandy hills, and going over some rocks, I drove away with a noticeable vibration at about 45mh. I didn't come down on anything so can only surmise that the strain wore one or both of the weaker CV drive shaft ends. At that point, however, I wasn't certain where the vibration originated from.
The next day I began replacing the parts mentioned above early morning, but still had that vibration when I went for a test drive afterwards. I pulled back into the shop, removed the driveshaft on a hunch, and the vibration disappeared. Now, I do have an exact replacement lined up from someone parting out their WJ, but think I've come to the conclusion that, while it may be in better condition than mine, that it too would soon fail and I'd be right back where I am now. If a new oem drive shaft costs $399 then going a little over that for something stronger and more dependable is a small price to pay.
QUESTION: Are there any other double cardan alternatives than the custom Tom Wood drive shafts or is that pretty much the industry standard the most settle on?
Rusty's typically poor photography and poor description SAYS "convert to a double-CV type" driveshaft, but what's shown appears to be a 2 x double-cardan joint shaft, and it's worth reiterating that a double-cardan joint is NOT a "CV" or constant-velocity joint.
It's stronger, size for size, but it is a LITTLE more prone to vibration - a very little.
Any reputable driveline shop should be able to make a conversion shaft for you, but prices will certainly vary.
I just installed the 6" clayton lift on my 99 wj and took it wheeling for the first time today. About 5 min back up the mountain trail, the front cv joint popped! then I drove it home about 30 min away. that was really loud and annoying! looks like I will also be buying the tom woods front drive shaft!
front drive shaft $375 double double cardan. rear drive shaft $345 double cardan. From carolina driveline. anyone know if straitening front axle housing is possible on a wj? my got bent. yard wants 400$ for a used one.