My Death Wobble came back last week. I took it to my local NTB and had them balance the tires. No improvement. I took them back and had them rebalanced. No improvement. I started to panic and ran to the boards for help. The toe was good and there was nothing loose on the front. I stuck with my gut and decided it had to be tires. I took it to Harford Tire on Route 1 and 136. They had a road force balancer and I figured it would do the trick. The guy took one look at my tires and said the road force wouldn't help them and to get new tires. They had about 58,000 miles on them so I agreed.
I went with General Grabbers AT2. They are the cheaper version of the BFG's I had previously. The ride home was great. No more wobble and equal road manners to the BFG's.
My spare is still the BFG. Here's a pic for a quick thread comparison. This tire has about 40,000 miles.
I bit the bullet and got the black headlight bezels and euro headlight guards. I had debated for several years about getting them and decided to go for it. There are a couple euro guards and I went with the cheaper Rugged Ridge version. They are pretty flimsy. I got them for looks though it doesn't matter to me. Here is an array from stock chrome to black.
Made a lot of changes since my last post. Started with the addition of a Dana 44 with a Detroit/Eaton Truetrac. Below is after removing the surface rust, adding a rust reformer, and a safety orange paint job.
Here is a shot of the axle installed prior to shortening the drive shaft. Also notice the wheel in the back ground. I've been having fits with a leaking axle seal.
Here is the driveshaft shortened.
The axle was bought used for $500-$600 complete. It had the wrong gears (3.73) so I upgraded to new 4.10 and a truetrac. The Jeep is DD first offroad second so street-friendly traction took priority.
I took the axle to DND Offroad like I had done when I regeared the Dana35. I had the same pinion preload problem with both installs. You can't beat DND's price, but both axles had to go back, the Dana44 twice.
Of course the symptom of the bad OPDA was a squealing noise from the engine bay. After a new serpentine belt $25 and belt tensioner $45, I found it was the OPDA (dealer covered for $100 deductible). I should also mention, the oil was changed to Mobil 1 High Mileage in an effort to minimize damage to the new OPDA. What a headache that has been.
Once the OPDA was repaired, the right front sway bar link broke. Once that was fixed (Advanced Auto $17), the right top rear shock mount broke. This caused a nice little rattle as the shock bounced on the exhaust. I bought a set of Rugged Ridge BPE's $35.
This thing is a money pit. It's one thing to dump a bunch of money in it to built it up, but money to maintain it is hard spent.
Oh and $20 for a replacement Blower Motor Resistor. That was a PITA to replace. As hard as people say on the boards.
If I had spent the money I have in repairs/ maintenance on my rig I would be A LOT father ahead in terms of capabilities and 'mods'... It's the classic Jeep saying. Just Empty Every Pocket. Applies equally as well to mods as it does to maintenance/ repairs. Nice Jeep BTW.
__________________ 1997 TJ SE - Emeral Green Pearl
2.5L : AX-5 : NP231, D30HP : D44 : 4:88 : Front Aussie
2.5" OME lift, OME LT shocks, 2" BL, Currie Control Arms, Currie HD Steering, Currie Trackbars, Warn M8000
Custom Front and Rear Bumpers, Custom Rock Sliders, OBA
33" x 12.5" x 15" Goodyear MTRs, Black Steelies
It would be nice if things spread out a little bit. I have a front (Dana30) pinion bearing replacement coming up too. I suspect a preload problem like I had with the rest of the axles. I've finally learned to do things myself. I'm cautiously optimistic I won't screw things up in the process.
UPDATE 1, 11/5/10:
I purchased a Superior Axle 35-2031EV Pinion Kit w/o Carrier Bearings.
I've been chasing a slight rumble at 65mph since installing the Dana 44 rear. Along with the continuing rear axle seal, I assumed it was from a faulty bearing. I bought a new right axle shaft, new bearing, new seal, new retaining plate, and a new retaining ring. Everything on the right is new.
I drove home today, no improvement. Maybe just maybe the leak is fixed. I'll know in about a week. That's how long it usually takes to seep out of the brakes and onto the tire.
In addition I've discovered the SYE output seal was installed backwards. Seems like a common factory screw up. That explains the small leak from the SYE. Hopefully I can find a local vendor that will have the seal (18662 is the alleged PN).
Below, notice the steel spring is facing out toward the yoke. It should be facing in toward the roller bearing.
nice build.....i like the orange differential......time to upgrade the tie rod to a v8 grand cherokee unit......it improved how mine felt on and off the road with the larger tires.......cheap upgrade....
"Even duct tape can't fix Stupid"-Ron White
Quick update. The seal on the SYE has a spring on both sides and looked like it was installed correctly. I had never seen a seal with springs on both sides. During the seal replacement (which was by far the least problematic repair) I noticed the yoke nut was a little loose. Also the rubber spline washer was damaged. I think it got pinched during the initial install and as it degraded the yoke became a little loose causing the leak (all speculation at this point).
I installed the new seal today. The original seal has a spring on both sides. I cleaned up the yoke with a scotch-brite pad. I added a very thin layer of silicone around the outside of the seal and some silicone on the top section of the yoke closest to the nut.
The seal was $18 and the replacement splined rubber washer was $3.50 from the dealer.
Old seal on the left. Here is a pic of the outside of the seal.
I got my turn signals from Rock Auto. Shipping was terribly slow, but I'll blame it on weather and holidays. I used a 3 1/8 hole saw. The driver side light hopped a little while cutting so it was a hair bigger in diameter. The light installed loosely while the light for the passenger side was perfectly tight. I had to add some tape to the housing of the light so that it would install tight. A word of warning, let the saw do the work. Slow and steady. Also I did cut in the slots as Jerry described earlier.
Long term plan is to fill in the stock signal lights on the fender. With that being a factor instead of tube fenders, the blinker wires for the fender flare signal (on the plastic flare) needs to stay attached. This made it very difficult for the stock wire to reach. I ended up cutting another hole in the back of the grill for the wire to fit.
It truly is a plug and play. I started at 4pm and had everything wired up by 7pm. I'll have to wait until warmer weather to do the body work on the fenders.
I tried to center the signals in the space under the headlight.
Here you can see the JK light has a top and bottom. It isn't like a traditional trailer light.
You can see the "belly" at the bottom of the light. It is not uniform. The bottom is thicker.