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Unread 08-15-2013, 06:39 PM   #1
007_SuperCoupe
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Before I go further, here's my specs:
'04 Laredo
4.0 with 242 transfer case
OME HD lift with 10mm spacers

After I installed my lift, the front driveshaft lasted about 3000 miles before it failed. It was a single "pop" or "bang" while in 4-wheel drive when it failed. Removed it near immediately and drove for about a month, maybe two before installing a new one. I pulled a double cardan DS from a '94 Grand and had the driveshaft completely rebuilt to OEM specs. Just finished the install yesterday after also installing a radiator and some other maintenance stuff. Everything was professionally installed by a highly reputable mechanic. Yesterday when I got my Jeep back I drove it around town. No issues until I got up to 55 mph. Once there, I noticed a significant vibration. I can feel it through my feet, butt, steering wheel, etc.. Testing it further today, the vibration gets more pronounced at higher speed. At about 70 mph there is a noticeable moan, similar to when the ring and pinion are not set up properly. I do not believe this is normal. I am pulling the driveshaft tomorrow.

I have also noted that my transfer case has a difficult time disengaging. This is not new, but has been occurring since I bought the Jeep. I'm wondering if my issue is possibly related to my transfer case and not the driveshaft. I've never had a transfer case fail, so I don't know the symptoms. Once out of 4-wheel drive, it drives fine, but still with the vibration. Any thoughts would help. I've recently dropped $1,700 in maintenance lately and am about tapped out financially. Any thoughts would be appreciated.

Thanks!

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Unread 08-15-2013, 07:43 PM   #2
MuddyWJ
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Sorry to say but guaranteed your ZJ shaft is bent. I did the exact same thing. Look down the shaft for flat spots, probably 6" from the slip yoke. That's where the forks hit when the yard picks up the Jeeps
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Unread 08-15-2013, 07:56 PM   #3
skain8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MuddyWJ View Post
Sorry to say but guaranteed your ZJ shaft is bent. I did the exact same thing. Look down the shaft for flat spots, probably 6" from the slip yoke. That's where the forks hit when the yard picks up the Jeeps
I hear ya, but any competent driveline shop should easily be able to spot that. It wouldn't balance otherwise. OP - where did you have your driveshaft "rebuilt to oem specs"?

You're also at the point where driveline angles come into play. What's your driveshaft /pinion angle?
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Unread 08-15-2013, 08:22 PM   #4
007_SuperCoupe
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The driveshaft was rebuilt at Inland Truck Parts, a local branch and the bed place locally for this work. Balancing was part of the rebuild, so I'm pretty confident that before I spent the money for the rebuild, they would have let me know that it couldn't be balanced.

I don't have the angles after install. That was my first guess was driveline angles. Second concern is that when the shaft broke, it damaged something else, looking at the transfer case as I haven't had any vibrations with the front axle.

I will follow up with the shop tomorrow morning to make sure they checked for trueness on the shaft. I'm heading out of town, but when I get back I'll check angles.

Good excuse for adjustable control arms... But need to make sure of details first.
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Unread 08-15-2013, 08:30 PM   #5
ezflip
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x2 on a bad pinion angle.

The tc not disengaging 4wd is pretty common with the 242. It usually takes a bit of forward, reverse, forward to get it out of 4wd and is a sign of worn shift fork pads. Nothing to be overly concerned about until it just absolutely refuses to go into 2wd.
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Unread 08-15-2013, 10:31 PM   #6
007_SuperCoupe
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In regards to the transfer case, I'm hoping that the extended warranty I got will take care of it. It has become increasingly difficult to shift it out of 4-wheel drive. I only have 10k miles left on my warranty, so I'm going to look into that.

As far as the pinion angle I think I will be stuck needing adjustable control arms. I was hoping the need would not present itself quite yet. I've spent more than my allowance this year! LOL!
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Unread 08-16-2013, 06:11 AM   #7
skain8
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The 242 is very sensative, for smooth shifting purposes, to equal tire pressure and size. I posted an article on here awhile back about this. It could be something as simple as that, and often times is.
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Unread 08-16-2013, 09:00 AM   #8
007_SuperCoupe
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What should the pinion angle be within? My mechanic doesn't specialize in the modification of vehicles, but the repair of OEM. Unfortunately the factory manual doesn't take into account lifts and modifications like that.

Obviously I will have to get adjustable arms to bring the angle back in line if it is out. Monday I will have my angle measured as well as further diagnostic to make sure there are no other issues. I just need to know what the optimal angle is.

Thanks for all the help so far. This is a lot like modifying my go-fast car. Mod one thing only to discover a weak link. Once fixed, the next weak link is discovered...
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Unread 08-16-2013, 09:13 AM   #9
skain8
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Should be at least 0.5* difference, but no more than 3*. Closer to 0.5* the better.
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Unread 08-16-2013, 09:49 AM   #10
TJSWJ
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Are you sure you have the right length driveshaft? Zj's came with 2 different length driveshafts.
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Unread 08-16-2013, 09:56 AM   #11
skain8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TJSWJ View Post
Are you sure you have the right length driveshaft? Zj's came with 2 different length driveshafts.
That wouldn't explain the vibration.
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Half-Ton axle swap guide


*looking to buy 3" springs or swap my 4.5" springs for your 3" springs -- PM me*
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Unread 08-16-2013, 10:18 AM   #12
TJSWJ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skain8 View Post
That wouldn't explain the vibration.
Really? So if he got the shorter of the two driveshafts, then pulled the slip all the way out to make it fit, it wouldnt vibrate?
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Unread 08-16-2013, 10:26 AM   #13
skain8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TJSWJ View Post

Really? So if he got the shorter of the two driveshafts, then pulled the slip all the way out to make it fit, it wouldnt vibrate?
If it's properly balanced, no. Of course, minimal spline engagement is not a good idea.
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Half-Ton axle swap guide


*looking to buy 3" springs or swap my 4.5" springs for your 3" springs -- PM me*
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Unread 08-16-2013, 10:47 AM   #14
007_SuperCoupe
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it is the correct driveshaft. Collapsed length is 33". Fits perfect. If it didn't, my mechanic would not have installed it due to the liability coming back to him.

Driveshaft is off and vibration is gone. If the angle needs to be between 0.5 and 3.0*, then I'm confident my angle has exceeded that. Even 3* would be very difficult to see on such a short length. I can visibly see an angle between the driveshaft and pinion. The angle will actually be measured on Monday so I will know for sure.

Next step will likely be control arms as it looks right now. I was hoping I didn't have to get them now, but it's looking that way. I will update again next week when I have more information on the pinion angle.
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Unread 08-16-2013, 01:05 PM   #15
2ndhandWJman
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Go back and make sure that the double CV joint is seated ALL the way in the yoke. I had the same exact issue with mine when I did the conversion a few
months ago. Once I dropped the drive shaft I could see a shiny mark where the bearing cup had been slightly cocked on the yoke. Once I re-seated it, all of the vibrations went away.
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