Why would my front axle not be installed? - JeepForum.com

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post #1 of 33 Old 03-20-2017, 08:12 PM Thread Starter
JeepCanuck
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Why would my front axle not be installed?

The guy I bought my jeep from said he never got around to hooking up the 4WD/front axle, but he gave me the axle with the car. Actually, he gave me two of them.

I'm not sure I believe that, but I don't know.

I'm not very mechanically inclined, so my questions are...

1) Do I need my front axle? I won't be doing at crazy trials or anything like that, purely cruising town and the beach area. Is rear wheel drive in my CJ7 enough for bombing around town?

2) Do I just take it to a mechanic and have them connect it and then see how it drives?

3) If you were I, would you just leave it or have it connected? Any reasons NOT to do it with CJ7s that I don't know about?

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post #2 of 33 Old 03-20-2017, 09:02 PM
RevDrCueBall
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2wd CJ sacrelidge notwithstanding, if all you are doing is driving around in warm weather, you'll never need 4wd, or the front axle hooked up. I'm assuming the axle is there and the front driveshaft is what's missing. Do you get snow where you are?
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post #3 of 33 Old 03-20-2017, 09:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JeepCanuck View Post
1) Do I need my front axle? I won't be doing at crazy trials or anything like that, purely cruising town and the beach area. Is rear wheel drive in my CJ7 enough for bombing around town?
I too am guessing you mean the front drive shaft. Quick terminology lesson. The front axle assembly is the whole works between the front wheels. Axle shafts are like long thick rods that are located in the two round tubes. These spin the front tires when in 4wd. The driveshaft is the long tube that is under the right side seat and goes from the transfercase to the front axle assembly.

YES, even going to the beach, you can use 4 wheel drive. Over shoot the pavement parking spot and the rear tires will just sink. Snow or ice the rest of the year? But yes, rear wheel drive is fine and normal.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JeepCanuck View Post
2) Do I just take it to a mechanic and have them connect it and then see how it drives?
First, do not pay a mechanic to install a front driveshaft. Its only 8 small bolts. IF you know nothing about turning wrenches on a Jeep, this would be a great first project and learning experience. IF the front lock outs and the t case are in good operational condition, it will drive exactly the same. It gets used only when in 4WD.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JeepCanuck View Post
3) If you were I, would you just leave it or have it connected? Any reasons NOT to do it with CJ7s that I don't know about?
I would install it as it is part of the Jeep. The only time I saw someone remove the front driveshaft on purpose was to keep their teenage kid from engaging 4WD and going off road.

Ed
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1986 CJ-7 Laredo 1986 TJ-7 Trail Jeep
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post #4 of 33 Old 03-20-2017, 09:47 PM
Spieg8
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Can you post a photo of the "axles" that the seller gave you?

If the axle shafts are actually removed, then you have a problem. Without the shafts in the tube, you will be leaking gear oil out of the differential and even worse you will get dirt and water into the differential.

If RevDr is correct and you meant to say the driveshaft is not installed, that is not a problem in itself. But I would be suspicious that something is broken in the transfer case or the differential or maybe an axleshaft. Can't think why someone would not take 5 minutes to install a draveshaft unless there is something wrong...

When I was younger, I thought I was Don Quixote... turns out I'm just another donkey-hootie.
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post #5 of 33 Old 03-20-2017, 10:33 PM
CSP
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OP, this is what a vehicle with no front axle assembly looks like.


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post #6 of 33 Old 03-21-2017, 12:52 AM
80cj
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CSP, you shouldn't have gone through the trouble of removing your front axle just to take that picture.
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post #7 of 33 Old 03-21-2017, 03:41 AM
John Strenk
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Don't assume the front axle has the right gear ratio.
It should have the same ratio as the rear axle.

Sorry to say but if I bought a jeep with the front driveshaft disconnected, I would pull the covers off both the front and the rear axles and check the ratios.
Don't forget a lot of stinky oil will be pouring out when you remove the cover.

That would be one condition I don't have my front Drive shaft connected.
I would forget that I have different ratios and blow up my transfer case If I engaged 4WD.


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post #8 of 33 Old 03-21-2017, 04:41 AM
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First: Welcome to the World of CJ's and previous owners (PO's)...

Second: Please fill out your profile. It is valuable to us when trying to make our best guess as to what CJ you've got. And where the heck on the planet you're located.

Third: Do you have an assortment of hand tools? Wrenches, sockets, etc.??? Owning a CJ (or any 40 year old vehicle) means getting a bigger tool box. And getting oily/greasy/dirty... Or hoping to find someone with the skill set to work on it, and paying dearly for it.

Lastly: A Jeep CJ without four wheel drive is akin to beer without alcohol. What's the point?

There are a number of reasons why the seller (PO) might not have installed the front driveshaft or front axles (in the housing). Most of them not good.

Not installing the axles in the housing leads me to believe the ratio isn't the same as the rear. And the PO was waiting for the money to swap in the matching ratio (either front or rear). By pulling the axle shafts in the front, there would be no way another driver could damage the vehicle by trying to use 4WD (four wheel drive). He could have also just left the front hubs unlocked, but a potential buyer might lock them, try to use 4WD, and really screw things up.

Not installing the front drive shaft accomplished the same as above, is much easier to remove/install than the axle shafts (less parts to remove/replace), and as I mentioned, the PO was waiting to get the correct gears in both front and rear. Or he was just trying to sell the CJ like that, because a drive-able vehicle is worth tons more than one that isn't. You 'own' it now, in more ways than one, so you need to address the problem.

Note: Jeep CJ's are not meant to be in 4WD on dry pavement. Driving one on roads where there is no chance of tire slippage, will bind up the drive lines until a tire(s) slip - or something breaks - releasing the built up tension.

"In the end...It's all Hack."
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post #9 of 33 Old 03-21-2017, 10:11 AM
Rsb201
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Does your CJ have a lift kit installed?? Maybe the driveshaft just needs lengthened......just a thought.
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post #10 of 33 Old 03-21-2017, 01:07 PM Thread Starter
JeepCanuck
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No lift kit as far as I can tell. As I said, I'm not car savvy at all - yes I think we mean driveshaft! The guy called it the front transaxle so I've been calling it that since :-)

Thanks for all the feedback!
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post #11 of 33 Old 03-21-2017, 02:06 PM
JeepdaddyRC
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Something is not quite right here. Transaxle, driveshaft disconnected, gear ratios... I've got a bad feeling about this one. I really hope the PO was being straight with you. Red flag is up and do not proceed until consistent gear ratios confirmed front and rear.
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post #12 of 33 Old 03-21-2017, 04:27 PM Thread Starter
JeepCanuck
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JeepdaddyRC View Post
Something is not quite right here. Transaxle, driveshaft disconnected, gear ratios... I've got a bad feeling about this one. I really hope the PO was being straight with you. Red flag is up and do not proceed until consistent gear ratios confirmed front and rear.
The jeep drives fantastic, so I'm tempted to just leave it as is.
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post #13 of 33 Old 03-21-2017, 04:44 PM
pedal2themetai
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HI Well in 78 they didn't have a transaxle's?? they had a Front & rear differential a transmission and transfer case... So what do these axle's look like? are they 2 to 3 inches around and 3 to 4 feet long? or are they about 1 1/4 inches around and about 3 foot long with splines in the ends?
good luck
tim
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post #14 of 33 Old 03-21-2017, 05:16 PM
Spieg8
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Since you seem reluctant to share photos, what do the "axles" look like;

Drive shaft


or
Axle shaft

When I was younger, I thought I was Don Quixote... turns out I'm just another donkey-hootie.
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post #15 of 33 Old 03-21-2017, 05:23 PM
80cj
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Wonder if the PO pulled the live front axle and replaced it with a straight one from a postal Jeep?
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