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Unread 01-02-2016, 04:30 PM   #1
SDJeepinClub
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D44 Rear Shaft won't come out

Posted this in the tech forum but hoping for more exposure so cross-posting here because I'm in a pickle. I've got a 2005 Wrangler Unlimited (TJ/LJ), ARB rear with 35 spline shafts. I've pulled the rear shafts at least 3 times for various reasons without any issue. Until now.

Over Thanksgiving, my Jeep was parked on the street and a woman in her stupid sedan smashed directly into the driver's rear tire. She flipped her car, so at least I can take solace in knowing she did more damage to hers than mine. On initial inspection, the axle looked true and good, though the driver's lower control arm mount at the axle was mangled. NBD - cut it off, order some GenRight ones, weld them on - back in business. Here are some photos of the damage - http://imgur.com/a/fIDil

In the process of trying to remove the old bracket, I decided to pull the driver's side shaft so I had better access to that area. This is where things got difficult. The shaft wouldn't spin much at all - I had to throw a tire on the lugs to get leverage enough to turn it, and turning the passenger side tire didn't cause the driver's side to turn.

After removing the 4 retaining bolts, I couldn't get the axle to pop out like normal. I drilled some holes in a plate, welded a piece of tube steel to the middle of the plate, and then a lip to the tube steel to use as a 'slide hammer' type thing. I beat on it for a good 50-100 blows with a 4# and then 20# hammer - it maybe pulled out an inch or so? You can check out http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fmGhvld75vQ for a video (I accidentally had it in gear when trying to turn it - it does turn slightly, but not a ton). I can see the bearings, maybe about half the length of them. Even with it in gear the driver's side won't spin much at all. I can't lock up the ARB because the impact sliced one of my air lines so the system isn't holding enough pressure.

Any tips, ideas, or whatever? Yes, I'm 100% positive the 4 nuts are free and clear. I'm 100% positive there's no C-Clip in the axle or anything like that.

Are the splines just that bent up in the ARB? Is there something else I might be missing?

Thanks,
-Kevin

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Unread 01-02-2016, 05:38 PM   #2
mattdoc
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Is the axle tube bent from the wreck?
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Unread 01-02-2016, 05:44 PM   #3
Rubi4MyMrs
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About 100% sure the axle housing is bent. That binds the bearing to the housing & the axle shaft splines to the side gears or diff assembly & they can be almost impossible to get the shaft out.

It looks bent forward & since it is a D-44 you might try pulling the other axle then the diff cover & loosen the bearing caps to allow the ring gear assembly to move back & relieve the binding at the outboard end. Just be careful because if it is bent enough there will still be a load on the bearing cap when you run out of threads on the bolts & that cap may want to come at you (hard) if you get to or near the end of the bolt threads.
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Unread 01-02-2016, 06:44 PM   #4
SDJeepinClub
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It doesn't look the slightest bit bent. The tube appears straight and true. This is based on my pure wild-*** estimate and not measuring.

I'll try pulling the other side and the retainers.
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Unread 01-02-2016, 07:40 PM   #5
Rubi4MyMrs
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Maybe not, but from experience I can tell you that it only takes a slight displacement to really bind the bearing. I have had to use a pretty good sized slide hammer to get some out.

Also one time after welding brackets on a 9" had Currie check it with their jig & sure enough it was warped (not bent) even though it looked straight. Probably could have gotten the axles in but the bearings would not last long.


Had a friend with a Toyota pickup that went through 3 or 4 axle bearings & seals while still under warranty. Never in an accident & finally convinced the dealer to check the housing, they replaced it & no more bearing failures.
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Unread 01-02-2016, 09:10 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SDJeepinClub View Post
It doesn't look the slightest bit bent. The tube appears straight and true. This is based on my pure wild-*** estimate and not measuring.

I'll try pulling the other side and the retainers.
Occam's Razor. Obvious answer is obvious. If you pulled the axle shafts before the wreck with no issue and they won't come out after the wreck then it is quite obvious that the wreck caused the problem.

Looking at the damage to the lower, the likelihood that the housing is still straight is miniscule, the likelihood that the impact bent the housing and bowed it back on that side between the mount and the diff is beyond high almost to the point of being a certainty.

Had you posted up ahead of time with pics of the mount and asked what the prospects for damage were, the answers would included more than one iteration of yes it's bent and you can verify that by pulling both shafts. If one or both is in a bind and difficult to slide out, that probably means the end of the shaft is bound up in the side gear making it very difficult to remove.

When you finally get both sides out, look through the tubes and line up the circles. I promise they won't line up unless you left something out about driving for several miles with this horrible screeching sound coming from the left rear from a dying bearing.
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Unread 01-02-2016, 09:47 PM   #7
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Thanks for the responses everyone!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rubi4MyMrs View Post
Maybe not, but from experience I can tell you that it only takes a slight displacement to really bind the bearing. I have had to use a pretty good sized slide hammer to get some out.]
Not what I wanted to hear, but good to know. I'll try pulling the other side and loosening up the bearings because I wailed on it HARD with that sledge, bent the steel lip on my removal tool something fierce.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mrblaine View Post
Occam's Razor. Obvious answer is obvious. If you pulled the axle shafts before the wreck with no issue and they won't come out after the wreck then it is quite obvious that the wreck caused the problem.
Clearly. I never implied that I thought it was caused by gnomes, leprechauns, or anything other than the accident. Just that I didn't think it was bent from my initial assessment after the accident.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mrblaine View Post
When you finally get both sides out, look through the tubes and line up the circles. I promise they won't line up unless you left something out about driving for several miles with this horrible screeching sound coming from the left rear from a dying bearing.
Nope, no driving more than from the street into the garage, and then back into the driveway to work on it. If it is bent, and I'm conceding that it most likely is - anything that can be done, or is it time for a new housing?
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Unread 01-02-2016, 11:30 PM   #8
Rubi4MyMrs
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If bent it may be able to be straightened, or not. Probably depending on where & how much. You will need to find a shop that has the equipment & know-how to do that sort of thing. Currie straightened the 9” I referred to above but they are experts in that & it was interesting to see them work on it. They knew exactly how to work it & had it dialed in in no time.
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Unread 01-04-2016, 06:44 AM   #9
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After removing the passenger side shaft (it came out no problem) I pulled the 4 bolts holding in the carrier. One of the bolts on the passenger side was snapped in half and the whole carrier popped a serious angle. It also looks like releasing the stress on the carrier allowed the axle to bend, because now lying under it I can see a clear bend in the axle. The shaft still won't come out, and now it won't even turn no matter how hard I try, so I'm thinking it may be time to cut the tube to see if I can get the shaft out and if it's salvagable, or if the whole thing is trash.

Looks like I'll be searching out some Dana 60 options... what a pain in the ***. Thanks for the help, all.
-Kevin
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Unread 01-04-2016, 02:56 PM   #10
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mrblaine, I understand you run a RockJock 60 on your rig, but couldn't find any install or review posts about it. Did I miss it somewhere, or am I way off base?
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Unread 01-04-2016, 03:08 PM   #11
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Bummer about your axle...
I went back upthread and looked to see if the woman's insurance is paying for ALL of repairs.
At least reimburse you for your upgraded components, and maybe even you could wrangle (see how I did that?) the cost of labor too!
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Unread 01-04-2016, 04:10 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SDJeepinClub View Post
mrblaine, I understand you run a RockJock 60 on your rig, but couldn't find any install or review posts about it. Did I miss it somewhere, or am I way off base?
I do run one. What do you want to know?
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Unread 01-04-2016, 04:24 PM   #13
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Why are you still touching things? This is the point where you call up your insurance/her insurance and have things sorted out that way. Continuing to work/fix things on you own is an easy way for her insurance to get out of paying anything because it's not hard to claim you broke things while attempting to fix damages she caused.
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Unread 01-04-2016, 06:54 PM   #14
rondak46
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I would have that frame checked and double checked, with no wishful thinking going into the inspection. Now is the time to get comped. I made the mistake of believing the shop and insurance guys that my frame was straight after an accident.
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Unread 01-05-2016, 06:55 AM   #15
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Her insurance maxed out at $5k (legal minimum in PA, don't ask me why it's so low). When she hit my Jeep it got pushed 4'+ into my fiance's 2000 Grand Cherokee Laredo and my front bumper (stinger) crushed the rear window and rear tailgate, and put a good dent in the body. We both went through our own insurances because the damage was going to exceed the $5k (and our insurance then goes after the woman). My insurance, USAA, came out and checked the vehicle, took a ton of photos, collected all my receipts, and cut me a check for the cost to remove the damaged axle and install a brand new axle, plus labor. It's up to me if I take it to a shop and get the work done, or do it myself. Additionally, they said if I find anything else while doing the work, to call them, and it will be added to the claim. The adjuster that came is a Jeep guy too, so that helped. So I'm not concerned about doing the work myself or getting in a fight with my insurance or her insurance - all that has already been addressed. Once I get it drivable, I'll take it to a shop to get the frame checked just to be sure.

mrblaine - as far as I can tell, the stock brakes will still work, even with the reversed brakes and your Wizard Brackets. Was that your experience? What'd you do for the sway bar - install an Anti-Rock or flip the swaybar upside down as suggested? Do you run a standard 4-link setup, or something triangulated to the center? I've got a Y type 3-link and will need to fabricate a mount above the pumpkin, and am not sure how much of a pain in the *** that will be when it comes time to service the diff based on how the rotated cover is. Lastly - did you find yourself with any clearance issues? I've heard I may need to use a gas tank relocation skid such as the one you designed, but I'm not sure if I'll be able to get away with it being that I have an LJ with theoretically more room behind the axle. I'm also hoping my Tom Wood Driveshaft will still work and I don't need to get another one, we'll see. Anything you did or didn't do when you installed yours that you'd change?

Thanks all,
-Kevin

Last edited by SDJeepinClub; 01-05-2016 at 06:58 AM.. Reason: typo
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