Axle shaft won't go back in - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 21 Old 03-20-2016, 05:58 PM Thread Starter
RgrTx
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Axle shaft won't go back in

Greetings, my first post about my new old girl, a 2004 JGC Limited with Quadradrive. She was in a minor fender bender in January, with only 86,000 miles so her only owner lost her when the insurance totalled her. I picked her up for $3700.00 The car lived almost all its life in San Antonio, so no rust.

I am fixing it up as a cabin vehicle for a distant second home. It will sit for most of the year. Doesn't have to be pretty, just functional.

So as part of fixing the wreck damage enough to sell, the guy who got it at the auction discarded the fender well splash guard on the passenger side. When I got it home(about a 2 hour drive) I noticed a lot of grease and oil spray where that splash guard should have been. And the CV was covered in thick grease and thinner stuff that was another kind of oil. The vehicle would bind up in tight turns.

OK, I think, front axle shaft/CV replacement, it is blown. Put PB everywhere for a couple of days and did other things.

When I got it up on jackstands, after reading here and watching videos, I was astonished to find that the spindle nut came off with about 20 lbs of pressure on a 24 inch breaker bar, and the wheel hub basically fell out with a light tap. And the hub to spindle bearing in that hub had a nice pronounced wear, it was loose. Maybe 1/8 inch of play. And those external teeth/ring gear thingie on the CV were worn down on the outside edge. The rotor shield was missing too. Uh oh.

New shaft arrived, it is the same length as old, same tooth count, yes I know the difference between Qdrive and Qtrak II, et cetera, I really researched this one hard, as it is my first axle shaft replacement, but i have been an amateur wrencher for 3 decades. The removal went so well, hardest thing was breaking the Godzilla tight lug nuts. 12v impact took a while on a couple of them. I thought I had it made in the shade.The install is the easy part, right?

But then, the new shaft would not go on all the way. I can feel it clearing the bearing, then engaging splines, but it then stops with an inch or so to go. Tried old shaft, same thing.

Back to the internet. Jacked up other side, had nephew rotate other front tire while I tried to get it the rest of the way in, no joy. Turned steering wheel. No joy. THose were the two answers I found here.

I just yesterday sealed up the diff, and this morning put in the Amzoil Severe gear fluid. Would hate to have to tear it out again to see what is up. I could see no unusual wear in there, nor was the fluid full of metal chunks. It was dark, like the Tcase fluid, but not full of gear parts.

It seems this is a bigger problem on Q-drive passenger axles. Might the diff there have something else that needs to be done to install the shaft?

Should I reopen the diff? Do you think the seal in the diff is toast too? Do I need to manually move the spider gears?

Any ideas, anyone?

And my thanks to you good people who share so much great info here, and to the moderators who keep the gears lubed and spinning.

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post #2 of 21 Old 03-20-2016, 06:12 PM
StrokedWJ
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A few things I would start checking...
1) Are you 100% sure it is engaging in the splines? If you turn the opposite tire, does the shaft turn the opposite direction?
2) Have you checked to make sure nothing got in the axle tube with a flashlight?
3) Where is the interference, at the carrier or at the knuckle?

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post #3 of 21 Old 03-20-2016, 09:01 PM Thread Starter
RgrTx
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Thanks for the quick reply! It is definitely at the diff. I can feel it going thru the seal then you have to have it aligned and it'll go into the splines. I can even crank the diff some with it but when my nephew turned the other wheel it did not turn. Looked down the tube and there is a rod coming across at a 45 degree angle from the vertical. Here is a picture best as i could get it. I have no experience with differentials especially the vari-lock so I am in the wilderness here......
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post #4 of 21 Old 03-21-2016, 08:31 AM
StrokedWJ
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The rod you're seeing is the carrier cross pin. It sounds like the PO may not have known what they were doing 100%, so I don't know if I would trust comparing the old shaft to the new shaft. Take an actual measurement of the entire shaft and let us know the length.

Did you notice if the driveshaft was turning when you were rotating the drivers side wheel and the shaft was not turning? If so, put the TC in 4-Lo to lock the driveshaft. Then when you turn the drivers side wheel, the passenger side shaft will be forced to turn. Sorry, I forgot to tell you that before. If it is not turning, you are not getting it seated into the splines for some reason.

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post #5 of 21 Old 03-21-2016, 09:05 AM Thread Starter
RgrTx
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Shaft is 41 inches long, measuring entire unit. I ordered it from Rock Auto using their guide. Though they might have sent me the wrong one I don't think so.

T-case is in 4lo, trans in Park, was that way when I was trying yesterday with nephew too. But when I spin driver front, driveshaft does not spin. Is driver's shaft bad too? Makes a sort of ratcheting noise when I spin the driver's wheel. Do I need to spin it for a while to get fluid into the clutches perhaps? How about if I put trans in neutral and spin the driveshaft a bit?
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post #6 of 21 Old 03-21-2016, 09:20 AM Thread Starter
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OK TC in neutral so I can spin the driveshaft. Driver wheel still not engaging but the partially inserted shaft does turn when I spin the driveshaft. Should i just keep pulling the shaft out so it is not in splines, rotating driveshaft a bit to clock the receiving end a bit, and trying again?

Picture of the fluids i took out, TC in big bottle, diff in little:
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post #7 of 21 Old 03-21-2016, 10:15 AM Thread Starter
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Sorry about the tilt, it doesnt do that in my puter.
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post #8 of 21 Old 03-21-2016, 04:55 PM
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Bigger hammer
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post #9 of 21 Old 03-21-2016, 08:58 PM Thread Starter
RgrTx
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Not understanding how a bigger hammer will help. Please explain; dont want to add shavings, etc.? I am pretty much resigned to popping the diff cover AGAIN ...
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post #10 of 21 Old 03-22-2016, 06:11 AM
12tamale
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Sometimes the splines aren't cut for **** on the replacement axle shaft. Most are new nowadays.
A small file, and a little time is necessary for proper insertion.
If you have a bearing starting to fail, on the carrier, I could see it being difficult to align.
Probably not the case though.
If the old one goes in, then it's a mismatched spline. I have had to buy a reman unit before, and return the new one, cause of the same scenario.
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post #11 of 21 Old 03-22-2016, 07:49 AM
pkman
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Had the same issue installing right side Quadra-Drive axle. I think the inner spline gets mis-aligned. Had to wiggle the shaft and rotate it a bit and it finally slid all the way in.

Current: 2020 Altitude, 3.6, tow package, QTII
Previous: 2002 WJ Overland,
1999 TJ Sport,
2003 Liberty,
1995 YJ
1965 CJ-5 - First vehicle - purchased 1976
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post #12 of 21 Old 03-22-2016, 06:12 PM Thread Starter
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Filed down leading edge of splines on shaft some, still no good, even wiggling it around. Tried old one again for a while, nothing. It engages first splines in diff but not second. Will pulling the diff cover show me anything? The wheel hub was bad too, bearings wiggled a millimeter or 2.
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post #13 of 21 Old 03-23-2016, 02:35 PM Thread Starter
RgrTx
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Figured out how to get some better pics down the tube. THe white stuff is some lithium grease I put on the end of the shaft to help install. If I open the cover and push up on the pump a bit I bet it'd go in.
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post #14 of 21 Old 03-23-2016, 05:53 PM
12tamale
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RgrTx
Figured out how to get some better pics down the tube. THe white stuff is some lithium grease I put on the end of the shaft to help install. If I open the cover and push up on the pump a bit I bet it'd go in.
How much force are you applying?
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post #15 of 21 Old 03-23-2016, 06:01 PM
12tamale
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I'm just thinking if your confident the splines are engaging or starting, then put the bearing in place, start any bolts if possible, put the nut on the end, and smack it. Don't kill it, just use some authority.
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