jeep wj axle shaft too short - Page 2 -
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post #16 of 17 Old 11-24-2014, 10:49 AM
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2016 JK Wrangler 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 1,404
A VariLok drivers side axle is 1 1/16 shorter than an open differential axle. A passengers side VariLok axle is longer by 1 1/16" than an open differential axle. The reason for this is the spiders and side gears are offset as far as possible to make room for the pump and clutch pack.

If you look at the side of the VL carrier case it is not very thick and squared, an open carrier is thicker in that area. Look at the side gear in his picture it is as close to the side of the carrier case as possible, that is why VariLoks drivers side axles are shorter than open diff axles.

I purchased a driverside VariLok replacement from Napa. They list the same length for a VariLok drivers shaft as Oreilly does. BUT Oreilly has the length of the open differential axle incorrect by one inch.

Below is the open and VariLok lengths for both sides in decimals. 23 1/4" is the correct length for a driver side VariLok. So personally I am at a loss as to why the axle he has is apparently to short. The first thing I would do is measure the axle to see if it is actually 23 1/4" long.

Open diff drivers side length 24.31"
Vari Lok drivers side. length 23.25"

Open diff passengers side axle 40.08" long.
Vari-Lok passengers side axle 41.14" long and the

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post #17 of 17 Old 11-24-2014, 09:46 PM
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2002 WJ 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Central Square
Posts: 81
i just changed the drivers side axle on my quadradrive there is no mistaking when the splines are in and the axle is seated, this should not even be an issue unless this jeep has some severe frame damage and the spindle actually moved
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