2005 Limited 5.7L Front Drive Shaft - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 17 Old 01-17-2020, 12:49 PM Thread Starter
borderpatrol420
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2005 Limited 5.7L Front Drive Shaft

I got the news today that my front drive shaft needs to be replaced on my 2005 Jeep Grand Cherokee (5.7L Limited). The repair shop is quoting me $900+ for a brand new drive shaft or $500+ for a used one. I found a new front drive shaft online from Detroit Axle for around $180 ($160 on eBay) and it'll take about a week to arrive.

I have experience with routine repair on my Jeep such as replacing brake pads and the typical oil change as well as more intricate repairs like replacing a brake caliper mounting bracket, installing new O2 sensors, replacing transmission fluid filters, replacing my front wheel speed sensor (was a huge pain, but got it done), and a few other things.

My question to everyone is, should I replace the front drive shaft myself? I've watched a few videos and it looks like I just need to remove some bolts, wiggle the drive shaft out, and install the new one. I've read that some people have issues removing the bolts, especially the top ones which require rotating the drive shaft while all tires are lifted off the ground.

I wasn't sure if any of you could encourage/discourage me from attempting this repair myself. Worst-case, I'm going to give the repair shop a call to see if I can purchase a new drive shaft for them to install. Thoughts?

Also, does anyone have a guide for removing/installing a front drive shaft? My Chilton's manual in my Jeep, so I don't have that to review at the moment.

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post #2 of 17 Old 01-17-2020, 01:16 PM
Kommiekrusher
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There's lots of videos on YouTube. Watch more than one if you can, some are better than others. I got the shop manual off the internet, https://drive.google.com/file/d/1E6e...w?usp=drivesdk
You can do it! There's no forgone conclusions!


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post #3 of 17 Old 01-17-2020, 04:27 PM
Raffish
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Easy like a peanut.

3/8" wobble and assortment of extensions will do it.

Pretty sure I had to drop the cross-member a bit to wiggle it out.

05 WK Limited 5.7, QDII, OME HD, 265/70/17 1.25" Spydertrax, CC, MBRP SS, 250xxxkms
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post #4 of 17 Old 01-17-2020, 04:33 PM
LouC
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What is wrong with the d/s that requires replacement? If it’s the rear cv joint that is a common problem on these and you can actually replace just that joint without removing the shaft. I did it on mine this summer. Just got the front wheels off the ground blocked the rear wheels with the parking brake on and put the auto trans in neutral. Mark the position of the d/s relative to the transfer case flange first. Then removed the bolts from the rear cv and pry it out of the flange with a couple of big screwdrivers. Then use some smaller screwdrivers to pry the rear tin cover off the factory cv. Now you will need a snap ring pliers to remove the snap ring that retains the cv and slide it off. If it won’t slide off you may need a puller. If the front cv joint is bad those can be replaced but are harder to find. I used a Dorman kit to do mine. Saved a lot of $$$ this way.
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post #5 of 17 Old 01-17-2020, 07:35 PM
Avs
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Quote:
Originally Posted by borderpatrol420 View Post
I got the news today that my front drive shaft needs to be replaced on my 2005 Jeep Grand Cherokee (5.7L Limited). The repair shop is quoting me $900+ for a brand new drive shaft or $500+ for a used one. I found a new front drive shaft online from Detroit Axle for around $180 ($160 on eBay) and it'll take about a week to arrive.

I have nothing but bad experience with Detroit axle product for the Jeep. Brought a set of upper control arm and sway bar links. Dimensionally wise they’re not per oem spec and requires you preload the part in order for it to fit. The metallurgy and finish appears to be very poor. Their part is a whole lot cheaper than moog and there’s a reason why. Spend a little bit more up front for quality parts and you’ll not regret it.
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post #6 of 17 Old 01-17-2020, 08:41 PM Thread Starter
borderpatrol420
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LouC View Post
What is wrong with the d/s that requires replacement? If it’s the rear cv joint that is a common problem on these and you can actually replace just that joint without removing the shaft. I did it on mine this summer. Just got the front wheels off the ground blocked the rear wheels with the parking brake on and put the auto trans in neutral. Mark the position of the d/s relative to the transfer case flange first. Then removed the bolts from the rear cv and pry it out of the flange with a couple of big screwdrivers. Then use some smaller screwdrivers to pry the rear tin cover off the factory cv. Now you will need a snap ring pliers to remove the snap ring that retains the cv and slide it off. If it won’t slide off you may need a puller. If the front cv joint is bad those can be replaced but are harder to find. I used a Dorman kit to do mine. Saved a lot of $$$ this way.
I’m going to have my Jeep towed to my house tomorrow and I’ll take the drive shaft off. The mechanic said the CV should be the only issue, but I’ll check the other end to make sure I can reuse the drive shaft. If I can, then I’ll replace the CV side. Plus I like getting new tools like those pliers you mentioned 😛

After reading the other comment about the Detroit pieces being cheap, I’d rather keep the original drive shaft if I can.

Thank you all for the comments and advice. I’ll keep y’all updated on my findings.
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post #7 of 17 Old 01-18-2020, 06:22 AM
LouC
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There were 2 styles of shafts on these, some used a conventional u joint on the front diff end and a CV on the transfer case end, some used CVs on both ends, mine is an '07 that has CVs on both ends, with these it is usually the rear one that fails. I think what causes it is when the front diff bushings fail, the shifting around of the diff tears the boot on the rear CV and causes the failure.

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post #8 of 17 Old 01-18-2020, 09:01 AM
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I replaced the transfer case side cv joint on mine. It didn’t go well. I got a cheap replacement full shaft from driveshaftparts.com. While I had that one on, I took my original to a driveshaft repair shop. They said the splines were bad and that’s why the new cv didn’t fix it. They said it wasn’t worth trying to fix.

The cheap replacement got rid of the clunking, but caused a terrible vibration over 60 mph. I finally got fed up with it and ordered a new Mopar part for about $500. It’s been fine ever since.

Replacing it very easy at least. Definitely not worth paying someone if you have the space and time to do it yourself.
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post #9 of 17 Old 01-18-2020, 04:25 PM Thread Starter
borderpatrol420
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Boom! Got her off today. The only pain was one bolt on the crossmember. When I took the last bolt off the U-Joint the Jeep rolled back about 1” until the blocks I set caught it, so that was a lil scary 😛

Once I was able to wiggle the shaft out from under the Jeep, I played with the U-Joint. It likes to sit where it’s in line with the shaft. There’s a bit of a snag when I move it from perfectly straight, but it rotates nice and easy on both sides. Is the U-Joint supposed to move freely without that snag or not?
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post #10 of 17 Old 01-19-2020, 12:10 PM
LouC
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The only old style U-Joints I've inspected on a regular basis are the ones on our boat's outdrive, these have grease fittings and are replaceable like all old style ones were. They will easily move in any direction but it may be because they get greased every season. I'd probably use your D/S as is since you really can't replace those u joints the way they are designed now. Replace your rear CV if the splines on that end are good and see how it turns out.
I considered getting a Tom Woods D/S with all replaceable joints when I started with this but the simple replacement of the rear CV turned out well and I found a kit for the front CV plunge joint as they call it that I can use if the front ever goes bad. So for now that's the cheapest solution.
I think the issue that some have with the splines is caused by driving with it too long with a failed boot and then all the grease flys out and it runs dry, wearing the splines.

BTW, the boat has run with these u joints, un-touched except for regular greasing, for over 20 years!
Also, our '98 ZJ that has replaceable u joints front and rear and in the front half shafts as well, has not needed ANY of the u joints replaced, in nearly 180,000 miles and 22 years of use.

I think they went to the CV design, to keep vibration at a minimum, because even the Wrangler uses CVs at the transfer case end of the front shaft (just like yours, u joint on the diff end CV on the t-case end) and on the rear d/s, both ends use CVs. So I'm glad I learned how to replace these seeing as how most modern Jeeps use them.

PS here is the old OMC Cobra outdrive, with grease-able and replaceable u-joints, never had to replace them just grease them and the gimble bearing every year. 100% salt water use, that's why it looks like that!
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post #11 of 17 Old 01-20-2020, 12:45 PM
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I literally just replaced my 2005 5.7L front driveshaft yesterday. I purchased an unbranded one for $108 on ebay and it was a perfect fit. Will I regret getting a cheap one? Maybe, maybe not. I ordered it last Sunday and it arrived on Wednesday.

Personally, I wouldn't reuse your original driveshaft. Your description of the front U-joint sounds like it's bad. If there's any play when moving it around, kind of like it's catching, that means the u-joint is bad or going bad, and those cannot be replaced. It should be buttery smooth when moving it from one direction to another. The one I bought from the link below has replaceable u-joints.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/52105728AE-...72.m2749.l2649

The reason I replaced mine was that I am chasing a vibration that only seems to quiet when I'm turning right. While inspecting, I found the cv-boot on the rear section was completely open, so I replaced the shaft, the outer tie-rod end, and drivers side hub and bearing. The passenger wheel bearing seems fine, and turns smoothly.

Unfortunately for me, none of that seemed to fix my vibration and now I think it might be the carrier bearing in the front diff.

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post #12 of 17 Old 01-20-2020, 03:59 PM
LouC
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Good info that you can get a shaft with replaceable ujoints for the front shaft for those who have that style. Non- replaceable u joints and cvs are just more money for the OEMs in parts sales. Thank goodness for the aftermarket.

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post #13 of 17 Old 01-21-2020, 06:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by borderpatrol420 View Post
Boom! Got her off today. The only pain was one bolt on the crossmember. When I took the last bolt off the U-Joint the Jeep rolled back about 1” until the blocks I set caught it, so that was a lil scary 😛

Once I was able to wiggle the shaft out from under the Jeep, I played with the U-Joint. It likes to sit where it’s in line with the shaft. There’s a bit of a snag when I move it from perfectly straight, but it rotates nice and easy on both sides. Is the U-Joint supposed to move freely without that snag or not?
That's a FRONT driveshaft? Seems longer than mine.

I disconnected the front shaft when I replaced the starter and I remember the bolts were tough all the way out due to the locktite.

Poor grammar is something up with which I shall not put.
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post #14 of 17 Old 01-21-2020, 06:53 PM
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OFF TOPIC Hey LouC,that's a real nice little "cart" lift for your OMC Cobra outdrive. Did you make it or is it available assembled? Source? Thanks, Keppie
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post #15 of 17 Old 01-22-2020, 01:31 PM
LouC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CJKSenior View Post
OFF TOPIC Hey LouC,that's a real nice little "cart" lift for your OMC Cobra outdrive. Did you make it or is it available assembled? Source? Thanks, Keppie
Stumpy's Fab Works, somewhere out in the Midwest, he has a website, it works great!
I built my first one out of 2x6s with casters underneath, but this one makes it much easier.
I am in 100% salt water so pulling the drive each season is regular maintenance. BTW, it is now 32 years old, I've had it almost 18 years, with very few repairs on the drive unit itself.

2017 JK Unlimited Sport 6 spd
2007 WK Limited Hemi QDII
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