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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys, I'm somewhat of an old poster here. I bought my first GJC a few years ago and promptly totaled it driving home due to a new driver pulling out in front of me. I drove it for several years, mostly wheeling as it wasn't legal to drive on the street anymore. However the 300k miles it has is really showing it's age, I'm having mystery coolant losses and cyl7 is low on compression, so I went out and bought another one.

To the point. My old one, a 1995, had a u-joint front driveshaft. The new one is a 1996, with less than half the miles, and I had no idea that in '96 they changed to a CV joint. It already had a 2" lift from the PO and was used as a mallcrawler so it saw no real offroading. Well I slapped 31's on it, took it out to pilot rock trail, not aware that it had a CV front driveshaft, and promptly ripped it apart on the trail. I removed it on the trail and drove it home(after researching and making sure it was ok to do so). I then promptly did research and figured out a U-Joint conversion is possible with the various vehicles that came with U-Joint driveshafts. The only part that confuses me is the pinion nut part. I have searched and searched, probably a total of 10 hours since the incident on Saturday, and I'm still at a loss on how to do this. I found nothing on how to do it. Just people referencing it with no guides. I know it involves removing the axles, which is no big deal, as I'm going to use this opportunity to swap to XJ(I think?) front axles so I can have u-joint instead of CV front axles, so this same incident does not occur again, except with an axle. If anyone can help, or lives in SoCal and is willing to come out and help me do the conversion I would appreciate it and compensate you for your time. I have a bendpak 10k# 2-post lift so we can do it in the air, so no issues there nor is working on the ground necessary.

So just to clarify, XJ axles are the proper axles to swap to correct? I want to make sure I order all the right stuff.

I also know swapping to a 231(?) or a 242 is better, and I will be doing that eventually, I just want to get back on the trails for all the summertime wheeling, then over the winter I'll be swapping.
 

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Mopar switched the driveshafts late '95. I've done this once, a good while ago. There are others here that know much more about it, but generally...

What you need is the driveshaft and pinion flange from from a '93 to early '95. And a new pinion nut and seal. The pinion nut will need retorqued properly and that is more work than I thought. Not to go into all the details, but you remove the front axle halfshafts and have a small dial-gauge torque wrench handy and tighten the pinion nut until the bearing drag is in specs. I guess when you reassemble you could convert the CV axle halfshafts to u-joint. Should be plug and play.
 

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The fear with retorqueing the pinion nut is over compressing the crush sleeve and overloading the preload on the on the pinion bearings. In the BMW world we mark the nut and the pinion shaft when replacing a pinion seal, clean the threads on both pinion and nut, and apply fresh thread locker. We also use special tools to torque it by hand, and honestly you can feel when it gets to the crush sleeve. Using an impact I can see over torqueing/crushing the crush sleeve, but you're never going to do that using hand tools. I actually have a massive yoke holding tool made out of an old axle shaft and some other bits that works great for retorqueing pinion nuts.
 

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I zipped the nut of swapped yokes new crush sleeve and zipped it back to 80 ftlbs then used a torque wrench to finish. I know that's not the proper way to do it but it's been a few years now with no problem.

There are adaptors the allow the u joint shaft to bolt to the CV yoke but I'm not sure where to find that these days.


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depends on how the drive shaft is made. If you have a flange yoke that the cv bolts too. some may just added a yoke to it. Not the best idea. Some will come with yokes the you must install at pinion and some even the Tcase.

My jk to go to Dc shafts i had to replace all 4 flange. This keeps they point of the Ujoint rotation as close to its shaft as possible. 3 joint shafts.

I never replaced the crush sleeves on the d44 front or rear when i replaced yokes. I recall Toms had a spec to take it to. I did what they speced and its been ten years.
 

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The proper way is to pull the axles and carrier and measure the rotating torque on just the pinion. Then remove the old pinion flange, install a new seal, new flange, new pinion nut, tighten until the rotating torque is the same plus 2 inch/pounds (IMS). It's not hard to do but it is a pain and requires a good inch pound analog torque wrench (preferably one with a memory feature = $$$) and a lot of people have various schemes to get round it. Some work better than others. The by-the-book way is probably less likely to screw up the pinion preload, but... well, you pays your money and you takes your chances as they say.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Mopar switched the driveshafts late '95. I've done this once, a good while ago. There are others here that know much more about it, but generally...

What you need is the driveshaft and pinion flange from from a '93 to early '95. And a new pinion nut and seal. The pinion nut will need retorqued properly and that is more work than I thought. Not to go into all the details, but you remove the front axle halfshafts and have a small dial-gauge torque wrench handy and tighten the pinion nut until the bearing drag is in specs. I guess when you reassemble you could convert the CV axle halfshafts to u-joint. Should be plug and play.
I just so happen to still have my '95. It does have the u-joint front driveshaft. However the 'nose' of the diff where the yoke bolts too looks longer than on my 96? Are they the same? My research says it isn't... But this is why I'm confused.

The fear with retorqueing the pinion nut is over compressing the crush sleeve and overloading the preload on the on the pinion bearings. In the BMW world we mark the nut and the pinion shaft when replacing a pinion seal, clean the threads on both pinion and nut, and apply fresh thread locker. We also use special tools to torque it by hand, and honestly you can feel when it gets to the crush sleeve. Using an impact I can see over torqueing/crushing the crush sleeve, but you're never going to do that using hand tools. I actually have a massive yoke holding tool made out of an old axle shaft and some other bits that works great for retorqueing pinion nuts.
This is a big reason I'm here asking these questions... Both my diffs are nice and quiet, and undamaged(well... the rear should have LSD but it's probably burned out at 130k street miles, which I hear is pretty common) and I would like to keep them that way.

I zipped the nut of swapped yokes new crush sleeve and zipped it back to 80 ftlbs then used a torque wrench to finish. I know that's not the proper way to do it but it's been a few years now with no problem.

There are adaptors the allow the u joint shaft to bolt to the CV yoke but I'm not sure where to find that these days.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
I'm all for sending it, but I would rather do it right and enjoy NOT having to replace a front axle... lol.

depends on how the drive shaft is made. If you have a flange yoke that the cv bolts too. some may just added a yoke to it. Not the best idea. Some will come with yokes the you must install at pinion and some even the Tcase.

My jk to go to Dc shafts i had to replace all 4 flange. This keeps they point of the Ujoint rotation as close to its shaft as possible. 3 joint shafts.

I never replaced the crush sleeves on the d44 front or rear when i replaced yokes. I recall Toms had a spec to take it to. I did what they speced and its been ten years.
I do have the flange that the DS bolts too. The kit I was looking at form RustoffRoad came with both yokes. Is there a special procedure on the TC side like there is on the diff side? Or can you just zap the nut on with a gun?

The proper way is to pull the axles and carrier and measure the rotating torque on just the pinion. Then remove the old pinion flange, install a new seal, new flange, new pinion nut, tighten until the rotating torque is the same plus 2 inch/pounds (IMS). It's not hard to do but it is a pain and requires a good inch pound analog torque wrench (preferably one with a memory feature = $$$) and a lot of people have various schemes to get round it. Some work better than others. The by-the-book way is probably less likely to screw up the pinion preload, but... well, you pays your money and you takes your chances as they say.
I have a electronic torque wrench, as well as an analog torque wrench. I also have a book to write notes if need be.

Torquing the pinion nut to 190 lbs will get you in the ballpark, using the old crush sleeve.
But doesn't late '95 and up use shims?
Don't scare me anymore by mentioning shims now, LOL.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I think I got a pretty good grasp of things regarding the crush sleeve. I guess the next question is which front axles? Are XJ ones the right ones so I can have U-Joint up there?
 
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