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Old 07-09-2009, 04:39 PM   #1
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Cant get front axle to engage

I am having some issues with the front axle engaging when i put my rig into four wheel. i took the vacuum shift motor of the axle and noticed that the two axle shafts were not lining up and not allowing the ring to connect the two shafts. I hope i am making sense. if you could help that would be great

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Old 07-09-2009, 07:24 PM   #2
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These collars won't move over unless both shafts line up.
Even with a posi-lok cable you have to help the synchronization sometimes.

I do a series of gentle "S" turns to engage/disengage the collar.

Are you sure your shift motor is getting vacuum & is working properly?

PS, always engage the axle BEFORE you dive into the mudhole!

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Old 07-10-2009, 03:58 PM   #3
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well i have tried driving in s turns in forward and reverse. if i drive it on the pavement it will eventually engage but i don't think it engages all the way. the shift motor is getting plenty of vacuum. i took the shift motor off and tested it for leaks. while it was off i noticed that the outer shaft is lower than the inner shaft by a fraction of an inch and that was what made me suspect the seal at the shift motor. i just replaced both front hub assemblies and took the shafts out and cleaned them. i also had to clean mud out of the axle housing. I have found out the hard way that mudding is fun but it is very hard on equipment
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92 yj, 4.0 with 240,000 miles, 3 inch mystery lift(was on when i bought it), 1.5 inch shackle lift, 35/12.50 Super Swamper Thornbirds, Ford 8.8 rear, square tubing custom front drive line, disc brakes all around, 3.55 gears fron and rear,

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Old 07-11-2009, 12:31 AM   #4
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You can test it to see if it engages. Take the shift motor & cover plate back off.
On a firm level surface jack up & support the passenger front wheel with a safety stand, so it's just off the ground. Be sure the jeep is not going to fall, by giving it a good shake.


Now crawl under the & rotate the right front tire until you can push the collar over with a big screwdriver or something. It should be able to reach about center between the two shafts.

I cant remember if the vacuum shift motor is adjustable, but it might be.

I cant remember because I only had a glimpse of it before I put the posi-lok cable in it's place.
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Old 09-01-2009, 01:15 AM   #5
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hey thanks for all the input i figured it out there was a fracture on the fork that allowed the fork to move around not moving the shift collar
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Old 09-01-2009, 12:23 PM   #6
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GOOD TROUBLESHOOTING..........easy replacement. look at the cast iron replacement.
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Old 09-01-2009, 12:53 PM   #7
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You can also replace it with a 1pc shaft from a TJ or XJ. I think superior axle sells the bushing/seal needed for axle as well.

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