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Old 03-25-2013, 11:53 AM   #1
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Front Axle HELP ME!

OK. I am very mechanically inclined, except when it comes to differentials. I have vibes coming from my front diff once it gets warm (about 10 min of highway driving). The guys at a shop by me told me a rebuild if I supply the parts will be $150-$250 depending on damage done to have it rebuilt. So thats not too bad.

Here is the problem. Right before this started I got stuck in a deep mud hole. I winched myself out and drug my front axle through some crap. Had no choice. After getting out I looked at my axle to see if it bent, but it looked ok. I put about 20 miles or so on it after that before this started. I know the fault tolerance is very low on the axle tubes and that just a small bend could cause failure like this. How can I tell if it is bent though since eyeing it up I am unable to tell? I know it also could just be a coincidence and I am worrying about the worst case scenario. Also, if it is bent, what are my options? Could I straiten it, or would I need a new front axle? A new axle would really suck since this one is setup for SOA, has a spartan, is HP, and also has a high steer kit on it. I would have to swap all that crap to a different axle.

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Old 03-25-2013, 12:33 PM   #2
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Pull your u-joints in the axle. Sounds almost like they're coming apart, maybe from being squeezed too hard during the pulling/winching.

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Old 03-25-2013, 12:44 PM   #3
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You know I meant to check those but forgot. You are talking about the axle U-Joints right? I will also say the reason I right away thought it was the diff is because I now have seepage coming from the pinion seal. Although if it is vibrating hard enough from the axle shafts that probably could cause seepage?
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Old 03-25-2013, 01:48 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OverkillYJ View Post
You know I meant to check those but forgot. You are talking about the axle U-Joints right?
Yes. Those are exactly it.

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I will also say the reason I right away thought it was the diff is because I now have seepage coming from the pinion seal. Although if it is vibrating hard enough from the axle shafts that probably could cause seepage?
Sounds like you've got some internal damage. I'd pop the diff cover and see what's in there. You might have pieces of metal shavings from spider gears or other components that deflected/bent when you hit the axle.

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1991 YJ 99 Vortec 5.7L, SM465, NP205, 14 Bolt Rear, Dana 60 Front, 5.13 Gears, Detroit Lockers, 395/85R20 46" Michelin XML tires on 20" XD Wheels, Cherokee Offset Springs (10" front to back stretch total), Bilstein 5150s, 1in. BL, custom cage, Warn M8000, Double D Dash/OHC, 4Low Front Stinger Bumper, DirtWorx Rear Bumper WTC, Tube Fenders, Comp Cut, 1 Ton HD Kingpin High Steering and PAID FOR.
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Old 03-25-2013, 02:07 PM   #5
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Its got a Spartan in it so I know spider gears arent a problem. It has been popping/unloading more than usual as well. It also has a solid shaft instead of the split one.
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Old 03-25-2013, 02:20 PM   #6
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Pull the cover and check the fluid. The cost to refill the fluid is worth the peace of mind that nothing inside is damaged.
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1991 YJ 99 Vortec 5.7L, SM465, NP205, 14 Bolt Rear, Dana 60 Front, 5.13 Gears, Detroit Lockers, 395/85R20 46" Michelin XML tires on 20" XD Wheels, Cherokee Offset Springs (10" front to back stretch total), Bilstein 5150s, 1in. BL, custom cage, Warn M8000, Double D Dash/OHC, 4Low Front Stinger Bumper, DirtWorx Rear Bumper WTC, Tube Fenders, Comp Cut, 1 Ton HD Kingpin High Steering and PAID FOR.
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Old 03-25-2013, 02:46 PM   #7
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Yeah I am going to pull it one night this week after work. What is the best way to tell if I bent my axle tubes though? I know it doesnt take much to put the shaft on an angle going into the carrier that would destroy it rather fast. I cant tell by looking at it though. And with all the crap like the differential and CAD housing make it hard to line up the tubes on both side to see if it is bent. It looks like they line up but I cant tell for sure. I guess I could pull both axles and look through the center of both tubes, but that seems like more work than I actually need to do.
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Old 03-25-2013, 02:53 PM   #8
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Yeah I am going to pull it one night this week after work. What is the best way to tell if I bent my axle tubes though? I know it doesnt take much to put the shaft on an angle going into the carrier that would destroy it rather fast. I cant tell by looking at it though. And with all the crap like the differential and CAD housing make it hard to line up the tubes on both side to see if it is bent. It looks like they line up but I cant tell for sure. I guess I could pull both axles and look through the center of both tubes, but that seems like more work than I actually need to do.
You can put a 2 foot level on it to see if there's any high spots. Won't be as clear as if you pulled the carrier and shafts and looked through the tubes.
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1991 YJ 99 Vortec 5.7L, SM465, NP205, 14 Bolt Rear, Dana 60 Front, 5.13 Gears, Detroit Lockers, 395/85R20 46" Michelin XML tires on 20" XD Wheels, Cherokee Offset Springs (10" front to back stretch total), Bilstein 5150s, 1in. BL, custom cage, Warn M8000, Double D Dash/OHC, 4Low Front Stinger Bumper, DirtWorx Rear Bumper WTC, Tube Fenders, Comp Cut, 1 Ton HD Kingpin High Steering and PAID FOR.
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Old 03-25-2013, 03:20 PM   #9
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So say I do pull it apart and see the passenger side needs to be pulled forward an inch, is that possible? If It is I will do that then weld on a truss. I just dont know how I will bend it back if I find damage. If it comes down to pulling the axles and looking through the tubes, and I see it is bent, I wont be putting it back together until I know it is good to go.
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Old 03-25-2013, 03:28 PM   #10
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If it is bent, I see 4 ways to fix this.

1. Swap in a new axle.
2. Use a sleeve just big enough to fit the inside of the axle and force it in, causing the whole unit to bend back. You might need to hit it with the torch at the bend point while doing this to force it back.
3. Use the jack method. I've seen people use a combination of pulleys, hammer and a jack to push/pull an axle back into place.
4. Cut the axle tube section out that is bent and replace with a new tube of the same size.
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1991 YJ 99 Vortec 5.7L, SM465, NP205, 14 Bolt Rear, Dana 60 Front, 5.13 Gears, Detroit Lockers, 395/85R20 46" Michelin XML tires on 20" XD Wheels, Cherokee Offset Springs (10" front to back stretch total), Bilstein 5150s, 1in. BL, custom cage, Warn M8000, Double D Dash/OHC, 4Low Front Stinger Bumper, DirtWorx Rear Bumper WTC, Tube Fenders, Comp Cut, 1 Ton HD Kingpin High Steering and PAID FOR.
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Old 03-25-2013, 03:49 PM   #11
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When these bend do they normally bend where the housing is, or is it the tube/ I have seen people say they replaced the housing and left the tubes after bending one. I am thinking that is worst case scenario?
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Old 03-25-2013, 03:53 PM   #12
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I've only seen them bend at the tubes, not near the housing. Then again, I've only dealt with bent tubes a few times and ended up just swapping the axle out.

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Denis A. Baldwin
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1991 YJ 99 Vortec 5.7L, SM465, NP205, 14 Bolt Rear, Dana 60 Front, 5.13 Gears, Detroit Lockers, 395/85R20 46" Michelin XML tires on 20" XD Wheels, Cherokee Offset Springs (10" front to back stretch total), Bilstein 5150s, 1in. BL, custom cage, Warn M8000, Double D Dash/OHC, 4Low Front Stinger Bumper, DirtWorx Rear Bumper WTC, Tube Fenders, Comp Cut, 1 Ton HD Kingpin High Steering and PAID FOR.
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Old 03-25-2013, 04:07 PM   #13
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Yeah I got an axle with 4.10 lined up for cheap. I just dont want to go through the swap because of being SOA, with a high steer, and swapping the locker. Your axle and mine are pretty much the same from the looks of it. It is more work to swap all the crap on the axle than swapping the actual axles themselves.

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