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Old 03-05-2012, 03:07 PM   #1
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2012 Driveshaft Concerns

I've been reading unfortunately. Its bad for you, I swear.

I keep reading all these companies that sell new driveshafts throw out warnings and sheit about if you lift your 2012 JK over 2" that you will run into problems eventually. Is this just scare tactics, to get you to buy a driveshaft?

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Like the 2007-2011 JKs, the 2012 JK uses Rezeppa-style driveshafts rather than a conventional driveshaft. What this means is that rather than a traditional U-joint, the stock driveshafts utilize a non-serviceable joint that has a much narrower operating angle than a regular U-joint. This, by itself, is nothing new because JKs have had Rezeppa-style joints from the beginning. What IS different is that the new Pentastar engine is positioned in the chassis with a much steeper downward angle than the previous engine, and the exhaust configuration is completely different. This is important for two reasons:

First, the stock operating angle of the front driveshaft on a 2012 is 9.25 degrees, which is 3.25 degrees more than a stock 2007-2011 JK, or the equivalent of running a 2.5”-3” lift. This steeper angle places the front driveshaft operating angles at the extreme limit of the Rezeppa-style joints at stock height, so even a mild 2” lift on a 2012 forces the front driveshaft joints beyond what they can handle.

Second, the new exhaust configuration places the exhaust crossover tube under the front driveshaft. Even a small 2” lift will cause the front driveshaft to make contact with the crossover tube unless steps are taken to limit the downtravel. Photos of the stock driveshaft configuration are below.

The bottom line: in the best case scenario, even a mildly lifted ’12 JK will experience accelerated front driveshaft wear. One that is lifted taller, say 3” to 6”, can result in front driveshaft failure in just a few thousand miles. (This Vendor) has seen front driveshaft failures in as little as 2,000 miles, sometimes with catastrophic results. In the best case scenario, the driveshaft starts vibrating excessively and is addressed before failure occurs. In the worst case scenario, the driveshaft joints fail and take the transfer case or transmission with it! This is especially important information for people who flat-tow their JKs, where problems at highway speeds may not become apparent until it is too late.

What You Can Do:
If you plan on lifting your ’12 JK up to 2”, making sure there are provisions to limit the downtravel enough to avoid contact with the exhaust crossover tube may help front driveshaft longevity slightly. Beyond that, there’s not much more you can do with the factory equipment. The joints would last longer if they could be serviced regularly, but since the joints are not serviceable and are operating beyond their factory design limits, the best advice is to keep a close eye on things and hope for the best.

The more permanent solution, and really the only option for JKs lifted higher than 2”, is complete replacement driveshafts. Fortunately (this vendor) has done their homework on the ’12 JK and offers several solutions.

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Old 03-05-2012, 03:19 PM   #2
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these are all valid points, but marketing at its best...

you ask several people on these forums.. most of us run a 2.5 inch lift or bigger... 2.5 being the max before you need to start looking into driveshafts.. but i would say that about any vehicle...

and yes the 2012 has some weird exhaust design.. and a simple 50 dollar extension fixes that.. and gives u about 6 inches of space for a lift..

so as far as damage would concern with a normal 2.5 or less of a suspension lift.. ur fine.. dont sweat it.. no drive shaft needed.

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Old 03-05-2012, 03:36 PM   #3
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At the worst, I'm buying a new DS when my stock breaks.
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Old 03-05-2012, 07:48 PM   #4
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Yeah
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Old 03-05-2012, 07:56 PM   #5
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The AFE replacement Y pipe works fantastic, we install 4.5 inch lifts all the time on the 2012, 3.6 drivetrain without issues
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Old 03-05-2012, 09:03 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Rubitrux View Post
The AFE replacement Y pipe works fantastic, we install 4.5 inch lifts all the time on the 2012, 3.6 drivetrain without issues
Are you guys still located in Boone NC?
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Old 03-05-2012, 09:16 PM   #7
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nope they tell the truth, first time out wheeling with my 3 inch lift i ripped the boot off the front shaft,,, only took about 500 miles for it to bind up... i ended up with a tom woods shaft, worth every penny, no issues.
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Old 03-05-2012, 10:30 PM   #8
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FWIW, AEV says a new driveshaft isn't needed on the 2012s with their 2.5" lift kit and they wheeled the hell out of their 2012 prior to releasing the kit.
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Old 03-05-2012, 10:40 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GREEN-MACHINE View Post
nope they tell the truth, first time out wheeling with my 3 inch lift i ripped the boot off the front shaft,,, only took about 500 miles for it to bind up... i ended up with a tom woods shaft, worth every penny, no issues.
that's because you ran over small wild life in the forest there and they hit the boot.
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Old 03-06-2012, 10:18 AM   #10
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Its the truth. If you don't believe me install a 3" lift kit with a shock longer than 25". (our kits run 27.5") The drive line will be resting on the exhaust cross over.

Then look at the factory drive line angle coming out of the transfer case.

If a company says nothing is required, they are limiting your flex.
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Old 03-06-2012, 10:21 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by c0d3x5 View Post
these are all valid points, but marketing at its best...

you ask several people on these forums.. most of us run a 2.5 inch lift or bigger... 2.5 being the max before you need to start looking into driveshafts.. but i would say that about any vehicle...

and yes the 2012 has some weird exhaust design.. and a simple 50 dollar extension fixes that.. and gives u about 6 inches of space for a lift..

so as far as damage would concern with a normal 2.5 or less of a suspension lift.. ur fine.. dont sweat it.. no drive shaft needed.
the 50 cent extention will fix the clearance issues and allow you to run the factory driveline until it decides to break. Your still facing the steep driveline angle coming out of the T-case.

You can not go by just lift height, its a shock length issue on the 2012. You could run a 3" lift with shorter shocks and not have issues, But then your limiting your flex offroad
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Old 03-06-2012, 10:25 AM   #12
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hmmmm, interesting. thanks for the heads up.
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Old 03-06-2012, 10:39 AM   #13
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So is a new DS or an exhaust extension recommended or both? Can someone post a link to the exhaust extension so we can see what it looks like? Thanks!
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Old 03-06-2012, 10:57 AM   #14
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So is a new DS or an exhaust extension recommended or both? Can someone post a link to the exhaust extension so we can see what it looks like? Thanks!

If you install a new DS and run a 27.5" long shock you will not need any extensions.
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Old 03-06-2012, 03:48 PM   #15
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Well i'm not going 3". I'm going with AEV's 2.5" lift. They say you don't need exhaust spacers with it. I'm going to believe them.
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Old 03-06-2012, 05:32 PM   #16
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10,000 miles on my 2012 JKU Rubicon. At about 3000 miles I put a 3.5" RE Suspension lift on and Afe y-pipe. I've wheeled it flexed out enough that all my tires rubbed well and good on bumpers and fenders (35's). I plan to eventually get a regular drive shaft for the front, but there have been zero issues with the stock one. I know others on the stock shafts as well, zero issues...
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Old 03-06-2012, 05:40 PM   #17
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One thing to consider. When the drive shafts finally let go. Do you want to be stuck on the trail? or turnpike? Until you get a replacement shaft or a tow truck for the ride home?

Of course if its the front shaft you can pull it off and drive home.
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Old 03-06-2012, 05:43 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stevebanzai View Post
Well i'm not going 3". I'm going with AEV's 2.5" lift. They say you don't need exhaust spacers with it. I'm going to believe them.
I'm not clear about what you're arguing over here; but if you're going with AEV's 2.5" you're fine. Get the exhaust spacers.

Bottom line, it's your ride, get what you feel you need.

Chris was offering his personal and professional experience, take it or leave it.

But head the warning and be cautious. That does *not* mean it won't break at some point if you're wheeling though. Just make sure the angles work out and check them after you wheel, you'll be fine!

A new drive shaft is definitely on my list of "wants", that's for sure.
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Old 03-06-2012, 07:27 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ESP View Post
Are you guys still located in Boone NC?
Since they haven't responded back and did my initial build, I'll answer ... yes, they're still in Boone; High Country 4x4.

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Originally Posted by offcamber View Post
10,000 miles on my 2012 JKU Rubicon. At about 3000 miles I put a 3.5" RE Suspension lift on and Afe y-pipe. I've wheeled it flexed out enough that all my tires rubbed well and good on bumpers and fenders (35's). I plan to eventually get a regular drive shaft for the front, but there have been zero issues with the stock one. I know others on the stock shafts as well, zero issues...
Same here ... 12k miles on my 2012, multiple days offroad and no issues with a modified crossover pipe in the exhaust. I have the aFe and it eliminates the issue entirely.

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Old 03-11-2012, 11:37 AM   #20
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Angry Exhaust Extension..........

Am I the only one here finding it almost impossible to losen the bolt/nut on the band on the exhaust line? It must be lossened to allow the cross-over pipe to slide a bit to the rear, when installing the exhaust extensions.

The nut must have been put on at the chassie stage, prior to adding the body
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Old 03-11-2012, 05:59 PM   #21
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Am I the only one here finding it almost impossible to losen the bolt/nut on the band on the exhaust line? It must be lossened to allow the cross-over pipe to slide a bit to the rear, when installing the exhaust extensions.

The nut must have been put on at the chassie stage, prior to adding the body
Well finally goter done! Not near easy as I thought it would be
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Old 03-11-2012, 09:00 PM   #22
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One thing to consider. When the drive shafts finally let go. Do you want to be stuck on the trail? or turnpike? Until you get a replacement shaft or a tow truck for the ride home?

Of course if its the front shaft you can pull it off and drive home.
even worse is when it binds up at 65mph on the turnpike.
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Old 03-11-2012, 09:32 PM   #23
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even worse is when it binds up at 65mph on the turnpike.

Been there. Had this happen on my YJ coming home from college on the NJ Turnpike. Scared the hell out of me and it swung around for a min or so and damaged the hell out of everything around it. Cracked my transfer case, ripped open my muffler and cost about $2k to fix.

NOTE: This was due to me dropping onto a stump while off-roading and letting it go and not fixing it. After a while it was off balance and the u joint broke and the above happened.

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