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Old 05-20-2010, 07:07 PM   #1
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Lifted driveline issues?

I finally got all my stuff today!!! 4 procomp black steelies, 4 35/12.5/15 Thompson MTZ's, and a 2.5" teraflex lift. I'm so excited. However, one thing lurks in my mind...

I have read about draftshaft issues all over the net with JK's that meet certain qualifications.

-2 door
-automatic
-disconnected anti-swaybar
-lifted

Apparently the issue involves both driveshafts. The theory is that the rear driveshaft just can't handle any lift in the 2 door due to it being so short. Most claim 3" and over, it's a time bomb. The other involves clearance issues with the front shaft. This rumor states a lifted 2 door with an automatic disconnected, the shock boot on the front driveshaft will rub on the auto's skid plate, tearing the boot, spinning out all the grease, and finally failing.

In my "4x4 club" there are 2 other 2dr JK's beside myself. One with 3" of ACTUAL lift, the other with 4.5" of actual lift. Both on stock shafts. Both automatics. No issues.

How many of you guys have experienced driveline issues?

Must be a 2dr automatic, mild lift (3 inches or less ACTUAL lift)

I'm just curious if I need to budget new driveshafts soon.

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Old 05-20-2010, 09:03 PM   #2
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It's not a "rumor". The CV boot will eventually wear and will have to be replaced.

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Old 05-20-2010, 10:11 PM   #3
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I read about this all over the place online, but have yet to actually witness this personally. I was curious if anyone here has experienced this issue, and if it is indeed true, I'm shocked at the lack of a fix.

This is kind of new to me. How long do these shafts take to destroy themselves?
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Old 05-20-2010, 10:20 PM   #4
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Pick up a copy of the June 2010 JP magazine. There is an article on page 68 called Fatal Angle. It fully explains it.
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Old 05-20-2010, 10:53 PM   #5
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I just read an article on their website about it. Interesting. Something needs done about these boots. My steering shaft needs a new boot as well. I haven't come up with a solution to this issue, just a temp bandaid fix. It looks like I'll be doing the same with these driveshafts.

Well my build just got alot more expensive 2 new driveshafts with new front and rear control arms. Wonderful
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Old 05-20-2010, 11:03 PM   #6
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tom woodys makes a killer driveshaft. i have two in my yj.

and their really isnt anything wrong with the boots, but when you lift them they can make contact with the hot exhaust and thin rubber dont like heat... or abrassivness.

the fix is simple... get a smaller diamter driveshaft. the new jeep stocker cv's just arent up to snuff except in stock form... they are huge! and i prefer a double cardian anyday.
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Old 05-20-2010, 11:22 PM   #7
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You can run it, but an keep an upgraded one on your list, of things to do, as like most jeep shafts they are fine for stock , but add a lift and you have issues.
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Old 05-20-2010, 11:39 PM   #8
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I just pulled my shaft off. They aren't even CV joints? They look like Rzeppas? Why the hell would Jeep go with these garbage joints?

Well after seeing this, I guess it is true.

General, the solution I was searching for, at least in the case of my steering shaft, was a replacement boot. I experienced steering clunk about 5,000 miles ago and filled the boot with chassis grease with a needle. I damaged the boot, but solved the clunk. My plan was to find a new boot, and seal it with zip ties that could be cut every oil change to service the boot, then just re-tie. I haven't been able to find a boot though.

This won't work with driveshafts obviously, since my stock shafts don't have the correct joint to begin with. Wow. Another major issue with poor JK design.

I think the front stock driveshaft might be ok. I really can't see it getting too steep. I'll know more when I get the lift on. It's already close to the transmission skid though. I'm suprised it doesn't hit at stock height. The rear shaft looks like it'll bomb with no off-road use if I'm imagining this correctly.

Now I'm just confused. Why aren't my friends on the trail blowing these up?
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Old 05-21-2010, 12:01 AM   #9
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Most if not all are going with CV's when they replace the shaft's.
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Old 05-21-2010, 05:55 AM   #10
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Yeah. I'll get Tom Woody's eventually. I just hope the Jeep Gods give me enough time to Superchip this POS before it starts eating shafts. I'm having trouble finding out how long on average these things are lasting and which one likes to go first.

Nobody here with a 2 door JK has bombed out the shafts?

I talked to one of my friends last night and he's been lifted just over 10,000 miles with not so much as a vibration yet...but his front shaft boot is torn, but not losing grease. This issue seems to be very inconsistent.
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Old 05-21-2010, 12:53 PM   #11
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I have a 2-door, 6-speed that started clicking away up front in under 100 miles due to extreme t-case angle with a 3.5" Rock Krawler lift. Their rear uppers allowed me to push the rear axle back 1", so the angles there are near-stock. Not a single issue out back.

Having personally worked on and lifted several JK's now, I can tell you, the auto skid plate will likely rub at full droop on anything past 2.5-3". Beyond that, it may also hit the exhaust. Anyone going big with any vehicle (more than 2") should ALWAYS budget extra $$ for things like driveshafts. Being new does not mean bulletproof Mark W.
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Old 05-21-2010, 03:08 PM   #12
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So you solved it then just using UCA's? I'm thinking maybe it was a boot/joint issue since 2.5" isnt alot of lift. So basically, a 2 door JK can run up to 4" of lift on stock DS's all day long with just UCA's?
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Old 05-21-2010, 11:19 PM   #13
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Short answer: no. The RK X-Factor kit includes arms, brake lines, and hardware to push your axle back about an inch. This includes pushing the sway bar back an inch, which requires drilling new holes in the frame. It's moderately invasive surgery in that regard. Simply bolting on new control arms alone won't solve the problem. Re-engineering axle geometry will, and RK has done the dirty work for me, in this case Mark W.
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Old 05-22-2010, 02:39 PM   #14
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Well I think what I'll do is just watch my DS's. Maybe check them every week. I think new CV boots can be purchased. If I rip one, I'll replace it.

2 new driveshafts just aren't in the cards at the moment. I might get some rear uppers soon though just to make the pinion angle closer to stock. Not like that's a waste of money either, I'll need new UCA's with new DS's anyway. I'd rather get some power, MPG, and a transmission cooler before driveshafts anyway. I should have enough time.

It just amazes me. I've lifted JK's before too, and the pinion angles didn't look bad to me, not enough for CA's and bombing DS's. I'll measure mine once I lift it. Hell if I knew I'd be buying new DS's and rear UCA's I would have just bought a 4" suspension lift
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Old 05-23-2010, 12:36 AM   #15
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Do a little trimming on your front skid plate, That's where the boot rips.
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Old 05-23-2010, 01:07 AM   #16
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Where does it get cut? I don't know how much to notch it out. Some places say it hits the skid, others say it's the transmission itself. If you have done this or know of any write ups that'd be great.
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Old 05-23-2010, 05:01 PM   #17
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What you should do is jack up the vehicle, and drop the front axle. You'll see where it hits the A/T skid. Notch it there with a bit of extra room for good measure. Put the axle back together, and rock and roll Mark W.
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Old 05-23-2010, 05:05 PM   #18
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I'll do that. I was just looking for a lazy way thanks everyone

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