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Old 10-28-2012, 12:44 AM   #1
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I got a New to me Rubicon and some issues

I bought a Rubicon from a "friend" at work and i see it has more issues than I thought it did. I got it for a good price but I see it's not gonna be cheap to get everything back to 100%. It's a 2003 Rubicon, I think the color is like Gold. I know it needed shocks and I already ordered some Bilsteins 5100. I has a small exhaust leak but I dont see where as of yet. My friend had took the front driveshaft off the Jeep because he said it was vibrationg like crazy. It seems that the CV joint on the front Driveshaft is worn and loose. I took it apart and the dealer says that the parts aren't availible. They said I need to get a new shaft for $800 and some change.

I was checking the back brakes and found that the emergency brake shoes where done and it seem that the axle seals in the rear where leaking. Now i see that Dana 44 is going. there is some vibration when the Jeep is up on Jacks with the tires off. The front axle is off.
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Old 10-28-2012, 01:01 AM   #2
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The dealer lied! Go to youtube for a video on repairing your drive shaft. See the guys at NAPA or Autozone for parts. Very cheap. Stay away from the loon that told you 800 dollars. BTW that is a great looking ride.

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Old 10-28-2012, 01:20 AM   #3
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Normally, the Dealership Service Writers are trying to pump sales of their new vehicles. I have a daily driver Honda Pilot, and they made up all sorts of worst-case scenarios.

I also have an '03 Rubicon, and I love it. Yours is 'Inca Gold' colored. I'd watch that dealer - he's trying to make some $$ off of you.
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Old 10-28-2012, 01:43 AM   #4
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Doesn't seem all that bad. How does it look for rust? How is the engine? It doesn't appear to been beat (from the picture). I guess it depends on your "good price", but it seems like you did okay. You would have ended up modding all that broken stuff anyway
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Old 10-28-2012, 01:45 AM   #5
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I have been living in the AutoZone, they have all the regular ujoints but the CV parts they don't list and I'm not even sure what these are called as the dealer says they parts aren't availible. Here is a picture of they bad parts.
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Old 10-28-2012, 02:00 AM   #6
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It only has a little rust on the rear corner of the passenger side. It is bubbling up under the paint. The engine runs great. It came with a soft top and i got it for $4500.00.

Ohh yeah the guy was driving it 90miles a day and the gas was killing him and it has ......................... 206k miles.
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Old 10-28-2012, 02:07 AM   #7
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More pics
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Old 10-28-2012, 02:44 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SupremeTeam
I have been living in the AutoZone, they have all the regular ujoints but the CV parts they don't list and I'm not even sure what these are called as the dealer says they parts aren't availible. Here is a picture of they bad parts.
That is the centering ball and can be bought all over in the US.
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Old 10-28-2012, 02:49 AM   #9
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Lot of miles but sound like a lot of highway time. Your troubles sound pretty small for a 10 year old jeep. Rear axle seals are not expensive but you should also replace bearings while in there. Bearings are a bit spendy at $50 each mol. This repair is not hard but might not be for everyone from a tool perspective. It is about $250-$300 total at an independent shop including parts. Changing emergency brake shoes would be simple during the seal change since they are right there and I think must be removed to get axles out on Dana 45.
Shocks are easy if the bolts aren't all rusted up. Front driveshaft CV joint is simple to rebuild once it is off the jeep. Odds are you might need some front end components if these are originals. This would be some bushings and steering damper plus new brakes might be in order. All in all you are looking at less than $900 if you do most of the work yourself (assuming axle rebuild is left to professionals). $5500 for a Rubicon is still a good price.
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Old 10-28-2012, 02:53 AM   #10
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Typo...Dana 44, not 45...that is silly
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Old 10-28-2012, 06:46 AM   #11
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Lots of miles but good price! Your troubles are not that bad. Word of advise! Don't rush the jobs, research..research...research, use quality parts, and think it thru.
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Old 10-28-2012, 06:55 AM   #12
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Lots of good advice on here...IMO you did "okay" on the deal. And even if you have all the work done, and decide not to do it yourself, probably wouldn't be much over $2K...I would CONSIDER doing a lift while changing shocks and having axle rebuild. Than you would have a 10 year old Rubi lifted with a solid drivetrain, new shocks, and a lot of higway miles. And there is nothing wrong with getting that out the door for $7-$8K!! Be a very good deal IMO even with 200K on the clock.
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Old 10-28-2012, 10:03 AM   #13
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Assuming this is a secondary vehicle, take time and breath. Read up on this forum. If your local Advance or Autozone employees are anything like mine I wouldn't take their advice on a damn windshield wiper or lightbulb, much less drive shaft or intricate parts. Everything you need, other than patience, is in this forum. It sounds to me like you have a good Jeep with some fairly standard issues. Just read up and search the forum prior to asking questions. Doing the work yourself will be so fun and rewarding. See if you have a local Jeep club in your area. Good luck!
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Old 10-28-2012, 11:33 AM   #14
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I had my front drive shaft rebuilt at a Napa for $140 about a month ago and it is the same shaft you have. A dealership is who sent me to them. I am not saying the guy you dealt with is a lying crook but I will say he is ignorant.

I think you got a good deal for the price. JMO
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Old 10-28-2012, 11:38 AM   #15
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I dont think Ive ever seen a gold TJ.I like it! Anyway just do some searching around.The TJ is very popular and I dont think there are any parts you cant find.As far as the repairs,again,search.Theres a procedure somewhere on the net that will show you how to go about doing whatever your going to repair.Good luck with her.
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Old 10-28-2012, 11:44 AM   #16
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It only has a little rust on the rear corner of the passenger side. It is bubbling up under the paint. The engine runs great. It came with a soft top and i got it for $4500.00.

Ohh yeah the guy was driving it 90miles a day and the gas was killing him and it has ......................... 206k miles.
If you offered that Rubicon here in Southern California for $4,500.00 there would be a bidding war. Consider yourself fortunate that you found a Rubicon for under 5K! When I bought mine in '03, dealerships charged a premium since there were only supposed to be 8,000 made. My Tomb Raider edition was supposed to be the last 1,000 of all the Rubicons. The Inca Gold Rubicon is one of the most rare of the '03s.
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Old 10-28-2012, 12:22 PM   #17
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4500 for a rubi holy flippin cow, I wish I coulda found that when I was looking, rubis around here go anywere from 10000 to upwards of 18000 depending on different things but 4500 is a great price hell that's what I paid for my stock 98 sport with a crappy d35 and 160000, even if u spend 5000 fixin it u could still sell it and make profit so if I was you I would keep it, but that's just my opinion
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Old 10-28-2012, 12:27 PM   #18
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jeez 4500 I paid 6500 for my 97 se. and around here it was a hello of a deal! where do you live? im moving.
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Old 10-28-2012, 02:16 PM   #19
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That is the centering ball and can be bought all over in the US.
Centering ball okay, I will look for that. Is there any part numbers for that at a Napa or other store that you know of? I will also need that round rubber cup with the metal plate that's in the picture. My friend that helps me work on the jeep and everything else said that the piece that the ball goes on that is welded on the shaft might have some wear also so a new ball might not be all that is needed and maybe I should get the whole thing replaced. I see some places have that whole end cut off at the shaft and say weld it on.



There is a guy I came across already that have rubicon shafts complete for $175.00 so I'm already doing way better than the dealer. My friend said that might be way to go since the shaft has 3 ujoints in it that cost about $20 each which would be $60 plus the price of the center ball and what every else need to rebuild it I might be better off just getting another shaft all together. What do y'all think?
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Old 10-28-2012, 02:35 PM   #20
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Lot of miles but sound like a lot of highway time. Your troubles sound pretty small for a 10 year old jeep. Rear axle seals are not expensive but you should also replace bearings while in there. Bearings are a bit spendy at $50 each mol. This repair is not hard but might not be for everyone from a tool perspective. It is about $250-$300 total at an independent shop including parts. Changing emergency brake shoes would be simple during the seal change since they are right there and I think must be removed to get axles out on Dana 45.
Shocks are easy if the bolts aren't all rusted up. Front driveshaft CV joint is simple to rebuild once it is off the jeep. Odds are you might need some front end components if these are originals. This would be some bushings and steering damper plus new brakes might be in order. All in all you are looking at less than $900 if you do most of the work yourself (assuming axle rebuild is left to professionals). $5500 for a Rubicon is still a good price.
yeah I'm going to do the bearings with the seals and the other two pieces that go with it.



I'm doing the emergency brake since it fell apart when my boy took it off. The brake pads were almost to the metal on one side so new pads are going in also. Even the lugs nuts with the covers were a problem so I'm gonna try and find some regular non shiny but strong lugs cuz they started to strip because some ass put them on like he was the HULK.

That front shaft is off and apart but I'm not sure if it's worth rebuilding if the piece that the ball goes onto is worn.
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Old 10-28-2012, 02:36 PM   #21
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Check out napaonline they have a good search engine. I found this with 30 seconds of looking. NAPA AUTO PARTS
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Old 10-28-2012, 02:37 PM   #22
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Lots of miles but good price! Your troubles are not that bad. Word of advise! Don't rush the jobs, research..research...research, use quality parts, and think it thru.
Thats my plan and I have been taking a lot of notes!
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Old 10-28-2012, 02:41 PM   #23
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Lots of good advice on here...IMO you did "okay" on the deal. And even if you have all the work done, and decide not to do it yourself, probably wouldn't be much over $2K...I would CONSIDER doing a lift while changing shocks and having axle rebuild. Than you would have a 10 year old Rubi lifted with a solid drivetrain, new shocks, and a lot of higway miles. And there is nothing wrong with getting that out the door for $7-$8K!! Be a very good deal IMO even with 200K on the clock.
Even though it might not be my daily driver I don't want it to be too much trouble to get in and out of. I like the height that it is at right now maybe I'm getting too old. I don't know what size the 245/75/16 would equal to maybe 31 or 32's but I think it looks moderately tough. I will see later when I get better bumpers on it if I need it lifted more.
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Old 10-28-2012, 02:43 PM   #24
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I had my front drive shaft rebuilt at a Napa for $140 about a month ago and it is the same shaft you have. A dealership is who sent me to them. I am not saying the guy you dealt with is a lying crook but I will say he is ignorant.

I think you got a good deal for the price. JMO
I know I have seen a NAPA store but I haven't been inside of it before. I will find it and check it out tomorrow. What pieces did they sell you?
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Old 10-28-2012, 02:46 PM   #25
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Get a shop manual for your year and read up on what your problems are. It will list all the tools needed for the job. Then you can decide if you are up to the repair.
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Old 10-28-2012, 03:04 PM   #26
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Check out napaonline they have a good search engine. I found this with 30 seconds of looking. NAPA AUTO PARTS

Okay thanks, the pics on this site aren't the best but I will go into the store and take a look at them. When I check the online search engine with the year, make and model of the Jepp this didn't come up but i'm sure I just didn't do it right. Thanks much, this is a good start.
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Old 10-29-2012, 12:01 AM   #27
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I know I have seen a NAPA store but I haven't been inside of it before. I will find it and check it out tomorrow. What pieces did they sell you?
It was yokes, u joints and they even balanced the shaft. That price was parts and labor.
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Old 10-29-2012, 12:48 AM   #28
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It was yokes, u joints and they even balanced the shaft. That price was parts and labor.
Ok so this wasn't the store but rather a NAPA repair center? And you just brought the axle to them and they did the whole job? Okay nice. Maybe that would be a better deal especially if they warranty it.
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Old 10-29-2012, 10:53 AM   #29
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Ok so this wasn't the store but rather a NAPA repair center? And you just brought the axle to them and they did the whole job? Okay nice. Maybe that would be a better deal especially if they warranty it.

I don't know how their franchise system is set up but it is a Napa Auto Parts that has a shop also. They do everything from lawn mowers to farm equipment. I pulled the drive shaft and took it to them.
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Old 12-30-2012, 02:41 PM   #30
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$4500 is a steal even with the high miles. I see Rubi's with the same mileage on Autotrader for $8 to 9K. I just put an offer on an 06 Rubi LJ for $14K today, and I doubt they will accept it. Bottom line is you should feel great about the price you got. Most of your issues can be fixed for a reasonable price especially if you are turning the wrenches.

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