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Old 07-01-2019, 08:45 AM
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Installing JL axles onto a JK (help needed)

Hello,

A little backstory. I bought a 2016 JKU Sport with a damaged rear end side, which required a new rear axle, side fenders, etc. I found used front and rear axles from a 2017 JK Rubicon, so I placed an order, but what I got sent was a set of nearly new JL 3.73 axles. I am not entirely sure which JL model they came off of, but any guidance how to identify that would be appreciated.

At first I didn't know that the axles I got shipped were indeed JL axles. I started swapping the axles, front went on without any issues, I had to readjust front trackbar, because JL axles are much wider, but overall I had no issues.

Now, I go to install the rear axle, I ran into a number of issues:

1. Bottom of the shock mount bracket angle is facing out (JL shocks are mounted on the outside of the frame). I had to cut the brackets off and re-weld with a correct angle.

2. The front steering draglink end that connects to the steering box leg (sorry not sure what they are called) is a little too thick. Can I just replace JK's steering box leg with JL's one?

3. Rear driveshaft end that connects to the axle does not fit, the holes on the axle end are a little too narrow. That's where I am stuck at right now.

What options do I have? Could I get an aftermarket rear driveshaft with JK compatible transfer-case end joint and the JL-compatible axle end?

I am not sure what to search for actually. Do people know what's changed in terms of axle and driveshaft mounts JK vs JL? What are JK and JL mount dimensions?

I would greatly appreciate any help. I will post some pictures in a moment.

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Old 07-01-2019, 11:06 AM   #2
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to the Forum..

My suggestion would be to take your Wrangler to a very experienced 4X4 shop, that has the tooliing and welders to retro fit the axle assemblies. You are spending a lot of money, so the install needs to be professionally done..IMO

The other option would be, return them to your Jeep Dealer and have them order the correct axle assemblies. This is what I would do....
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Old 07-01-2019, 11:30 AM   #3
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yup contact some one like adams driveshafts and have them make a custom ds.
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Old 07-01-2019, 12:22 PM   #4
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2) The "leg" you refer to is the pitman arm, and I don't know if the JL one will fit on the JK steering box. Finding out should be straightforward.

3) If you are going to wheel the thing, keep the axles and make them work. Having driveshaft made to match the JL flange (or yoke, I'm not sure) is pretty straightforward. The stock JK driveshaft is both large and weak, so not worth keeping.

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Old 07-01-2019, 01:10 PM
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to the Forum..

My suggestion would be to take your Wrangler to a very experienced 4X4 shop, that has the tooliing and welders to retro fit the axle assemblies. You are spending a lot of money, so the install needs to be professionally done..IMO

The other option would be, return them to your Jeep Dealer and have them order the correct axle assemblies. This is what I would do....
I got a friend, who is experienced in welding, etc, to move rear shocks bottom bracket at the right angle and weld it in. He's done a really good job there.

I bought the axle from a used parts shop, returning would be quite painful, as I had started mounting the axles. Both axles are on the Jeep and by having rear driveshaft disconnected, I had my first slow JK ride.
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Old 07-01-2019, 02:09 PM   #6
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If you paid for Rubicon axles make sure that you got Rubicon axles. You should have lockers and a sway bar disco, I'm thinking. I also think the autos are getting 3.73 gears standard now, other folks here would know for sure.
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Old 07-01-2019, 02:18 PM
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If you paid for Rubicon axles make sure that you got Rubicon axles. You should have lockers and a sway bar disco, I'm thinking. I also think the autos are getting 3.73 gears standard now, other folks here would know for sure.
I thought I was gonna get JK rubicon axles, but then I am not sure actually. I know for sure that I was supposed to be getting JK axles with 4.10 gears. But instead I got JL axles with 3.73 gears. However those axles came with every single bolt, control arms, sway bars, brake discs, brake calipers, lines, sensors and so on.

I paid around $3600 USD for both, which I think is a bargain, so I am kinda happy. As suggested by other members, I should swap my JK's stock driveshafts anyway.
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Old 07-01-2019, 03:00 PM   #8
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How'd you handle the front axle disconnect on the JL axle? did you bypass it?
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Old 07-01-2019, 03:09 PM
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How'd you handle the front axle disconnect on the JL axle? did you bypass it?
Yeah, I have not connected the disconnect box yet, not sure how I could connect it? Could I just use a simple switch?
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Old 07-01-2019, 03:47 PM
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It seems that the axles I got are off a Sahara JL, because I have an e-locker on the front axle and I've got heavy duty brakes on both axles, the latter is only available on Sahara or Rubicon.
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Old 07-01-2019, 05:29 PM   #11
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The front swaybar disconnect on a Rubicon (JK and JL) is not in the axle, but the swaybar itself.

If you have Sahara axles are you sure they are 3.73? The JL has 3.45 diff ratio in all but the Rubicon which come with 4.10s.
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Old 07-01-2019, 07:29 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rgreen65 View Post
The front swaybar disconnect on a Rubicon (JK and JL) is not in the axle, but the swaybar itself.

If you have Sahara axles are you sure they are 3.73? The JL has 3.45 diff ratio in all but the Rubicon which come with 4.10s.
he is not talking about the swaybar disconnect. The JL has the FAD front axle disconnect to improve mpg.
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Old 07-01-2019, 08:50 PM   #13
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If you have a front e locker that a front JL Rubicon housing. Saharaís donít have E lockers. If the rear housing you got doesnít have an E locker, you donít have a gear match. Or a matched axle set.


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Old 07-01-2019, 08:57 PM   #14
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This sounds like a job that can easily turn into a very costly disaster area. JK and JL axles are not quite the same.... as of course you have already found out.


You need a highly skilled welder who can be pretty precise otherwise you could end up with a jeep that's better at going around in circles than a straight line.


I would be more inclined to return them and get the proper parts rather than trying to break a few pieces off to make them fit. If you'r going to spend this kind of time and money... then better off doing it right the first time.
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Old 07-01-2019, 09:09 PM   #15
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I’m sure one of the issues is the op is in Lithuania so not as easy to return
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Old 07-01-2019, 11:35 PM   #16
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Iím sure one of the issues is the op is in Lithuania so not as easy to return

Good point! Sometimes we take these things for such granted as it comes so easy on this side of the world.

It probably costs a fortune both in time and money to ship a return from Lithuania.
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Old 07-02-2019, 01:37 AM
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I appreciate your feedback and I totally agree that returning the axles would be best, however since I've already cut the rear shock mounting brackets, etc, I don't think a return would be feasible. I bought the axles from another European country, so that's not a problem.

Another interesting observation is that Wrangler scene in Europe is pretty poor actually, compared to the US.

Anyway, I've got to deal with this now and knowing what I know now and the small issue I've had with swapping JK axles for JL ones, the situation isn't that bad.

I took another look at the axles' gear ratio, I checked both axles again by spinning one wheel 10 times, I counted driveshaft spin approx 18.8 times, which is 18.8x2 / 10 = 3.76 (3.73) gear ratio. Unless I am doing something fundamentally wrong?

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