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Old 12-28-2015, 11:19 AM
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I got into an accident this morning. Fortunately nobody was hurt. I got t-boned pulling out of a parking garage. Tore his front bumper off and created a wobble on my rear driver's tire. It looks to have impacted right smack in the middle of the tire.

So I have some questions I'm hoping you guys can help answer.
-is this likely a bent axle shaft?
-maybe bent wheel? Figure swapping sides will eliminate or confirm that
-how to diagnose?

Im going to pull the tire off and let it idle to see what I can figure out but thought you guys might have some other ideas and advice on what to look out for.

I also figure that since I'm going to have an insurance claim on it anyway I might as well upgrade while I'm back there.
-upgraded shafts?
-locker?
-suggestions?

It's a Dana 44 factory (as far as I know PO did no upgrades). 4" suspension lift with 35's. Wheels are Fuel Hostage.

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Old 12-28-2015, 11:56 AM   #2
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Check all your rear control arm and rear track bar mounts (frame and axle ends). Also shocks. Depending on how hard the hit was, it could have cracked welds, bent brackets, or torn them off.

As far as your tire impact, it may have just bent the rim. Can you throw a spare on there?

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Old 12-28-2015, 12:11 PM   #3
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You don't diagnose it. Take it to a shop and let the pro's look at it. They know where to look for hidden damage. Any side hit could bend the frame. Get it done right, that's what insurance is for.
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Old 12-28-2015, 01:09 PM   #4
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You don't diagnose it. Take it to a shop and let the pro's look at it.
When I did that following a skid into a curb, the "pro's" completely missed a bent axle shaft and a cracked axle track bar mount. All they were able to see was two broken wheels.

When I discovered the bent flange, the insurance company did pony up for a new axle shaft. I bought two chromoly shafts and still had over half the money left in my pocket.
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Old 12-28-2015, 01:25 PM
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Originally Posted by tangofox007 View Post
When I did that following a skid into a curb, the "pro's" completely missed a bent axle shaft and a cracked axle track bar mount. All they were able to see was two broken wheels.

When I discovered the bent flange, the insurance company did pony up for a new axle shaft. I bought two chromoly shafts and still had over half the money left in my pocket.
I'm guessing you still had wobbling after the body shop replaced the wheels only? Is that how you knew you had a bent shaft as well?

What did you do for the cracked track bar mount?
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Old 12-28-2015, 01:26 PM   #6
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Take a measuring tape and make common sense measurements of the frame to see if it is square and not torqued. Let the insurance evaluation be made and see if their findings jibe with yours.
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Old 12-28-2015, 03:42 PM
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Take a measuring tape and make common sense measurements of the frame to see if it is square and not torqued. Let the insurance evaluation be made and see if their findings jibe with yours.
Good idea. I'll do some measuring when I go back out there.

I'm not sure at this point that I will be filing the insurance claim, since I don't owe a deductible for his damage and would only have to pay deducitble if I filed to get my rig fixed as well. At this point, i don't think it is worth it.
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Old 12-28-2015, 03:50 PM
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Check all your rear control arm and rear track bar mounts (frame and axle ends). Also shocks. Depending on how hard the hit was, it could have cracked welds, bent brackets, or torn them off.

As far as your tire impact, it may have just bent the rim. Can you throw a spare on there?
There looks like a possible hairline crack along the rear control arm mount at the frame, but it is honestly hard to tell if it is from the accident or just a standard imperfection. I'll ask the guys at the body shop what they think. Nothing appears to be out of place.

I didn't even bother throwing the spare on there, because once I took the tire off it was clear the axle shaft bent out of place. I've got a spare though in case replacing the shaft doesn't fully resolve the wobble. I'd have to have to replace that stupid tire.
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Old 12-28-2015, 03:52 PM
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So as noted above, I'm not sure I will be filing an insurance claim on this.

I took the wheel off and let it run with the back end jacked up--the shaft is CLEARLY out of shape. I've seen some of these videos that other people have posted and it is comical how little theirs is out of rotation compared to mine. Had a heckuva time getting the drum back on, which I guess is due to some warpage.

I'll probably drive it over to the body shop corridor of town (there's like 10 all right in a row) and see if one of them will look it over for any hidden damage for a small fee.

If that all checks out I'll just upgrade the shafts and hope that fixes the wobble.

Looking at Ten Factory chromoly shafts. Has anyone used this and want to offer up some feedback? Or other suggestions?

Appreciate all your help.
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Old 12-28-2015, 04:01 PM   #10
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If you were t-boned, and you had the legal right-of-way, Virginia is a contributory negligence state, so as long as you were in no measurable way whatsoever at fault, and the other party was at fault, then they are liable for your damages. You need to contact both your insurance company and their insurance company to file claims. Both yours and their insurance companies will assign adjusters, and depending on the circumstances, their insurance adjuster will either accept fault and begin processing your property damage claim, deny fault, or delay and investigate further. If fault was clear, hopefully their insurance just does the right thing. If that is the case, your Jeep should go in to a shop to get assessed for damage (especially frame damage), and you would be entitled to a rental car and repair/total loss of the vehicle to be covered under the other parties property damage liability policy (up to their limits anyways)....

If they deny fault or delay, you can proceed with the claim through your insurance (if you have collision coverage), and get your Jeep fixed and a rental (if you have that coverage). You would have to pay your deductible, but if the other insurance company finally admits fault (or you sue and win a judgement against the other driver), then your deductible should be returned to you once your insurance company has been compensated for the money they spend to fix your car...
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Old 12-28-2015, 04:03 PM
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If you were t-boned, and you had the legal right-of-way, Virginia is a contributory negligence state, so as long as you were in no measurable way whatsoever at fault, and the other party was at fault, then they are liable for your damages. You need to contact both your insurance company and their insurance company to file claims. Both yours and their insurance companies will assign adjusters, and depending on the circumstances, their insurance adjuster will either accept fault and begin processing your property damage claim, deny fault, or delay and investigate further. If fault was clear, hopefully their insurance just does the right thing. If that is the case, your Jeep should go in to a shop to get assessed for damage (especially frame damage), and you would be entitled to a rental car and repair/total loss of the vehicle to be covered under the other parties property damage liability policy (up to their limits anyways)....

If they deny fault or delay, you can proceed with the claim through your insurance (if you have collision coverage), and get your Jeep fixed and a rental (if you have that coverage). You would have to pay your deductible, but if the other insurance company finally admits fault (or you sue and win a judgement against the other driver), then your deductible should be returned to you once your insurance company has been compensated for the money they spend to fix your car...

Appreciate the sentiment and advice, but I'd prefer not to discuss the insurance issue on public forum at this point, especially with regards to who was at fault. As it currently stands, I will not be filing an insurance claim.
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Old 12-28-2015, 04:04 PM   #12
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By the way, you really should take it to a place that knows what they are looking at and what structural damage looks like in an old Jeep. Overland 4x4 in Alexandria is the only such place I have seen anywhere in this area that is both capable and not sketchy like most auto-body shops...
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Old 12-28-2015, 04:10 PM
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By the way, you really should take it to a place that knows what they are looking at and what structural damage looks like in an old Jeep. Overland 4x4 in Alexandria is the only such place I have seen anywhere in this area that is both capable and not sketchy like most auto-body shops...
Appreciate that. I was just going to take it to one of those shops on 4 Mile Run in Arlington, but yeah you're right--I never have a good feeling about any of those. They are decent for standard body damage but I'd prefer somebody a bit more experienced with this issue. Looks like Overland is open till 6 tonight so that's where I'll be heading.
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Old 12-28-2015, 04:13 PM   #14
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Appreciate the sentiment and advice, but I'd prefer not to discuss the insurance issue on public forum at this point, especially with regards to who was at fault. As it currently stands, I will not be filing an insurance claim.

I understand. I am sure you did report the accident to your insurance, but just an FYI, failure to report an accident to your insurance (regardless of if you were or were not at fault) could cause you a lot of problems if there was any real damage and the other driver pops back up down the road claiming damages (property or personal injury), and you could be denied portions of your coverage and get left very exposed depending on how your policy is written. If there were any injuries at the scene, there could be criminal/legal consequences as well...
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Old 12-28-2015, 05:53 PM   #15
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I'm guessing you still had wobbling after the body shop replaced the wheels only? Is that how you knew you had a bent shaft as well?
What I initially noticed was a rhythmic rubbing sound when driving slowly. That prompted me to measure the axial runout at the flange, which amounted to about .050 in.

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What did you do for the cracked track bar mount?
I had it welded at a steel fabrication shop.
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Old 12-28-2015, 08:18 PM
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What I initially noticed was a rhythmic rubbing sound when driving slowly. That prompted me to measure the axial runout at the flange, which amounted to about .050 in.



I had it welded at a steel fabrication shop.
Cool. What shafts did you end up going with?
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Old 12-28-2015, 08:50 PM   #17
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Had a heckuva time getting the drum back on, which I guess is due to some warpage.
If you have drum brakes, I'm pretty aure you have a D35 rear axle.
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Old 12-28-2015, 09:11 PM   #18
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If you have drum brakes, I'm pretty aure you have a D35 rear axle.
On some models, drum brakes were standard equipment with the Dana 44 axle.

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Cool. What shafts did you end up going with?
Alloy USA. Which were manufactured a long way from the USA.
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Old 12-28-2015, 09:23 PM   #19
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My 1998 came from factory with D44 and rear drums

D44 was optional on sport starting in 1998

D44 rear with disc brakes was standard on LJ/unlimited and Rubi
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Old 12-28-2015, 10:38 PM
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Alloy USA. Which were manufactured a long way from the USA.
Nice. Are you happy with them? Do you have any recommendation on them or the TEN Factory ones?
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Old 12-28-2015, 10:39 PM
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If you have drum brakes, I'm pretty aure you have a D35 rear axle.
That is not correct, as mentioned. It is for sure a Dana 44
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Old 12-28-2015, 11:11 PM   #22
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Nice. Are you happy with them? Do you have any recommendation on them or the TEN Factory ones?
Aside from the fact that they fit, there is not much info I can provide one way or the other. They are pretty much out of sight once they are installed. And I have not done a lot to really put them to the test. If there is something to be unhappy about, I have not uncovered it yet.
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Old 01-06-2016, 05:08 PM
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So the shop and insurance adjuster met up and the total cost to repair is $4100 or so. The guy told me it needs a new "rear differential" which is what I would have called an axle assembly, and that the frame and welds look good. Also a new tire and some work on the wheel (I will probably just make this one my spare and run the current spare with the other 3 until I have to replace them all).

I am wondering though: for $4100 I could upgrade to a nice axle, with 4.88 gears (currently have 3.73), chromoly shafts, disc brakes, and a locker....and still have money to spare (like to pay my deductible! )

G2 Axle & Gear D44TJA373D - G2 Axle & Gear Rear 30 Spline Dana 44 Assembly with Disc Brakes & ARB Air Locker for 97-06 Jeep® Wrangler TJ & Unlimited - Quadratec


This is the one that I like. What do you guys think? I would pull my front drive shaft for the time being until I upgraded the front to 4.88 as well.

Am I missing something?
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Old 01-06-2016, 05:28 PM   #24
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I would pull my front drive shaft for the time being until I upgraded the front to 4.88 as well.
Just in case you cannot remember not to engage 4WD?

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The guy told me it needs a new "rear differential"...
Does it really?
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Old 01-06-2016, 05:37 PM
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Just in case you cannot remember not to engage 4WD?
I probably can, but can my wife?!?!?!



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Does it really?
*shrugs* it at least needs a new axle shaft. The gears inside the pumpkin probably took a beating too from the impact. Insurance is paying for it, and I would prefer to just replace the whole thing and sell the leftovers.

What do you think?
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Old 01-10-2016, 02:35 PM
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So I decided just to fix what I've got and not upgrade. Those extra funds can be put to better use elsewhere.

When I pulled the old axle shaft it was in rough shape (as expected). The bearings were busted all to hell and the mounting bracket bent. The shaft itself looked straight though. *shrugs*.

I sourced a replacement one but I couldn't get it to slide in. It was very tough and even though the spline end was catching the R&P gears (I could move the drive shaft from the axle end), it wouldn't go in the last 2 inches or so. I drained the differntial and opened it up to see if I could see anything.

All the internals looked good from what I could see, but this piece below fell out. There doesn't seem to be an obvious broke piece inside there. Does anyone know where this thing could have came from? Does this likely mean my R&P is shot as well? If so I will probably just put the new axle assembly insurance bought on.

Thoughts?
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Old 01-10-2016, 04:44 PM   #27
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Looks like part of the shim that goes behind one of the spiders. You need to disassemble that differential and check damage.

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