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Thread: front driveshaft u-joints

  1. #1
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    Default front driveshaft u-joints

    So, my front drive shaft u joint appears to have a crack in it.. Looking while installed on vehicle

    I drive a 2004 TJ rubicon with an AEV tummy tuck only..

    1. how difficult to replace the u joints in the drive shaft?
    2. should I replace all three u joints since i have it out and buy the greasable joints?
    3. Recommendations for U-joints?
    4. should my drive shaft be o.k. to run as is?
    5. since the front is a CV shaft and I installed the tummy tuck (essentially, 1.5" of lift) should the front have adjustable uppers to accomodate the new angle on the differential?
    6. Also wondering on the rear drive shaft, the two pinions should be level with the ground because it is not the CV type right? If so, why should the rear axel be tilted up with RUCA to reduce vibs?

    Any help would be great...
    Last edited by pyrannah; 09-02-2010 at 11:10 PM.
    01 BLACK XJ WITH 3" LIFT
    04 WHITE RUBICON O" LIFT (FOR NOW)

  2. #2
    Registered Chris142's Avatar
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    Default

    I have greasables ones in my front shaft and they are a pain to grease. Gotta support the trans, pull the skid plate down, unbolt the driveshaft from the transfercase then I can get to the zerks.



  3. #3
    www.stu-offroad.com Stu Olson's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by pyrannah View Post
    So, my front drive shaft u joint appears to have a crack in it.. Looking while installed on vehicle

    I drive a 2004 TJ rubicon with an AEV tummy tuck only..

    1. how difficult to replace the u joints in the drive shaft?
    Here is a write-up on replacing the front drive shaft u-joints.

    Other drive shaft and u-joints info can be found at..... http://www.stu-offroad.com/axle.asp
    Stu's '98TJ Sahara
    ARB Locked & Loaded
    www.stu-offroad.com

  4. #4
    Registered billdacat's Avatar
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    Icon314 Da Joint

    The OEM joints on later model Rubi’s utilized injected plastic to hold the joint into the yoke. If you don’t have any clips holding the joint, then you will have melt out this plastic. Best to hit each cap with a MAPP torch and watch the plastic worms crawl out. It's sort of cool...:w_

    BTW: Do yourself a big favor and coat the skid-plate bolt threads with anti-size.
    Last edited by billdacat; 09-03-2010 at 08:37 AM.
    :nerd: They call it PMS because the term "Mad Cow" was already taken.
    2006 Rubicon...W/ AtoZ Fabrication rear bumper, 4" on 33's. ; When my wonderful wife lets me drive it.
    2004 TJ D44- 2" on 33's MTR's
    AtoZ Fabrication rockers and rear bumper. MM Hydraulic Winch, CB and GPS, MML, 1" BL 33 Engineering TT. JB Conversion's SS-SYE and a Woody DS. NOVAK TC shifter.

  5. #5
    Registered F9K9's Avatar
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    I am running the same set up on an '03 Rubi with an AEV/Nth TT and you don't need to pull the TT to get the ds out. You can access the the bolts through the inspection hole with a 8mm ratcheting box end wrench like a Craftsman and using a second wrench as a "cheater" bar. Unhook the DS at the axle and you can turn it to access each bolt. Put the transfer case in 4WD when you need the ds to not move. You can also reach a second hand from the rear of the TT to help guide the bolts back in. I know this because I have been chasing a drive line noise for 3 months and have had the shaft(s) out many times. I can do it now in something like 15-20 minutes total time. If, it wasn't for your locker pump's location you can reach in from the front and do 2 bolts, turn the shaft 180° and get the other two.

    With all due respect to Stu, I will never rebuild another Rubi front DS. Between the costs of good Ujoints and the centering ball unit (Precision #617), you'll have well over $100 in parts. Melting the plastic crap on the front Ujoint that retains the caps is a major PITA! I dickered with the parts manager at my local dealership and could have bought a new one for $175 but, upgraded to a custom ds from Coast for $300 instead. A non Rubi TJ front DS is a different story and I would probably rebuild one since that plastic crap isn't used.

    If you decide to try it, propane will work to melt it but, it takes awhile. I have been told that a map(sp?) torch is much better.

    "For those who have fought for it, FREEDOM has a taste that the protected will never know."

    '03 Rubi with a bumper sticker

  6. #6
    Geezer Jeeper Jerry Bransford's Avatar
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    Default

    For the above reasons, I am thankful my Rubicon doesn't have the factory driveshafts front or rear. Now if I could just figure out the exact 1330 u-joint the previous owner used I'd be golden... since I learned there are at least two 1330 u-joints that are slightly different from each other where the bearing cap size or dimensions between them is slightly different.

    I agree also with the above recommendation to go with a sealed u-joint. I used to have greasable u-joints on my driveshafts and they were a royal PITA to keep greased. The only real reason to run greasable u-joints is if you regularly do deep soupy mud... or if you are running CTMs on your axle shafts.
    See the Geezer Jeep http://www.greentractortalk.com/jerryb/index.htm
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