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 A troubled front axle U joint repair...

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ccoppola
Straight off the lot
Straight off the lot
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Number of posts : 12
Location : San Antonio
Rig : '07 JK Unlimited X
specs. : 4" lift, 35" tires, rails
Registration date : 2009-03-29

PostSubject: A troubled front axle U joint repair...   Wed 06 May 2009, 10:16 pm

Hi,

I fixed my front axle U-joint, and as the joke goes, the operation went well, but the patient didn't make it...

Last weekend at Wheelers for the Wounded, I lost one of my U-joint caps on the drivers front axle. I noticed a swishing sound and I thought that water had gotten into the tire when I popped a bead in a water hole.

At the end of ride pile-up pick luckilly someone noticed the missing cap. I pulled off the wheel, pounded out the remaining cap, and pulled the short shaft from the front axle and drove home in rear wheel drive without trouble. I had stuffed a rag in the axle tube to keep water and dirt out and fluid in.

The 07 JK unlimited X front Dana 30 axle uses a u-joint that 4wheelparts told me was a dealer-only item, which surprised me, but I was able to get one from Lonestar.

(mistake 1: using the hi-lift to lift both front wheels) luckilly it slipped when the wheel was still on, but with a pad to prevent slipping, I got the stands under and the wheel up.

(mistake 2: not loosening the lug nuts enough) with the short shaft missing, the lugs have to be really loose when the wheel is up because it just spins freely on the bearing. Got it back down, got the lugs really loose, and got it back up.



Got the wheel off



Caliper and disc/rotor off
the caliper is held onto the knuckle by two bolts, hex head, bout 17mm



Wheel bearing off the knuckle
takes three 12-point nuts, 13mm
need to free up the line for the ABS, and disconnect from the socket behind the shock/frame



looking down the axle tube: the seals are sitting in there (2) with a little water and mud3

(realized third mistake: should have pulled out seals when I pulled the short saft. lucklilly they hadn't fallen into the diff on the 200 mi since)
pulled them out, cleaned them, and put back on short shaft



Wheel bearing, stub shaft, and brake dust shield, with ABS wire



pushing out u joint caps (remove the snap rings: black 3/4 circles inside yoke)



removing u joint after caps are off



Installing new u joint:
remove the caps, make sure the pin bearings don't fall out!!
also, it is good to throw a nice globe of grease in the middle of the cap to keep the pins from moving as you slide them into the yoke.
the snap rings came in a separate bag, but if yours are on, first snap them off with a punch or screwdriver.
the ujoint goes in to the yoke of the stub shaft, one head at a time, then the caps come in from the outside.
I sprayed in some wd 40 and cleaned the yoke well and they slid pretty easily.
squeeze them in with the c-clamp (mine is 6 inches: the c-clamp that is) and an that size worked well. since my big socket is a deep socket, I had to open it fully to fit the socket and the yoke.
once in, snap in the snap rings.
if they don't snap, it might mean some pins fell in the way, and start over.



next, repeat for the two ears of the yoke for the short shaft (which by the way is longer than the stub shaft. go figure. Maybe it should be the middle shaft.)



(mistake 4 in hind sight, I realized that adding grease to the splined inner end of the short shaft didn't make sense: it's going into the diff which lives in royal purple fluid. Might have to change that fluid, which is a good idea since a few ounces of the "wet and wild" trail at Hidden falls is probably in there too)



shaft inserted through knuckle into axle tube
three 13mm 12 point bolts hold knuckle and bearing together
replaced rotor/disk onto wheel bearing, caliper put back on and bolted in with two bolts

(BIG mistake #5 ???? I must have cracked or fussed up the pads or calipers when I did this, as I found out later...)



So I got the wheel back on, lowered the jeep, and went for a ride. Everything felt beautiful.
Put it in 4H, then 4L, everything felt beautiful and front wheels were pulling well, and chirping on sharp turns like they should when it is in 4wheel drive.

The next morning, halfway on the trip to drop off my son at school, got a squeek, and thunk, and a wobble in the driver's front wheel. When I ride the brake, it goes away. At a higher speed, it wobbles that tire something ugly.

I'm almost sure that I have messed up the break pads or broke the caliper. Maybe it's the rotor, I don't know, but I droped it off at the shop today and I'll know soon!

Have fun!

C
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ccoppola
Straight off the lot
Straight off the lot
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Number of posts : 12
Location : San Antonio
Rig : '07 JK Unlimited X
specs. : 4" lift, 35" tires, rails
Registration date : 2009-03-29

PostSubject: Re: A troubled front axle U joint repair...   Wed 06 May 2009, 10:33 pm

Here's the pics if you can't see them above:

http://s613.photobucket.com/albums/tt212/ccoppola/fixing%20axle%20u%20joint/
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redneckhouston
#1 asshole
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Number of posts : 1161
Location : hempstead, tx
Rig : 08 jk unlimited
specs. : 26" spinners, curb feelers, and 6 15 in woofers
Registration date : 2008-02-07

PostSubject: Re: A troubled front axle U joint repair...   Wed 06 May 2009, 10:44 pm

after reading this........you sir are an idiot........

please i beg of every one on this board do NOT follow these directions

chris, from now on, take your heep to someone who knows what they are doing...you really should NOT be working on anything that has the potential to harm another human being when you put it together wrong

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redneckhouston
#1 asshole
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Number of posts : 1161
Location : hempstead, tx
Rig : 08 jk unlimited
specs. : 26" spinners, curb feelers, and 6 15 in woofers
Registration date : 2008-02-07

PostSubject: Re: A troubled front axle U joint repair...   Wed 06 May 2009, 11:07 pm

i'm going to point out what you did wrong.........in red, with explinations


ccoppola wrote:
Hi,

I fixed my front axle U-joint, and as the joke goes, the operation went well, but the patient didn't make it...

Last weekend at Wheelers for the Wounded, I lost one of my U-joint caps on the drivers front axle. I noticed a swishing sound and I thought that water had gotten into the tire when I popped a bead in a water hole.

At the end of ride pile-up pick luckilly someone noticed the missing cap. I pulled off the wheel, pounded out the remaining cap, and pulled the short shaft from the front axle and drove home in rear wheel drive without trouble. I had stuffed a rag in the axle tube to keep water and dirt out and fluid in.

The 07 JK unlimited X front Dana 30 axle uses a u-joint that 4wheelparts told me was a dealer-only item, which surprised me, but I was able to get one from Lonestar.

(mistake 1: using the hi-lift to lift both front wheels) luckilly it slipped when the wheel was still on, but with a pad to prevent slipping, I got the stands under and the wheel up.<-------hi-lifts are for emergency trail use, use a floor jack or your stock jack with a stack of plywood under it

(mistake 2: not loosening the lug nuts enough) with the short shaft missing, the lugs have to be really loose when the wheel is up because it just spins freely on the bearing. Got it back down, got the lugs really loose, and got it back up.



Got the wheel off


Caliper and disc/rotor off
the caliper is held onto the knuckle by two bolts, hex head, bout 17mm<------try 21mm

remove 36mm nut from end of axle shaft

Wheel bearing off the knuckle
takes three 12-point nuts, 13mm <---------13mm bolts
need to free up the line for the ABS, and disconnect from the socket behind the shock/frame<-----no need, bearing will slide off of shaft and out of knuckle, set bearing on tie rod end.....do not disconect abs sesors in any way


looking down the axle tube: the seals are sitting in there (2) with a little water and mud3<------those are guides, there to help you put the axle back in with out damaging the seal.........make sure they are fished out, then throw them away

(realized third mistake: should have pulled out seals when I pulled the short saft. lucklilly they hadn't fallen into the diff on the 200 mi since)
pulled them out, cleaned them, and put back on short shaft



Wheel bearing, stub shaft, and brake dust shield, with ABS wire


pushing out u joint caps (remove the snap rings: black 3/4 circles inside yoke)


removing u joint after caps are off<--------all of this is much easier without the wheel bearing attached



Installing new u joint:
remove the caps, make sure the pin bearings don't fall out!!
also, it is good to throw a nice globe of grease in the middle of the cap to keep the pins from moving as you slide them into the yoke.
the snap rings came in a separate bag, but if yours are on, first snap them off with a punch or screwdriver.
the ujoint goes in to the yoke of the stub shaft, one head at a time, then the caps come in from the outside.
I sprayed in some wd 40 and cleaned the yoke well and they slid pretty easily.
squeeze them in with the c-clamp (mine is 6 inches: the c-clamp that is) and an that size worked well. since my big socket is a deep socket, I had to open it fully to fit the socket and the yoke.
once in, snap in the snap rings.
if they don't snap, it might mean some pins fell in the way, and start over.


next, repeat for the two ears of the yoke for the short shaft (which by the way is longer than the stub shaft. go figure. Maybe it should be the middle shaft.)


(mistake 4 in hind sight, I realized that adding grease to the splined inner end of the short shaft didn't make sense: it's going into the diff which lives in royal purple fluid. Might have to change that fluid, which is a good idea since a few ounces of the "wet and wild" trail at Hidden falls is probably in there too)



shaft inserted through knuckle into axle tube
three 13mm 12 point bolts hold knuckle and bearing together
replaced rotor/disk onto wheel bearing, caliper put back on and bolted in with two bolts

(BIG mistake #5 ???? I must have cracked or fussed up the pads or calipers when I did this, as I found out later...)



So I got the wheel back on, lowered the jeep, and went for a ride. Everything felt beautiful.
Put it in 4H, then 4L, everything felt beautiful and front wheels were pulling well, and chirping on sharp turns like they should when it is in 4wheel drive.

The next morning, halfway on the trip to drop off my son at school, got a squeek, and thunk, and a wobble in the driver's front wheel. When I ride the brake, it goes away. At a higher speed, it wobbles that tire something ugly.

I'm almost sure that I have messed up the break pads or broke the caliper. Maybe it's the rotor, I don't know, but I droped it off at the shop today and I'll know soon!

Have fun!

C


I would bet money , that you dident get the wheel bearing seated correctly in the knuckle as it is virtually impossible to do with the axle and bearing assembled together, next time slide the shaft in all the way, then slide the bearing on the shaft and into the knuckle, then tap the bearing in to fully seat it

sorry to be such an ass but your tech is bad and you presented it as a write up on how to do this job....sometimes i just gotta be a dick

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ccoppola
Straight off the lot
Straight off the lot
avatar

Number of posts : 12
Location : San Antonio
Rig : '07 JK Unlimited X
specs. : 4" lift, 35" tires, rails
Registration date : 2009-03-29

PostSubject: Re: A troubled front axle U joint repair...   Wed 06 May 2009, 11:39 pm

Yeah, I realized it went wrong by the results, and with your notes I understand a little better where it went wrong.

Also, where is the "how not to do tech" section? I've done my best to label this as a project with a bad outcome, but I couldn't find a better section for it on the forum. I still think it is worth sharing the experience, because it might help someone else learn the easy way. In the military we have after action reports, and in medicine, morbidity and mortality conference. These help make the mistakes of the individual contribute to the experience of the whole. It might make for a good section on the forum.

Would love to see a write up on how to do this right. I've searched for one. Anyone out there should consider this an invitation.

Chris
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PostSubject: Re: A troubled front axle U joint repair...   Wed 06 May 2009, 11:58 pm

I'm not sure I could do a write up. I've only had my dana 30 apart about 30 times,spit more u-joint cap than I can count, broke 7 axles, one carrier, one ring and pinion, one wheel bearing, tore off the pan hard bar, set of ball joints and done trail axle changes about 4 times. Finally got rid of the piece of junk.................Don't think I'm qualified.....................some stories are better untold.









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ccoppola
Straight off the lot
Straight off the lot
avatar

Number of posts : 12
Location : San Antonio
Rig : '07 JK Unlimited X
specs. : 4" lift, 35" tires, rails
Registration date : 2009-03-29

PostSubject: Re: A troubled front axle U joint repair...   Thu 07 May 2009, 10:43 pm

Well, here's what the mechanic said (at the dealer) the axle, wheel and caliper were done right, but the LUGNUTS WERE LOOSE. Ugh, now I feel dumb. I guess when I finished at midnight, I was in such a rush to give the 4WD a test drive that I didn't get them on tight enough! As stupid as I feel, it's a relief it wasn't something worse.
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ccoppola
Straight off the lot
Straight off the lot
avatar

Number of posts : 12
Location : San Antonio
Rig : '07 JK Unlimited X
specs. : 4" lift, 35" tires, rails
Registration date : 2009-03-29

PostSubject: Re: A troubled front axle U joint repair...   Thu 07 May 2009, 10:45 pm

Oh and yes, Paul08, when money allows, I definitely think the D30 has to go.
C
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