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Thread: Busted front axle

  1. #1
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    Default Busted front axle



    OK. Finally ready to talk about it...

    Went with the group to the Gulches in April and took a friend Shawn to ride along as I was trying to talk him into buying a 4Runner and wanted to show him that with a 4x4 he could see parts of Colorado that most don't get a chance to see.

    We met a group north of Woodland Park at a set of GPS coordinates. We were the first ones there and while waiting, a black JK pulls up behind us and the owner hops out to introduce himself. Turns out he's my next door neighbor (like right next door) named Marcus. This is a coincidence that turned out to be important later in the day. We were later joined by a few more rigs.

    Great trip down to the river and a mile or two from the trail head I hit an exposed root at low speed and... BAM! Busted axle tube. Note that if you have a JK both the D30 and D44 have the same weak tubes. If you do image searches, you'll see many breaks in the same place as mine. As some insurance do the Nitro hammer-in sleeves using the dry ice method.

    We improvised a trail fix with ratchet straps and were were able to drive back to the trail head. I had a come-along in the back of the Jeep that we were able to use to pull it together even better to drive back closer to civilization (no cell service). Marcus, my neighbor, volunteered to drive with us back to the fire station we saw on the way in.

    At the fire station, the chief was there and let me in. I used their land line and made some calls and found a uhaul+trailer in Colorado Springs while Marcus grilled some sausages on his trail grill. Left the Jeep at the fire station and Marcus drove us down to the Springs to get the UHaul. We made it there by 4:45 and they closed at 5pm. Back to the fire station and had the Jeep loaded before dark. Unfortunately, took a wrong turn and had to turn a UHaul+trailer around on a gravel road at dusk (I don't know how to back up with a trailer so this was a mess). Made it home safe by midnight.

    Fast forward to today. Picked up the Jeep from Northridge4x4 in Longmont this morning where they did a Teraflex Tera30 axle housing replacement. They swapped the guts from my Dana30 into the new Teraflex housing, put in new ball joints, and had me on my way in a 24-hour turnaround (after a 3-4 week wait). Weak spots now are the shafts and the small 5.13 ring and pinion.

    Thanks to,

    1. Greg (?) for thinking fast and helping with the ratchet strap and come along
    2. Marcus for all of his help
    3. Fire chief for letting us use the phone and park the Jeep there
    4. UHaul guy for telling me that the 35s would be too big for the straps on the trailer and having me get the extras
    5. My buddy Shawn for braving the day and still wanting to buy a 4Runner after all of that


    This is the reason you wheel with a group. If we'd been on our own, we'd have been BSF (broke, stuck, and f*cked). Hope I can help next time someone else is in a bind.

    Thanks to everyone here.
           

  2. The Following Member Says Thanks to cfr For This Post:

    Jim (May 8th, 2015)

  3. #2
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    Default Re: Busted front axle



    That how we roll.
    ___________
    In a never ending search for the proper mix of dirt & rock !

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    Default Re: Busted front axle



    `love seeing the come-along holding things together!

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    Default Re: Busted front axle



    Glad to see you got it repaired. Must be the reason I couldn't get a call through at Northridge today, or a call back when I left a message. The rain must have had everyone up there buying stuff and all staff in the shop. If only they were open tomorrow.... if it ever stops raining I'll go back up with ya again.

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    Default Re: Busted front axle



    Wow, I had no idea that could happen. Glad you were able to get back safely.

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    Default Re: Busted front axle



    so the axle issues is bad with the JK and JKU.
    jeep has speked these rigs with the light weight ones.
    this was done to save #'s as they cant get these rigs to meet the fuel econ standards with out take a ton of #'s off of them.
    So they decided to weaken thr rig vs. go diesel for the econ and power.
    This is not the only trouble spot. The steering box is a known issue as well.
    DanArk busted his steering box up at pickle gultch a few months back. Truck still under factory coverage.
    He spent $700 on a covered drive train part! They wont cover it as they say abuse!
    the sector shaft fell out with the pitman arm still attached all the cap bolt failed.
    So this sadens me as I have been a life long jeep fan.
    I have been watching the JK's with excitement as the diesel is coming.
    Now that I am seeing all the weak parts and the stupid things that are failing.........I think I will build a YJ with a BT4 swap.
    Factory axles transfercase and steering for a "trail raited" 40k truck should hold up to more the a tree root or pot hole!


    Glad you all made it out safe and sound.
    sorry you had to dump a large part and large amount of cash into your rig.

  8. #7
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    Default Re: Busted front axle



    Said steering box...
         

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    Default Re: Busted front axle



    Do all the JKs have these issues including the Rubicon? Does it vary by year?

  10. #9
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    Default Re: Busted front axle



    Bob previously posted:
    "Do all the JKs have these issues including the Rubicon? Does it vary by year?"

    All JKs (2007+) all use the same tubes. Rubicon or not.

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    Default Re: Busted front axle



    All JK's have these issues.....seems the fuel econ standards took president over being strong.

  12. #11
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    Default Re: Busted front axle



    cfr previously posted:
    "If you do image searches, you'll see many breaks in the same place as mine."

    Where did it break? Can you post a picture?

  13. #12
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    Default Re: Busted front axle



    Max previously posted:
    "Where did it break? Can you post a picture?"

    On the bottom passenger side, a bit toward the center of the lower control arm bracket. No picture handy.

    Like the first few pics here,

    https://www.google.com/search?q=jk+(...0CCgQ7Ak&dpr=1

  14. #13
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    Default Re: Busted front axle



    That's a bummer about the break. I've never seen that one before.

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    Default Re: Busted front axle



    I'm pretty sure you can sleeve the axles to help prevent this failure. Not sure who does it but have seen it done.

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    Default Re: Busted front axle



    Instead of sleeves, I have Artec trusses front and rear which also eliminates the "happy face" bent axle housing issue. You do have to be able to weld though.

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    Default Re: Busted front axle



    Trussing always a good way to go too.
    Yup the welding will get ya every time.

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