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Discussion Starter #1
2004 stock everything on the front axle. I pressed out the caps of the ujoint, but the cross catches just enough to not clear the yoke. Should I coax it the rest of the way with a hammer? I don't want to mark up the yoke. Should I grind off the corner of the cross? Hopefully this is a characteristic of the stock ujoints and the cross of the Spicer 760s will go right in. How the heck did they get the cross in at the factory?
 

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They will come out, wiggle the seal around on the cross or remove it. On the new ones you will need to push the cross and the seal into the opening.

-Andrew
 

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The stock joints are Spicer 760s. Be careful not to smash the seal on the new joints. They're metal covered in rubber, which while not too easy to bend is a real PITA to straighten back out (BTDT).
 

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FAIL It's over LOL :banghead: I think I just bent a yoke ear trying to get a piece of rusted cap out. I'm gonna go with Ten Factory chromoly shafts.
 

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Norminator said:
...............I'm gonna go with Ten Factory chromoly shafts.
While I run them, I would recommend going to the evolutions if, at all possible.
 

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f9k9 said:
Norminator said:
...............I'm gonna go with Ten Factory chromoly shafts.
While I run them, I would recommend going to the evolutions if, at all possible.
Thanks for lookin' out :wink:
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I appreciate the guidance. I accomplished eight years of decent rock crawling trails with my stock shafts. They were in good shape minus the ujoints, but even those showed no evidence of trouble until I took them out. It actually bugs me that I couldn't put the stock axle back in. The caps seemed fuzed in the yoke. I should have put a block of steel between the ears for support. I waited way too long to swap the ujoints, and the same with the ball joints. At least the ball joint change went well and I saw an immediate improvement in a steering vibration that actually felt more like a cupped tire.

Back to the axles...I did a lot of searching through the comments about companies that once were and that are now. I was on this board when all the upgrade talk was pretty much Superior or Alloy USA. Now there's the import effect and who assures US buyers of the most reliable product through some sort of US quality assurance. Given how my stock shafts performed and my driving style, I should be fine with the Ten Factory axles. I'm convinced of their quality. They have a ten year warranty. I do appreciate the suggestions!
 

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Same here, I put 8 years of wheeling on the stockers so the Ten Factory
axles I just put in should do just fine.
 

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FAIL It's over LOL :banghead: I think I just bent a yoke ear trying to get a piece of rusted cap out. I'm gonna go with Ten Factory chromoly shafts.
Sorry to dig up an old post... but it appears I'm about 8 years behind you!?
74970

This is the driver's side inner... haven't done the passenger's yet. I think I'm going to PB blast the caps overnight before I try that one.

New front shafts weren't really in the budget, so best case scenario I'm thinking I can just buy a replacement driver's side inner, but it appears they're all aftermarket. Anyone have any insight into running a 4340 inner on one side with stock setup everywhere else?
 

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Theres no problem running a 4340 inner with OEM outers everywhere else, as long as it fits.
 

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Just to follow up on this, I did the passenger side today. Did the outer first and ended up bending the ears before I realized. Then I said f this I just want to see what happens... torqued it down another ratchet or two and heard a huge pop... thought I broke something. Nope, the ujoint cap just broke free and slid about 1mm amidst smoke billowing out (slight exaggeration) from my bench vise. So I was intrigued. Got the outer off and went to do the inner.

Basically, here is the morale of the story with getting off very old stock ujoints via the C-clamp method:
  • Make sure your C-clamp is true. I've had the HF one for years and just recently bought the OTC 7248 in anticipation of replacing ball joints for the first time because I wanted to make sure I had a quality unit. Well, I did the ball joints with the OTC and everything was fine and didn't realize until this point (above) with my u-joints that my HF one was not straight... the "open" side of the C (opposite the screw) was pushed out about 1/16-1/8"... not sure why... must have done it years ago. So I'll be using my OTC from here on out.
  • Make sure it is aligned perfectly, specifically the cap centered in the "open" side of the C clamp
  • Once you've torqued it tight, it should push out the u-joint without using big muscles. That's the best I can describe. For reference, I was using a 16" long 1/2" drive ratchet wrench on the 7/8" screw.
  • For original u-joints like mine, I would recommend saturating both sides of both caps with PB blaster.
  • If you start feeling that you are using muscles (with a 16" long ratchet) then STOP. Double check both sides of the u-joint are aligned in the C clamp.
  • Lightly pound on the shaft with a small sledge (similar to getting out a TRE). After a hit or two it should POP! If it does, it should have moved about 1/32"; double check your alignment. If it doesn't, continue torquing JUST A LITTLE (about one ratchet worth). Now hit it with the sledge.
  • Once it pops, hit everything with PB blaster again. After double checking alignment, torque it back down until you start to feel resistance then repeat. Mine took roughly 10 pops.
All said and done, I bet I could have salvaged everything if I had done it as described above from the get go. Oh well... hopefully it will help somebody else late to the overhaul ballgame.

That said, I did do a bit of research into axle shafts I wanted to share. It appears Dana/Spicer made a 4340 version of the stock shafts. PN's below.

OEM material:
- Front driver axle shaft assembly: 84378-2
-- Front driver inner axle shaft: 84394-2
- Front passenger axle shaft assembly: 84378-1
-- Front passenger inner axle shaft: 84394-1
- Front outer axle shaft (both sides): 43205

4340 chromoly:
- Front driver axle shaft assembly: N/A?
-- Front driver inner axle shaft: 10007745
- Front passenger axle shaft assembly: N/A?
-- Front passenger inner axle shaft: 10007746
- Front outer axle shaft (both sides): 10007747

This should work for all 03-06 Rubicons but be sure to check first.
 

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Thanks for following up. The part numbers are good. Are you buying all-new axle shafts? How about a pic of the OTC tool? I have a couple of the Tiger tool u-joint tools. They seem to work better for me on u-joints, but can break if you use an impact on them. Keeping to hand tools is the best idea.
74982
 
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Great write-up Ric, that should help somebody in the future. I started out with the OTC ball joint/U-joint tool, some Harbor Fright tools are not much better than paperweights. I bought a HF pneumatic chisel and didn't use it for many months. When I hooked it up, there was a defect in the casting and there was air leaking from the middle of the handle.

Another vote for the Tiger Tool, I carry one as well.
 

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Wow never heard of the Tiger Tool. Looks like PN 10105? Seems it eliminates the need for the bench vise on stubborn caps and doesn't "squeeze" the ears together.

I bought a new driver's inner and an outer in the OEM flavor... just enough to exactly replace what I damaged. Ordered the slinger (Spicer 46988) as well for the outer. Got all three from Denny's Driveshafts... think it was around $115 with free shipping... so about what I should have paid for the Tiger Tool :LOL:

The OTC tool I mentioned is 7248, which is just the C clamp itself. USA made; very high quality compared to the HF version.

And fwiw, I took apart my front driveshaft yesterday as well to preempt some sparrows and all the u-joints came out easily with just a 8" ratchet and the OTC clamp, but they weren't original; I had overhauled it already probably ten years ago.
 

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Great write up. I am about to replace a bunch of u joints. I have the HF tool and have used it in the past. Anyone know if the Tiger or OTC is better?
 
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Great write up. I am about to replace a bunch of u joints. I have the HF tool and have used it in the past. Anyone know if the Tiger or OTC is better?
If your HF is true and you're itching for a new tool I would probably just get the Tiger. For reference, the inside width of the C in my OTC is 6-1/2" and on my HF it is 6-5/8" :oops:
 

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Some quick notes on the Tiger tool u-joint tool. They make several models based on u-joint size (they cover big rigs as well) - be sure to measure your u-joints. On Amazon you can find a chinese knock-off (at least last year). I used an impact on my first Tiger tool and destroyed it. So, I picked up the chinese knock-off. It is identical in all dimensions as the Tiger tool but is painted bright green. I finished the u-joint job with no issues using the new tool (but no impact).
 
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