Need some axle help. Can a bent housing cause a wobble? - JKowners.com : Jeep Wrangler JK Forum
 
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post #1 of 18 Old 04-18-2017, 07:00 PM Thread Starter
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Need some axle help. Can a bent housing cause a wobble?

My setup: D44 rear, Detriot Trutrac, 4.56 gears, 35" duratracs.

Ok, so about two years ago I went wheeling in Moab/Colorado. Once I got back, I noticed what seemed like a bent rear axle flange. I swapped out the rear axle shafts for some chromoly shafts.

Went wheeling in Tennessee and rode some decent trails. I am always easy on the skinny pedal but will bump it in 1st gear if needed. After that trip, the typical brake squeak came back. Upon driving back home to Florida, I jacked up the rear end and ran the tires. Both had a wobble. I also developed an axle seal leak on the driver side.

I took the shafts out and sent them back to East Coast Gear Supply. They checked the runout and said they were within spec. I had already ordered another set though. When the new set came in, I tested them by running the Jeep on jackstands. I noticed there was still a wobble in the tires. So I removed the tires and noticed the wobble in the brake rotors. I removed the rotors and still observed the wobble in the axle flange on both sides. I said screw it and decided to drive it anyways. Not long after, the driver side seal started leaking again.

So to see if it just happened to be two faulty seals on the same side, I swapped the driver side axle shaft with the passenger side. I also added some diff RTV gasket maker on the bearing retainer plate and axle housing where the seal seats. I drove the Jeep about 30 miles and observed the driver side axle seal leaking again. The leak was coming from where the shaft meets the seal. Not where the seal touches the housing. I forgot to add, when swapping the shafts from side to side, it seemed the bearing race was out of round from the driver's side. When I tried to insert it into the tube, it would get stuck. However, if I turned it about a quarter turn, it would insert into the axle housing without issue.

So, after consulting with some other Jeepers, I guess there were some bad experiences with ECGS. We came to the conclusion that maybe the bearings were not being pressed on correctly causing the wobble and leak. So, I ordered some Ten Factory shafts from Marcus at RCO.

These shafts came in tonight. I installed these shafts and yet again, the wobble continues.

Has anyone had a bent axle housing causing a wobble in the shafts? I just can't think of anything else that could cause the wobble.

I'm so over fighting this rear axle that I am about the pull the trigger on a semi float dana 60. But I would like to diagnose this issue.

Also, other than the stock shafts, the splines on the shafts were straight with no visible damage. Now the original stock shaft's splines were slightly twisted.

I should add, the housing to the naked eye looks straight. I put an angle finder on the exposed parts of the tubes and both read the same. Apart from tearing the axle down and putting a rod through it, it appears to be ok. Just hoping somebody has been through this same issue and has found a solution.

Videos:

Bump to the top because I am adding video links of the flanges.



ANd the passenger side:



Thanks,
Alex

2010 JK
2.5" RK, 4.56 gears, Detriot Trutracs F/R, Or-Fab front cage, Synergy rear cage, Mastercraft Baja RS seats, and a ton of other mods!

Last edited by Eclipseoffroad; 04-20-2017 at 12:22 PM.
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post #2 of 18 Old 04-18-2017, 07:12 PM
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A sign of a bent axle housing is if your having a hard time putting the axles back in the housing. If you have to bang the axle in the last inch, inch and a half your housing is bent. Post a couple of pics and ost them up.

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post #3 of 18 Old 04-18-2017, 07:15 PM Thread Starter
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They went in fine. Once I turned the shaft slightly and got the splines lined up, they pushed in by hand without issue.

What do you want a picture of? The axle itself? Or a specific spot?

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post #4 of 18 Old 04-19-2017, 07:24 AM
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How much wobble are you talking about? The bearings will have a little movement.
are the bearing races tight in the tube (maybe spin a bit but no lateral movement) These can spin and oval the end of the tube.
are the axle housing flanges square to the tube?
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post #5 of 18 Old 04-19-2017, 08:34 AM
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The JK rear axles are pretty stout axles, unlike the front they are a true Dana 44. It's hard for me to believe someone could bend a rear housing and not know it. I would think the force or impact required would be remarkable enough that you would think, "oh crap that couldn't have been good!"

I have never heard of a bent rear housing without some sort of "traumatic incident" lol
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post #6 of 18 Old 04-19-2017, 05:04 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Biginboca View Post
The JK rear axles are pretty stout axles, unlike the front they are a true Dana 44. It's hard for me to believe someone could bend a rear housing and not know it. I would think the force or impact required would be remarkable enough that you would think, "oh crap that couldn't have been good!"

I have never heard of a bent rear housing without some sort of "traumatic incident" lol
My thoughts exactly, but this has been an ongoing battle trying to find the cause of this. I have wheeled my Jeep. But nothing where it was jumped or anything along those lines. I have run some difficult trails but if I couldn't get it up an obstacle, I'm the person to pull cable rather than use the skinny pedal.

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post #7 of 18 Old 04-19-2017, 05:08 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elusive View Post
How much wobble are you talking about? The bearings will have a little movement.
are the bearing races tight in the tube (maybe spin a bit but no lateral movement) These can spin and oval the end of the tube.
are the axle housing flanges square to the tube?
The flanges are tight to the axle housing flanges.

The races were snug in the housing. Now when I removed the old ones , I noticed it seemed they were oval. Only because they would get stuck in the housing when trying to remove or insert. However when I gave them a quarter turn, they would insert no problem. ALmost like the housing ends are oval. But I can't image this happening. However, I'm open to anything.

I have searched and searched the internet and haven't found anyone with this repeated issue with a solution.

I'm seriously about to order a 60 rear.

Oh and not a huge wobble, but enough to cause a leak in about 30 miles or so of driving. I also frequently tow a jet ski behind the Jeep to the coast. The long distance ride is not pleasant with the wobble.

I have video on my cell phone of the wobbles but don't know of an easy way to link it here. It is the typical looking bent flange wobble you see on youtube.

2010 JK
2.5" RK, 4.56 gears, Detriot Trutracs F/R, Or-Fab front cage, Synergy rear cage, Mastercraft Baja RS seats, and a ton of other mods!

Last edited by Eclipseoffroad; 04-19-2017 at 05:11 PM.
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post #8 of 18 Old 04-19-2017, 05:36 PM Thread Starter
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Not mine, but this is about the amount of wobble on both sides. All three axle sets of aftermarket shafts have done this.

2010 JK
2.5" RK, 4.56 gears, Detriot Trutracs F/R, Or-Fab front cage, Synergy rear cage, Mastercraft Baja RS seats, and a ton of other mods!
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post #9 of 18 Old 04-19-2017, 08:12 PM
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The only think I can think of but I find it hard to believe that 3 sets of axles seals are leaking after 30 miles is, bad bearings. Here's my reason why. Last year I bought a set of complete rear axle assemblies from nitro axle. One axle bearing lasted to the end of my 60 foot driveway, the other lasted 20 miles. After calling and throwing a fit nitro axle said that Timken bearing had had a hardening issues with those bearings but they had no way of recalling all the bearings that where sold. Pull the axles and see if the bearing surface is coming apart.

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post #10 of 18 Old 04-20-2017, 12:23 AM
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I upgraded to a rear SF xd60 and am fine with it since I don't plan on running larger than a 37" or 38" tire. I think it's worth the upgrade alone to get away from the paper-thin flanges on the D44 rear axle shafts.


Sure you can get 10 year warranty from guys like Ten Factory but who really wants to deal with bent D44 flanges all the time?


Now if it's issues with the mfg on Timken's end with their bearings, should be interesting since pretty much everyone uses Timken.



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post #11 of 18 Old 04-20-2017, 12:21 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rb6700 View Post
The only think I can think of but I find it hard to believe that 3 sets of axles seals are leaking after 30 miles is, bad bearings. Here's my reason why. Last year I bought a set of complete rear axle assemblies from nitro axle. One axle bearing lasted to the end of my 60 foot driveway, the other lasted 20 miles. After calling and throwing a fit nitro axle said that Timken bearing had had a hardening issues with those bearings but they had no way of recalling all the bearings that where sold. Pull the axles and see if the bearing surface is coming apart.

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That is interesting. But the only thing with mine is that this has been going on for over a year. I would think they would have gotten that squared away over that amount of time.

Bump to the top because I am adding video links of the flanges.



ANd the passenger side:


2010 JK
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post #12 of 18 Old 04-20-2017, 12:23 PM
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That's not bad at all.

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post #13 of 18 Old 04-20-2017, 12:31 PM
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I would like to get some of those shafts brand new, slap them on my lathe, get it indicated in within .0003" and check the run out on the flange to see what a manufacturer considers acceptable for that area.
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post #14 of 18 Old 04-20-2017, 12:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rb6700 View Post
That's not bad at all.

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Its not bad right there..... once you get out on the end of a 37-40" tire that measurement grows considerably.
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post #15 of 18 Old 04-20-2017, 12:35 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rb6700 View Post
That's not bad at all.

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You are right. However, when you slap a brake rotor on that it wobbles more. Then a 35" tire on it and it wobbles pretty good. That small amount also likes to apparently destroy my bearings in about 100 miles and cause an axle seal leak in about 30-40 miles.

To my knowledge, there should be absolutely no side to side wobble in the axle flanges. But I have been wrong. Anyone else put new shafts in with a small wobble like this?

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post #16 of 18 Old 04-20-2017, 12:38 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dkjeep View Post
I would like to get some of those shafts brand new, slap them on my lathe, get it indicated in within .0003" and check the run out on the flange to see what a manufacturer considers acceptable for that area.
THat would be interesting to see.

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post #17 of 18 Old 04-20-2017, 09:43 PM
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When you unbolt the axle from the backing plate is the axle sliding right out? Or do you need a slide hammer to pull the axle ? If the axle is sliding right out ,I'm going to have to say that the seat that the bearing sits in is screwed up. How it got that way I don't know.

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post #18 of 18 Old 04-21-2017, 09:54 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rb6700 View Post
When you unbolt the axle from the backing plate is the axle sliding right out? Or do you need a slide hammer to pull the axle ? If the axle is sliding right out ,I'm going to have to say that the seat that the bearing sits in is screwed up. How it got that way I don't know.

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The shafts come out by hand with no slide hammer. Now i do have to grab both sides of the flange with my hands and yank backwards about 4-5 times before they come free.

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