READ THIS BEFORE WHEELING IN THE PINE BARRENS!
Here is the deal with big tires, and why axles break. A taller tire creates more torque on the axle shaft, which leads to more twisting. Look at it this way, if you have a bolt that you can't get to "twist” loose what do you do…get more leverage. A 37" tire is going to provide more leverage than anything smaller. Usually you go with a wider tire as well as a more aggressive tread. This all equals up to more toque going to the axle shaft. Axle shafts are meant to twist some and spring back to their original position, but what happens when you take a piece of metal and keep bending it back and forth? It breaks. I believe in one way or another if you wheel your jeep on a Dana 30 you will eventually break an axle or a set of spider gears (if running an open diff). If you are running a locked front, kiss your stock axles good bye.
As far as the Pines destroying things, it will and it does. However, you can prolong this quite a bit. Here are a few things to live by if you want to play in the pines and still be able to drive your jeep.
1) Grease is your friend (plus it helps me stay employed for I work in an oil refinery.) Every time you are done going through the beloved Pine Barrens sugar sand/water mixture that everyone loves (and some call mud), grease every zerk fitting on your jeep to force out any crud. If your U-joints and steering components don't have fitting on them, throw them away and get ones that do. Your U-joints (driveshaft and axle shaft) should have them. Even if they are inverted, go get the proper attachment for your grease gun. If you cannot do this after every pines run...A) don’t go out B) don’t cry when your crap self destructs.
2) If oil can come out, water can go in. If you see an oil leak, you may not know it but you also see the shortened lifespan of your Jeep components before your own eyes. Water does not carry the same lubricating properties as oil. If it did I wouldn't have a job. Water also oxidizes metal. This can cause rust on bearings and surfaces that are supposed to be smooth. Rust causes pits, which cause a ruff rotation for a bearing. Get that bearing turning at 9000 rpm and see what happens with a not so smooth bearing..... It self destructs. Bottom line, if you are leaking oil and go play scuba diver expect to be working on your jeep in the near future.
3) Waterproofing. See all them posts about extended breathers......read them and live by them. If you don't do it, don't cry when your tranny is overflowing Pepto Bismol out of every orifice possible. My favorite quote is, “I flushed my tranny and it appears to be fine.” I tell the same people to give me an update in 10,000 miles. The same thing goes with axles. Say good bye to your pinion bearings and carrier bearings.
Another thing people never think of is the dipstick. Take an old plug wire boot and slide it over the dipstick and dipstick tube. This helps a lot. A homemade snorkel is better than no snorkel.
4) Clean your Fucking Jeep. Not the shiny part but the underneath. Detail it, feel it. Your eyes and fingers will let you see or feel where any oil maybe leaking. Also, dirt and swamp weed wrapped between your yoke and pinion seal will eat away at that seal. Just because you guys have brand new Jeeps does not mean they won't rust. Metal, dirt and moisture end up equaling rot. (If you decide that washing your jeep isn’t worth your time, by all means let me know, I will wait for your jeep to start rusting away that way I can finally afford a JK for myself)
5) Why is Tom Woods the holy grail of drive shafts? Looking at his shafts all I see are smaller parts being used to make room for an increased drive shaft angle. Plus if the drive shaft doesn’t use Spicer parts, it isn’t worth 25 cents in my mind. Neapco is garbage along with Brute Force. If anyone needs drive shafts done, get a hold of me and I'll point you in the right direction. This way you don't have to wait for your shaft to go to Utah as well.
Keep in mind guys, you can drive underwater as much as you want as long as you are willing to put a little bit of money and time and effort out, and get off of Tom’s wood.
Thanks to Mudboy for spelling this out for us.