Replacing Front Axle from stock - JKowners.com : Jeep Wrangler JK Forum
 
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post #1 of 13 Old 10-30-2013, 10:06 AM Thread Starter
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Replacing Front Axle from stock

Hi everyone. I need some advice. I bought my first Jeep just a couple months ago. A 2011 Sport 2-door with 15k miles on it. It has 18" Rockstar wheels with Falken Wild Peak A/T 285/65/R18 tires, custom front bumper with 10k lb winch and Warn fog lights.





Carfax report showed it as a one owner and never been in a collision (or at least reported). I flew to Florida to test drive it and have it inspected. Wheels and tires were brand new... just been put on it. I drove it... drove perfect. Had it inspected at a local shop in Miami and they said it all looked fine.

I drove it home to Tennessee and it drove great. I really like the Falken tires. My buddy has a 2012 Rubicon and his stock tires are way more louder than these.

After driving it for about 3k miles (had 18k total at this point), I noticed both front tires were beginning to wear way too fast so I took it in for an alignment at my local Jeep dealership.

Pic of tire wear as of today at just over 20k miles (5k on tires)...



They checked the alignment and it was way out of wack. Once they got it on the rack, they noticed the front axle housing has been welded back and the differential has a slight leak. They say it had to have been in an accident or someone hit something underneath right where the axle housing mounts on the front left side. Everything else looks fine and is stock. Great not covered by the warranty!

Not a good pic but you can see where it is bent some and been welded...


Obviously, this is something the person inspecting it in Florida didn't notice and I even took it to NTB here once the dealership noticed the axle housing issue and they didn't even notice it until I pointed it out to them.

Here is the print out of the alignment... guy said he never seen a vehicle with less than 20K be so out of alignment at almost every angle. Weird to me because when I drive it... it doesn't pull or vibrate at all.

NTB Alignment Print Out

The guys at NTB and the dealership both said not to mess with the alignment until the axle is fixed.

The dealership gave me this quote on parts and labor...

New Front Axle Housing 68004069AC 186MM + $1665
New Left Front Knuckle 68004087AA + $375
New Front Left Axle Shaft 68145055AA + $360
Fluid + $65
Alignment + $89.95
2 new Falken tires + $550
8 Hours Labor + $784

Sub-total = $3888.95

minus a 10% discount - $388.90
plus tax + $326.26

Total = $3826.31

This seems like a lot to me. Yes... $700 of it is just tires and alignment. I have found the parts for less online.

My biggest question here is... for you that have did some mods... if I am going to spend this money on a 186MM front axle, what is out there that I should look at getting to upgrade the front suspension on this Jeep vs stock?

What would the cost be to upgrade it to a TeraFlex or something more durable than what I have?

What all would need to be replace- diff, etc? If I do a lift, will I need to upgrade the rims and tires also?

By the way... this is a daily driver vehicle and I may occasionally take it offroad. Also, I'm in the Nashville TN area for anyone that knows a good, not expensive mechanic.

Thanks for any advice!

Last edited by mashdun; 10-30-2013 at 10:31 AM.
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post #2 of 13 Old 10-30-2013, 10:33 AM
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Personally, I would contact the dealership you bought it from if you did and explain the situation and see if they would be willing to atleast split the cost of the repair...

2007 Black JK - Stocker, Smittybuilt front bumper, XRC Winch, Smittybuilt Rock Sliders... Build up coming soon...
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post #3 of 13 Old 10-30-2013, 10:41 AM
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You can find a complete takeout Dana 30 or Dana 44 for quite a bit cheaper if you are willing to look around a bit. Probably as low as a few hundred dollars for a Dana 30.

You can get a fully built front end Dana 44 with all of the bells and whistles for around 5-6K. This might be overkill if you don't really plan on taking your rig offroad.


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post #4 of 13 Old 10-30-2013, 10:46 AM
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Keep an eye on the for sale section. You can get a dana 30 for 300 to 800 or so easily.
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post #5 of 13 Old 10-30-2013, 11:02 AM Thread Starter
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I will probably not take this one off road much, but want to buy another one that I can play with.

Thanks for the advice on the take outs.
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post #6 of 13 Old 10-30-2013, 11:22 AM
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Definitely take the advice here on finding a D30 that is unharmed and recently removed.

As the JK crowd has evolved and people sold their 07 - 11s in lieu of 12+ for the new motor they are buying Sports and replacing the axles right away. You can probably find a brand newish D30/Dana 30 (same thing) on Craigslist or on any of the JK forums for just a few hundred dollars.

Welcome to the forum and sorry for the bad experience. That sucks man.

Marcus


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post #7 of 13 Old 10-30-2013, 11:36 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks Marcus
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post #8 of 13 Old 10-30-2013, 11:38 AM Thread Starter
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Where can I find what gear ratio I have or need? Does the stock 4-speed automatic come standard with a 3.73 gear ratio?
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post #9 of 13 Old 10-30-2013, 11:45 AM
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I see you are in Tennessee.

There is a shop in Rossville, Ga, which is just below the Tn/Ga line just south of Chattanooga, called Hudlow Axle, 423-362-3006. Call them and talk to Micah. They are a gear and axle shop and do tremendous work. I bent the short side tube of my D44 and they were able to straighten it back. They do top notch work and total pro's.

You will probably have to take them the axle, pulled from the jeep, but it would be worth it...althought, they may be able to deal with it on the jeep. Call them and run your issue through them, see what they say.

TC
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post #10 of 13 Old 10-30-2013, 11:45 AM
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You should have 3.73 gears in that Jeep. You can request your build sheet from Jeep for verification.

https://www.jkowners.com/forum/showthread.php?t=73520


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post #11 of 13 Old 10-30-2013, 12:01 PM
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First step, tell that dealer to go f#k himself. Lord!

Obviously you have a caster and toe issue. The camber is virtually identical to most I've seen, that is, about one degree negative. Per the spec it's out, but it'll be just fine and seems to be the result of the tubes settling.

The toe just needs to be sorted, which you can do with a tape measure, beer and a buddy. Adj it dead ahead or at most 1/16" toe in. Excessive toe in likely caused your tire wear.

The caster reading is the mystery, because it's neg on one side, pos on the other. This needs some investigation by someone who knows what they're looking at and isn't motivated by juniors dental bills. Caster DOES NOT cause tire wear, but will affect steering & stability.

Take it to a local 4x4 shop that knows JKs.


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'09 JKRU. 4" Teraflex long arm, Teraflex R44 housing, Teraflex / Fox Resis, Poly Performance skids, Nemesis Billy Rockers, Nemesis flares, 37" ATZ P3s on 17" 5x5.5" Trailready HDs, Spyntec hubs, Teraflex BBK, Mopar BBK master/booster, Superior front & Alloy USA rear axle shafts, CTMs, Reids, Synergy drag link & tie rod, WTOR hydro-boosted steering, 5.38s, TF Dual Rate front bar, TF bumpers, Warn Powerplant, Tom Woods shafts, AA xfer case cable, Kilby canister relo, RH4x4 cage.
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post #12 of 13 Old 10-31-2013, 02:07 PM
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It sucks you are too far away. I have my Dana 30, 3.73, with only 9k miles on it sitting at my house in Boise, Idaho.

I'd let it go for a song.
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post #13 of 13 Old 05-28-2014, 07:31 PM
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Are you still selling the Dana 30, 3.73, with only 9k miles on it? How much and would you ship it?
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