JK Owner looking for stock ring and pinion
Hey all, I waited to throw this out there until I had exhausted all my other resources, and alas, that time is now. I’m looking to find a JK owner (non-Rubicon) that is planning to or has recently re-geared their front axle (The infamous Dana 30 pretzel).
The short version is I grenaded my front ring and pinion a while back in an off road excursion with my 2007 JK Unlimited, and because I’ve been looking for work for the last year and a half without any success, I’m looking to pick up a cheap (or even free with shipping?!?) set of used front gears. I'm looking for a low-buck fix until I'm working again, and can invest in new axles.
Here’s the long version. I purchased the JK back in early 2008 used, back when I was a successful Public Relations Manager for a well-known Marketing firm. It’s mostly stock, but it does have a Teraflex 4-inch lift kit, 35-inc tires, Polly Performance Boatsides and a Shrockworks front bumper. I had big plans for my rig that included skid plates, new axles front and rear, lockers, a winch, rear bumper and roll cage- you know, the same sorta things we all talk and plan on doing to a daily driver/weekend wheeler. In October of 2008 I was laid-off due to my clients reducing their marketing budgets, and I have since been trying to find work in my field with little to no success. It seems that businesses aren’t looking to spend money in marketing during these though times, nevertheless in public relations/media relations. Needless to say, the last year and a half has been a rough one, costing me my savings, my apartment and my girlfriend in the process. One of the few things that I’ve allowed myself was the occasional trail run in Big Bear to escape the reality of my current situation.
About 9 months ago, I took my JK into the dealer for a CPU recall. Now I’m thinking I shouldn’t have, mostly because everything was working fine, but I tend to believe that recalls are important. Anyway, they said all my CPU needed was a “flash” which lead to the dealer frying it and having to replace it. What I didn’t know was that it was still malfunctioning- when I put the rig in four wheel drive, the EPS Traction control kicks in, and there is no way to turn if off (I’d tried all the methods listed in the owner’s manual, and I know that those programs are supposed to be disabled when you’re in four wheel drive). Of course, I didn’t find this out until I was 1/3 with way up Gold Mountain trail in Big Bear. So I tried to be careful and just get over the hill so I could get it back to the dealer to fix. That’s when everything went sideways.
I was climbing a small ledge when I got slightly high-centered. Not having lockers, I had a front and rear tire just barely off the rock. We pulled cable off two other jeeps, which didn’t help. In a last ditch effort, we tired to winch out with me giving it slight gas. Now this wasn’t the first time in this kind of situation, so I planed on butting it at about 2400 RMP and working the tires with the winch to help the forward momentum. What was new was the ESP Traction Control fighting me the whole time. What resulted was me goosing it at the wrong moment while fighting the ESP, just as the tires grabbled, pulling me free with a sickening crunching sound. The stock ring and pinion was no more.
I limped home and decided I’d try to get the dealership to pay for some of the cost of the repair, and fix the CPU so this problem wouldn’t happen again. What a joke THAT turned out to be. I'm not blaming them totally, but given the state of the EPS, I did (and still do) feel like that have some hand in the situation unfolding as it did.
They didn't share my thoughts. They claimed that the ESP was engaging due to the broken front ring and pinion, and that they didn’t hold any responsibility for the damage. Further, they would no even touch my JK until the front ring and pinion was replaced (1500 bucks I didn’t/don’t have). So that’s where I’m at. I purchased a used ring and pinion from a “stock JK” off eBay, but found out that they weren’t from a JK after all. My buddy will help me swap out the bearing and torque the crush sleeve, but the idea of spending 150-180 bucks on a stock ring and pinion for a crappy axle just makes no sense to me. So I thought I’d reach out to the JK community and see if anyone has a set lying around they’d be willing to part with.
I’m located in Orange County, CA and I’d greatly appreciate any reply or help that could be offered.
Thanks for taking the time to read the huge wall of text, and best,