Servicing/Re-packing a factory driveshaft CV joint - JKowners.com : Jeep Wrangler JK Forum
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post #1 of 37 Old 10-08-2011, 03:08 PM Thread Starter
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Servicing/Re-packing a factory driveshaft CV joint

If you are cheap like me and don't care to buy driveshafts with ~3" of lift..it may be something to consider. I redid my rear driveshaft at about 25,000 miles, this is the front driveshaft at near 40,000 miles. Doesn't look too bad, but I would like to milk it along as to it's had the lift on for 39,000 miles of it's life.

If you look at the race and the driveshaft stub, this sucker gets warm.


The grease you need costs $3, procedure is the same for the front or rear shaft (rear needs 2 packs, front needs one).
This job does require patience, if you like to use hammers or pry on things, do not attempt. These joints are machine parts and you need to take care of the surfaces and work with them to get it apart/back together.

Anyway, here is how to do it. I am assuming if you are considering this, you can remove the driveshaft. So I did not go into how to remove the driveshaft, I'd imagine there is already a write-up about that.





Step #1: Place the shaft on a suitable work surface, it'll need to be able to get greasy, because that crap gets everywhere! I used my bench vise for this, but take into consideration you do NOT want to "clamp down" on it. Tweaking any part that rotates at warp speed when you are going 70mph is going to give you problems. Take extreme care not to dent, drop, kick, or maybe even cuss at it. It's "fragile".

The first part that needs to come off, I'll call the "end cap". The end cap can be removed by using a screwdriver tip/chisel and a hammer and lightly tapping it off. Work around the joint, don't just get a part started and pry it off. You will tweak it. (not good). Use the vice to support the joint as you work off the end cap.





Step #2: Removing the boot from the joint. DO NOT cut the boot or the clamp holding it to the driveshaft, completely unnecessary! Anyway, as you can see it's the same deal and tap it off just like the end cap.




Step #3: Wipe the grease away to expose the snap ring, remove it.



Step #3a (should be four but I dont feel like re-numbering all of them!) You need to take the boot loose from the joint. Similar process as to removing the end cap.




Step #4: I use a air hammer, it's the best tool you can use for this process. I've yet to try and use a hammer and punch...air hammer's harmonics just makes the joint "fall off". Hold the joint with one hand (hand I was using for the camera) and lightly pull it off as you use the air hammer. It should come off very easily. If not, see step #3. Knucklehead.




*Note the orientation. The machined lip is for the end cap, the other end is for the boot


Step #5: Take your grease monster to a place where everything including yourself can get grease on it. And begin disassembling it. Rotate the spider and cage so that the ball bearings will come out. Some will pop out, some you can get behind with a screwdriver to just nudge it out. Do NOT pry, yank, hammer, slam, force anything. They will all come out with not much effort, just takes some finagling.



DO NOT PRY!


Step #6: Remove the cage and spider. Rotate the cage and spider so it's 90degrees to the joint and it will work out. Play with it.




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Last edited by Goodysgotacuda; 10-08-2011 at 05:36 PM. Reason: forgot a step!
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post #2 of 37 Old 10-08-2011, 03:09 PM Thread Starter
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See, I told you it comes out!



Step #7: Clean everything. Ball bearings, spider, cage, and the joint race. Paper towels, brake cleaner, lots of 'em. You now want to remain as clean as possible from dirt and crap.

May notice your race looks like mine, certainly not ideal.



Step #8: Put a light coat of grease, some pretty clean grease is actually in the boot you can use, or open what you bought. Coat everything with a light coat and reassemble as you took it apart. It will go back together I promise, be patient!

*Note* the cage has a "lip" and the spider has a groove in the splines on one side. It should go back together like this when done. This picture does NOT show what you should do next!



Step #9: Lay the reassembled/cleaned joint on the surface, put cardboard under it to ease clean-up. Cut just the corner of the grease packet, stick the end all the way down into the center of the joint and force the grease through the ball bearings. As you can see.



Step #10: Use a punch or screwdrivers to be certain your joint is lined up with your boot. You do not want the boot to be twisted, one spline off will twist the boot upon reinstall and lead to premature failure!

*Note* picture shows the end cap on, do not put the end cap on just yet


Step #11: Get the joint started and lined up on the splines of the driveshaft. Use a bag to keep debris out of the grease and with a block of wood and hammer tap the joint until it is fully seated. Reinstall the snap ring. Install the end cap and seat them both to the race. I used a pair of channel locks and just squeezed them together around the joint.




Reinstall!

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Last edited by Goodysgotacuda; 10-08-2011 at 05:39 PM.
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post #3 of 37 Old 10-08-2011, 04:12 PM
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Very nice! Thanks for posting.

The wear points in the joint: could you feel any roughness/removed material?

Did you notice if there was a part number on the joint?
I'm wondering if it can be purchased somewhere, since Jeep won't have it separately from the driveshaft.
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post #4 of 37 Old 10-08-2011, 05:32 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ronjenx View Post
Very nice! Thanks for posting.

The wear points in the joint: could you feel any roughness/removed material?

Did you notice if there was a part number on the joint?
I'm wondering if it can be purchased somewhere, since Jeep won't have it separately from the driveshaft.
I felt the wear spots on the joint, no noticeable catch in material so I just cleaned it up and it went back together.

Same goes for the joint, I didn't even think to look for a separate number. Certainly nothing behind the boot or end cap however.

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post #5 of 37 Old 10-10-2011, 07:44 AM
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I don't expect you counted the splines did you?
I've been wondering if a Porsche 930 CV would work.
A lot of the buggies that run Baja and similar races use the CV joints from a Porsche 930 or aftermarket variety of that nature. They often have have extreme angles due to the setup and travel of the suspension. Not that I really expect them to match, but it would be interesting to know if there was a chance. Aftermarket replacement joints for a 930 are about 70 bucks each.
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post #6 of 37 Old 10-10-2011, 07:45 AM Thread Starter
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I may have some pictures that you will be able to count the splines on, bolt pattern for the flange on the t-case may differ with whatever you find elsewhere as well.

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post #7 of 37 Old 10-10-2011, 08:40 AM
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Nice write up... I don't have the patience to do that. Good Job!

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post #8 of 37 Old 10-10-2011, 12:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Goodysgotacuda View Post
I may have some pictures that you will be able to count the splines on, bolt pattern for the flange on the t-case may differ with whatever you find elsewhere as well.
Cool, I may be able to get close with what you've got to see if we are even in the ball park. I'll see what specs I can find on the 930 CV.
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post #9 of 37 Old 10-23-2011, 09:18 PM
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Thanks for the write-up...I have been chasing a "noise" for awhile and after a trip yesterday my "noise" started getting worse and seemed like the front end was engaging when I was in 2wd...Took the front drive shaft out and found this write-up...Decided I had two options, 1 get a new drive shaft or 2 try to re-pack the one I have...Well I have 90k on the HEEP and about 40K with the lift and both axles are the original stockers!!!...Going to tear mine apart tomorrow morning...Thanks again!!!


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post #10 of 37 Old 10-24-2011, 04:14 AM Thread Starter
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Good luck! Take your time and take note to which way the cage is orientated within the CV. Remember there is a lip on one side and the splines are different within the spider. Even though I have pictures on here, remove it and keep it orientated to how it came off. Spray it off with brake clean and note the spline orientation and the cage spider.

Be patient, it'll come apart and go together with some finesse.

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post #11 of 37 Old 10-25-2011, 07:31 AM
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Well I have been experiencing a clicking noise for the last 35K miles and have been trying to figure out where it was coming from...Well it is definitely the drive shafts...I tore apart the front drive shaft and found that pretty much ALL of the grease was baked out of it...Tried swiveling the bearing and it would catch on itself...I tried to tear down the CV joint and was unable to actually remove the ball bearings and the spider...I soaked in PB Blaster then used a can of brake cleaner and was able to clean everything up pretty well...I had some High temp wheel bearing grease good for 550*F that I packed into the joint...It seems to work free now and doesn't hang up on itself...

The only problem I have is the grease is pushing out of the little hole in the center of the end cap...Not sure why or how to stop this...Once I saw this happening it finally made sense to me why/where the grease was coming from at both ends of the transfer-case...I haven't reinstalled the front shaft yet but I think this will be a temporary fix cause the grease will be pushing out the end cap hole once it starts spinning...

I'm pretty certain that the rear drive shaft is in the same condition too...I hope this will limp these through till spring and then I will upgrade my drive shafts...

Your write-up was dead on and helped alot...I think my CV's are just too far gone (90K miles...40K miles with lift) and that is why I was unable to get it completely tore down...Thanks for the write-up!!!!


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post #12 of 37 Old 10-25-2011, 07:33 AM Thread Starter
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Ah well I hope it gets you through to spring. I have had some slight amount of grease push out, but it's probably due to me packing those suckers as full as I could! They've settled down after a few miles.

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post #13 of 37 Old 10-25-2011, 07:45 AM
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See that is what I'm thinking right now that I have it packed too full and that is why it is pushing out...In any event I didn't even know you could do this until I saw your write-up so THANK YOU!!!!


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Originally Posted by Tank29 View Post
See that is what I'm thinking right now that I have it packed too full and that is why it is pushing out...In any event I didn't even know you could do this until I saw your write-up so THANK YOU!!!!

I hadn't seen anyone else do it either, but I figured since it is the part that goes usually when people are "borderline" at the limit of it...I wondered if it could be serviced. Repacked a bunch of X5 CVs this way instead of replacing the axle when the boot tore on them, same deal applies.

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post #15 of 37 Old 06-13-2012, 12:00 PM Thread Starter
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Upon further review, I'd like to suggest streamlining this process a bit.

My suggestion is to not completely disassemble the CV as noted in steps #5-#8.

Definitely take note and probably mark the side of the CV which way the end of the shaft should be pointing prior to disassembly.

What I would suggest is to remove the CV from the shaft, wipe away what old grease you can, lay it on cardboard/CV end plate and repack it as shown in step #9. Completely disassembling it/cleaning it was more of exploratory when I wrote this thread, rather than necessary for doing the job successfully.

By just removing it and forcing new grease through it. You'll get new grease where it needs to be, wipe off the excess and you will save a bunch of time and potential frustration!

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post #16 of 37 Old 07-22-2012, 04:46 AM
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Thanks for the update. I just noticed the grease starting to sling out of my front boot. It's pushing out from the front of the boot clamp. The boot doesn't seem to be cracked. After reading some of the posts on this problem I noticed a comment that the stock shaft is more forgiving than an after market shaft. Does this mean if I replace the OEM shaft with an after market it's not the correct fix? I don't want to just keep packing it full of grease and throwing it out all the time.
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post #17 of 37 Old 07-24-2012, 07:27 PM
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Nice, I cant believe you rebuilt one. My friend and I just tore apart my front drive shaft CV last night just out of curiosity as to how it all works. (it's being replaced). We were kinda drunk so we just tore into it with no plans to put it back together. The actual CV joint seems pretty burley, too bad they didn't do something like a double cardan CV joint attached to a stronger shaft, that woudl have been kinda kool.
nice job.
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post #18 of 37 Old 08-02-2012, 10:24 AM
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I repacked mine last week, took about an hour. Instead of disassembling the joint I removed it, wiped the sticky nasty grease off and then soaked it in gas to remove the rest of the grease. Then it was just a matter of blowing out the gas, repack with fresh grease, and snap it all back together. Piece of cake. Also a good time to grease the slip joint while it's on the bench.
As a side note, air tools make removing and installing the shaft super quick. I used a butterfly with an 8" extension and a thin walled 8mm socket for the t-case side and a regular impact for the axle end. I tried using an air ratchet on the t-case end but because of the way torque is delivered in an air ratchet it wanted to turn the driveshaft out of my hand. With the butterfly all 8 bolts on the t-csae end where out in less than a minute and not a cuss word was uttered.

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post #19 of 37 Old 08-05-2012, 06:39 PM
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Forget last message. Found this new updated thread. Thanks.
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post #20 of 37 Old 02-18-2013, 01:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Goodysgotacuda View Post
Upon further review, I'd like to suggest streamlining this process a bit.

My suggestion is to not completely disassemble the CV as noted in steps #5-#8.

Definitely take note and probably mark the side of the CV which way the end of the shaft should be pointing prior to disassembly.

What I would suggest is to remove the CV from the shaft, wipe away what old grease you can, lay it on cardboard/CV end plate and repack it as shown in step #9. Completely disassembling it/cleaning it was more of exploratory when I wrote this thread, rather than necessary for doing the job successfully.

By just removing it and forcing new grease through it. You'll get new grease where it needs to be, wipe off the excess and you will save a bunch of time and potential frustration!
What do you mean by marking the side of the CV in relation to the position of the shaft? There is only one way that it can be reassembled/dissembled no?

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post #21 of 37 Old 03-01-2013, 01:48 PM
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Nice! Thanks for this. Now if we could get replacement boots somewhere to replace them when they get torn......


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post #22 of 37 Old 03-20-2013, 11:59 AM Thread Starter
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What do you mean by marking the side of the CV in relation to the position of the shaft? There is only one way that it can be reassembled/dissembled no?
The cage has a lip on it and will limit it's range of travel if it's reinstalled backwards if you tear it all the way down.

And no, the joint itself can go on either way if I recall correctly...it's been awhile. I'd imagine I added that for a reason at the time though.

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post #23 of 37 Old 03-20-2013, 12:51 PM
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My thoughts exactly I need a boot!!!
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post #24 of 37 Old 03-21-2013, 10:01 PM
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I contacted a driveshaft shop in FL about a rebuild kit for these JK rzeppa joints and they said they are available but they are backordered until May. I guess I'll have to nurse my torn boot until then.
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post #25 of 37 Old 04-10-2013, 06:59 PM
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It's been a matter of time until someone released service kits an boots for these driveshafts.

When I first build my JK four years ago I swapped out the stock shafts with CV style front & rear. I managed to damage the rear shafts axle side boot when the shaft fell off the jack stand I had it sitting on. Have been amazed I can't just get a new boot, the shaft only has 700 miles on it and would make someone a great replacement.

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