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Today I went over to Co Hummer's house and he tack welded the caps on my spare set of Dana 30 axle shafts. Thanks once again man, I owe you one:beer:

There has been a few people asking me about this and a little confusion around it so I thought I would post on what to do and why.


Over the years, I have seen more front axle failers due to the caps walking off the front U Joints then I have actually seen just straiaght broken axles. The caps are really all that hold your U Joints together and they are only held in by clips. When these clips come off the caps walk out. Alot of times what happens is the cap will hit the ball joints then the ujoints come apart, destroying the ball joints, akle shafts, U joints and sometimes more. These clips come off for a few reasons. Sometimes the ears stretch or sometimes the clips where not even installed properly from the factory. I have read a few reports where people have gone out to their JK's and found a clip out of it's groove or even missing all together, so do yourself a favor and atleast check them out one in a while!!

There have been a couple people that where not sure of what exactly they where looking for so here is a couple of pics. You can see the top of the cap from the outside, on the inside of the joint there is a groove along the bottom of the cap that a retaining clip sits in. This clip should be completly in that groove.







There is a couple ways to help with this type of failer. One option is a full circle clip. To do this on your stock axles you would need to machine a goove. I don't really like the idea of removing material and the fact that the caps could still rotate.

The other option is tack welding the caps. It holds the cap in, even if the ears stretch and in addition it pprovides an early warning system. You can easily see if a tack weld broke and know something isn't right. I have known guys with XJ's who have tacked thier caps and ran the same shafts for years without problems. I had done this to my XJ and never had problems either. I have heard of poepl who have done this and jut had the tacks break anyway but not seen it myself. Some people also say it is not a good idea because it could make it impossible to replace your U joints on the trail if the weld is too deep. I carry a full spare so I am not worried about it. That is also part of the reason I went with a single tack weld.

there is some different opinions on how many welds to use. I have seen a single weld, two welds, 3 welds, even saw one with about 10 welds!

In my opinion, you don't want to burn out the grease so overkill should be avoided. I think any more then 4 is just redundant, if four break, 6 would. I debated between 1, 2 or 3. Tacks will hold a cap in pretty well in my opinion. I think that 2 might just be as strong in this situation as 3. I decided to go eith a single tack. I feel this will be plenty strong and provide a good early warning sytem. If I reach a point where I break a single tack then I will go to three. But, for now, one should be good enough. We welded the cap on the flat spot near the top.




Here is a pic of Co Hummer going to work. Thanks once again man!

 

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Thanks for the write-up. I know it's simple and most propably understood this, but I didn't until now. Thanks.
 

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Nice write up. :beer:

All I did was take 2 minutes to put 8 tacks on two axles. But I never even knew about doing this until WTF showed it to me. Thanks to you! :D
 

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Excellent write up and some great information on this potential problem. I know what I'll be doing next weekend....
 

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I just don't want to have warranty troubles if I ever have a axle or u-joint fauilre. I would almost rather have the caps fall off and have it covered than tack weld them then snap an axle. What to do what to do. :shaking:
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I just don't want to have warranty troubles if I ever have a axle or u-joint fauilre. I would almost rather have the caps fall off and have it covered than tack weld them then snap an axle. What to do what to do. :shaking:

I doubt a ujoint failer would be covered if you have anything larger then 32's since that was the largest stock size. UNfortunatley I do not have anu stock tires laying around.

Besides, the main reason for this is when you are on the trail. If the ujoint fails due to the cap coming off, chances are it will destroy the ball joint and possibly more...Making trail repair somewhere in between impossible and pain in the ass. Axle replacment is cheap enough that I would rather just replace my own axles then even take the time to argue with Jeep over it
 

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Nice write up :smokin: I keep meaning to getting around to do mine, and think you've provided enough inspiration now, although I'm way too lazy to pull the shafts out to do it. I agree that one tack weld should be sufficient as all you are trying to do is stop the caps rotating. Quickly checking the tack welds and the c clips every so often should help spot any potential problems early on.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Nice write up :smokin: I keep meaning to getting around to do mine, and think you've provided enough inspiration now, although I'm way too lazy to pull the shafts out to do it. I agree that one tack weld should be sufficient as all you are trying to do is stop the caps rotating. Quickly checking the tack welds and the c clips every so often should help spot any potential problems early on.

I agree with what you said Phil. I do hope it will help prevent a failer but, honestly I feel like the most beneificial aspect of this is as an early warning system :beer:
 
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I agree with what you said Phil. I do hope it will help prevent a failer but, honestly I feel like the most beneificial aspect of this is as an early warning system :beer:
Another way to get an early warning if you don't want to tack weld them is to simply put a paint strip across the yoke and cap (all of them) and then you can occassionally take a look and see if any have rotated.
 

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Another way to get an early warning if you don't want to tack weld them is to simply put a paint strip across the yoke and cap (all of them) and then you can occassionally take a look and see if any have rotated.
Excellent idea..... for thoughs who don't feel like Tack Welding.....if trouble shows up, drive it straight to dealer...:D
 

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Excellent idea..... for thoughs who don't feel like Tack Welding.....if trouble shows up, drive it straight to dealer...:D
knowing Chrysler, they may still try to void the warranty on the U-Joint due to user markings. :lol:


Seriously though, that is a good idea gcg. It was what I considered doing if I didn't tack weld these ones on




Guys, if you are not going to Tack weld your caps on I would highly recomend at least marking them and include Checking those marks on the caps and U joint Clips as part of your regular inspections. :beer:
 

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Guys, if you are not going to Tack weld your caps on...
I did mine over the weekend while I was doing a tire rotation.

If you do them on the vehicle don't forget to disconnect the battery. I don't know if it's required, but I always unplug the computer too.
 
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I did mine over the weekend while I was doing a tire rotation.

If you do them on the vehicle don't forget to disconnect the battery. I don't know if it's required, but I always unplug the computer too.
Whenever I’ve welded on mine I’ve only disconnected the battery and haven’t had a computer problem. Having said that, what do you disconnect? Seems like a good idea.
 

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Having said that, what do you disconnect? Seems like a good idea.
It is under the hood on the drivers side and there are four big connectors. Takes all of 15 seconds to unplug all of them. Slide the red latch back, squeeze at top, and pull off.
 

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I wanna tack mine one day this week.

I assume it's ok to do this without removing the axles, right? I don't see why not, but I thought I'd ask.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I wanna tack mine one day this week.

I assume it's ok to do this without removing the axles, right? I don't see why not, but I thought I'd ask.

don't see why not. I think PhilD did his on the rig. Just unplug the battery.

EDIT: Yah Phil did, it was just a couple posts ago, lol. Disconnect the ECU as well...
 
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