Rubicon axle u-joint failure - Off-Road Forums & Discussion Groups
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post #1 of (permalink) Old 08-20-2004, 09:51 AM Thread Starter
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Rubicon axle u-joint failure

Seems like I've seen an unusual amount of the Rubicon front axle joints fail - including mine.
The joint itself doesn't fail (the journal's fine,) the "C" clip pops out and the bearing cap falls out.
Must be a common problem, as new replacement joints are hard to find - everyone's on backorder.

I believe even though the Rubi's diff is a "44," the outer ends, and u-joints are still "30's".

Anybody have a "trick" cure?
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 08-20-2004, 10:18 AM
 
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Re: Rubicon axle u-joint failure

If the "C" clip is popping out, does it have a deep enough groove to hold it in or is the clip failing? Is there enough material in the knuckle to deepen the groove with a drimmel? Can you use a different "C" clip?
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 08-20-2004, 10:43 AM
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Re: Rubicon axle u-joint failure

Tack weld?
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 08-20-2004, 10:49 AM
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Re: Rubicon axle u-joint failure

It should just use a standard 297 joint nothing fancy there. Once you have a joint puke it tends to tweak the ears on the axle shaft and then continue to puke joints. It might be hard to tell but take a really good look at your ears on the shafts and see if one is opened up a little bit or something. I have had the same problem out of half ton stuff and if it is slightly bent you might be able to massage it back into shape with a hammer. It will likely have to replaced at some point (maybe replace it now and you have a trail spare that is worthy enough to get you out of the woods).
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 08-20-2004, 10:57 AM
 
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Re: Rubicon axle u-joint failure

Tac weld them? ... Yes!
Or, in the extreme, a full circle weld then ground down and painted ... to better see a circular crack when the caps begin to turn in the ears again.
That's what I do now, on advice from the pros ... and that's on alloy 44 shafts with CTMs and full circle clips!
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 08-20-2004, 11:53 AM
 
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Re: Rubicon axle u-joint failure

weld them or warn sells a full circle clip kit that you have to grind your axle a little to make work.
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 08-20-2004, 12:56 PM
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Re: Rubicon axle u-joint failure

What about some a little less drastic than welding? like Sleeve lock on the clip?
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post #8 of (permalink) Old 08-20-2004, 04:30 PM
 
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Re: Rubicon axle u-joint failure

</font><blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr />
Tac weld them? ... Yes!
Or, in the extreme, a full circle weld then ground down and painted

[/ QUOTE ]
why, so you can burn all the freaking grease out of them?
tac welding will work fine, all it needs to do is keep it from moving, the stress of the u joint is not on the weld.
i prefer to run old axles with 20 year old U joints. everything is so rusted tight, nothing moves.
tack weld it and be done.

pitching caps is the most common reason of U joint failure/shaft breakage.
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post #9 of (permalink) Old 08-20-2004, 05:34 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Rubicon axle u-joint failure

Thank guys -- after taking a real close look at it - it looks like on a full turn under acceleration, where the U-joint's taking lots of pressure, The joint moves slightly - the very thin clip, that's bareley longer than 180 degrees, gets loose and slips out. Then the bearing cap works it's way out. I caught mine before any damage occurred, even the end of the journal wasn't beat to death - looked like all it needed was a new bearing cap (no!)
The clip's just too damn short - doesn't go around the bearing cap enough.
I'm going to try putting a little tack weld glob on the yoke after the bearing's on - the outside - trying to keep most of the heat on the yoke. And - I'll try putting a small dab of JB Weld in the inside of the yoke - right where the clip would have to slide if it tried to come out, trapping it.
Next replacement time all it'll need is a grinder touched to the tacks on the outside to clean them off, and a chisel whacking the 2 or 3 drops of JB weld on the inside.

Comments?

Seems like this problem is fairly common - I'd suggest everyone have a look at their axle joints every once in a while - may prevent problems on the trail or road.

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post #10 of (permalink) Old 08-20-2004, 07:46 PM
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Re: Rubicon axle u-joint failure

I would first look for the longer C-clips that might fit it. I bet you can find some that will fit. But beyond that lots of people put a tack in for insurance for the same reason.
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