Join Date: May 2001
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CJ Dana 30 Axle freshen up
OK, so I got the new gears and lockers installed. But when I talked to the mechanic (who VERY much impressed me), he showed me that my ball joints were shot on one side, and the front axle u-joints were shot (would only flex in one direction, which I wasn't even aware of). Now he changed the joints for free, and he offered to do the balljoints at a reasonable price, but I wanted my Jeep back so I opted to do them myself.
The venture began with a trip to see Gene at Turner 4WD, for my ususal shopping method, (open FSM flip to mechanical drawing and say "I need everything between here and here."). Then I continued to AutoZone to pickup the Ball-joint press.
I decided that if I was going to pull balljoints, I would do all 4 at one shot, since they were probably the originals on the thing from 1983.
Pulling this thing apart was a nightmare, even using an impact setup with 380ft/lbs of torque, I couldn't get these suckers to budge! By this time it was 1:00AM, so I gave up, packed everything up and dropped it at NAPA's machine shop during lunch. $50 dollars, an hour, and no fuss later I got my stuff back, installed, and ready to go.
Now, I'm a big fan of preventative maintenance, so while I had all this stuff apart, I also replaced all 4 tie rod ends as well. So now I have spares, and the steering is MUCH tighter than before (didn't thing that was possible), and I KNOW it's all sound equipment.
All in all it was a real PITA, but I look at it as a worthy investment in better steering/road performance, and reliablility. If you haven't checked them lately, I would highly recommend taking some time and looking over your front axles from the inside out. What you find might surprise you.
'83 CJ-7 nothing original but the tub and axle tubes