Zuk axles are CRAP!
Just had to get that out there. I fought all day long trying to get the axles out of my other Zuk, but to no avail. I specifically drove 100 miles each way to pull them, figuring it'd be an easy job and figuring I'd need them for an upcoming 4WD run. We put the Zuk in the barn, all set in it's stall, and broke the lug nuts free, which was no easy task by itself.
I should have known something was up when one of the rear drum bolts snapped the 3/4" to 1/2" impact adapter. No problem, the backup got it off. I unbolted the rear drums, and they wouldn't come off. No amount of beating would free them, even after being soaked in PB Blaster. Finally we hauled out the Porta-Power and jacked between the wheels. That did the trick on the passenger's side, and jacking from the springs to the tire did the driver's side.
With that off, I tried to remove the E-brake assembly. Looks simple enough, just remove the cotter type pin and take out the roll pin. Got the cotter pin out, but there was no way the roll pin was moving. After fighting with it and not getting anywhere, I finally grabbed the snips and cut the cable. Problem solved. The other side did the same thing.
So now I'm onto the brake line. I used the flare nut wrenches, but it stripped out. Yep, the nut on the brake line actually stripped while using a flare wrench, and yes, it was the right size. I even PB Blastered it as well. No problem, more cutting. Next problem solved.
Now to remove the shaft. Nope, not budging. Tried hammering on it. Nope, nothing there. Tried putting the tire/drum back on and using it as a slide hammer. Nope, nothing doing. Grabbed the Porta-Power again and used the spreader jaws. Nothing. Wait a minute, "nothing" with a Porta-Power? Yep, it would not budge, either side. No matter what I tried I couldn't get them off.
So I left them there and started working on the front. On one side two of the lug nuts were spinning but not backing off. Yep, the stud broke free. No getting those off today.
So I abandoned my project, after a good solid 5 hours of working on it. Yes, I was and still am a little ticked. Anyone have any idea of how to get this damn thing apart?
I also have a housing up here with me (100 miles northeast of where Zuk #2 is) and the long shaft (the one that breaks) is also jammed in the housing with no give in sight. I was going to have it rehabbed with new bearings and seals, until I found out it'd cost over $110 to have them done ($80 just in parts!), which is why I decided to make the trip. Now what was it about Zuks that was cheap? Not the axle parts.
I have worked on old axles, like my 1978 Scout II D44 with almost 180,000 miles since the last rebuild, that weren't that much of a PITA. Same thing with the 1947 CJ-2A axle, it was a JOY compared to these.
So while I'm working on it, I'm wondering why I'm spending so much time on a junk axle. The splines twist, the shafts snap, the 3rd member is a joke of engineering (look at a D44 or a Ford 9" someday and you'll know what I mean), and the Birfields break and require the rings. The ONLY redeeming feature I can see over other axles is the kingpins, which I like, but since I've never had a ball joint break I'll live with them.
I am going to swap to a D30 narrow track front and an offset D44 rear, I'm getting rid of these stock POS's. I just don't feel like fighting them at every corner. The stock D30 I have, and I have tons of spares, jeepers just love to swap them out. The rear D44 is another matter. Maybe I'll shell out the $125 to have one of my Scout II D44's cut down and resplined. Heck, it'd probably be cheaper in the long run.
Sorry, but I had to rant and vent a little. The Zuk as a whole is a nice vehicle, I just hate certain aspects of it, like the POS axles.
Winter Harbor, Maine
'81 CJ-8 Scrambled, It's a Jeep, Chevy, IHC kinda thing!
'88.5 Zuki, 5" Calmini, Locked, Swamped, Rolled, and just generally broken in right!