Subscribe to a magazine

Fixing A Broken Axleshaft - What Now?

Jeep With Broken Front Axle
Verne Simons
| Senior Editor, Jp
Posted April 1, 2013
Photographers: JP Staff

Broken Front Axleshaft On The Trail

Bam! So you are out on the trail in your Jeep having a great day and then things suddenly go sideways. Whether it’s a broken U-joint, busted steering linkage, wasted driveshaft, water in your ignition, or any number of other maladies that may befall you, there’s usually a way to cobble your Jeep back together so you can make it back to civilization. Welcome to a new series in which we’ll detail various scenes of trail breakage, offer tips on assessing and diagnosing the problem, and highlight some solutions to get you rolling again. In this issue, it’s the all-too-common busted front axleshaft.

You just got bigger tires and a locker when you lay a little bit too far into the throttle and something popped. Oops! That didn’t sound good. Now what to do? Well we have all been there. We all had to start this Jeep addiction…er, hobby somewhere. And while we all might take it to different levels, occasional failures will occur. But if you’re prepared for it, breaking on the trail doesn’t have to be frightening or cause for ruining your day. So if you hear that pop, clank, grind coming from your front axle, here’s what to do.

Photos

View Photo Gallery

If You Have Unitbearings

If you wheel a late-model unitbearing-equipped Jeep without locking hubs, if you break a U-joint, inner or outer (stub) shaft, or your differential or ring-and-pinion are broken you are more likely to pop ball joints out of the knuckle while moving your Jeep to a good spot to work on it. If an axle U-joint is broken you’ll have to pull parts out to get off the trail. Here’s what to do. Start by pulling your centercap of the wheel (if you run ’em), put the wheel back on with at least a few lug nuts, and remove the cotter pin and lock ring. Now grab a 34mm socket and a big breaker bar. Once this nut is loose you can remove the wheel.

Photos

View Photo Gallery

If You Have Locking Hubs

Photos

View Photo Gallery

What To Do If Part of the Inner Shaft Is Stuck in the Differential
If the inner shaft broke you may have a hard time getting the remainder of the axle out of the housing. You can use a magnet on a stick, or if you must, you can sometimes get it out with several welding sticks stuck together, stick it down the axletube, and tack weld it to the bit of axle hidden in there (assuming you have a welder).

Comments

Advertisement