Fixing A Broken Axleshaft - What Now?

Broken Front Axleshaft On The Trail

Verne SimonsWriterJP StaffPhotographer

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.

If You Have Unitbearings

If You Have Locking Hubs

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).