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Normal Topic Front axle shafts (Read 513 times)
Flatfender Master
Owner Member 2012


Posts: 1744
Location: Taylorsville Ky
Joined: 10/18/10
Gender: Male
Front axle shafts
03/26/17 at 12:20:07
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On a recent stay in Utah I broke my left front axle shaft. There was 45 vehicles and 152 people on the trail in our group. We were on the Hole in the Rock trail and were just past Marble camp climbing a bad dugway to take tools to a broke down 4 wheeler when the axle started acting up and then went South.

Both shafts are Bendix and the balls fell out of the left side ale shaft. It was banging and beating about. I removed the drive flanges and the front drive shaft and drove 20 miles back to the parking area and loaded the Jeep and headed back to Blanding. Calvin was with me and helped me get back to the parking area and back to Blanding. In spite of he failure we and everyone else had a grand time. In hind sight I wish I had just continued to the end of the trail at Powell Lake but it is what it is.

When I got back to Ky I tore into it and found the bad shaft. I have a pair of Rzeppa axles I plan to use rather than buy the Spicer axles. I will call Walcks Monday and get the stuff I need to redo the knuckle bearings and install the axles.

Having played with the Rzeppa and knowledge of how a Spicer U joint works I feel more comfortable with the Rzeppa for extreme articulation than I do with the Spicer on the trails.

After going to SE Utah for 7 years now and having driven over 12,000 miles on the trails there and about 2,000 miles on the Chloride Az trails I have become very good at negotiating trails and understanding my Jeep and what I can and can't do and what I need in a Jeep. The Lock Right in the rear axle has saved me many times and I could not have gotten out of the Hole in the Rock trail without it.

I don't feel the Spicer axle shafts would survive the extreme articulation that I do on some of the tight trails. Keeping in mind that the axles in my jeep are likely the original axles and may have close to 100,000 miles on them I think they lived a good life considering the torture I and prior owners put them through.
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