Maryland's Best Kept Secret!!!
Monday, I took my Jeep to get the tires rotated. Rotating your tires increases the life span. Plus, throwing your spare into the rotation adds even more life. Sadly, I neglected to do this, and have gone about 9,000 miles without a rotation.
Jeff from Adrenaline Off Road also looked at my diff's. A little oil leaking, yah think? Turns out, I didn't get the plugs in tight enough. I hope anyways. That would suck if I got faulty diff covers.
The plugs have tapered threads. They need to be tightened more than I did. So we took them off to add some RTV silicone to help keep them sealed, and the oil in.
Jeff also showed me how to measure the gear oil. Just a simple zip tie. Just bend it, and use it like your oil's dipstick.
He shared that most people over fill their diffs, and should be at a level shown in this picture.
Then he took a look over the undercarriage of my Jeep. He pointed out some leaking from the front drive shaft. I still have my stock drive shaft. It isn't suitable with a lift, and will eventually break under the pressures I put on it. So looks like I'm getting some new Jeep parts.
Jeff put a new front drive shaft on order, and hopefully by next week my Rubicon will be just a little bit tougher. We are ordering a custom drive shaft from Tom Wood's Custom Drive Shafts. These drive shafts use what is called a double Cardan CV joint, which has been around for decades. They can live and run happily for over 100,000 miles if you service it properly. A little tender loving care goes a long way.
They have a smaller diameter which allows the suspension to drop on 2012 and newer 3.6 Wranglers without touching the exhaust, which could possibly damage the drive shaft.
Typically you see this issue with 3" or more of a lift after of 20K to 30K driving, or after off road use when the suspension stretches "droop". The Wranglers driveshaft will come into contact with the exhaust cross pipe, requiring an exhaust spacer or new driveshaft.
I am told The 07 and up Wrangler JK's & JKU's drive shafts
come with Rzeppa joints. They are stronger than the typical driveshaft, but the Rzeppa joint is designed to run as straight as possible. When they run at steeper angles than what the factory set them up for after extended periods of time they will prematurely wear out.
The first thing that will happen is the boot will tear and grease will eventually leak. Like mine you see in this picture. There could also be clicking noises.
I am so thankful for finding Jeff and Adrenaline Off Road. Jeff is an offroad enthusiast and has many, many years experience under the hood, every day since 2002! He has been a Jeep enthusiast since 1993.
The cool thing about all this, besides beefing up my Jeep, is I am learning more about my Jeep and how it works.
What Does the Drive Shaft Do?
The Wrangler’s driveshaft performs a crucial function. It moves power from your engine to the wheels and transfers torque to the differential from the transfer case. Torque is the strength of your Jeep's engine. A driveshaft transmits that raw power to the differential. The differential spins the wheels to move your Jeep, whether along the highway or up over those rocks or even through the mud.
The stock driveshaft is designed to match the suspension travel of the factory suspension. It's not too tough either, just enough for average driving and fairly mild off-roading. It lacks grease fittings due to cost cutting during the engineering process.
The factory shafts can't be greased. The Tom Wood's Custom Drive Shaft can, but you need to keep up with the greasing.
Which is why I'm replacing mine before problems arise. Hopefully, my Jeep will last another week while I wait for my new Jeep Parts. .
More Information of Driveshafts Source: Extreme Terrain