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2004 TJ - Front Drive Shaft

Discussion in 'Jeeps' started by corbel, Jan 3, 2011.

  1. corbel

    corbel Junior Member
    Messages: 27

    Heard some knocking, brought to mechanic, put it up on lift and looks like the front drive shaft u joints are shot. He said that it comes only as a replacement shaft, not just u joints. Doing some research now, but I was wondering what choices I have.

    A) Should I replace it with a stock part or something after market?

    B) I didnt get under there myself, but why can't he replace the actual joints instead of having to replace the entire shaft (not sure what the costs is yet either)
     
  2. theplowmeister

    theplowmeister 2000 Club Member
    from MA
    Messages: 2,549

  3. corbel

    corbel Junior Member
    Messages: 27

    Do you think it warrants upgrade? Or stay with stock. Truck has 53k on it.
     
  4. micklock

    micklock Senior Member
    Messages: 118

  5. yamahagrizzly

    yamahagrizzly Member
    Messages: 33

    The u-joints are replaceable. if the knuckel near the t-case is gone it will just be cheaper and easier to replace the whole shaft. a used shaft should cost 75-100 and take 25 min to install.
     
  6. ken643

    ken643 Senior Member
    Messages: 818

    Just got the word on mine from my mechanic, Dropped off the Jeep with no issues just for a complete once over after working so hard with the blizzard. Found front right axle joint was shot, replaced the left one last year. Also repacing the worn original rear brakes and changed engine oil and trans fluid. There go some of the profits, But it has to be done, cant break down when plowing.
     
  7. Mems

    Mems Senior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 202

    I just did my front drive shaft last week. Pretty easy to do yourself, just make sure you get the correct parts as a standard wrangler has different parts then a Rubicon. You'll need two u-joints for the cardan joint as well as the centering ball joint which kind of connects the two. This is the most expensive part at around 60-80 bucks and a little hard to get in but not terrible. You'll either need to buy or rent a ujoint press to press in and take out your ujoints. This link below is the same site that is posted above but goes a little more indepth and also gives you the parts numbers you'll need for a standard wrangler from your local Napa.

    http://www.stu-offroad.com/axle/driveshaft/driveshaft-5.htm
     
  8. corbel

    corbel Junior Member
    Messages: 27

    I had mechanic replace the u joints for me. Total cost was 190 with an oil change. I asked him about possible ordering one and keeping a spare on the truck (assuming this maybe a weak link, having a spare was a good idea). When I told him about it, he mentioned that in order to get to the shaft, the skid plate (which also doubles as a tranny cross member) has to be removed. Basically he said not an easy swap on the side of road, but would need to support the trans with a jack in order to drop the skid plate and get to the shaft.

    Is this with all TJ's, or only mine? I bought it used two years ago, its an 04 rocky mountain edition (which if I'm searching correctly makes it an "X" model with some diamond plate here or there)
     
  9. Mems

    Mems Senior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 202

    I only dropped the drivers side of the skid plate and then rotated the front drive shaft so that i could get to the bolts holding in that U-joint that can be seen. Having done it once already, i could easily do it in 20 minutes on the side of the road with a half inch and quarter inch socket wrenches and an 8mm socket and a 18 i believe it is for the 3 skid plate bolts and the use of the stock jack to get the skid plate back up in place. Its not that hard, especially if you've done it once before.
     
  10. yamahagrizzly

    yamahagrizzly Member
    Messages: 33

    ive never dropped the skid to change the shaft. i see where it would make it easier but imo not worth it