View Full Version : Front Drive shaft repair - Vibes 30-40MPH

March 2nd, 2019, 14:42
A few weeks ago, the Commander started vibrating starting at 30mph and ending roughly at 40mph.

I diagnosed it to the front shaft by putting the vehicle on ramps, blocking the wheels, and putting the t-case in N - then checking the play at each DS joint.

Specifically, it was the T-Case side joint on the shaft. The boot went bad, and the front cup is made so that it almost scoops all the crud off the road and puts it in the joint.
The CV is made of 3 parts, a rear cover, a front cover with boot, and the CV joint.

Dorman makes a kit for it which consists of everything above, and molly grease.
O'Reilly has them in Stock at most locations.

To get to the DS, you need to remove the front splash shield. This is held on by 4 bolts, only 2 of which you need to take out.
In order to remove the front DS, I found you need to also unbolt and lower the cross member holding the T-Case and Transmission.

The drive shaft is held in with (6) 8mm bolts on each side.
Once you remove the bolts, you will need to tap the CVs with a hammer to break them loose from the cups they sit in.

Once the DS is loose, remove the (8) 16mm cross member bolts while supporting it in the center with a jack.
Lower the jack and remove the drive shaft by passing it past the t-case and gas tank.

Once you have the DS on the bench, Remove the band clamp by cutting it, and remove the rear cover (it will take force).
Then remove the C-Clip holding the shaft in, and slide the CV off the shaft.

Prep the new CV:
Apply the supplied gasket to the CV with RTV.
The gasket goes on the side that is recessed for it.
I recovered the gasket from the old rear cover to use on the front cover.
The new joint is not lubricated, but comes with a tube of grease.
Pack the lube in the joint so the ball bearings are completely greased.

Install the clamp and new front cover on the shaft.
Slide the CV over the shaft and install the supplied ring.
Install the rear cover and slide a bolt through to keep things in alignment.
Crimp boot clamp.

Put the shaft back in the Jeep.
Align the hols in the CV with the holes in the cup and place the CVs in the Pinion and T-Case cups.
Install bolts hand tight to get things started.
Install cross member, which will set the DS back to zero angle and make final tightening easier.
Toque the DS bolts to 'very snug", then go around again as the CV's will have settled in the cups.

I hope this helps someone.
It's not a horribly difficult job, and the part ran me $165 with tax.
It took me about 6 hours to remove the shaft, source the part, and re-install it (I work slow).

March 6th, 2019, 19:46
How did this hold up? Fix the problem? Part quality? This is a common problem on all this era Jeep's and dodge and I see these bad all the time. Didn't even no this part was serviceable. Would save someone a lot of money as buying the whole shaft isn't cheap.

March 8th, 2019, 19:49
So far I've only got 440 or so miles on it, but the vibrations are history.

From what I can tell, the quality of the machining, and of the kit in general seemed more than acceptable.