View Full Version : front drive shaft spinning

April 7th, 2008, 05:28
I did a search and came up with nothing. I am new to XJs so need to ask a simple question. When in 2wd, is the front driveshaft supposed to continue to spin when driving? Mine does. I am thinking I have a automatic hub that won't unlock but am not sure. I have tried the backing up method and it didn't do anything different, but my understanding is on the XJ you are not supposed to have to do that any way. The transfer case is a standard 2hi-N-4Hi-4Lo so should not be a all wheel drive T/C.

Also I believe I have ruled out the T/C because when I turn in 2wd, it turns fine without the tires dragging or hopping etc..

thanks in advance,

April 7th, 2008, 06:01
It always spins. You don't have front hubs to unlock. It is being spun by the front axle shafts when in 2wd.

April 7th, 2008, 06:04

Very Noob,

The hub on XJ don't disconnect. In 2wd, it disengage the front shaft in the transfer case only. So when the truck run, the shaft will be turning. Some after maket kit exist to do that but very expensive.

April 7th, 2008, 07:06
great, thanks. That is one less thing I need to fix on it.

April 7th, 2008, 08:54
Couple of observations:
One, you didn't say what year, etc. You need to supply the basic stuff so people will understand the questione. The second, for example, is that certain early XJ's, such as pre-91? (for sure, pre-90), have a disconnect front axle that should only allow the front shaft to turn when in 4x drive.
So, all of the answers I saw here may or may not be correct---just depends on the year and model of your XJ.
By the way, your owner's manual should have given you the answere.

April 7th, 2008, 15:37
do not worry about the front drive shaft spinninig when in 2wd, it is supposed too! the goal of this is to prevent the shaft from binding resulting in damage to the u joints and cardan thingy when not being used.try to imagine what would happen if you were being towed,and leaving youre jeep in park.it would destroy the hell outta everything.same goes for the front prop shaft. hope this makes sense,and helps you out a bit.try finding a haynes manual for youre jeep,it has a lot of good info about these type of questions that you will surely have more that need answering! good luck!

April 7th, 2008, 16:14
The most accurate answer was by Xjbubba.

Early XJs came with a passenger side disconnect, or disco as you will see it mentioned most often. I don't recall the years they stopped putting discos on part time units either, early 90's some time.

The disconnect worked by sliding a collar on the 2 pc pass side axle shaft, which disconnected that drive shaft. With only one axle turning, the differential spins freely and the front DS never moves.

Later models and FT units had one piece axles, and the drive shaft spins whether in or out of 4wd.

Advice to the newbie right on, always post vehicle information with your question. Many answers are year, engine, sub model and t-case type dependent.


April 7th, 2008, 18:45
sorry, I had typed out my rigs specs but for no apparent reason I ended up deleting it before I posted.

It is a :
97 XJ SE
straight 6
manual tranny
T/C ?
dana 30 front
dana35 rear
4 inch lift
31 inch tires.

April 7th, 2008, 20:40
There's your answere--'97's did not have disconnect front axles, so the front shaft will turn no matter if in 2 or 4-wheel drive.
Problem with this is if you lift your Jeep too much, the front pinion angle becomes excess, resulting in vibration.
The manufactures removed front axle disconnects, and front hubs, which were also used to disconnect both front axles, as a cost saving measure.
With both axles connected, the front differential, drive shaft, and some gears/bearings in the TC are operating 100% of the time, resulting in unwarranted wear and reduced gas mileage.

Blaine B.
April 7th, 2008, 21:54
I doubt the spinning of the driveshaft compared to it not spinning will get you a noticable decrease in fuel economy.