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Thread: So what could possibly go wrong with this redneck axle shaft u-joint fix?

  1. #1
    BlackRubi Forum Member alancurtis2's Avatar
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    So what could possibly go wrong with this redneck axle shaft u-joint fix?

    So, making a short story even shorter.. let's say I was heading to a hotel in Peoria Illinois, on my way home from the eclipse, in my 2006 Rubicon, and 2 miles from the hotel the right front axle shaft U-joint loses a bearing cap... i get to the hotel just fine. Freeway makes no noises, but a clunking at low speeds as the u-joint obeys gravity and falls down when the missing bearing cap is down. The axle is already chewed up enough that I seriously doubt I could put in a new u-joint, so I'm looking at a new axle eventually anyway.

    Adding insult to injury, I normally carry spare front axle shafts when off roading, but since this was a highway trip with luggage, I left most of my tools and parts at home. grrr...

    So, what I'm worried about is that the 'matching' bearing cap will fail, given clunking around, and I have done something either smart, or dumb, and as usual I cannot tell which it is...

    I've wrapped the u-joint in duct tape. a lot of duct tape. this seems to hold the axle shaft "centered" as I turn the wheel by hand, and I've not yet done a test drive (why test drive something that is your last option anyway, eh?).

    The way i figure it, the u-joint only has to help keep the center diff spinning the drive shaft (since I will NOT be using 4wd), and there should be minimal load on it. I know... if I had locking/unlocking hubs this would never have been a problem.... I also know that if failed when I think it should have had minimal load on it, other than freeway driving in 2wd .. so maybe the load is more than I think to spin a diff-n-driveshaft at 70mph?

    Anyway, anyone think of anything that could possibly go horribly wrong with this "road fix" until I get home? It is only 427 miles...cough cough...

    alan

    PS I may be able to attach pix..Nope, don't have the right cables for the phone... basically I took a 1" wide piece of duct tape (pink) and wrapped it around all the bearing caps, thus including the missing one. before doing this I put a "pad" of duct tape over the end of the u-joint cross that was missing the cap, so that the tape would push that in with some amount of tension. Then had Pam spin the tire while I fed in about 10 layers of duct tape. then we did it again, making sure that duct tape covered the entire missing cap area (and beyond!) so that even if the "cross" wiggles in the "bearing space" it will always be contained by the tape. I plan to stop and 1 mile, 20 miles, and so forth to see how it's holding up.... what could possibly go wrong?
    Alan
    Black 06 Rubicon TJ
    Latest: Beadlocks
    Intentional: 2" spacer lift, 1" body+engine, 34 LTBs, Kilby gas tank skid, steering box skid, JKS swaybar disconnects, Kilby rocker guard/steps, Kilby front bumper, Smittybilt XRC8 comp winch, Durango Generator.
    Forced stuff: JKS adjustable front upper control arms, rancho shocks, Delete fog lamps, On-trail body mods for greater clearance (ie Dents).
    Next: flat belly skid, 35+?, re-attach fog lights?

  2. #2
    Member Ohio 4x4 Member
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    ArmyGuy's Avatar
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    I bet that it failed. However, if you had managed to use some #9 baling wire during the process...and drove with one eye while praying to the solar eclipse gods...it might have worked!
    Doug
    96 Wrangler
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  3. #3
    BlackRubi Forum Member alancurtis2's Avatar
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    Home safe, with it all looking about the same as when I first strapped it together.
    However, when failing or taped the axle shaft must have moved around enough to make the seal un-happy, as it's now leaking diff fluid...

    and now I have the right cables to include pix (I hope this works...)
    Tape-before_20170823_184301.jpg
    with first layer of tape
    Tape-during_20170823_185651.jpg
    and then I added more tape so that the cross couldn't escape... this is what it looked like after the more tape, and when I got home.
    Tape-finished_20170824_161127.jpg

    alan
    Alan
    Black 06 Rubicon TJ
    Latest: Beadlocks
    Intentional: 2" spacer lift, 1" body+engine, 34 LTBs, Kilby gas tank skid, steering box skid, JKS swaybar disconnects, Kilby rocker guard/steps, Kilby front bumper, Smittybilt XRC8 comp winch, Durango Generator.
    Forced stuff: JKS adjustable front upper control arms, rancho shocks, Delete fog lamps, On-trail body mods for greater clearance (ie Dents).
    Next: flat belly skid, 35+?, re-attach fog lights?

  4. #4
    Local Goon Ohio 4x4 Member
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    tbshakie's Avatar
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    Nice tape job Alan. I am wonder why you carry around pink Duct Tape?
    Paul

    1976 CJ 5 on 37s
    1984 CJ 7 on 36's
    1993 GMC K3500 6.5 Turbo Diesel

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    FoundingFather, Treasurer Moderator
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    clarknorm's Avatar
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    I say leave it as is - it looks like a high-dollar RCV shaft now.
    -Norm

  6. #6
    BlackRubi Forum Member alancurtis2's Avatar
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    I mark all my "larger" tools with pink duct tape, and the always come back to me! Smaller tools sometimes get pink nail polish, but that seems weirder to be buying at Walmart than the tape, so I don't do it as often...

    Recently, thanks to my Daughter and her many wilderness experiences, I've learned that if I always have about half a roll around my Nalgene water bottle, I almost always have some duct tape when I need it.

    I must admit the phrase "I fixed the axle in my jeep with duct tape" was not one I expected to ever be saying...
    Alan
    Black 06 Rubicon TJ
    Latest: Beadlocks
    Intentional: 2" spacer lift, 1" body+engine, 34 LTBs, Kilby gas tank skid, steering box skid, JKS swaybar disconnects, Kilby rocker guard/steps, Kilby front bumper, Smittybilt XRC8 comp winch, Durango Generator.
    Forced stuff: JKS adjustable front upper control arms, rancho shocks, Delete fog lamps, On-trail body mods for greater clearance (ie Dents).
    Next: flat belly skid, 35+?, re-attach fog lights?

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