This weeks topic on our upgrade is axle shafts. This was not a planned upgrade but one we made anyway.
What Went Wrong
Since purchasing the Jeep we have had a few repairs to make. Those have been outlined in various posts over the last couple of months. One of the repairs I did not make was from an oil leak in the rear axle. I knew about it and had taken a look at while we put the lift on the Jeep. The passenger side hub area had a lot of old oil build up. It was thick and dry. I thought it might have been an old brake fluid leak that had been repaired before we acquired the Jeep. Because I did not see fresh oil I let it go. During the regearing though the problem came to light. The oil I had seen was not from old brake fluid, it was from a leaking axle shaft seal. It was a small leak that needed to be fixed.
Why New Axle Shafts
The decision we had to make at this point was do we replace the seals or go ahead and replace everything. Axle shafts are not cheap. Especially if your having someone else perform the work. This was not something we had planned on seeing and it took us by surprise. Most older vehicles are going to throw surprised at you though and you have to understand that or your better off just buying a new or almost new vehicle. Because of the ELockers we were having installed in the rear axle we decided to replace the axle shafts instead of just replacing the seal. This decision was not made lightly because of the cost.
What Benefit Would This Provide
Lockers put a lot of added strain on the axle shafts once they are engaged. Without the differential slip to allow one wheel to rotate slower when cornering the axles can snap. Off roading in itself puts added strain on the axles components due to the stress involved in pushing the vehicle over obstacles. By installing new axle shafts the bearings and seals would also be replaced. This would mean a complete rebuild of new parts was done to the rear axle. We went with Chromoly axle shafts which provided more strength to handle the stresses of the locker and off roading. Because the axle was already disassembled we also saved the labor cost of replacement if we ever decided to upgrade the axle shafts at a later time.
So another repair was made that we did not expect. I am happy the issue was found though. It could have ended badly for us if something went wrong in the rear axle due to the oil leak. Especially if it happened somewhere remote like when we went to Big Bend National Park. It's nice to have another upgrade too! Even an unexpected one. This leads us into another upgrade we made while the Jeep was in the shop that I will write about in the next post. I want to thank Redemption Offroad again for the advice and great work they did on our Jeep!