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Front Axle Woes

Discussion in 'Early CJ5 and CJ6 Tech' started by truckee4x4, May 15, 2020.

  1. May 15, 2020
    truckee4x4

    truckee4x4 Member 2020 Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

    Truckee CA
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    May 30, 2008
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    208
    Looking for some advice on a front axle predicament. In my rebuild I found out that my front axle globe ear was bent:
    Photo May 03, 2 30 49 PM.jpg
    My buddy / partner in crime through my rebuild is a lumberyard fleet mechanic and Yacht chief engineer. He came over last weekend and we tried to carefully bend it back, figuring we had nothing left to lose since most people and machinists (and guys on here) said it wouldn't work - and they were right. We ended up trying on a press, each of two port-a-powers, and no luck. Ended up pretty much as expected - now I have another anchor to add to my pile of anchors!

    Yesterday I went to JW Jeep and picked through their D27s to source a replacement tube. Found what (I thought) was a good one off a 1970 Wagonner. I checked the ears with a mic, checked inside the diff, all looked good so I brought it home, cleaned it up, bolted up the carrier and knuckles, spindles, rotors, (disc conversion), Warn hubs etc. for a dry fit, and everything spun smooth and looked perfect....until it didn't.

    My buddy stopped by last night after work to check over my work, and in taking a closer look, we realized the tube is slightly bent on both sides (in these pics the straight edge is lying flat on the machined differential cover surface):

    Photo May 14, 6 20 16 PM.jpg
    Photo May 14, 6 20 04 PM.jpg
    Photo May 14, 6 16 24 PM.jpg
    In comparing this to the D27 that came with my CJ, that axle housing is also bent, but not nearly as bad.

    So - this much of a bend is unrunnable / dangerous / not acceptable, correct? Should I go back to JW today and let them know they sold me a bent tube and see if they will exchange it for a better one (that I need to do a much better, more careful look at before I walk away with one, right)?

    I'm concerned from having read other posts on here that most axles this old sitting in a parts yard are all going to be bent to some degree...but I don't want to run something unsafe when I'm going to all the trouble of this rebuild.
     
  2. May 15, 2020
    fhoehle

    fhoehle Sponsor

    Harford Township, PA
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    Did you heat that bent ear, the bending would sure go easier? I would not give up on the original just yet, I suspect with enough heat, you can get it straight.
     
  3. May 15, 2020
    truckee4x4

    truckee4x4 Member 2020 Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

    Truckee CA
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    Yes we did heat it and we were able to get it straight but in doing so we elongated the hole for the race to the point where it rattles and unless we welded and machined it it’s probably not fixable
     
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  4. May 15, 2020
    fhoehle

    fhoehle Sponsor

    Harford Township, PA
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    I suspected that but figured I would ask
     
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  5. May 15, 2020
    duffer

    duffer Rodent Power 2019 Sponsor

    Bozeman, MT
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    Most of that bend in the last photo is likely due to what ever that patch thing is welded on near the pumpkin. It appears that maybe even the pumpkin collar was cracked. I don't subscribe to the theory that all bone pile axle housings are bent but obviously some due diligence is in order selecting one. And I would never select one that buba has been welding on.
     
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  6. May 15, 2020
    CHUGALUG

    CHUGALUG Member

    Silverton, OR
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    Take it back and shop for the next one with a good 4ft straight edge in your pocket.
     
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  7. May 15, 2020
    Sierra Bum

    Sierra Bum Member

    The High Sierra
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    Oct 23, 2017
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    Have you considered a Dana 30 swap? The CJ narrow track axles are generally easily obtained and it's almost a bolt in upgrade. You'd probably have to work out the ring and pinion gears. Just an idea if you're already taking trips to Sac from Truckee and in deep with front end work.
     
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  8. May 15, 2020
    timgr

    timgr Jeepin' Nerd 2020 Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

    Medford Mass USA
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    Yes. Double plus agree with the bubba comment.
     
  9. May 15, 2020
    Keys5a

    Keys5a Sponsor

    Florida Keys
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    X3 on the welded "patch" likely explaining the bent long tube side.
    My question is why did you select a Wagoneer axle to replace your original one? The CJ5/Tux should have approx 48" track, and the Wagoneer (up to '72) approx 57" track.
    A D27a front housing from a CJ should not be too difficult to find.
    -Donny
     
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  10. May 15, 2020
    Jeepsterjim

    Jeepsterjim Member

    Lincoln, CA
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    I have a d27 complete that needs a new home "4-sale". P.O said it came out of a '70 CJ5. I live in Lincoln, CA. Have not checked it out but come by and we can tear into it if need be.
     
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  11. May 15, 2020
    Cowboyjeeper

    Cowboyjeeper Member

    Show low az
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    If you can figure shipping Have a whole one less drums and drive flanges ring and pinon shot.
     
  12. May 16, 2020
    truckee4x4

    truckee4x4 Member 2020 Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

    Truckee CA
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    In short, because I didn't know that! Happy accident that it was bent then huh? Phew!

    Anyway Mark at JW was awesome and let me dig around and swap out for a better one. They have hundreds and hundreds. I took my time and brought a 4ft straight edge and found a really clean (and straight) tube from a 66 CJ5 under the roof in their warehouse. Got it all cleaned up and going to start the rebuild this weekend.

    Thanks for the help and suggestions /offers everyone. @Jeepsterjim I've had a "WTB" post up for a while for a 27 in the Classified's, wish I had seen your post before I went to Sac, thanks anyway!

    I decided a while back to not swap to a Dana 30 as I wanted to keep the axles stock (minus of course the disc brakes) and wanted to learn how to rebuild a closed knuckle front end.

    Can anyone advise if this is an "extra" oil slinger on the Pinion gear, between the inner bearing and the gear? It's been on both of the pinions I've taken out of 1966 D27s, and it doesn't appear in the diagram or in metalshaper's rebuild videos. Should I put it back? Photo May 13, 9 48 33 AM.jpg Photo May 13, 9 48 47 AM.jpg

    @timgr can you Advise - I've got the Pinion and ring gear/carrier from my original D27, but just the pinion from the new housing. The new pinion is marked "0" and had one shim under the inner pinion race. Which is the wiser strategy - to keep the pinion and ring gear from the old axle together, or rebuild with the "new" pinion and equivalent thickness new shim since it's depth was already set in the case?
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2020
  13. May 16, 2020
    Keys5a

    Keys5a Sponsor

    Florida Keys
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    That oil slinger is also acting as a shim, so leave it in place. You need to keep the ring and pinion as a matched set, so you are forced to use your originals. That should also ensure you will have the correct ratio.
    You might be able to use the original shims in the original locations and get lucky with the correct mesh of the gears. Just try dropping all your original parts into the "new" housing and see what you get.
    -Donny
     
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  14. May 19, 2020
    truckee4x4

    truckee4x4 Member 2020 Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

    Truckee CA
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    Getting ready to start the differential rebuild this weekend, and I wanted to run my numbers and plans by you guys to see what the experts think.

    To recap - I swapped housings because the globe ears on my original one were bent. I'm keeping the original ring and pinion gear set since they are mated, and will be placing these into the new axle housing.

    Original Axle Housing:
    • Pinion gear end etched +1 / D / 0 / 14, shaft stamped 41-11 / P7W30
    • Inner shims (under the larger bearing cup) qty.3, totaling 0.0030"
    • Outer shims (preload) qty 4, 0.0066"
    • Differential carrier Pax side 3 shims 0.0043"
    • Differential carrier Driver side (ring gear) 2 shims 0.0040"
    Photo May 19, 8 07 25 AM.jpg

    New Axle Housing:


    • Pinion gear end etched 0 / Z (?) / 6 (?) / 694, shaft stamped 31389 41-11 / P7T25
    • Inner Shims (under cup) qty 3, totaling 0.026"
    • Outer shims (preload) qty. 5, 0.0065"
    • Differential carrier shims unknown
    Photo May 19, 7 25 12 AM.jpg
    I understand that setting the pinion depth is the 1st and most critical of the setup steps. Since I do not have a specialty pinion setting tool, I will have to go off of the calculation method via referencing the chart in the FSM.

    Since the "new" housing had a pinion with 0.0026" and a pinion marked "0", and I am installing the pinion/ring gear from my original housing, which is marked "+1," the chart in the FSM suggests subtracting 0.001" and thus building a shim stack of 0.0025" under the inner bearing cup. Once that's done, I'd love to check the pinion depth against the carrier cup surface - which I know will be somewhat suspect without speciality tools but I figured it may be worth a try with a machinist's square and a micrometer. I researched this "nominal pinion checking depth" and came up with a value of 2.094" for a Dana 27. I'd love to know if this is correct? Regardless I will need to check backlash, runout, and then perform a gear marking pattern test to confirm everything. And be prepared to take it all apart and adjust as needed several times.

    The ring gears are pretty pitted:
    Photo May 19, 8 06 46 AM.jpg
    And sadly I did not perform a pattern test before tearing down the original axle. The differential carrier races and bearings were badly pitted.

    Does my approach that make sense to everyone? I'd love to hear from @timgr and @Keys5a. Thanks!
     
  15. May 19, 2020
    jeep peep69

    jeep peep69 Sponsor

    redding ca.
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    Two hole knuckle? If so pm me
     
  16. May 19, 2020
    timgr

    timgr Jeepin' Nerd 2020 Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

    Medford Mass USA
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    Building axles is not my area of experience. It would be better that some of the members with more background building axles answer this. I don't think you can mix a ring and pinion from two sets of gears ... maybe ... but I thought a ring and pinions came in matched sets. If so, you should discard the single pinion.
     
  17. May 19, 2020
    truckee4x4

    truckee4x4 Member 2020 Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

    Truckee CA
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    Yes that is currently the plan - to keep the set from the original axle together and transplant into the “new” housing.
     
  18. May 19, 2020
    Buildflycrash

    Buildflycrash Member 2020 Sponsor

    Gulf Breeze FL...
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    That is going to make a fine anchor. I'm thinking about starting a "private reef" in the Gulf with all my anchors. Snapper love that stuff!
     
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  19. May 19, 2020
    truckee4x4

    truckee4x4 Member 2020 Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

    Truckee CA
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    Can you elaborate on why you think I’m going to fail?
     
  20. May 19, 2020
    jpflat2a

    jpflat2a what's that noise?

    Riverside CA
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    Not an axle expert, but know just enough to be dangerous.....

    As mentioned above, the gear sets are matched sets; don't mix and match between the two.
    Use and install the best matched gear set you have.
    I would install them in your new housing just as they came out of the old; shims and all.
    I would start there, and then make your adjustments as neccessary.
     

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