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Kaboom!! 911 Dog House Axle Swap Needed

Discussion in 'Jeepster Commando and Commando Tech' started by D1RTD0GG, Feb 18, 2019.

  1. Feb 18, 2019
    D1RTD0GG

    D1RTD0GG New Member

    Albuquerque, NM
    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2019
    Messages:
    18
    So I'm taking out the Commando for its first real Cruise, things seem to be running smoothly (other than the fact that when I finally put its new license plate on I noticed that somebody had taken my gas cap shift knobs and all the gas from my tank)so I pull onto the highway. Next thing I know I hear kind of a bang Jeep starts skipping and skidding to a grinding halt I managed to get over into the shoulder. Look behind me expecting to see my entire Drive Line in pieces on the highway because that's what it felt like but no parts to be found everything's under the Jeep where it's supposed to be. So I shift through the gears to see if they're all still there and they are. Pierced to check my transfer case levers and they seem to be in the correct position. So I try and go forward and the Jeep is stuttering and having trouble moving. Tow truck driver shows up trying to tow me and he tries to pull the Jeep and it is just dragging, rear wheels are locked up. So he gets his fancy do hickeys and whatnots and lift the rear wheels and tows me back to the hotel. So I do some old-fashioned Googling and youtubing I open up my rear differential and you know what I found...... nothing. zero oil perhaps an ounce and a half to 2 oz total. So I guess that's more like what I didn't find on the flip side of that what I did find was some little pieces of metal from a broken tooth from The Ring. So I lifted up the rear end and the tires spin freely each in opposite directions so that seemed good. So I figure I need a new ring and pinion @$179 that seems fair no big deal until I looked up what it takes to install one and it seems rather extensive with special gauges measuring backlash and depth of the opinion among other things for these specialty toolsnot to mention I'm a novice @best . The time and space isn't available to me at the moment so I'm curious do any of you know which axles I could pull off of another vehicle in a junkyard that would be a direct bolt-on replacement of course there are no Commandos in the local junkyard. Any help you can give me would be great I really need to get this thing back on the road ASAP because it was supposed to be a working project as my daily driver and weekend fun time wrencher and right now all it's doing is stressing my wife out and earning me the dreaded i told you so scowl from my wife. Anyway switching out the rear end seems faster and cheaper for the tone being.
     
  2. Feb 18, 2019
    OzFin

    OzFin Vintage Jeep Guy

    Michigan
    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2007
    Messages:
    513
    I believe that all CJ rear axles from 1950 to 1975 would be about 50 1/2" wheel to wheel so they would be a candidate.
    The spring pads would have to be relocated from about 28" to about a 36" width and the gear ratio would have to match the front to be able to use 4WD.
    Considering that the rear diff didn't have adequate fluid you should check all of the drivetrains fluids.
     
    D1RTD0GG likes this.
  3. Feb 18, 2019
    D1RTD0GG

    D1RTD0GG New Member

    Albuquerque, NM
    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2019
    Messages:
    18
    thanks I spent a good amount of time calling different shops about getting it rebuilt because I'm not equipped to do it myself at the moment. I found a shop but he said I'm about six weeks out to have mine taken care of so in the meantime not worried about four wheel drive is that as a maybe but it'll get me back on the road thanks for the heads up on which rear ends I might be able to switch out for I can go take a look at the junk yards now. Here's a picture of my ring with a broken tooth
    Capture+_2019-02-18-17-13-02.png

    Thanks again ozfin
     
  4. Feb 18, 2019
    ITLKSEZ

    ITLKSEZ Volvophilic

    Post Falls, ID
    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2015
    Messages:
    3,057
    :shrug:

    As a last resort...
    I'll probably catch crap for suggesting this, but I'd take the broken piece out and run it if the pinion is ok. (If you're really going to consider this, grab your pinion at the driveshaft and pull it side to side and in/out to make sure there's no play. The pinion bearings are usually the first thing to go when oil starved, and when that fails, it will bind the gears and break teeth exactly as yours is.)

    Four of the teeth on my front axle ring gear look like that and it's been moving mountains of snow without issue for two years now... after a pinion bearing replacement.
     
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  5. Feb 18, 2019
    D1RTD0GG

    D1RTD0GG New Member

    Albuquerque, NM
    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2019
    Messages:
    18
    This is what i was goingto hear. I took all the metal pieces out of the housing there's only one broken tooth on the ring some of them have little dents in Knicks and whatnot. Opinion seems to be the same way little harder do but I looked in there with a flashlight and felt around best I could and didn't notice any missing pieces. I was tempted to put the cover back on fill it up with lubricant and see how things ran but I've been too worried about making things way way way way way way worse. Soon as my wife gets off work I'm going to head back out a lift a Jeep again and see if I can turn the drive shaft it's self to inspect the rest of the Ring and if it's frozen would that mean that it is the pinion? Or is there a possibility there may be a transfer case issue here? I'm leaning towards ring and pinion because after moving the transfer case sticks to what should have been full neutral when I was trying to get towed the rear end was still not moving. Thanks for all your help.
     
  6. Feb 18, 2019
    ITLKSEZ

    ITLKSEZ Volvophilic

    Post Falls, ID
    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2015
    Messages:
    3,057
    The more I think about it, I'll bet one of your pinion bearings (probably outer) is toast.

    Jack it up, put it in neutral, grab the pinion yoke and shake it. I'll bet it will be obvious, sorry to say. Ring gear teeth don't just break off without something being horribly wrong.
     
  7. Feb 19, 2019
    D1RTD0GG

    D1RTD0GG New Member

    Albuquerque, NM
    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2019
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    18
    Thanks
     
  8. Feb 19, 2019
    FinoCJ

    FinoCJ 1970 CJ5 Staff Member Sponsor

    Denver, CO
    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2013
    Messages:
    2,097
  9. Feb 19, 2019
    timgr

    timgr Jeepin' Nerd Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

    Medford Mass USA
    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2003
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    19,800
    Closest that is not '70ish-73 Jeepster will be an axle from a '72-75 CJ-5 or CJ-6. These are the same axle, a Dana 44 with 30 spline flanged axles and a centered pinion, just like your Jeepster. The spring pads will be in the wrong place, with the Jeepster pads being more outboard. These Jeeps had 3.83 ratio standard with 4.27 optional, open or Dana TracLock LSD.

    JMO - I would fix the Jeepster axle. If you have the factory LSD, it will be a TracLock which is not very strong, and wears out fast. You could have your choice of selectable lockers, or a superior LSD.
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2019
  10. Feb 19, 2019
    Framer Mike P

    Framer Mike P Member

    Hopkinton, NH
    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2016
    Messages:
    182
    I was wondering if a narrow track model 20 from a 76 up cj5/7 would work. It might have the right spring pad spacing and I would think would easier to locate and less money than a dana 44. This of course would be temporary while the original was rebuilt. The axle in the add Fino posted appears to be a rear 30.
     
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  11. Feb 19, 2019
    D1RTD0GG

    D1RTD0GG New Member

    Albuquerque, NM
    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2019
    Messages:
    18
    Thanks!!! just emailed him that will hopefully get me through till I can have the 44 rebuilt
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2019
  12. Feb 19, 2019
    D1RTD0GG

    D1RTD0GG New Member

    Albuquerque, NM
    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2019
    Messages:
    18
    I fully intend on getting the original rebuilt but, i need a rear end for the jeep to get my rear end to work so i can make the money. Do you think that d30 will fit to get me by.
    We CAN rebuild it
    We have the technology
    We have the capability
    Better than it was before
    Better
    Stronger
    Faster
    (Que music and sfx)
    And hopefully for less than 6million dollars.
    Thanks for your input I'd hate to drive all the way over there for nothing.
     
    KeyserSoSay likes this.
  13. Feb 19, 2019
    D1RTD0GG

    D1RTD0GG New Member

    Albuquerque, NM
    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2019
    Messages:
    18
    Good question I had contemplated the same thing when I saw a list of axles that Jeeps used it seems all the narrow tracks were 50.5 if I remember correctly and have to dig up that page again to double-check. But so far my biggest problem is all the off-road pages that I've been to on Facebook all the selling groups all the junk yards that I've called here so far in Albuquerque have nothing for me:cry: jk axles only.
     
  14. Feb 21, 2019
    KeyserSoSay

    KeyserSoSay Member

    Edgewood New Mexico
    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2017
    Messages:
    112

    You will have a hard time finding anything Jeep/Jeepster/Commando, (even CJ) in NM from a junkyard. There are a few Jeep Parts yards in the SW (Jeepsunlimited-CO, AMC4x4-Phoenix), and they tend to buy up anything old-jeep before it makes it back to the yard. In my experience, CO has a much greater density of Jeepster/Commandos- and subsequently parts- than NM does. You might try Lon's Automotive in Bayfield CO. Pretty sure they have a Jeepster or two, but not sure if they're looking to part them. I've had luck with local Craigslist, but you have to be diligent in checking it regularly. I picked up an extra T400 and D20 TC this way. Most selling will not know a Dana 44 from a Kia Sophia, but I've recently found a Dana44 (in the past several months) as one of several "rear ends" or "rear axles" for sale in a Craigslist ad. Prices are much better when you have to ID it yourself. Also, there are lots of different D44s out there and they are rarely a simple bolt-in project.
     
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