Wrangler YJ axle swap (the car that keeps on giving or taking).

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alva
Rank: Junior
Location: KCA
Posts: 35
Joined: Tue Dec 14, 2010 12:15 pm

Wrangler YJ axle swap (the car that keeps on giving or taking).

Tue Jan 21, 2014 8:00 pm

Hello all knowing bunch,

I spoke just to my garage and they said I've bent my rear diff and axle on my Wrangler YJ. Too much hard driving on the Baja course the other month and I was only a marshal!!! :unsure:

Has anyone ever swapped their axle for something stronger? I have read that a Ford 8.8 is a good swap (no idea where I would get one though) and I'm also thinking of buying a bigger pinion set.

Any pointers would great please.

Thanks,

Gus.
PR
Rank: Expert
Posts: 582
Joined: Wed Apr 07, 2010 9:22 pm

Wed Jan 22, 2014 2:04 pm

Ford 8.8 swap is done in USA, where they fight mud and rocks, and there are plenty of scrapyard Fords ;) For us here usually the YJ axle is fine, so I would look at another perspective and figure out why yours bent. Maybe the suspension isn't working properly? If the leafs are too stiff, or sagging out of shape, they don't absorb the hard hits anymore. Also, are the bump stops in place? Tell us more about your suspension set-up and we might have an idea - you have stock springs? Lift?

You see, normally the swap to Ford 8.8 is not to protect the axle from bending, but because the internals are stronger. Drivers in USA break their axles inside, meaning not usually the tube bending. In mud and on rocks the wheel can't spin like on sand, so they break axleshafts and spider gears inside the tube, when the engine puts out power but the wheel can't turn (usually with locker engaged). That doesn't happen with our kind of driving, where we usually can spin the wheel easily.

Here in UAE bent axles happen when you jump, and land hard on one wheel, and so the suspension can't absorb enough of the force and so it goes to the axle tube and it bends. So, for your case, when you jump always try to land square - meaning both sides at the same time. Or improve your suspension so it can absorb the hit.

BTW, rear axle bending is not usual, even with hard jumps. If anything it would be the front to come down first... were you pulling wheelies while jumping??? LOOL

Tell us about your suspension, and then let's see if any ideas come to mind.
tintin
Rank: Senior
Location: In my own little world
Posts: 2616
Joined: Mon Oct 26, 2009 6:58 pm

Sat Jan 25, 2014 8:20 pm

PR has pretty much hit the nail on the head. It's also worth considering other factors than just swapping in an axle assembly. For certain year ford explorers the spring perches are in the right place, but you need to relocate the shock brackets. Not expensive, but I would find it hard to trust a Musaffah mechanic unless a good few people here had used them for similar work. One weak weld and you could end up out of control at any time.

Also, if you're unable to find a matching gear ratio for the rear as the front you would then need to swap out to a different gear ratio in one of the axles (normally the front, as Ford gave pretty deep gearing as stock so would be better suited to bigger tires in the future)!

Finally, once you have the shock tabs welded right, and the gear ratios matching you would then probably need to have different front and rear wheels, unless you can find matching wheel designs with different bolt patterns, as some of the Fords had slightly wider bolt spacing.

Either way, good luck and let us know what you decide to do. I may need to follow some time soon. :D
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tintin
alva
Rank: Junior
Location: KCA
Posts: 35
Joined: Tue Dec 14, 2010 12:15 pm

Sat Feb 22, 2014 1:39 pm

Hello, sorry for the delay in replying.

About a year ago I found some newer leaf springs at the scrap yard as one leaf spring had cracked. Painted them up after giving them a good clean in our bath, wife wasn't happy about the state of the bath afterwards though.

I thought the Ford 8.8 would be a straight swap, but after a bit more reading that doesn't look the case. I'm going to get a second opinion as Showket (scrap guy) says he thinks its only the axle rod, so fingers crossed. I'm going to take it to Motortech in Mussaffah as I happened to meet another YJ owner he he says they should be able to sort it. Any thoughts on Motortech?
tintin
Rank: Senior
Location: In my own little world
Posts: 2616
Joined: Mon Oct 26, 2009 6:58 pm

Sun Feb 23, 2014 2:33 pm

Just be careful with Motortech. They generally do good work, but one of our guys had a very big issue with them. They regeared his JK and didn't install the gears properly, then tried to say it was his fault when they failed. He had a warrantey and went through the US dealer so got it done, but only after a few months. If you get used parts you have no warrantey.

From what I know, the only thing that should need to be done if you find matching gears on an 8.8 is to relocate the shock mounts, but I could be wrong.
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tintin
alva
Rank: Junior
Location: KCA
Posts: 35
Joined: Tue Dec 14, 2010 12:15 pm

Wed Feb 26, 2014 3:46 pm

I went to them for a second opinion about the axle. How did you get on with finding a (new) petrol tank? I'm going to drive to Sharjah on Saturday if you want want to come along to go hunting?
alva
Rank: Junior
Location: KCA
Posts: 35
Joined: Tue Dec 14, 2010 12:15 pm

Sat Mar 01, 2014 4:40 pm

I found a place that has 5 YJ's out the front, phew. Looks like the axle problem might be solved.
tintin
Rank: Senior
Location: In my own little world
Posts: 2616
Joined: Mon Oct 26, 2009 6:58 pm

Sun Mar 02, 2014 9:05 am

Just make sure they have the same gear ratio, otherwise you could come unstuck!

I think I've found a fuel tank, I'm just waiting for Showkat to call the guy and arrange delivery. Aparently he has steel and plastic versions so I hope he can grab a sgteel one for me rather than plastic as it can be welded if it cracks again unlike the plastic ones. i'll let you know if I need to come down with you though.

Cheers
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tintin
alva
Rank: Junior
Location: KCA
Posts: 35
Joined: Tue Dec 14, 2010 12:15 pm

Sun Mar 23, 2014 11:21 am

Hello, turns out it was my axle rod that was bent so all sorted.
tintin
Rank: Senior
Location: In my own little world
Posts: 2616
Joined: Mon Oct 26, 2009 6:58 pm

Sun Mar 23, 2014 8:52 pm

Do you have the number for the shop? I still can't find a petrol tank!
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tintin

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