After towing the Jeep home and sleeping on what transpired we had to make some decisions. We knew a lot of parts were broken. We didn’t know the extent though. I decided to wait until the following Monday and call Redemtion Offroad for some quotes. They built the rear axle for us so we knew some of those parts at least would have a warranty.
Our First Option
I called Redemtion Offroad and told them what had happened and the symptoms resulting from the breakage. Wayne said we most likely broke a rear axle shaft since it wouldn’t move in 2WD but would move with the lockers engaged. The front however could be many issues. We knew all of the front axle components other than the Ring and Pinion gears were stock. We also knew it was only a matter of time before we broke those parts. Wayne gave us a quote for a few options based on the information I gave him. First option was to rebuild with used stock front axle shafts and replace spider gears if those were out. This was the cheapest way out but would put the Jeep back in the same shape as it was. This would not upgrade the front to handle the larger tires and heavy wheeling we have been doing.
The Next Option
The next option was to upgrade everything. Chrome Moly Axle Shafts and Electronic Locker. This option is what probably needed to happen but it was also costly. Now we were talking over $2500. That was only for the front axle. At that point he told us if we were going to spend that much to overhaul and upgrade our dana 30 axle it would be better to spend a bit more and just order a fully loaded upgraded dana 44 axle instead. Now with options we had to come to a decision.
Our Next Move
Because we did not know the extend of damage to the front I decided to drain the differential and see if there were any metal shards in the oil. Removing the drain plug revealed a lot. It was literally covered in metal shards. Now I knew there was carrier damage so I remove the differential cover. Now the extent of the differential damage was revealed. The spider gears in the carrier were almost gone. The teeth had shredded and were laying in the bottom of the differential. At this point I wasn’t even thinking about having anyone else perform the repairs. I was actually kind of excited to continue tearing apart the front looking for damages. It only took about 2.5 hours and I had the entire axle tore apart.
What Was Damaged
The spider gears were gone. We also found the axle shafts had twisted at the point they mated with the carrier. So new axle shafts were now necessary as well. The Yukon Ring and Pinion gears had no damage at all. The seals were still intact as well. We would need new carrier bearings for the rebuild as well. Now that it was in pieces I decided to go ahead and perform the repairs myself. The only parts under warranty in the front axle were the Yukon Ring and Pinion which were still good. Doing the work myself would void any warranty on those 2 parts but at this point that cost is negligible. This gives us the opportunity to upgrade the front axle. We will have Redemption Offroad repair the rear axle because of the warranty. The next post will cover the parts we used and the rebuild.