Todd’s first jeep problem

Todd's 4x4 By: Add comments

After I got my 1994 Wrangler I was very excited to start four wheeling that I didn’t read-up on it much or try to learn the basics of off-roading.  I simply wanted to go out and give it a shot, and learn as I went… after all that’s what I do and it’s worked so far.  I would quickly learn that replacing Jeep Parts can get expensive.

I decided to take my Father and go test at our local Off Highway Vehicle Park which is called Prairie City OHV and located in Folsom, CA.  This is very close to where we lived at the time, and would prove to be a place we still visit.

Like anyone new to rock crawling and four-wheeling in general the abilities of the Jeep are amazing and even what we would consider hard obstacles (at the time) my Jeep and I made look easy.

Next came a steep hill climb that was slick concrete and rock (man-made).  I was giving it my best, sliding all over and bouncing around, I was having a good time but little did I know it was straining my jeep.  The next thing I new I heard a loud explosion and I was only in front wheel drive.

I let off the gas put it in neutral and rolled back to the flat area, got out, examined the damage and found my problem.  I broke the U-Bolt straps on my rear driveshaft.  I also broke off the ‘key’ area of the Yoke on my Dana 35 axle.  (I would later find out that this was a VERY common problem with Jeeps that had a Spring Over Axle Swap done to them.)

Not knowing where to get the item to fix the problem or really why it happened we had to leave my jeep there overnight.  The next day I returned and removed the rear drive shaft and drove home in reverse.  (This was also another good lesson, always carry tools with you.  We now carry more tools than we probably need but we are ALWAYS prepared, and people come to us for parts on the trail now, ha ha.)

I later learned the cause of my problem was axle wrap, and that in order to fix it I needed to build a traction bar or change my leaf spring suspension to a link suspension.

So, my first Jeep part that I broke was the drive shaft u-bolt straps, as well as the yoke (part of it) on my rear dana 35 axle.

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