Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Jeep Woes

A long day of problem hunting

Yesterday when I dropped the jeep of at a local, reputable mechanic for an oil change, I was assured that they would hunt for any possible problems that they could work on. Today, when I picked the Gila Monster up, I was warned that the CVs in both of my driveshafts were about to go. I was told that I could send the driveshafts off to be rebuilt for $290 apiece. I knew from my receipts that the rear shaft cost $300 new, and I found out online that the pricing is still the same from the same manufacturer. I declined to take action for the moment to take time to consider my options and to get my jeep inclined friends’ opinions.

As I drove, I could definitely hear the rumble from the driveshaft, and I could also hear other miscellaneous rattles and bumps. With a mechanically inclined friend, I looked around the underbelly of the beast to see what the condition of the various parts was. We found some damage that had been completely missed by the mechanic, including a Johnny Control Arm that had sheared at it’s connection point with the frame. This arm was banging around and letting the axle wobble and letting the steering be loose. The front axle has probably been moving back and forth, messing with the transfer case geometry. This could even be the cause of the rumble in the rear driveshaft.

So, when I get to Internet, I’ll be looking up the logistics of replacing these darned arms. That should take care of the steering issues and the rattles and bumps from below. Hopefully, it’ll also straighten the issues with the rear shaft and CV.


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