From the last time my friends and I had been offroading, one of my front wheels was not spinning—which I thought was just a vacuum actuator failure. So I took Friday off work so I could try to fix it, and I replaced it with a cable mechanism that I put together. Which still did not fix it. The next step was removing the carrier, axles etc to see what else it could be—to skip to the point, it was a snapped axle shaft. Popped the nub out of the carrier, got my spare out of the shed, and put it all back together. That all took about 8 or 9 hours on friday, we finished up around 11pm that night.
Yesterday morning, we left to go offroading at what my kids call the “jeep park.”—an offroad park on state property that is about an hour away. We had originally intended to meet AT the park at 8am…however everyone was running a bit late. We were the last to get there, around 10am. As we arrived, Mark was leaving with a busted rear driveshaft, so we went in and met the other guys.
After a little bit of wheeling and everything being normal, it was not very long at all before we heard a loud POP as I was trying to make it up a rock face. Then we noticed my wheel was not spinning…crap, axle probably snapped again. This time the opposite side of the one we JUST fixed. So I begin going up easier way to try to limp out of there, and I didn’t get very far before realizing it was something a little more serious —>
The axleshaft had broken at the U-Joint—and I mean it was pretty much obliterated. The lower ball joint was completely broken off, as you can see in the picture (kind of). The top ball joint was under extreme pressure, and along with the tie rod, the only thing holding the wheel/hub to the jeep.
So naturally, i decided I would try to drive it out at least to the gravel road, where I could get a tow truck. …Nope. Didn’t get quite that far.
We hooked up my Jeep to Jarrett’s, and he was pulling me since I could not really steer. At this point I still had brake functionality. It was not very long, and the upper ball joint snapped and the brake caliper/brake line was crushed, and I needed even more help. We tried to make a temporary fix using some small straps…but it was VERY temporary…lasted about 20 feet.
At this point, several hours had passed and now I didn’t have brakes and my driver-side wheel was pretty much just dragging along. We removed the wheel so that just the hub and such were dragging from the tie rod. As I didn’t have brakes, we devised that we should strap the jeeps together very closely back-to-back in such a way that I would actually be going backwards. This was so that his maneuverability would help to turn me, and also because we could be rubber-to-rubber from our spare tires, so they would hit when we needed to slow down (we were coming from the top of the mountain).
We came all the way down the mountain in this fassion, with 2 of the guys (Cody and Pruitt) running behind us where I was facing them, telling me which way I needed to turn my good wheel to direct us. We were going down the hill pretty quickly, for dragging along over the types of rocks and things we were going over!
So that was my adventure. We finally got down to the gravel road (after about another hour), and then I got AAA to bring out a tow truck to take me on home.
Now I have a LOT more stuff to fix on this thing!
The videos (which are all of recovery, none of anything before breakage!) are on youtube.
Here is the video of the final recovery method (the most entertaining …and EXTREMELY STRESSFUL):
Posted by: jamba
Category: ##jeep stuff
Published Date: Sun, 01 Aug 2010 18:29:54 +0000
original filename: 140