There comes a time when repairs are necessary to keep on rolling. I found that while doing an inspection into some noise in the front end, I had a major problem. The right side inner spindle bearing had come apart and destroyed the outer axle stub. There was no good bearing surface. What's a guy to do?
The need for repairs is obvious. No repairs... no drive... as seen above...
But why WARN axle shafts? I have a '73 CJ5. The fact that it has drums front and rear and is a "narrow track" axle are key here. I investigated several options. There are other manufacturers. Namely Superior and Yukon. The problem was that they tended only to show the '76-up CJ. See. That bugs me. I asked for assistance with it with a few people. They could give me no suggestions. They apparently had not ever gotten that question.
Well, Warn shows thier axles to fit all narrow track CJ's. I decided I was gonna get the WARNs. Still. Why the Warns? I could have saved some money and gotten the original replacements, right? Yes. I could have. Here's what made my mind up for sure. Lori and I discussed it. The fact that the CJ we have has a 232ci engine and that it isn't exactly a POWER HOUSE, we felt the added security of the thicker heat treated axle shafts and the larger/stronger Ujoints were enough to justify the added expense. That said. They were ordered.
They arrived on sqedule... unlike the Supertop which was ordered in the sme phone call. (back order on Black Denim) Once I had a spare moment, i got all the stuff together. I reassembled the front end. If you have never taken the front axle apart... beware the muck. The axle tubes do not have outer seals. Only inner seals. So all the crap you run through has a tendency to clog up the axle tubes. I cleaned them the best I could and inserted the new axle shafts. The front end went together as easily as it came apart. No big problems. I did check for clearance between the axle shafts and the ball joints, and the joint itself at full lock. No binds.
I have since driven the CJ offroad and have concluded that teh axles perform well. I have found one nice thing. Before when turning sharp, the steering wheel had a tendency to "bounce"... directly related to the Ujoints. The new WARNS are not doing this. Guess that's good. :-) The basic thing of the WARN axles is... they don't really add features, just the peace of mind that they should hold up. If the Ujoint fails, the damage to the axle shafts should be minimal, considering the miserly output of my 232.
Damage = Improvements. Repairs = MODS.
To see the GENERAL break down pics,