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U-Joint Axle Shaft Overhaul w Upgrade
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U-Joint Axle Shaft Overhaul w Upgrade

Date Created: 04/22/2008
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I finally replaced my weak CV shafts found in ZJ with stronger U-joint axle shafts.



One day I found a pair of old XJ axle shafts with ABS that needed new u-joints on e-bay and $80 and one week later they were mine.



Of course, after hanging out with you guys I couldn't just OEM rebuild them so modding began.



First I had to decide on what u-joints I would want to run with my D30. D30 axle shafts come stock with 5-297x u-joints. There are plenty of choices : OX, CTM, Spices etc but after estimating $$$ of my project "want" got replaced on "need" and "can afford".



For example great Ox u-joint - $130 or even better CTM joint -$205 .



My choice fell on Spicer 5-760x u-joint, used by Superior in their Super 30 kits. It's good affordable ($23 shipped) u-joint that also used in Dana 44 axles and supposedly 20% stronger than the 5-297x style. 760x has the thicker body with even thicker sections near the cross shafts and the cross shafts have more metal in them.



After doing some research on u-joints I've noticed all BIG u-joints come with full circle snap ring vs. just OEM Spicer c-clip. Even Superior replaces c-cips with full circle ring for 760x in their Super kits. Believe it or not these full circle clips add a lot of strength to the joint because they prevent the cap from walking out which is perhaps the most common cause of u-joint failure.

So where would I find snap rings? Our friend- Home depot.
<<>>

1 3/16" external snap rings would do the trick. Bolts/nuts section, 3rd drawer from the bottom, $0.70 each.

Unfortunately, the stock Spicer outer shaft wasn't designed to accept full circle snap rings. If you compare Warn shaft to the stock Spicer you will see how more material was cut away at the base of the yoke allowing the use of full circle snap ring.





So what do we have to do? Right, make stock axle look like Warn one.



I made about 1/8-3/16 cut in the yoke just deep enough to clear snap ring

I used sawzall but if you have band saw it would be even easier. Here is the final product:

You may ask is removed metal would make the shaft yoke weaker. I would say no as inner shaft's yoke does not have that additional metal. By modifying outer shaft we will just make it as strong as inner shaft and we all know that in general an assembly is as strong as its weakest point. It looks like Spicer engineers designed that lip to keep C-clip from spinning anyway.

I won't go into details how to assemble u joint cuz there are lots of write-up on it and it's pretty simple. But this is IMPORTANT. Place snap rings on the cross of u-joint behind the rubber cap prior installing u-joint in the yoke.



Oh yeah, don't forget to get snap ring pliers. They will make this job a snap

And finally I used some galvanized spray to keep whole assembly from rusting


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