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  #1  
Old February 6th, 2008, 01:04 PM
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Front Diff Vibrations

Recently I made a stupid rookie mistake. I was stuck in a fairly steep pit (all four wheels) full of thick heavy mud. As my wheels were spinning my front driveshaft gave out and twisted in half like a piece of taffy. I removed the respective halves and got home in rear wheel drive. Last night I installed my new DS and went for a test drive. Up until last night I've been getting by with just rear wheel drive for the past several hundred miles. Nothing ever sounded unusual or appeared to be causing a problem while only in rear wheel drive (i.e., center diff locked in high and no front DS). Things were fine during the test drive until I got to about 30 MPH. From about 30 MPH on the vibrations increasingly got a little worse as the speed picked up. Unlike harmonic vibrations, that eventually level out, these vibrations don't subside.

I assuming the damage is in the front and not in the transfer case because without the front DS I've only experienced my regular harmonic vibrations that eventually level out once I get to about 55 MPH. I've installed adjustable rear links to fix that which helped but I guess the next step is to try a rear A-arm extension. This is driving me crazy BTW.

Equipment up front: stock axles and cv's, 3:11 gears, trutrac locker.


Question: What have I mostly likely damaged to cause vibrations like this?

Question: What's a trutrac act like when it goes?

Question: Would detaching the rear shaft and test driving just cause more damage you think?

Trying to avoid making further rookie mistakes.


Thanks,
Clay
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  #2  
Old February 6th, 2008, 01:13 PM
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Scott T
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Hey Clay,

Well, I don't know how rookie it is to lock the center diff to be able to get home, people do it quite frequently it seems, and I would think a rookie wouldn't even think about the option. But, since your entire front axle assembly (from the hubs to the pinion) has been spinning as you drive down the road sans front driveshaft, and you had no vibration; I think I'd first consider that there is a balance issue with the new driveshaft, or an issue with the driveshaft u-joints. Either a bad u-joint, or they just don't like the driveline angle (how much lift do you have on it, and is the front Castor corrected in any way?).

I think Id investigate this possibility before tearing my hair out too much trying to troubleshoot the front axle or transfer case (though if the center diff was unlocked when the front shaft let go, it is possible the center differential in the t-case could have been damaged, but Id doubt youd have the center diff unlocked in the conditions you described).

Disclaimer: However, I am not a certified mechanic, and I have never stayed in a Holiday Inn Express, so I suppose you should take my advice with a grain of salt.

P.S. -- 3.11 axle gears? I think all the NAS Defenders had 3.54's stock It would seem odd that someone would go taller..
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  #3  
Old February 6th, 2008, 01:24 PM
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You're right Scott. That could be the problem in the rear too. I'm an making a huge assumption that my custom DS was balanced when I bought them. Both front and rear DS have weights welded that indicate they've been balanced but like I said that's an assumption on my part. I'm going to look for a driveline shop that can test them for me.

Thanks,
Clay
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  #4  
Old February 6th, 2008, 10:41 PM
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Peter Sherman
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what shaft?
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