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John Stewart

Jeep Axle Options


One of the more common upgrades for a Jeep are axles and the options are many.  The 4x4Wire Jeep Technical axle pages feature articles about stock Jeep axles, axle conversions and upgrades on Jeep vehicles. Various upgrades are covered including one piece axle swaps, full floating swaps, ring and pinion swaps, locker installations, etc.

Click here for more information about Jeep Tech Axles from the 4x4Wire Archives.

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John Stewart

4x4 Tech: Driveline Basics


"It's just a steel tube with a u-joint at each end that transfers torque from the output of the transfer case to the axle. Nothin' special, right?" Well... yes, but that is an over-simplified answer.

There are many subtle things about a drive shaft and the conditions it operates in that will greatly affect how well the drive shaft performs. These subtle variables may have a profound impact upon the life of the drive shaft components, the amount of vibration the drive shaft produces, and whether or not the drive shaft is even capable of meeting your vehicle's specific requirements.

In this article we'll explain some of these subtle but extremely important variables, teach you about the different types of drive shafts that exist, and help you understand how to adjust the operating angles to ideal for the type of drive shaft that you have.

Read more about Driveline Basics on 4x4Wire Archives

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John Stewart

Jeep Tech: All About Frames


The Jeep Technical frame pages are all about frames for Jeep vehicles. Jeeps used regular channel frames, boxed frames, and tube frames. Later Jeeps use a frameless uni-body construction in the XJ, ZJ, and WJ. Your frame might not be up to the task of hard use, especially if it is old. Frame boxing and gusseting can prevent frame cracks. Skid plates and cross members are also covered in the frame section.

Read more about Jeep Tech: All About Frames in the 4x4Wire Archives.

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John Stewart

Need Clearance? Relocate shock mount brackets

Rubicon Express Shock Mount BracketsEveryone needs a little extra ground clearance and what better way than a simple shock mount relocation?

Spring lifts provide a combination of ground clearance and space for axle/tire articulation to accommodate travel over rough terrain.  However, the spring pack hanging below the axle has always been a problem to overcome.

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John Stewart

When Springs Break (Part 4)

Front spring installedWas it the springs?  Was it the installation?  Was it the combination?  Within a two week period, I had experienced two emergency repair situations with leaf springs; overall, two broken and two bent springs.  The suspension was a not performing as it should.  4x4 isn't much good without a functional suspension system.

The “Spring Saga” began with “Options for the height challenged” which was a spring-over lift for my 1994 Jeep YJ.  As I was replacing a 4 inch spring lift, new springs were necessary.  The basic lift components were Rubicon Express and I opted for Rubicon Express springs which provided 1.5 inch of spring lift in addition to the spring over lift.  And, I was able to remove the two inch body lift and still clear 35 inch tires.  

While the combination was a great performer on the articulation challenges of Ocotillo Wells SVRA, a major deficiency was soon apparent.  After the breaks and emergency repairs, serious questions were in order.  Why should brand new springs break and bend that easy?  What is it about a spring-over that created this situation?

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