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Author Topic: The trip from hell! Now the drive shaft ended up on the highway!  (Read 5306 times)

Offline ClydesdaleKevin

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  • Engine: Cummings Turbo Diesel
So this year's end of year travel out west back to Arizona has been one thing after another...but God is good!  We finished the Carolina Renfaire, and on the way back to visit my sister in St Marys, GA, the rear axle bearing on our Jeep Cherokee let go, and the rear wheel on the passenger side caught fire!  Thankfully, there was a GA DOT guy behind us that helped me gut the brake drum and milk us down to my sister's house.  There, I replaced all the bearings, and the axle, etc.  Then, we left to go on our trip out west, and some box truck driver hit the carrier on the back of our tow vehicle that holds my KLR 650 motorcycle...and we were again blessed that a local motorcycle shop had a carrier in stock, and in less than 24 hours we were back on the road again.  And then we were driving out on I-10, and the rear driveshaft on the RV bit the dust, even though I just greased it!  So we are in a campground that we got towed to (225 bucks...the tow guy was very kind).  There is a drive shaft company 33 miles away, so I will bring them ALL the drive shafts on Monday morning to assess and repair them as necessary.  This seems to be the year of shite failing, even though I maintain the heck out of my vehicles!!!
Kev and Patti, the furry kids, our 98 Cherokee lifted beastie tow vehicle, and our 1995 Itasca Suncruiser Diesel Pusher.

Offline Rickf1985

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Re: The trip from hell! Now the drive shaft ended up on the highway!
« Reply #1 on: December 15, 2018, 08:42 PM »
Smart move on all the shafts Kev, I did just one of mine and ended up taking them all back to be balanced together (to a different driveline company). Turned out the first one was bent but no matter, they all need to be balanced together. Plus it is real hard to check those carrier bearings by hand. With all the miles you pile on I would have them replaced for general principal while they are in them. I hope the Jeep axle did not take out the housing but if it did then time for a Ford 8.8.

Offline ClydesdaleKevin

  • 11 year member
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  • Engine: Cummings Turbo Diesel
Re: The trip from hell! Now the drive shaft ended up on the highway!
« Reply #2 on: December 16, 2018, 04:06 PM »
LOL!  The Jeep has a Ford 8.8 on the back, from a Bronco 2, with brakes and backing plates and drums from a Ford Ranger.  It made getting all the right parts together fun!  Had I driven it much longer, the axle would have worn through the bearing race, and it would have been toast...but I was lucky.


Now I have a leak from the transmission that SEEMS to be coming from the pan gasket.  I took off the torque converter cover and the torque converter is dry...but it is hard to see past it into the bell housing to see if it is wet or dry.  The vibrations from the driveshaft going COULD have damaged the TQ seal, so I might have to unbolt the transmission, inch it backward enough to see between the TQ and the bell housing...and if it leaking from the seal, inch it back some more, enough to get the TQ out so I can replace that oil seal.  I sure do hope it is just the pan gasket, which I am going to try first...but we'll see.


I got the rear u-bolts off the differential yoke in the back, and thankfully the yoke wasn't damaged.  I also removed the center carrier bearing and the front driveshaft.  It looks to me like it was the center carrier bearing that went bad, since I can't turn it.  It looks like it might have seized up, causing the catastrophic failure of the rear u-joints...which actually snapped right off!!!   


Fun fun fun!


Kev
Kev and Patti, the furry kids, our 98 Cherokee lifted beastie tow vehicle, and our 1995 Itasca Suncruiser Diesel Pusher.

Offline ClydesdaleKevin

  • 11 year member
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  • Engine: Cummings Turbo Diesel
Re: The trip from hell! Now the drive shaft ended up on the highway!
« Reply #3 on: December 16, 2018, 04:57 PM »
If you are ever on I-10 in Florida and need a place to camp with your RV, please patronize The Hitching Post and Corral RV Park, in Cottondale.  When we broke down and were towed in, not only did they give us a nice dry site (with no fire ants) for me to fix the RV in, when I went to pay them, the invoice for the 4 days we think it will take us to get back on the road said, "Paid in Full...Merry Christmas!!!"  What awesome and amazing people!!!  https://hitchinpostcorralandcampground.com/
Kev and Patti, the furry kids, our 98 Cherokee lifted beastie tow vehicle, and our 1995 Itasca Suncruiser Diesel Pusher.

Offline LJ-TJ

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Re: The trip from hell! Now the drive shaft ended up on the highway!
« Reply #4 on: December 16, 2018, 08:06 PM »
 :)ThmbUp Thanks Kev, that's good to know. Always love to support folks with big hearts.

Offline ClydesdaleKevin

  • 11 year member
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Re: The trip from hell! Now the drive shaft ended up on the highway!
« Reply #5 on: December 17, 2018, 09:43 AM »
I'm on my way to the driveshaft repair shop.  Wish us luck that it doesn't cost us too much!  We are on a shoestring winter budget!


Kev
Kev and Patti, the furry kids, our 98 Cherokee lifted beastie tow vehicle, and our 1995 Itasca Suncruiser Diesel Pusher.

Offline Rickf1985

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Re: The trip from hell! Now the drive shaft ended up on the highway!
« Reply #6 on: December 17, 2018, 10:57 AM »
Good luck, Glad to see there are still good people in the world down there. They have had a rough time of it this summer.

Offline ClydesdaleKevin

  • 11 year member
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  • Engine: Cummings Turbo Diesel
Re: The trip from hell! Now the drive shaft ended up on the highway!
« Reply #7 on: December 17, 2018, 08:23 PM »
Yeah they did...Hurricane Michael hit this area HARD.  So an update on the driveshaft saga:  I spent ALL day at Covinton Heavy Duty Parts, in Dothan, Alabama, while they tried to cross reference parts to build the new driveshafts.  Yes Drive SHAFTS!  The front one is also out of round, and the slip yoke is chipped out where the snap ring would fit.  So the whole kit and kaboodle is shot.  They quoted us around 400 bucks for everything, but couldn't source the parts. So after being there ALL DAY, they sent me down to Mann Automotive in the same town, who said they could do the job for around the same price, but Mann can balance the two driveshafts together for around the same price, and Covington doesn't balance.  Well heck folks!  If they had sent me to Mann in the first place, they could have ordered the parts today...now they have to look them up tomorrow and order them tomorrow, so we will be in this campground for about a week.  And probably won't make it back to Arizona in time for Christmas.  This has been one rough and hellacious trip...and we are running out of money.  Damn it!  We have more than enough dog and cat food, because I always stock up on it before winter "just in case,"...and I don't mind living on Ramen Noodles until we start back up in February.  But I'll be goddarned if I'm going to let my wife not have the food she likes.  If this keeps up, I might have to sell a gun or two...or even my motorcycle.  Fun fun fun! 
Kev and Patti, the furry kids, our 98 Cherokee lifted beastie tow vehicle, and our 1995 Itasca Suncruiser Diesel Pusher.

Offline Rickf1985

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Re: The trip from hell! Now the drive shaft ended up on the highway!
« Reply #8 on: December 17, 2018, 09:44 PM »
I think I payed 375.00 and for only one shaft to be straightened and a couple joints and all three balanced. Balancing is a must on these considering the overall length and the speed they are spinning with 4.56 gears. An out of balance shaft will actually cause it to bend in in a few thousand miles. Something else to check, even if you can't do anything about it right now, is driveline angles at each joint. They all have to add up to less than 6 degrees if I remember my math correctly. I think I put the formula's on the forum here somewhere but I will look it up tomorrow. Getting all the angles correct will add years to the u-joints and bearings and also get rid of those annoying vibrations you can never seem to find. These RV's with three shafts get complicated since you have both positive and negative angles together.

Offline ClydesdaleKevin

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Re: The trip from hell! Now the drive shaft ended up on the highway!
« Reply #9 on: December 18, 2018, 08:57 AM »
I'm not complaining about the price, as I would say it is pretty reasonable for the whole kit and kaboodle...but this is the worst time of the year for us to have unforeseen expenses piling up like this.  I'll find out today when I drain the transmission fluid if the leak is from the pan gasket, or if it is from the torque converter seal.  I'm really hoping it is from the pan gasket, which is a MUCH easier job.  I've never removed a transmission or a torque converter, and it looks pretty darn involved, a big project.  I'll have to find someone with a rolling floor jack I can borrow and an old board or piece of plywood, because I don't have a rolling floor jack...and do I have to unbolt the torque converter from the backing plate, or can I leave it attached to the backing plate if I'm not taking the transmission all the way out?


Kev
Kev and Patti, the furry kids, our 98 Cherokee lifted beastie tow vehicle, and our 1995 Itasca Suncruiser Diesel Pusher.

Offline Rickf1985

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Re: The trip from hell! Now the drive shaft ended up on the highway!
« Reply #10 on: December 18, 2018, 09:44 AM »
We are kind of covering this in two threads but it is best to unbolt the convertor from the flywheel and leave it on the transmission so that you do not drag the input shaft through the convertor on an angle as it comes out. Same with going in, convertor on and then transmission in. There is a step in the converter that is not very high but if you do not hit that last step then the convertor will not be fully engaged and sometimes will not fit but even worse sometimes it will and the transmission will bolt up and next thing you know you are starting it up with the convertor not fully engaged. Instant shrapnel!


You will have to pay attention to the convertor as the transmission comes out because it could slide off and fall out. A lot of times I will bolt a piece of steel or wood to one of the bell housing holes so that it blocks the convertor from sliding out.

Offline ClydesdaleKevin

  • 11 year member
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Re: The trip from hell! Now the drive shaft ended up on the highway!
« Reply #11 on: December 18, 2018, 10:44 AM »
Good news (I think).  The pan on my TH400 transmission has an aftermarket drain plug...and when I drained it today, less than 4 quarts came out.  Which is about the capacity of the pan   Which leads me to believe that my leak was INDEED coming from the pan gasket, and not the torque converter oil seal.  If it was leaking that high up, I would think that more than 4 quarts would come out of the transmission when I drained it, since the capacity of the TH400 is 6 quarts, plus another 5 or so in the torque converter.   Does that sound reasonable?  Anyone disagree?  Did I get lucky this time?
Kev and Patti, the furry kids, our 98 Cherokee lifted beastie tow vehicle, and our 1995 Itasca Suncruiser Diesel Pusher.

Offline Rickf1985

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Re: The trip from hell! Now the drive shaft ended up on the highway!
« Reply #12 on: December 18, 2018, 11:39 AM »
It's possible although if you were two quarts low you probably would not have had reverse which is the gear that uses the most fluid. Usually you can see on the gasket or on the pan where the gasket was not making good seal. Be sure to peen the bolt holes flat on the pan before reinstalling, use Permatex #3 sealant on the gasket and above all DO NOT OVERTIGHTEN! Unless the leak was a bad leak then pulling the trans to repair a convertor seal is not usually a good idea. Remember that you have the pump up there also and it also has a gasket. A convertor seal is just like a rear main seal, it usually leaks onto the convertor and flings out onto the bell housing all around in a circle. The pump gasket just runs down but I have very seldom seen pump gaskets leak. I have seen many, many pan gaskets leak. If you go to the right place you can get reusable gaskets, if you get one of those do not use sealant.

Offline Rickf1985

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Re: The trip from hell! Now the drive shaft ended up on the highway!
« Reply #13 on: December 18, 2018, 11:46 AM »
While you are there be sure it is not the little seals where the shift linkage goes into the transmission or the cooling lines.

Offline Froggy1936

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Re: The trip from hell! Now the drive shaft ended up on the highway!
« Reply #14 on: December 18, 2018, 11:55 AM »
If you cannot visually tell if there is a Torque converter seal leak, The first step is replacing the pan gasket and filter , Then give it a couple days to drip dry . Definitely remove convertor from the flex plate if you have to go in there . When pushed all the way into the transmission after pulled back from the engine measure distance from convertor to frt of bell housing , So when going back together you can make sure convertor is engaged into the frt pump If not bolting up will cause destruction ! But i think you have found your leak , Dont forget to hammer down any raised portions of pan around bolt holes and do not use a cork gasket !  A small bead of sealer on ea side of gasket is ok dont overdo  it , It will plug the filter if it gets into the fluid in any large amt !  Good Luck and if you are borrowing, a transmission jack is way better esp w 4 wheel drive , Possibly can be rented  Frank
The Journey is the REWARD !

Offline legomybago

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Re: The trip from hell! Now the drive shaft ended up on the highway!
« Reply #15 on: December 18, 2018, 01:12 PM »
I've had the speedometer drive gears leak on TH400's. That will cause a drip on the pan also. I only use 1/4" drive rat$hits on transmission pans, torque them just like you would a valve cover basically....Always come back after a heat cycle and lightly snug the bolts again (just like a valve cover).
Never get crap happy with a slap happy pappy

Offline ClydesdaleKevin

  • 11 year member
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Re: The trip from hell! Now the drive shaft ended up on the highway!
« Reply #16 on: December 18, 2018, 04:08 PM »
Thanks guys!  I'll be replacing the pan gasket tomorrow, as well as the vacuum actuator and 0-ring...and I'll check around the speedo and shift linkage ports while I'm at it.  At least I don't have to pull the transmission!  WHEW!!!

Kev
Kev and Patti, the furry kids, our 98 Cherokee lifted beastie tow vehicle, and our 1995 Itasca Suncruiser Diesel Pusher.

Offline Rickf1985

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Re: The trip from hell! Now the drive shaft ended up on the highway!
« Reply #17 on: December 18, 2018, 08:25 PM »
Don't forget to replace the filter while you are in there. I am guessing this is the first time you have done it?

Offline ClydesdaleKevin

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Re: The trip from hell! Now the drive shaft ended up on the highway!
« Reply #18 on: December 18, 2018, 08:48 PM »
No Rick.  I replaced the filter and gasket when I bought the rig...what is it now, 7 or 8 years ago?  I'll probably replace it again if the tiny local auto parts store has them in stock. 
Kev and Patti, the furry kids, our 98 Cherokee lifted beastie tow vehicle, and our 1995 Itasca Suncruiser Diesel Pusher.

Offline Rickf1985

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Re: The trip from hell! Now the drive shaft ended up on the highway!
« Reply #19 on: December 19, 2018, 10:25 AM »
After I typed that I figured you probably had considering your penchant for maintenance. I would think the would have that filter since it is quite common.

Offline ClydesdaleKevin

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Re: The trip from hell! Now the drive shaft ended up on the highway!
« Reply #20 on: December 19, 2018, 05:39 PM »
So the saga continues.  After running all over to 4 different auto parts stores to get all the parts to fix the transmission leak (when did Dextron transmission fluid get so expensive?  It cost me 40 bucks for 6 quarts!), I stopped at a gas station near the RV park, and the rear differential on the Jeep was leaking!  What the heck!  I determined that it was leaking from the pinion shaft seal, and since I never changed one of those before, and wasn't sure if the pinion bearings and races were any good, I went to the local auto parts store and bought a new Ford 8.8 10 bolt gasket, the oil seal, the bearings and races, and 6 quarts of gear oil.  I then drove back to the RV park, and fired up YouTube to learn how to replace the seal and bearings.  It was a MUCH easier job than I thought it was going to be...just unbolt the driveshaft yoke from the 8.8 pinion output plate, unbolt the pinion nut, use a puller to get the yoke plate off the pinion shaft, remove the old seal, check the bearing and race, replace if necessary, install the new seal, and top off the gear oil.  I didn't have to open the transfer case at all. 


What made changing that seal easy, and the problem that caused the seal to fail in the first place, was that the pinion nut was loose, as was the yoke plate on the pinion shaft!  I was able to unscrew the nut by hand, and pull the plate right off.  After removing the plate and seal, I removed the flinger plate (a small flat round washer about the same size as the bearing...which I almost forget to put back in), and the outside bearing.  I cleaned it and inspected it, and it still looked good, but I was going to replace it anyway...and opened the box of bearings, and it was the wrong size.  So I greased up the old bearing, and installed it, the flinger plate, and the seal.  I then cleaned the pinion nut and the pinion shaft threads with brake cleaner, and used red locktite on the threads (which is why I think it came loose...there wasn't a trace of any thread locker on those threads, which is supposed to be there).  I put the yoke plate back on and I tightened it up by feel, making sure there was no in our out play or wobbling, but not too tight, sort of like I would do with a wheel bearing.  I topped off the fluid, reconnected the drive shaft, cleaned up and put away my tools, and took it for a test drive to the parts store, to get my money back for the parts not used.  So the repair on the Jeep was only 28 bucks total...YAY!!!


I ran out of daylight, so I'll have to fix the RV transmission leak on the next nice day...since it is supposed to rain tonight here in Cottondale, FL, and on and off all day tomorrow.


I called the drive shaft shop this morning, and they found and ordered all the parts needed, so now we wait.


Looks like we are spending Christmas in Florida!


Kev



Kev and Patti, the furry kids, our 98 Cherokee lifted beastie tow vehicle, and our 1995 Itasca Suncruiser Diesel Pusher.

Offline Froggy1936

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Re: The trip from hell! Now the drive shaft ended up on the highway!
« Reply #21 on: December 19, 2018, 07:58 PM »
Kev since you are going to pull the driveshaft out again The pinion nut should be a lot tighter than what you left it at  I would look up the torque setting on it and retighten it   Frank
The Journey is the REWARD !

Offline ClydesdaleKevin

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Re: The trip from hell! Now the drive shaft ended up on the highway!
« Reply #22 on: December 19, 2018, 09:06 PM »
This was on our tow vehicle Frank, the Jeep Cherokee.  The RV driveshaft is still being rebuilt at a shop 30 miles away.
Kev and Patti, the furry kids, our 98 Cherokee lifted beastie tow vehicle, and our 1995 Itasca Suncruiser Diesel Pusher.

Offline Rickf1985

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Re: The trip from hell! Now the drive shaft ended up on the highway!
« Reply #23 on: December 19, 2018, 09:14 PM »
The 8.8 uses a crush sleeve originally but you still need to put a fair bit of oomph on it to get it where it should be. I would go at least 120 ft.lbs.. Of coarse that means somehow getting the red locktite loose which usually requires a torch since the red is considered permanent. You are actually supposed to use the blue on there but............... It is not going to fall off while towing and if you go easy on it for running around you will be ok but once you get to your winter home then you have some work to do. I would not be driving it a hundred miles like that. I put 150 ft.lbs. on the one in my Mustang when I replaced the pinion seal in that but I was checking for preload at the same time to make sure it did not increase. I am putting 400 plus horses to the wheels and I haven't had any issues yet. Oh, I used blue lock tite. ;) W%

Offline ClydesdaleKevin

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Re: The trip from hell! Now the drive shaft ended up on the highway!
« Reply #24 on: December 20, 2018, 08:26 PM »
Thanks Rick!  I cranked that nut pretty tight with a full size 1/2 inch ratchet, so it probably is around 120 ft lbs or more. 


Still no leaks from the Jeep differential!  I must have fixed it correctly...lol!  The drive shaft shop said all the parts came in, so they are making the shafts today.  The U-Joints are supposed to be delivered to them tomorrow, so more than likely I can pick it up tomorrow or Saturday.  It rained all day today, so I will fix the transmission leak tomorrow.


Kev
Kev and Patti, the furry kids, our 98 Cherokee lifted beastie tow vehicle, and our 1995 Itasca Suncruiser Diesel Pusher.

 

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