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JeepMe 11-02-2010 11:01 AM

Front Axle Swap
First, I have a 2003 WJ, I6 w/ 84k miles.

So, my Jeep has been making a whinning sound for the past 3+ months. It has progressively gotten louder and louder. It's a high pitched whine that starts around 10-15mph and the pitch increases with speed (doesn't matter if I accel, decel, or turn). Anyways, after concluding it was something with the front axle I took it to a very well trusted shop to figure out what's making the noise.

They told me it was some bearing in the front diff and it needed rebuilt. The quote was for about $150 in materials and $400 in labor. I DO NOT HAVE THE TIME TO FIX THIS MYSELF. I hate working on diffs and it takes me FOREVER to get the backlash correct.

I was looking at junk yards for front axle assembly from a wrecked WJ. I found one from a 2004 WJ, 40k miles on it, w/ 3.55 gears (I believe this is the Dana 30) for $400.

My question is this: If I'm going to swap the axle out for a new one, I might as well make it bigger and better. What other front axle assemblies will bolt right in place. If there are any, what vehicles can I pull them from?

cheapjeep 11-02-2010 11:47 PM

Re: Front Axle Swap
I think you're stuck with the 30 unless you want to get into a major fab job and lots more $$$. With a 6cyl they are usually pretty reliable. Same thing's in my HO though I don't know if its beefed up from the factory.You could check that out maybe.

JeepMe 11-03-2010 08:13 AM

Re: Front Axle Swap
Well that sucks. Like I mentioned, I don't have time to rebuild the differential so I don't have the time to fabricate an axle assembly to fit.

I'll prolly just swap the axle from the 2004 WJ and call it good. My long term goals are to make this into something big that can do some nice offroading. I don't have any fear of breaking an axle right now. But I figured since I was replacing it now, if I could find a good strong replacement I could use that and avoid breaking it in the future.

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