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Lubing a driveshaft slipyoke ...
07-08-2015, 07:02 PM
Post: #1
Lubing a driveshaft slipyoke ...
First I'll say shoutout to Scott (bluecrawler) for mentioning something about this when I was riding with him a few weeks ago. I never would have thought to check it if he didn't tell me how he lost a driveshaft like this.

For a few months now, the Cherokee has been feeling like the slip joint in the rear driveshaft was bound up. It's a pretty common for this to happen on stock Cherokees because there is no way to lubricate the slip yoke. Since I have a SYE with a front drive shaft, there's a zerk to lubricate the slip joint in the driveshaft.

Little did I know (until Scott mentioned it), that by pumping grease in until it purged, I was not actually lubricating it! It felt like it was slipping so I would pump grease in and let it purge but it would still happen. Figured it was something to do with the shot motor mounts that I (still) need to replace.

Started to get real bad so I figured I would pull it out and try to expand it, cover the hole and then lube it to get it to lubricate the splines.

That thing was FROZEN! When I took the last bolt out of the clamps, it jumped out of the pinion yoke (Jeep was in neutral with parking brake so it wasn't driveline tension from being in park). Had to brace myself against the transmission crossmember and pull hard to get it to move

Finally got it freed up and lubed and it works now. No more binding on take off!

The driveshaft I had in the front got real lose this fall in the slip joint. Had to retire it and add it to the collection in the bathroom. My guess is it failed for the same reason.

So moral of the story: just putting grease in and letting it purge doesn't actually lube the splines of a driveshaft!

2000 XJ Cherokee - 3.5'' lift / 32'' Tirerecapper Pizza Cutters / Front Locker
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07-08-2015, 11:06 PM
Post: #2
RE: Lubing a driveshaft slipyoke ...
That makes sense never thought about it though. I guess it would be ever worse on a shaft that didn't travel much .It would never get a chance to work into the splines. Good info
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07-09-2015, 02:39 PM
Post: #3
RE: Lubing a driveshaft slipyoke ...
It was an expensive lesson for me. I thought I was greasing the hell out of the splines but it was coming out the purge hole. I chewed up a $600 driveshaft (rebuild was $350) in under 2000 miles. Now I unscrew the grease cap and slide it and the cork seal back a couple inches. Then I get a finger over the purge hole and apply as much force as I can. I pump in the grease until new clean grease comes out the end of the splines then clean up and reinstall the cap. I do the rear driveshaft every week when prepping for the weekend and I do the front shaft every two or three weeks and every time it has spent time submerged. No problems so far and it's cheap insurance. You guys who wheel with me know that I'm pretty brutal on my drivetrain so I owe it a little TLC!
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