1999 Jeep Grand Cherokee Replacing Front CV-Shaft

Tiny
CUNNINGHAMCR08
  • MEMBER
  • 1999 JEEP GRAND CHEROKEE
  • 4.2L
  • 6 CYL
  • 4WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 137,425 MILES
I have a 99 jeep grand cherokee laredo that I have just replaced the CV-Shafts on (both front shafts). However while installing the front-right shaft, it does not seem to go into the steering knuckle far enough to put the hub back on. What is stopping the shaft from going in the rest of the way? I have tried turning the shaft and the splines line up (or so it seems) but I don't want to damage the new shaft.
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Friday, February 27th, 2015 AT 3:23 PM

9 Replies

Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Chrysler has a history of making parts that interchange between numerous years and models, and in this case with various options. I just ran into something similar with the half shaft for my '88 Grand Caravan. The shaft was for a '95 model, which is quite different, but the shaft is the same except the newer models were available with anti-lock brakes. The replacement shaft had the ABS tone ring that I didn't need, but it also had a metal ring that forms part of a splash shield on the newer models. That ring hit the wheel bearing and prevented the outer cv joint from going all the way into the wheel bearing. Look for that on yours too, especially if you don't have anti-lock brakes. I just had to tap that ring off.

I've also run into a couple of vehicles where that metal ring was part of the outer cv joint, and it fell off and got stuck to the spindle. If that gets overlooked, you'll have two of those rings in there and the joint won't go all the way in. Compare the old and new outer joints to see if there's a difference.

Also, when you say you can't put the hub on, do you mean there isn't enough threads to start the axle nut, or you can't push the spindle in enough to reconnect the lower ball joint? I've had people think the outer joints hadn't gone all the way into the bearings because they couldn't push the spindles in far enough to reconnect the ball joints' studs to the spindles. In fact, it was the inner joints that had been pulled apart too far and had come apart. Wiggling them until the rollers lined up allowed them to collapse back to where they belonged, then the shafts became shorter and allowed reassembly of the ball joints.
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Friday, February 27th, 2015 AT 7:52 PM
Tiny
CUNNINGHAMCR08
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On the 99 jeep grand cherokee laredo that I am working on, the hub bolts straight to the steering knuckle with three 10.9 grade bolts. I removed the bolts and gently removed the hub. When I removed the old CV-Shaft, and inserted the new one the passenger side shaft seemed to not go into the differential all the way. No snap rings on the new shafts, no special grooves. Just supposed to slide in and out.
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Saturday, February 28th, 2015 AT 12:57 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
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I guess I'm confused. By "hub", are you referring to the center part of the wheel bearing assembly? I realize now that you unbolted the wheel bearing and didn't take the lower ball joint apart. Did you compare the old and new shafts to each other?

Are you saying the bearing hits the cv joint before it sits fully in the spindle? When you said, "it does not seem to go into the steering knuckle far enough", which way is that? The shaft doesn't go into the differential far enough or the cv joint doesn't come out far enough to allow the axle nut to be started?
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Saturday, February 28th, 2015 AT 1:24 PM
Tiny
CUNNINGHAMCR08
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Yes the wheel bearing assembly. And the old and new shafts are the same dimensionally. And the wheel bearing does hit the joint before it sits fully in the spindle, and I can't seem to get the shaft to go in any further.
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Saturday, February 28th, 2015 AT 3:36 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
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Okay, I'm going to have to tell you some things I don't know. There are some Chrysler differentials that use an oil pump that's driven by a difference in speed between the two axle shafts. I'm pretty sure those were only used on the rear on some trucks, but if they use it on the front too, that reminds me of a problem Ford had with their front-wheel-drive cars. If both axle shafts were removed at the same time, a gear could drop out of position, then the cover had to be removed to put that gear back in place.

Normally a typical locking differential with clutch plates can't be used on the front because that would cause an unstable condition when turning corners, but the oil pump-driven differential won't do that. That means there could possibly be one on front and there may be multiple splined parts that your shaft has to slide into. I can't find a suitable service manual to know for sure. My best suggestion at this point is to rotate the right shaft and watch if the left one rotates the other way. If the left one, (or the front drive shaft), doesn't turn, the right shaft isn't slid all the way into the side gear. I know that you know that already. I can't find any reference to this problem so between wiggling and rotating the shaft, I hope that will convince it to go all the way in.
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Saturday, February 28th, 2015 AT 4:17 PM
Tiny
CUNNINGHAMCR08
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Well they weren't both removed at the same time (one then the other for fear of that mess) although when I looked down the axle into the differential I spotted a rod (vertically oriented) that looked similar to a wrist pin on a piston and that seems to be whats stopping it from going the rest of the way in.
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Saturday, February 28th, 2015 AT 4:39 PM
Tiny
CUNNINGHAMCR08
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Maybe the roll pin for the cross pin shaft?
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Saturday, February 28th, 2015 AT 4:43 PM
Tiny
CUNNINGHAMCR08
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And if so where do I find a diagram to fix it. I live about 40 miles from any mechanic
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Saturday, February 28th, 2015 AT 4:44 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
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Nothing is better than the manufacturer's service manuals. I have a huge collection of Chrysler stuff, but nothing this new. Darn the bad luck. I have access to Mitchel On Demand too, but so far I haven't been able to find an exploded view. I'll keep looking.
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Saturday, February 28th, 2015 AT 4:48 PM

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