Tip of the Week

Jeep Wrangler Driveshafts

The 2007 and newer Jeep Wranglers use what is called a Rzeppa joint on the front and rear driveshafts. The Rzeppa joint is used in places where traditionally a u-joint would be utilized. The benefit of the Rzeppa is that the Rzeppa joint is a constant velocity joint and is smoother in its rotation compared to a U-joint. The Rzeppa joint does have its weaknesses thou. The main issue with the Rzeppa joint is that it uses a flexible rubber boot to seal the joint. When a suspension lift is installed it increases the angle the Rzeppa operates at which stresses and eventually tears the boot. Once the boot is torn it no longer seals in the grease required for the joint and the joint slowly grinds itself apart. Once the joint has been run without grease it can not be relubricated and must be replaced. A common symptom of a worn Rzeppa joint is a clicking noise from the drivetrain which if left unattended turns into a grinding or clunking noise.

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