July 2003: I took the jeep out to the cabin for a little muddin, and the axle decided to separate itself from the hub. This is a common AMC 20 axle problem.

Options for repair:

1.) Attempt to weld hub to axle, and buy stock bearing. Cost $80. The catch: If the hub breaks loose, the only option for repair would be to replace the axles, which do not use stock bearings.

2.) Replace both axles completely with 1-ton axles from the junk yard. Cost $500 plus many many many accessories for installation. The catch: Mucho Mucho Mucho time for installation. Positives: Super strong, never break again axles. A wider wheelbase. Springs would come with it to replace those that are currently sagging. It would be just as easy to go SOA during installation.

3.) Install 1-Piece Axles. Cost $220. Positives: Easiest installation. Improves strength of axles.

I was very close to attempting the axles replacement, but as the summer began to come to a close, I realized that there would be no way I could finish them before school started, so I opted for the 1-piece axle kit from tellico.com. I also ordered about $100 in seals, bearings and u-joints for the front axle.

The axle already installed.

Installation went pretty smoothly, until I accidentally pressed on the bearing onto the axle shaft with the brake backing on backwards. I tried to remove the bearing, but ruined it in the process. I then had to wait a week and a half for a replacement to come from tellico. (None of the bearing stores in Austin carried it). After the axles were installed, I replaced the front u-joints, and other misc. seals in the hubs.

The brake calipers were locking in the front, so they were replaced as well. When the axles broke at the cabin, it took 6 guys and a come-along to get the jeep up in the trailer.

 

 

 

I also replaced the distributor cap and rotor, which improved the engine performance quite a bit.

This whole thing took about $400 final cost, about 200 man-hours, and had the jeep out of commission for exactly one month.