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Front Axle Compatibility

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18 Jun 2020 12:40 #223696 by Bilko2
Hi,
After the last MOT the Jimny failed on the transfer box mounts being snapped, these were replaced a local "mechanic" but when I next went to engage 4wd there was no drive to the front wheels, obviously he just fitted the brackets but didn't bother to test the 4wd. Having little confidence in his workmanship I took the Jimny to my local reputable garage who have informed me that the front axle is the issue & needs replacement.
I have managed to source one from a local breakers but it is fitted to a 2002 Soft top manual with the G13BB engine. My car is a 2001 hardtop manual with the M13A engine. Would the soft top front axle be a suitable replacement?
Secondly the breaker seemed pretty honest and did state that there was some scoring to one of the ball sockets, the ball sockets on mine are in good condition would it be much of a job to change these over?
Thanks

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18 Jun 2020 13:12 - 18 Jun 2020 13:16 #223697 by Busta
Replied by Busta on topic Front Axle Compatibility
It is very unusual to need to replace the whole axle unless it is bent.
You need to find out exactly what is wrong. It's common for the transfer box mounts to break and this should not affect the operation of 4wd. The reasons for 4wd not working are usually the front hubs not engaging (due to broken hoses or a failed wheel bearing) or a broken CV joint. Both are simple and easy to fix without needing to replace the axle.
Unless you have ABS, the axle from the soft top is compatible with your car. The swivels are not replaceable but scoring and pitting is not a serious concern as, unlike some 4x4s, they are not oil filled and therefore do not need a perfect seal. But as I said, it is very unlikely that replacing the whole axle is necessary.
Last edit: 18 Jun 2020 13:16 by Busta.

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18 Jun 2020 13:19 - 18 Jun 2020 13:21 #223698 by Scimike
Replied by Scimike on topic Front Axle Compatibility
Edit. Busta types faster than me, but we are saying the same thing.


Hi Bilko2,
I can't help you with axle compatibility, but can confirm you can't change the ball sockets (Swivels) as they are welded to the axle. They are not like Land Rover swivels that can be changed, the scoring may also not be an issue as they don't hold oil.

That said I am confused about the route to the decision to change the axle, have the garage told you why it's not working?
Assuming the 4x4 system worked before you had the transfer mounts changed, I can't see how this has caused the axle to fail. Usually the 4x4 system on the axle fails due to rusty vacuum pipes or issues with the hub, usually it's a rust / age related issue. Swapping to a similar age axle may / may not fix the issue unless the vendor can confirm it was working before it was removed. As you are supplying the parts the garage will just charge you for the work even if your "new" axle is faulty, so I am just concerned it may just empty your pockets of cash and not fix the problem.

Mike
Last edit: 18 Jun 2020 13:21 by Scimike.

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18 Jun 2020 13:43 - 18 Jun 2020 13:44 #223700 by X8GGY
Replied by X8GGY on topic Front Axle Compatibility
My first guess would be that the first spanner monkey has disturbed / not reconnected the plug / cable from the 4x4 switch on the transfer box?!... whilst changing the transfer box brackets...

Without that connection the vehicles computer won’t connect the front hubs via the vacuum system mentioned above...

Is that buggy finished yet?...
Last edit: 18 Jun 2020 13:44 by X8GGY.

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18 Jun 2020 14:21 #223703 by Bilko2
Replied by Bilko2 on topic Front Axle Compatibility
Thanks for getting back to me so quickly gents, very much appreciated.
I'll have a chat with the garage and ask them to run through;
- Vacuum hoses condition/sealing preventing the hubs engaging
- CV joints are intact
- 4x4 switch connection to transfer box, although mine is the model where you engage using the small lever behind the gear stick there must be some linkage worth checking over

The garage did say that the front wheel bearings are u/s so it may be as simple changing those. On further inspection the 1st spanner monkey (very apt incidentally, I only used to use him because he had a good reputation for working on LR stuff) did not change both the transfer box mounting brackets but only the larger one and I imagine the smaller one went in a skip.So I'll have to source 1 of those, change the wheel bearings, go through the checks above and let you know the outcome.
Thanks for the advice about possibly changing bad for worse Scimike, was a little reluctant to take that step into the unknown and would rather have refurbished my existing front axle.
Kind regards

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18 Jun 2020 18:58 #223713 by Busta
Replied by Busta on topic Front Axle Compatibility
If your wheel bearings are gone definitely fix them before spending any time fault finding the 4wd issue! It's very likely to be the cause.
There isn't a linkage on the transfer case, the stick goes straight into the box. The engagement in the transfer box itself is very reliable so you can pretty much rule that out.

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21 Jun 2020 19:07 #223834 by Johnniehec
Replied by Johnniehec on topic Front Axle Compatibility
I agree with X8GGY the 4x4switch in the transver box is main suspect if it was working before the mounts were change, I’d suspect may be unplugged or a broken wire. When you shift the transfer lever to 4H the switch tells the vacuum solenoids to lock the hubs. From the advice the whole front axle needs replacing I wouldn’t say your second Spanner monkey was any better qualified or Jimny experienced that the first and I wouldn’t consider replacing an axle with one that’s swivels we’re in worse condition. Bent tube or badly rusted or scored swivels would be the only reason to change complete axle.

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On the 9th day he swapped it for a Jimny.
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22 Jun 2020 16:37 #223868 by Bilko2
Replied by Bilko2 on topic Front Axle Compatibility
Thanks for your further replies Johnnie & Busta, just an update on the issue. I have spoken to the garage and they assure me that the transfer box is working fine and the problem is at the axle end. They are going to change the wheel bearings and fit the smaller transfer box mounting bracket which wasn't replaced by monkey #1 then report back to me. This may be a week or 2 as they're pretty busy. Once I've heard from them I'll let you know how things have progressed.
Cheers
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23 Jun 2020 07:29 #223889 by kirkynut
Replied by kirkynut on topic Front Axle Compatibility
It does sound like the vacuum system for the freewheeling hubs that are meant to engage when you put the transfer box into 4wd are not engaging. This is a popular problem and most people overcome it by fitting manual hubs.

I think you are being a bit harsh on your first mechanic. The transfer box mounts are weak and if you asked him to replace one and that's what he did, what more did you expect from him?

You certainly don't need a new axle.

Kirkynut

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04 Jul 2020 11:18 #224471 by Bilko2
Replied by Bilko2 on topic Front Axle Compatibility
Hi, an update on the above post. I collected the Jimny from the garage yesterday and the replacement of the front wheel bearings appears to have cured the failing to engage 4wd issue. That's to say I've driven up a fairly steep hill covered in wet grass and it seemed to be in 4wd although a true test will be when I need to engage 4L and pull myself out of the sticky stuff. One thing that does concern me however is the 4wd engagement light on the warning light is blinking rather than on permanently, as I recall it should be a constant green light.
The MOT failure notifications clearly stated that both transfer box mounting brackets were broken and required replacement Kirky, he must have blagged it through the retest and as a result of his idleness/stupidity I'm £50 out of pocket and could potentially have destroyed my transfer box. Just wanted to clarify that mate.

Thanks for all your help and advice gents

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04 Jul 2020 13:51 - 04 Jul 2020 13:53 #224477 by Johnniehec
Replied by Johnniehec on topic Front Axle Compatibility
Quick and easy way to check 4x4 is working, and the only tool you need is a jack, is
Engine running, gearbox in neutral, handbrake on, jack one front wheel just off the ground. In 2h you should be able to rotate that wheel by hand.
Engage 4h, you should hear the “click clack” of the hubs engaging and you should not be able to rotate the wheel that’s off the ground by hand. If you can still rotate it one or both hubs have not locked and you’ll need to go through the hub fault finding process.

Thanks
John.

On the 8th Day God made the LandRover -
On the 9th day he swapped it for a Jimny.
Last edit: 04 Jul 2020 13:53 by Johnniehec. Reason: Add

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