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axle/diff ignorant! help!

Old 05-13-2016, 09:10 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2016
Location: montana
Posts: 0
Year: 71 gladiator
Model: Comanche
Engine: 360
Exclamation axle/diff ignorant! help!

I just bought my first dream car! 1971 Jeep gladiator j2000 v8 360 4 on the floor! Im in love! the only thing left is to figure out just what is wrong in the rear! Axle? Diff? Drivetrain? heck if I know! my girl runs great, srong and healthy! but her rear end is almost at a total standstill! loading her on and off the trailer she didnt wanna budge and even when she did it was very slow and a work of labor! Theres a noise too...a constant (when in gear/ motion), low n loud ginding/growl accompanied by a enen louder and more ominous thud every 2-3 wheel rotations....where do i start? Im no mechanic but I do try to do the work on my rides, buy the manuals and tools, etc....but still...always poor and rigging something up like the redneck I am! know nada about axles, etc
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Old 05-14-2016, 01:52 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: California
Posts: 1,551
Year: 91
Model: Cherokee
Engine: 4.0

Start with the brakes.
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Old 05-14-2016, 10:59 AM
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Florida
Posts: 2,379
Year: 2000
Model: Cherokee(XJ)
Engine: Golen 4.6L

Congrats on the addition to the family. I also have a '71 (mine's a J-4600). These trucks are beasts.

Regarding your specific problem, you're going to have to get in there and figure it out. As Bubba said, the brakes are the most logical place to start. Unless a prior owner has swapped your axles, you should have a Dana 44 rear with a 5x5.5 lug pattern. It's reasonably easy to get parts for those or get work done on it, although the drums can be hard to find if they need to be replaced (I'm actually converting mine over to disc brakes all around). You can get parts at BJ's Offroad or even Rock Auto for some items.

Since this message board is primarily geared toward '84+ Cherokees, Grand Cherokees and that new Fiat abomination, this isn't the best place to get info about full size Jeeps. Instead, you're going to want to read up, search and ask your questions here:

or post on the Facebook group here:

or maybe here (although this one is a little less active):

The FB group is a lot more active than the message boards (without all the immature nonsense you'll see in a lot of FB groups), but posts also get lost quicker as they move down the page. If nobody approves you in the first day or so, send me a private message here with a link to your FB profile and I'll see if I can add you.

There are some real experts on those communities, including a couple of guys who are like encyclopedias when it comes to AMC and Kaiser era Jeeps. Also, Ryan Hart is one of the owners of BJ's, and he routinely reads and posts on the boards and in the FB group. Not only is he knowledgeable, but if you join the IFSJA board and email him, he'll set you up with a 10% discount at BJs.

Good luck!
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Old 05-14-2016, 11:53 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2016
Location: montana
Posts: 0
Year: 71 gladiator
Model: Comanche
Engine: 360

Holy cow thank you both so much! ok, so I have done a bit with brakes but when I first saw anf met my baby I was told rear axle problems....but dangit if I amnot a true blonde....guess what was under the front seat....2 brake pads! Oh snap! ....and yes I was going to use them but after I replaced the axle! oops! thank you again!
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