RCV or U-Joint?

DK570

New member
I would like to upgrade my front axle shafts. I am not sure if RCV is worth the extra money. Additionally, I'm not sure if I want to have to grease them regularly, looks like it requires wheel removal every 5,000 mi. I usually go 6-7,000 miles before I need an oil change according to the idiot light.

Currently it sometimes does feel a bit hard to turn the steering wheel, but that could be because the current factory joints are old. I've never felt significant resistance when driving a TJ with 35's, I've only ever felt it while driving my JK with 35's.

Some background:
JKUR with 35's, mostly a DD, but I definitely do difficult trails also. Since this is my winter DD, I see a lot of miles, plus a lot of road salt, plus sub zero temps are not uncommon.

I have read that many u-joint failures are related to the factory using a c-clip, rather than a full snap ring. Maybe that's all I really need to upgrade?
 

Disciple Off Road

Active Member
I'm a fan of u-joints mainly because you can repair them yourself. Aftermarket chromoly shafts are of course going to be stronger over stock and will use full circle clips on the caps unlike oem that are prone to coming off and causing a bad day. RCV may have less binding at full lock but really, I don't think they are worth the extra cost and still aren't bullet proof. Just my opinion though.
 

TrailHunter

Hooked
I swapped in Chromoly front shafts as a preventative measure and rears because I bent a flange. I went with Carbon Offroad for both and install was easy being they were fully assembled. Just be sure to remove the the plastic guides on the stock shafts... if one gets left in there it can cause a seal leak.. ask me how I know. 😬
 

DK570

New member
For what it is worth, I too would recommend u-joint axles over RCVs for the reasons stated (e.g., ability to do trail repairs). I am personally looking at Revolution Gear and Axle's American Made chromoly shafts. These axles come with a lifetime warranty against damage or breakage under ANY condition and this includes the u-joints!

I've looked at the Revolution. Seems they have a 'Discovery Series' made in India, and the American made link you shared. Any idea if country of origin is the only difference?
 

ScottofKSU

Caught the Bug
I've looked at the Revolution. Seems they have a 'Discovery Series' made in India, and the American made link you shared. Any idea if country of origin is the only difference?
Country of origin seems to be the only difference except for the warranty. The Discovery Series has a 10 year warranty and the American Made series has a lifetime warranty. The way I see it, buying the American Made series for the premium they charge for it: 1) supports American labor and manufacturing; 2) likely gets you a product with better quality control and finish; and 3) buys you some added "insurance" with the better warranty against breakage after the 10 year mark... That said, I wonder how many folks will keep the same axles under their Jeep for 10 years! I intend to, but who knows!
 
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