Crawling over that rock or waterfall, one eye on the road, the other on your spotter. Rubber starts squealing, you start getting some wheel spin and in that last second you give it some more gas to try to get it over. BANG, SNAP! You get this sick feeling in your gut as you just broke one of your rear axles. What to do now?
One of the worst things that can happen on a trail is for an axle to break. Unfortunately the Dana 35 rear axles that come stock on Jeep Wranglers, XJ Cherokees, and other Jeeps have a way of snapping after you add larger tires, lockers, and a little too much pedal. While I mention D35 axles, this tool can be used on any C-Clip type axle such as the Ford 8.8 and other corporate axles like the Chrysler 8.25 and even the Jeep D44A, which has c-clips unlike other D44s.
Up until now when this happened, you either had to have a spare axle with you and the tools and time to replace it or leave your Jeep in the middle of nowhere. The problem with the middle of nowhere option is that there are many Jeeps that have been left there only to be found stripped of parts or even worse, used for a bonfire.
When I saw this device at the Overland Expo this spring, my first thoughts were how ingenious it is. See it, touch it, and feel it. The quality of construction and the simplicity of use are evident. The rollers move smoothly thanks to bearings. And the price, I don’t know how they can sell it so cheap! It will fit most size tires ordinarily used on trail Jeeps, even 35” monsters.
When there are no spare parts available, which is the case more often than not with a broken axle, this tool can be a lifesaver, literally. Even if you have a spare axle, it is not always safe or easy to do the repair where you are. With the broken axle tool, you can move the Jeep to a safe area to do your repair or limp back slowly to civilization. It is easy to carry, easy to store, and even if you never have to use it on your Jeep, you can be the hero when someone else in your group breaks their axle.
No matter if you are an individual or a club, this is one tool you should have on every trip.
Related – Trasharoo Spare Tire Garbage Container
* Published by JPFreek Jeep Adventure Magazine – The leader in Jeep and adventure enthusiast publications.