Review & Install Video
I'm Ryan from extremeterrain.com, and this is my review of the Rough Country extended rear driveshaft, fitting all 2007 and up JKs.
Now, the front driveshaft on your JK is going to be the same, regardless of whether you have a two-door or a four-door. However, when you're talking about rear driveshafts, obviously, the four-door is going to be longer, so there are two different driveshafts, one for the two-door and one for the four-door.
There are also going to be a couple of different driveshafts available, depending on what year your Jeep is. When Jeep went from the 3.8 liter to the 3.6 liter, they changed where the transmission and, therefore, the transfer case were, so the driveshaft is a slightly different length. So, manufacturers just ship one driveshaft for all year ranges, however, Rough Country does break it down to a couple of different ranges, so make sure you get the right driveshaft for your year and your body style.
Today, we're going to talk through the installation of this driveshaft, which is a very simple one-out-of-three-wrench installation. This will bolt directly in place of your factory driveshaft. We're also going to talk a little bit about the construction and a few of the other features of the driveshaft.
This is for those of you who have three and a half to six inches of lift on your JK and are looking for a longer driveshaft that isn't going to max out lengthwise when you're at full droop on the trail. This is also going to provide more strength than your factory driveshaft would, thanks to the fact that it is a CVDC driveshaft. However, this is significantly less expensive than some of those top-quality most expensive driveshafts on the market, and I have to imagine that part of that is from quality. So if you're just looking for something that is longer, I think this is a good option. If you're looking for something that is absolutely the strongest out there because you're running 37- or 40-inch tires on your JK, doing some really hardcore off-roading, then I would recommend taking a look at one of the more expensive driveshafts that are out there.
As I said before, this is for those of you with three and a half to six inches of lift on your JK. This is going to be plenty of long for that amount of lift, so you're not going to max out on driveshaft length at full droop on the trail.
Now, this is a constant velocity double cardan or CVDC driveshaft, and what that means is, right up here in the joint, this is going to have two different U-joints. This is going to have a centering ball inside of it. All of that makes it really strong when you're transferring power, and also makes it very smooth, as well. This driveshaft also comes with a couple of yokes. From the factory, your driveshaft detaches to your differential and to the transfer case with a flange. Adding these yokes will add strength, but also decreases the length of the transfer case a little bit, so you get to have a longer driveshaft, which means a flatter driveshaft angle, which is always a good thing.
The U-joints and the centering ball that come in this driveshaft are both greaseable and, of course, you'll want to keep grease in them. However, it's important to note that the centering ball does not have a traditional Zerk fitting on it. That normal Zerk fitting, you'll attach your grease gun to it, it'll hold on there, you can pump grease in there, no problem. With this, you actually have to have a small attachment for your grease gun in order to push down the ball bearing and fill that centering ball with grease, so it's something you'll have to purchase separately. It's not expensive, but it is important that you get that, and it is important that you keep this centering ball greased. This is something that you're going to have to service on a regular basis, either at your oil change intervals or when you rotate your tires, to make sure that everything stays greased. Otherwise, this certainly will fail. Keep it greased, you'll have no problem.
So, as I said before, this is a simple one-out-of-three-wrench installation. This is going to be very easy to install in your Jeep. The first step is to remove all of the bolts that are holding your factory driveshaft into both flanges, the one on your pinion and the one on your transfer case. Then, you'll need a large socket in order to remove those flanges. Now, this is going to be over a one-inch socket. It's probably not something that you're going to have laying around, so you'll definitely want to pick one up before you start with this installation.
Once you have those flanges removed, you'll install these new yokes in their place using those factory nuts. You also may need a breaker bar to get the nuts off because they can be very tight and possibly even have a little bit of Loctite on them. And when you're reinstalling them, you will want to install them with a torque wrench, torque them to spec. All of the specs are in the instructions for this driveshaft.
Once you have your new yokes in place, you'll just go ahead and bolt up the driveshaft with the included hardware. At that point, you'll want to make sure that all of the C-clips holding your U-joints in place are seated properly. And these do come out of the factory grease, but you'll want to make sure that they are, in fact, greased before you drive down a road with this thing installed.
The whole installation process shouldn't take you more than an hour to get done. However, you are going to need that larger socket that we talked about. You're going to need your torque wrench. Just make sure that you torque everything to spec and you're going to be good to go.
Now, depending on the state of your Jeep when you're installing this, you are going to want to make sure you put your transfer case in four-wheel drive, put the Jeep in park, or in gear and set your emergency brake. That's going to make both loosening and tightening that nut on your transfer case output shaft a lot easier because it's going to keep that shaft from wanting to spin if the Jeep is in neutral, if all four tires are off the ground. In a lot of different scenarios, that output shaft will spin freely and you're not going to be able to break that loose. It's a lot easier to put your Jeep in gear, put the transfer case in gear, set the emergency brake, than it is to try and hold on to that flange with a big pair of pliers and break it loose or tighten it.
As I said before, this is significantly less expensive than, say, the Rugged Ridge version of these extended driveshafts. About half, actually. And I have to believe that part of that cost difference is in the quality of the driveshaft. Now, if you're just looking for something that's longer, you have 33s or 35s, you do some light wheeling, this is going to be absolutely fine and it's going to save you a lot of money. However, if you have a big, heavy wheel tire combination, 37s or bigger, and you do really hardcore off-roading, you're probably going to want to look for one of those driveshafts that have some additional features built into them that will provide some more strength.
So if you're looking for a longer rear driveshaft for your JK so that you can go full droop on the trail with a lift and not max out your driveshaft length, this is going to be an excellent option.
So that's my review of the Rough Country extended rear driveshaft, fitting all 2007 and up JKs, that you can find right here at extremeterrain.com.