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Loose pinion yoke problem. Am I being screwed over?

JustinSwampthingjku

New Member
Joined
Dec 6, 2019
Messages
8
Location
Canada
Hi there, this is my first ever forum post so please excuse anything I do wrong. And I thank you greatly in advance for any info or help you can provide.

To give some back story. I have a 2008 jku rubicon. About a month ago I had the gears changed for a set of 5.13s, I was also having some starting issues due to the neutral safety switch so I had them fix that at the same time as installing gears as well as I asked them to install a set of front outer axle seals and do a wheel alignment.

Now all the troubles start after I pick the vehicle up. First they give me the bill which was about $400 more than what I was originally quoted but I expected that as I asked for the additional front axle seals and alignment. (My first big mistake was I didnt check the invoice or the vehicle while at the shop). Then they give me the break-in procedures and tell me to come back after 800km to check the gears. The jeep starts no problem at the shop so I just assume all is well and proceed to drive home. On the way home I notice a massive vibration above 60kph that wasnt there before. I had to make a pit stop on the way home and when I went to go start the jeep again, it doesnt start so clearly the neutral safety switch wasnt fixed (I can still start the jeep by putting into neutral rather than park). And by the time I actually get home (10km later) the rear axle seals are leaking gear oil all over the brakes. While home I also think to check the invoice and notice they did not do the front axle seals or the wheel alignment like I had asked and just charged $400 more then quoted "fixing" the neutral safety switch.

At this point it was clear they screwed things up so it needs to go back. At first they try to claim the new leaks were my fault and that they did everything I asked for correctly and that I would have to pay again. After much fighting and back and forth they eventually say bring it back and they will fix it. The jeep has leaked all its diff fluid so I have towed back.

They reluctantly fixed the axle seals, and fixed the neutral safety switch(after another $200), said the vibration was the rear drive shaft joints and I could feel now and not before is because its spinning faster with new 5.13 gears, but again didnt do the front axle seals or alignment. But also again for some reason claim they did both.

Anyway so now the jeep needs a new rear driveshaft too, well I have lost all confidence in this shop and definitely wont get from them. I order one from somewhere else and proceed to install myself. I am quite handy and have done all the other work on my jeep except the gears. I know its risky changing the yoke but I did it very carefully and followed the instructions to a tee. I even called Adam's driveshaft and talked with them to confirm prior to installing. But when I take old factory yoke off, to my surprise I notice a nice big piece of metal just resting on the pinion (I'll include a picture) that definitely shouldnt be there. So I take lots of pictures, keep the piece of metal, and then finish installing the drive shaft. I figure the jeep still needs a rear driveshaft so I can get back to the shop and I still want to determine if the driveshaft was the cause of the vibration. The new drive shaft drastically improved the vibration to the point I believe all I can feel is the big mud tires.

Since the shop clearly had screwed something else up and the fact that it was about time for the gear check up, I reluctantly decided to bring it back to them.

Of course when I bring it back theres more discrepancies with the invoices that I have to correct, trying to charge me double and yadda yadda, what's new. Anyway unfortunately I forgot to bring in the piece of metal that day and they cant tell what it is from the pics so they say they will just do the gear check up that day and I can bring in the metal piece the next day for them to see. The next comes and they call to say the gear check up is done and everything looks good, I bring in the metal piece and they say it's a Spring seal for the pinion gear and it will leak with out it. At first they try to imply that it was me or someone else but after I politely remind them they were the last ones to touch it, surprisingly they say they will take care of it. So I leave it with them to fix. Now today I got a call from them saying that the preload is all screwed up and I will have to pay for a new install kit and the install again (about $900) and potentially another set of gears. They say they tested the rotational torque and where it should be about 40, it's only 2. They say the bearings and crush sleeve will need replacing. They say the yoke is slightly loose and has a couple thousandths of play it in and if they tighten the pinion nut it will move the pinion away from where they set it. So what I'm wondering is it possible that I didnt tighten the yoke nut quite enough, even though I took all the play out when installing and then went another 1/4 turn past bottom? And then next, if I didnt, would a couple thousandths of play cause the preload to change and change so drastically and cause the pinion bearings to fail so quickly? Requiring another install kit and full reinstall? Or is it more likely that this shop didnt set the preload properly from the start and it was always too loose and are trying to get out of taking any accountability? Based on the fact that they've screwed everything up so far and everytime the jeep was there to have something "fixed", it left with more problems. I have less than zero confidence in this shop's work or word and they have been treating me like an idiot and trying to take advantage of me since the start. Are they doing that now or is there a legitimate possibility of what they are claiming? Also keep In mind the vibration got better with the new driveshaft but didnt go away so another thing I'm wondering is if the vibration wasnt because the pinion or preload was loose from the start and the new driveshaft was just a bandaid masking the actual cause of the issue.

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Chris

Administrator
Staff Member
Joined
Sep 28, 2015
Messages
32,247
Location
Florence, AZ
Everything that has happened is a result of that shop having fucked up the gear install. The mind-boggling part is that they would try to argue with you saying that it was your fault, especially since you called them on the way home after picking up up.

That right there is an example of a horrible shop and horrible customer service. I might even threaten a lawsuit or a chargeback with your card against them if they don't agree to fix their mistake, honestly. I've had to do that before, and it works.

I had a similar issue when mine was re-geared, and I called the shop on the way home since it started having issues about 5 miles from the shop. They told me to immediately bring it back and they would make it right. I had to leave it an extra day, but sure enough they made it right, fixed their mistake, and didn't charge me anything extra.

Your shop should be doing the same thing. If they aren't doing it and giving you attitude, you really, really need to threaten to file a chargeback. If they know anything about chargebacks, they will make it right and shut up.

Worse comes to worst, you take the money from the chargeback and go to a new shop.
 
OP
J

JustinSwampthingjku

New Member
Joined
Dec 6, 2019
Messages
8
Location
Canada
Thanks so much Chris for your insight, that's a really good option that I didn't think of. Can they fight back on the chargeback though and do they have enough grounds to do so?
 

Chris

Administrator
Staff Member
Joined
Sep 28, 2015
Messages
32,247
Location
Florence, AZ
Thanks so much Chris for your insight, that's a really good option that I didn't think of. Can they fight back on the chargeback though and do they have enough grounds to do so?

They can dispute the chargeback, but 9 out of 10 times the customer will win as long as you have receipts and you can provide the bank with a detailed well written explanation (I always write a page or so) of what happened. You have to basically tell the bank that you did everything you could to work it out with them and attempt to get them to fix it, but basically that they weren't willing to warranty their work.

In most cases if you threaten a chargeback, the shop will either refund you or make it right, as they know they'll almost always lose the chargeback and be out the money (as you'll be refunded).

It's one of those things I hate to have to do, but in a situation like this, believe me when I say you'll be very happy you paid with a major credit card / debit card. Chargebacks are an amazing thing to protect the customer (you and me).