ROCKCRAWLER Tom Wood's 231 Short Shaft Kit

Tom Wood's 231 Short Shaft Kit

You've just paid over a grand for a new suspension system that was intended to significantly lift your trail rig - a lift that would allow you to run larger tires, and also help you reduce the amount of shiny spots made on your undercarriage during four-wheeling. As you take a step back to look at your newly transformed rockcrawler, you can't help but notice the eye-catching new transfer case crossmember spacers that lower your over-center ground clearance nearly as much as your truck was supposed to be lifted! (mild exageration) This suddenly makes you feel very dirty. My friend, I feel your pain. There is a solution to this problem!

The solution comes in the form of a transfer case conversion that allows you to run a longer rear driveshaft at less of an extreme angle. In turn, this allows you to raise your transfer case crossmember into its factory position, buying you back the valuable ground clearance you lost with the drop hardware installed. These transfer case conversions, commonly referred to as "SYE kits" (Slip Yoke Eliminator) or "Short Shaft" kits, also allow you to run a "CV-style" or "double-cardan" rear driveshaft. This shaft has a single universal joint at one end, and a special double-jointed assembly on the other end that allows you to run your rear driveshaft at a steeper angle (ie: more lift) without incurring driveline vibrations. Hence, more comfortable road travel, and less wear and tear on driveline components. The only hitch is you have to adjust your rear pinion to be parallel with the slope of the connecting driveshaft. This problem is usually easily overcome with axle shims, adjustable cam bolts, or adjustable trailing arms.

This month, we installed the new Tom Wood Short Shaft Kit in a 231J transfer case on our 1999 Jeep TJ. I chose the Tom Wood Short Shaft Kit because it is a cost-effective, mechanically sound alternative to other kits on the market right now... and believe me, with the skyrocketing gas prices, Tom's "cost-effective alternative" couldn't have come at a better time!

The TJ we used for this install has an Old Man Emu 2" suspension system. Although it is only a little over 2" of lift, the TJ had plenty of driveline vibrations with its transfer case in its stock position and the short shaft kit was a most welcome modification in order to gain some valuable ground clearance. It also paved the way for future modifications.

Before I continue, special thanks to Eric at Skid-Row Automotive for performing the install for me, while I documented the procedure. Skid-Row Automotive is the manufacturer of high-quality Skid-Plates and Top-Props for Jeep vehicles.

You can obtain more pricing and background information on Tom Wood's Short Shaft Kit by checking out last month's Press Release here on Rockcrawler.

Now let us proceed with the installation. Please continue to PAGE 1, which goes over the parts that are involved in the installation. (not to mention, tons of pictures)

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