So...I tried Old Florida Road which is one of the best Jeep challenges in New England with the club...OFR won :)
This was back on 10 September. Today is 8 January o_O. Jeep hadn't moved since I got home and it wasn't quite 40 degrees out and it started up on it's own! Figured it would need to be jumped but didn't need it (barely); let it run for 45 minutes or so while I hauled firewood up to the deck.
The surprising thing is on a JK these aren't actually required to drive home.
Thanks to a bunch of the club members who helped remove it on the trail. Eric was with me which was good because in 2WD even going down hill we needed to winch to back to pavement. (It broke at the "gate keeper" so it was easiest to just turn around then continue on since there are a couple more challenging spots).
So I ordered parts (upgrading while I'm going to have to be in there). I had time and enthusiasm back in September...
Decided what to order on 9/20.
Given supply chains these days, weren't delivered until 10/22
Life, arthritis, weather, holidays...it was today 1/8 that I finally got the Jeep pulled into the garage. Weather should be mild next weekend so hopefully I'll get to work on it then. It actually isn't that "big" or even time consuming -- lots of unbolting, cleaning, bolting. (I should open up diff to change the fluid and clean the axle tube in case any dirt worked it's way in; so it is one where the repair is a lot more work than what we did trail side).
Carbon Offroad Jeep JK Rubicon 2007-2018 4340 Chromoly Front Axle Kit Dana 44 CF155
Bought along with it Spicer Unit Bearing as pre-emptive maintenance since I'll have all the labor in, might as well slap new ones on. Also picked up a Lube Locker gasket for the front diff, already have one on the rear.