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CV Axles Ford F-150

The boots cracked on the CV 1/2 shafts on

my 2002 Ford F-150 XLT 4x4. It was simpler and faster to replace the shafts than the boots. I bought 2 shafts ( they are both the same )from Auto Zone and replaced the stock one’s. When I had changed them I tried to rotate the wheels before I lowered

the front end down and the tires would only turn part way around before locking up. I put the old ones back on and they worked fine. I the took the Auto Zone one’s

back and bought 2 from Checker. First I installed the passenger side and it rotated

good so I changed the drivers side. It would not rotate. After checking many things I found that the drivers side hung down 3/16" lower than the passenger side and when I jacked up the driver’s 3/16" it would then rotate freely. This made me very concerned that the drivers side might lock up if it dropped down when I hit a pot hole. I then re-installed the original part but this time I used the original shaft but from the passanger side and it has worked fine for 2 months.

Does anyone have any idea’s about what might happen if I go ahead and install the new one and hope it never gets low enough to lock up?? Could there be a problem with some other part that causes the drivers side to hang 3/6" lower??? I have looked at everything and the rest of the front end seems to be tight, steering is very good and no abnormal tire wear. The truck does have 178,000 miles on it but it has been well maintained and driven 80% or more of the time on the freeways of Phoenix Arizona and the rest of the time on paved city streets.

I do not know what to do next but I am going up to the Pacific Northwest I know that I while have a problem because of the ice,snow and rain if I do not fix this.

Any help would be appreciated.

The sway bar will help to prevent the axles from locking like that unless the whole truck goes airborne. The axles are also very new so I would use them and be confident that they won’t break. They may not want to flex all the way yet.