N Sperlo PowerDork
July 3, 2012 8:18 p.m.

Last week I snapped the rear u-joint on my f150 at 65 mph as the drive shaft fell out deciding to give my exhaust a nice wack while cracking my extension housing before tumbling under the trailer carrying my cavalier. It was dented, the slip yoke is looking pretty chewed up, but that was partially from the first time the shaft rocked my transmission so hard it busted the bell housing.

I had new u-joints throughout the truck less than a year old. I don't drive the fuel hungry beast very often because she doesn't sip the fuel like a Zx2. I'm trying to figure out what ate up the joint so quick. I'm contemplating just replacing everything from the slip yoke all the way back to the differential yoke.

Back to the main subject. I can't seem to find this drive shaft anywhere. Its 58 inches and one solid piece with a slip yoke going to the 4x4 transfer case. Anyone know why I just cant seem to find anything. None of the salvage yards I've gone to have a good one. I sifted through a pile of shafts, but none were a match. Most get bent when they lift the vehicle with the fork truck anyway (which are scrapped), and the way the shaft hangs, I can't imagine many of the sort making it out unscathed.

Has anyone had any experience destroying newer u-joints and know why it happened? Looking for any and all suggestions. Any help finding a replacement shaft other than Craigslist?

Thanks guys.

  • Sperlo
aussiesmg UltimaDork
July 3, 2012 9:14 p.m.

Get a driveshaft company to rebuild that one, and have them check it to see why it failed.

Ft Wayne Driveshafts is local to me and they do a great job

http://www.fortwayneclutch.com/

They also rebuild stock clutches

Streetwiseguy SuperDork
July 3, 2012 9:16 p.m.

You either forgot to grease it, you dropped some needles, you didn't get the snapring seated properly, or you bought a Chinese joint.

N Sperlo PowerDork
July 3, 2012 10:24 p.m.

They all came greased and I added more after the install. I think it was probably Chinese and I have learned my lesson from that. Thanks for the prognosis, Streetwiseguy.

Aussie, I have contaced the number one rebuilder in the area and they are asking an expected 250-350. A local guy is putting me in contact with another guy who does it privately for heavier trucks, I may go that route for price. I just had the four leaf setup replaced with a five leaf for 400 bucks. Ended up raising it about 2 1/2 more inches in the rear and when towing 3500 lbs, the truck sags back to the original ride height. Very happy with the springs, but not looking forward to dropping a bunch on the shaft. Just may have to save the cash to do so.

Anyone got a C6 4x4 extension housing sitting around? I've got an E4OD with a C6 extension housing I don't get it, but that's what it is, and that's what I need.

alex UltraDork
July 3, 2012 10:36 p.m.

I'll ask my guys around here.

Kenny_McCormic New Reader
July 3, 2012 11:07 p.m.

Pick and pull?

N Sperlo PowerDork
July 4, 2012 6:08 a.m.
alex wrote: I'll ask my guys around here.

Awesome, thanks.

Kenny_McCormic wrote: Pick and pull?

None that match. All the ones that were close were damaged by the fork truck. I did get an electric fan for the escort. Careful with them things. You'll fillet your finger.

Ranger50 SuperDork
July 4, 2012 6:26 a.m.

Normally, it is a cheap, mismachined joint and a hamfist putting it in on why they fail. I really don't have anything totally against the chink joints, as for full disclosure: I have on in my Dakota installed 15k ago, but a full inspection is warranted. I had one that clearly had a odd rotation to it. Took the cap off and it had a flat spot in it you could feel, but not see.

N Sperlo PowerDork
July 4, 2012 6:32 a.m.

In reply to Ranger50:

All the joints on the rear shaft will be replaced with higher quality ones. The front drive shaft was able to pull the truck and it's load up to 65 mph to get to the next exit as fluid leaked from a torn gasket. It' wasn't a light load either, so I think the fronts are fine. Like I said, I'm contemplating replacing everything from the slip yoke to the diff yoke.

impulsive New Reader
July 4, 2012 7:23 a.m.

try a search on car-part.com

N Sperlo PowerDork
July 4, 2012 7:30 a.m.
impulsive wrote: try a search on car-part.com

Thanks. You just convinced me to buy a new one.

egoman New Reader
July 4, 2012 8:18 a.m.

What probably happened was the ford looked back at the cavalier and wanted to kill itself.

N Sperlo PowerDork
July 4, 2012 9:17 a.m.
egoman wrote: What probably happened was the ford looked back at the cavalier and wanted to kill itself.

But we were going to leave it in a field where they would never have to see each other again.

failboat Dork
July 4, 2012 9:47 a.m.

This thread has failed to meet my expectations.

I want my money back.

N Sperlo PowerDork
July 4, 2012 9:48 a.m.

I can't give back what you haven't put in.

ReverendDexter UltraDork
July 4, 2012 10:48 a.m.

$250-300 is standard asking price? When I had the 2-pc driveshaft in the Celica converted to a 1-pc, it was maybe $100. Seems like if the ends are still good there's no reason a decent driveshaft shop couldn't just re-use them.

N Sperlo PowerDork
July 4, 2012 11:21 a.m.

In reply to ReverendDexter:

The ends are chewed up enough to make me worry. (Took a tumble down I-70) Had one made for a ranger that ran me 400. I was young and got ripped off. I'm searching around this time.

novaderrik SuperDork
July 4, 2012 3:47 p.m.

how are your driveline angles? if they are off, you can get weird vibrations that will eat up u joints.

is the bushing in the tailshaft of the transfer case worn out?

look on Craigslist for someone that is parting out a truck like yours..

shadetree30 Reader
July 4, 2012 6:58 p.m.
N Sperlo wrote: I can't *give back* what you haven't *put in.*

That's what SHE said.

-Michael Scott, former branch manager

Dunder Mifflin Scranton Branch Office

N Sperlo PowerDork
July 4, 2012 7:06 p.m.

In reply to novaderrik:

Everything appears fine. In fact pics of the output shaft are there. There were vibrations I was feeling a few months before it went, but I dont know if they are related or not. I had lifted the truck about 2 inches in the rear, but the leaves were made to adjust the rear axle to the proper new position.

The likely cause of the break was a bad u-joint. Nobody local on CG has any that match my model. I've decided to let her sit and have a new shaft machined, order a new slip yoke, and a new diff yoke. I have to replace the ext housing, so I'll check to make sure everything is ok in there. The transmission was replaced about 15k miles ago. The output shaft seal has no damage so I assume it was not vibrating from there, and all the u-joints had a couple thousand miles on them.

N Sperlo PowerDork
July 4, 2012 7:15 p.m.

Yep, just double checked. The output shaft seal is MINT. The shaft though has a bit of a scar (just an itty bitty shaving at the tip of one spline) from when Bertha looked back and saw the Cadavalier and decided to dismeber herself.

novaderrik SuperDork
July 5, 2012 3:19 a.m.
N Sperlo wrote: In reply to novaderrik: Everything appears fine. In fact pics of the output shaft are there. There were vibrations I was feeling a few months before it went, but I dont know if they are related or not. I had lifted the truck about 2 inches in the rear, but the leaves were made to adjust the rear axle to the proper new position. The likely cause of the break was a bad u-joint. Nobody local on CG has any that match my model. I've decided to let her sit and have a new shaft machined, order a new slip yoke, and a new diff yoke. I have to replace the ext housing, so I'll check to make sure everything is ok in there. The transmission was replaced about 15k miles ago. The output shaft seal has no damage so I assume it was not vibrating from there, and all the u-joints had a couple thousand miles on them.

did you actually check your driveline angles, or did you just assume that the springs put everything in the proper place?

N Sperlo PowerDork
July 5, 2012 12:21 p.m.

In reply to novaderrik:

just assumed. I only made it two days with the higher rated springs. Maybe you can post up how to check it. Then I will.

16vCorey UberDork
July 5, 2012 2:10 p.m.

What year and wheelbase is the truck and which trans do you have? I might have one at work that I'd sell a lot cheaper than that. You might even include some measurements of the original drive shaft.

16vCorey UberDork
July 5, 2012 2:15 p.m.

I see it's a '95, and it looks like a 139" wb, and I'm guessing it's got the 4R70W (or AOD-E, which ever you prefer to call it). It could have the E4OD, though, but the sumps hang low on those and I think I'd be able to see it in the transfer case pic if that's the case.

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