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Old 04-08-2011, 10:06 AM
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Replacement DriveShaft Options?

Ok, to start with, here's the relative specs.

2000, 4x4, auto, crewcab, shortbed, which is a 156" wheelbase, with a 6" lift.

I'm well aware of the common issue with the slip-joint and the fix of re-greasing it.

When I first bought the truck 5-6yrs ago, it had a bit of a clunk, so I pulled the drive shaft, greased it, good to go for a while. Clunk comes back, pull, grease, replace. The last few times I've done it, it has lasted less & less time before the clunk was back. I've experimented with all types of grease from just standard bearing grease, to hi-temp, to marine, to the expensive Ford baby blue grease specifically intended for it. No real change. The last time I had the drive shaft out, I notice on the slip joint splines the blue plastic coating was very worn and coming apart.

So, I'm thinking it may be time to do more than regreasing. Here are my ideas/options.

1. Take the current drive shaft to a drivetrain shop, have them remove & replace the male/female sections of the slip joint.
2. Get a replacement drive shaft low miles/good shape from a junkyard, clean/grease it & stick it in.
3. Get a new replacement drive shaft. This may not be an option. Looking at most of the parts suppliers, RockAuto, NothernAuto, Autozone, O'Reilly's, etc they only offer a 136" (137) wheelbase drive shaft? So only option would maybe be Ford?
4. Get rid of the two piece drive shaft entirely and have a local shop build a one piece. Jury seems to be split on this. Some guys running them say they're great, some people say a one piece that long is too weak & can't be balanced.
5. Keep a two piece drive shaft, but replace the slip joint union by getting one of the drive shafts with the CV joints that are specifically intended for lifted vehicles. ( High Angle Drivline-Call Jesse at 530-877-2875 - My Buildup )

Thoughts? Ideas? Suggestions? Similar experiences?
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Old 04-13-2011, 03:29 AM
SJB SJB is offline
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When I had my 2001 F350 crew w/ the V10, I had a 4 inch lift on it. No matter how much playing with the carrier bearing shims, I couldn't get rid of a high speed vibration. At that point, I was looking for options like you are. I too was getting mixed feedback on running a one piece shaft. However, I've looked under some chevy's and they have a mammoth one piece shaft under them. So I don't see why one like that wouldn't work for our applications. Personally, that would be the way I would want to go, but I'm no expert on the subject...
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Old 04-13-2011, 04:57 AM
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Don't worry about the blue stuff. Well, you can worry, I did too, but mine was coming off and "locked up" the slip joint in the driveshaft. Figured I couldn't hurt anything and cleaned it all up and took a razor blade and some time and cut the blue stuff off. You can say what you want, but it is still tight and no clunks about 10k miles or so like that so far. Might want to check your pinion preload though. That's what my clink was and I had 3 of my buddies have the same problem right after mine. I hunk that blue coating and he "locked up" driveshaft caused every bump to slowly crush down the crush sleeve more and more until there was no bearing preload on my pinion. I did t find it until it started leaking and I went to replace the seal. Just some thoughts. If you have any other questions, let me know.
-Aaron
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Old 04-13-2011, 05:20 AM
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Went & spoke to two of the highest recommended local drive shaft shops yesterday and both advised against doing a 1 piece shaft due to the length.

The truck has over 300k miles on it & I have no idea if the u-joints or carrier bearing have ever been replaced.

Both shops said they could take my 2 piece shaft, replace the slip joint section/parts, replace all the u-joints with heavy duty serviceable joints, new carrier bearing, & balanced assembly for $275-$325 & with a 1 day turn around.

Given that two independent shops agreed on the one piece option as well as the best solution, I'll probably just make a decision on which shop to go with and go the route of just having the stock 2 piece serviced/rebuilt.
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