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Thread: Drive shafts and u-joints

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    Drive shafts and u-joints

    If you have an 84 or an 85 van, then you are in good shape. Toyota made your u-joints replaceable. This means any reputable auto parts store should be able to easily supply you good quality and inexpensive u-joints. If you have basic tools and a medium - large size bench vise, you can replace u-joints yourself.

    If however you have an 86 - 89 van, then it's a whole different story. Starting in 86 Toyota started staking the u-joints. This means they loosely assembled the u-joints in the drive-line, then a big machine crushed the outside edges of the drive-line bores to permanently attach the u-joints to the drive-line. This may be fine for the life of the u-joint, but when a u-joint fails, it typically means replacing the entire drive-line.

    It's not so bad I guess when you consider the u-joints last around 150 - 250k miles, but it is a bit frustrating and annoying just the same. If you have staked u-joints and one fails, you have several options. If you have an automatic 2wd van, the good news is all automatic 2wd van drive-lines from 84 - 89 are interchangeable. So if you can find an 84 or 85 van (with an automatic transmission) in a salvage yard, be sure to grab that drive-line as it will be easy to replace u-joints and will last for many many years to come.

    If you can't find a drive-line off an 84 - 85 van, you have a manual transmission, or a 4wd, you could take your old drive-shaft to a shop that specializes in building custom drive-shafts. A drive-shaft shop can build you a new beefier unit with replaceable u-joints. This is a good solution when it comes to durability, but will most likely be the most expensive option (probably cost between $300 - $500).

    Another option would be to order new Toyota shaft(s), but that would still be expensive and you would still be stuck with a wimpy drive-line with non-replaceable u-joints. At least it would be new and would probably last another couple hundred thousand miles (assuming normal use). These can be purchased (if still available) through discount internet Toyota parts sites (such as 1stToyotaParts.com) for around $250 each + shipping. Here is a list of the different Toyota drive-line part numbers:

    04371-22010 (universal joint, van, auto and man trans, 2wd 1984 - 1985) *joint only
    37110-28100 (drive shaft, van, manual trans, 2wd 1984 - 1985) *complete with removable joints
    37110-28110 (drive shaft, van, automatic trans, 2wd 1984 - 1985) *complete with removable joints (can also be used on 86 - 89 2wd automatic vans) *NLA
    37110-28240 (drive shaft, van, manual trans, 2wd 1986 - 1989) *staked non-removable joints
    37110-28150 (drive shaft, van, automatic trans, 2wd 1986 - 1989) *staked non-removable joints
    37110-28200 (rear drive shaft, van, manual trans, 4wd 1987 - 1989) *staked non-removable joints
    37110-28210 (rear drive shaft, van, automatic trans, 4wd 1987 - 1989) *staked non-removable joints
    37140-28010 (front drive shaft, van, manual trans, 4wd 1987 - 1989) *staked non-removable joints
    37140-28020 (front drive shaft, van, automatic trans, 4wd 1987 - 1989) *staked non-removable joints

    *UPDATE* 37110-28110 (drive shaft, van automatic trans 2wd 1984 - 1985) is NLA through Toyota. If ordered through them they will substitute with 37110-28150 (drive shaft, van automatic trans, 2wd 1986 - 1989) *staked non-removable joints.

    Another (and the least expensive) choice would be to purchase new specialty u-joints and pay a drive-line shop to change them out. Rockford Drive Shaft Service in Rockford IL manufactures replacement u-joints for use in drive-lines with factory staked U joints. HERE is a PDF file that shows some of their products and gives their contact info. They don't specifically list the van, but they do manufacture a joint that will work for our shafts. For the 4wd, that u-joint is Rockford #430-10 for the rear drive shaft. If you need joints for the front shaft, or if you're working on a 2wd, I suspect you would need the same one but I don't know that for sure. If you call them they should be able to verify the correct part numbers. If you go the Rockford route, the shaft will need to be slightly machined, the old joints pressed out, the bores for the cups cleaned up, then the Rockford u-joints can be installed (this should be done by a drive-line shop). Once complete, from this time forward your u-joints will be easy to replace (using the Rockford joints) but due to slightly reduced U joint diameters, you will have a slightly weaker drive-line than original. If you are usually easy on your van and don't push the limits, then the Rockford u-joints should be fine. If however you push your van hard, you may wish to rule out this type of repair and go for the custom built drive shaft. Just remember breaking a u-joint / drive-line can be very dangerous and can also break your transfer case and / or other parts.

    One final (and what I consider the best) option is to purchase a new Powertrain Industries drive-line. They are located in Garden Grove, CA. Their phone number is 1-800-798-4585. They are making replacement drive-lines for just about everything now and they typically sell on the internet for about $175 - $230 complete. Rather than compete with these guys, many drive-line shops are now just purchasing these completed assemblies, marking them up about $100 or so, then reselling them. If you need a drive-line, I'd try Powertrain Industries before spending a lot of extra money at your local drive-line shop. Chances are you'll end up with one of these anyhow. Here's what they offer for Toyota vans + part numbers:


    1984-1989 2WD AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION #2391-604
    1984-1985 2WD MANUAL TRANSMISSION #2391-605
    1986-1989 2WD MANUAL TRANSMISSION #2391-606
    1987-1989 4WD AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION (Rear shaft) #2391-607
    1987-1989 4WD AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION (Front shaft) #2391-603
    1987-1989 4WD MANUAL TRANSMISSION (Rear shaft) #2391-608
    1987-1989 4WD MANUAL TRANSMISSION (Front shaft) #2391-602


    If you have any questions, call and ask. I got one of their rear shafts for my All-Trac Previa. It has the heavy duty Spicer 1310 series removable U-Joints with grease zerks and appears to be a quality built shaft. Here's a picture of mine, I paid $228. Tim



    Note: Please feel free to reply to this thread with updated information and/or your personal results/experience with drive-line replacement/repair.
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    Aftermarket Rear Driveshaft

    I just picked up a Powertrain Industries rear driveshaft for my 1987 4x4 A/T. My stock driveshaft blew out the rear u-joint and I considered replacing it but came to my senses. A thing that should be considered when replacing "staked in" type u-joints is that the centers of the driveshaft/yoke assemblies are not machined and are not truly centered. Replacing u-joints on these can cause a major off balance situation. I ended up ordering my driveshaft from the Garden Grove, CA store and haggled the price down to $183.00. It was built and shipped to me within 2 days. The new driveshaft uses Spicer 1310 series u-joints which are way bigger/stronger and are easily replaceable. I am running a 2" lift and longer shocks and still had room for the extra angle, but it was close. I just wanted to say how satisfied I am with my new driveshaft. Check out the website @ www.powertrainindustries.com

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    Re: Drive shafts and u-joints

    Nice! This seems to be the way to go. I've also been happy with the one I put in my Previa. Tim

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    Re: Drive shafts and u-joints

    I too have been looking at the Powertrain driveshafts - my '84 needs a replacement soon.

    I originally found them on the internet through the website www.carjunky.com, which sells driveshafts for our vans for about $230 - more than NEC paid, but less than one from Toyota (if still available). It sounds like they're a bit beefier than the stock Toyota driveshafts as well.
    1984 DLX Manual 350K
    1987 4WD LE Manual 112K

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    Re: Drive shafts and u-joints

    Skyflyer, If it's still got the original shaft, your u-joints are replaceable. Don't replace the entire shaft, joints are cheap and easy to change. Tim

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    Re: Drive shafts and u-joints

    Just to chime in here... I also put a Powertrain drive shaft in my 87 4wd auto, ordered direct from them for $230. Now, I'm not moanin' here, but I would like to know the secret to haggling down with these folks so that next time this comes up (and it will!) I can get the NEC super discount price too! (very happy with the drive shaft though, made a world of difference).

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    Re: Drive shafts and u-joints

    Sam: I identified myself as a Toyota dealer when I spoke with the salesperson. He quoted me 230. I told him I was going to first try and replace the u-joints and then call him if that didn't work out. I asked again if he had any "jobber" pricing available and again explained that I am a Toyota dealer and offered my resale #. He got out his calculator and came up with the price I paid.

    In this case the salesman gave me the wholesale price even though I am not an established buyer who would receive volume discounts. I have found that in most cases if the seller believes the part is being purchased for resale, they will offer you a price less than the standard MSRP. Hope this helps.

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    Re: Drive shafts and u-joints

    Update: Cracked air intake hose!!! huge crack that was giving me these symptoms. I could swear it was the rear driveline but it was pretty solid, checked the hose and visible crack. Replaced it with a new one from Tonkin Toyota(they have them in-stock toyota #17881-73020) and no more stuttering.

    Original post: I am getting a horrible stuttering/shimmy/shakeing from the rear(it seems) in first gear on acceleration from a stop. If I'm rolling I can start in 2nd and not feel it. It used to be only when the van was cold, and I could just ease the clutch out slower and it wouldn't shake/shimmy. The van has 240+,000 miles on it. I'm hoping it's the rear driveshaft and not the rear seal leaking on the clutch. Did some investigating(online) here and T.V.P. so I'll be shaking my drive-shaft to see if it's loose. I guess I'm looking for movement in the u-joints. The powertrain industries drive-shaft looks like the ideal candidate.
    I'll report back with findings...
    Last edited by djshimon; 04-13-2012 at 11:01 PM. Reason: update

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    Re: Drive shafts and u-joints

    Great news for you 4wd owners! Front drive shafts are now available through PowerTrain Industries! I have edited my 1st post in this thread to reflect the part numbers of these shafts. Tim

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    Re: Drive shafts and u-joints

    I just ordered a 2wd automatic shaft from them today. I'm not 100% sure about the other shafts, but the 2391-604 has the Spicer 5-1502X u-joints. Just some handy information in case a u-joint ever fails.........which I assume will be a long, long time from now. Tim

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    Re: Drive shafts and u-joints

    This guy makes it look easy.



    http://youtu.be/nJIL1vJDILY
    Last edited by tbkilb01; 04-05-2016 at 07:00 PM.

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    Re: Drive shafts and u-joints

    Had a quick question - figured I would post here instead of starting a new thread. I am a new owner of an 88 4wd auto, I have started going through the van to try and get her back in fighting shape. I recently got replacement driveshafts for the front and rear from Powertrain Industries. The rear went in no problem, but the front one seems too short? I feel like the flange on the shaft should go tight where it slides into to the transfer case but there is about 1 1/4" gap. Unfortunately I don't remember how it looked before, so I was hoping someone on the forum could tell me if it is indeed short, or everything is gonna be alright. New shaft measures 37" center of u-joint to center of u-joint. Thanks
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    Last edited by BigDawgGottaEat; 11-11-2016 at 07:04 PM.

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    Re: Drive shafts and u-joints

    I've got approximately 37 1/4" u-joint center to u-joint center and the insertion looks like this:
    Name:  IMG_20161111_1737331_rewind.jpg
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    It looks like it has a different length collar.

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    Re: Drive shafts and u-joints

    Thanks originalkwyjibo. I'll see what Powertrain has to say about it.

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    Re: Drive shafts and u-joints

    It looks to me like it's just that protective shield. It's there to protect against dust build-up and sticks & things from touching sensitive parts of the seal area. The original one was long, but the new one is short. It's improper, but likely of no consequence. Still, it seems odd that they cannot build the drive shaft with the correct shield. I'd email those pics to Powertrain Industries and ask if they can do anything about it. Tim

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    Re: Drive shafts and u-joints

    Recently broke my rear drive line in my recently acquired 88 4x4 AT. It was making a lot of noise when I got her up to around 50 mph, only i wasn't sure if it was the drive line. Now it looks like it was.
    I was going to park it until I could research the problem when winter hit us hard and I needed the 4x4 for work. Drove it for a couple weeks mostly keeping it below 45 mph and then she started getting loud at 35 mph at times until the u-joint blew.
    Took Tim's advice and ordered from Power Train. It arrived today and i will be installing it soon. The previous owner told me that the noise had been getting gradually worse over the years. It wasn't his daily driver. Just hope i have not done more damage by pushing it to the limit. Guess I will find out when i test drive soon.

    p.s. the Power Train price for the rear shaft is now at $312.00. Money well spent if I find it was my only problem in the rear end.

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    Re: Drive shafts and u-joints

    Anyone have experience ordering through oempartworld.com, they seem to have some of the cheapest prices on drive shafts. ($290 + $20 shiping)

    https://www.oempartworld.com/oem-parts/toyota-drive-shaft-3711028240

    EDIT: OEMPartWorld no longer carries this driveshaft, don't know why they have it listed for sale

    I called some distributors of Powertrain Industries a month ago and they were wanting $375+ for a 2wd drive shaft

    I've also been looking into some listings on ebay ($318)

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Brand-New-To...-/152064452274

    Is this ebay listing a distributor of Powertrain Industries?
    Last edited by AnotherUser; 03-16-2017 at 12:02 AM.

  18. 03-15-2017, 10:46 AM


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    Re: Drive shafts and u-joints

    I called Powertrain in January and may have gotten lucky by mentioning this thread and TVT to their representative. I was fishing for a better price closer to the $230 mentioned in earlier years of this thread and he offered to have his manager call me back. When he called back he quoted me $375. We settled on the original quote of $312 shipping inluded.

    Don't know about the e-bay question.

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    Re: Drive shafts and u-joints

    I just got off the phone with powertrain industries, and they said 375. thats more than the van cost me in the first place. There is a shop here that seems to think they can replace the original joints. im going to bring it there and see what, if anything, they can do. This shop does make custom lines so, in the event that they cant fix it, i will see what their cost is.
    Any one out there have an extra rear driveline? Thanks and praise.

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    Re: Drive shafts and u-joints

    my local guy looked at the drive line. He said that he had done a few of these over the years. Has not got any call backs about them. problem is, the yoke got damaged. most likely not fixable. I am probably going to have a new one built any way as the original seems pretty weak . I took my 89 on a 500 mile trip this last weekend and all I could think about was the potential for U-joint failure. 234k and I dont think its ever been addressed. Maybe I get a deal on two or more.

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