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Thread: Drive shafts and u-joints

  1. #41
    Van Addict AD2101's Avatar
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    Re: Drive shafts and u-joints

    Ok. I went to sleep, woke up, had a good breakfast, and then referred back to this thread, the link posted by boogieman, and the FSM and I believe my crisis has been averted. What I ended up doing was removing the zerk fitting from the drive shaft, which relieved enough pressure to pry off the drive shaft so I could essentially start over and get my drive shaft "back into phase" so to speak. I followed the advice in the thread linked to by boogieman (thanks again man) and reoriented the two halves of the drive shaft so they looked as they appear in the FSM below.

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    Once I had everything back to normal, it was a simple matter of reinstalling the zerk fitting, popping in the drive shaft (which was much easier after removing even more grease), and reinstalling all the nuts and bolts. I took it out for a quick shakedown and the vibration at speed was completely gone as was the growling/grinding sound I was experiencing before, so I'm confident enough that this was the root of all my issues. I'll make sure everything is torqued down properly after work and then I'll put some miles on it and see what happens.

    Lessons learned here: 1) Don't put grease through a zerk fitting with the shaft out of the vehicle. If you have to do so only put in one or two squeezes as opposed to the 6 or 8 I did (seriously didn't think enough grease could even pass through that tiny fitting but oh well). 2) READ AHEAD if you have a FSM, as a couple of pages after the first image I saw this:

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    Which would have at least prevented me from freaking out as much as I did. Thanks again boogieman for the knowledge, hopefully someone else sees this thread before they make the mistakes I did so they can save themselves the time and aggravation.
    Last edited by AD2101; 07-27-2017 at 03:50 PM. Reason: resized images

  2. #42
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    Re: Drive shafts and u-joints

    Hey all, I have an '84 2wd van that I was going to grease the u-joints on but it looks like there is not a standard zerk fitting. I find it really strange that Toyota would make a driveshaft with a u-joint that is not serviceable. Am I just missing something here? Is there a tiny port in the middle of the joint that I'm not seeing because of all the dirt and grime? I saw in the FSM that there is a zerk at the end of the yoke but that looks like it. The van only has 69k on it and the joints are in good shape, just looking to prolong their life.

    Thanks,

    John

  3. #43
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    Re: Drive shafts and u-joints

    North Americans are notoriously bad at doing maintenance.
    Repeated failures on items needing, but not receiving, regular service caused many warranty headaches for car companies.
    Hence the invention of sealed for life parts.

    Your U-joints never had zerks,
    or a place to install them. However being an 84 it should have replaceable joints (non-staked) which makes life rather easy.
    Replacement joints WILL have a zerk fitting and it MUST be greased with regularity, failure to do so will lead to premature failure.

    If you are unsure of the state of your joints, there are 2 things you can do that will ascertain their condition.
    1st, look for orange dust around the caps, if you see any, order new joints ASAP
    2nd, mark and remove shaft and articulate joints thru their range of movement, they should move (N-S, E-W) with even force and no tight spots.

  4. #44
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    Re: Drive shafts and u-joints

    I had to order a new drive shaft after mine broke in Iowa while moving cross the country for the 2nd time. I had to tow it back 1400 miles to Ny cause no one could get one in Iowa. Anyway! I ordered one online. It showed up with no dust shroud! So I hammered the one off my old one and welded it to the new one. You can also jb weld it too if you clean it well enough. My 4wd had a crazy rattle around 20mph. I figured out it was the dust shroud rattlin easy tack weld then all is silent.
    Keep on vanning

  5. #45
    Van Enthusiast boogieman's Avatar
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    Re: Drive shafts and u-joints

    saw this on ebay just now...this ones for a 4x4 manual but the have them for all the vans...dont know if theyre staked or not or if the quality is any good but theyre available...now if we could get some aluminum 4x4 radiators made....

    https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?m...2F322841007295

  6. #46
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    Re: Drive shafts and u-joints

    I've replaced the driveshafts in both my 2WD 5spd vans with ones made by Powertrain. They are better than new; no complaints at all. Ordered several 4WD 5spd rear driveshafts; have them in storage until I go home in May. Powertrain says they can't make new 4WD front shafts because of the tapered section. They did, however, rebuild one I sent them; looking forward to putting it in my silver/red 4WD in a few months. Powertrain is not cheap, but they do excellent work; you get what you pay for.

  7. #47
    Forum Newbie MssnBlu's Avatar
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    Re: Drive shafts and u-joints

    Just getting started into putting the early touches on my really good condition new-to-me 89 4x4 and found this thread extremely helpful.

    Van delivered from previous owner in excellent condition for its age. Primo really for what it is. However, I drove it away with a spurious clicking coming from the rear at certain points in the acceleration curve. Current rear drive is second hand to the van (totally rusted out compared to the rest of the vehicle and probably sourced from a junkyard in someplace where they use a lot of salt on the roads). In dubious condition at best and when compared to the front drive shaft, completely ugly. Because u-joints are cheap, was ready to overlook this rusted out part on an otherwise minimal to no rust underside and begin the replacement of the u-joints myself under the theory that it's the rear of the u-joints that is dried up and shot. Then read in this forum about the 'staked' part of these drive shafts and took another look. Well I'll be, scratching head in disbelief that a drive shaft would have irreplaceable consumable parts. They must not have thought these things would ever make mileage to do something like that.

    Much consideration later and knowing that my young van only has 179k on it with another 179k expected, I made the decision to fork out full price for a brand new shiny Powertrain rear driveshaft instead of trying to find someone on island to punch and fit new u-joints into this rustier than rusty drive shaft that was clearly not taken care of in its past life. 375 plus 49 shipping is cost. Cheap by Hawaii prices. Powertrain said 2 days to build and 2 day UPS delivery (expect 5 to Hawaii on a 2 day ticket).

    As one of those always doing it myself people it was a swallow to 'not do it myself' but having a new one built will be money well spent when I reach the next 100k of beach and mountain cruising with complete confidence in my drive train. Besides, I've got another scrumptious project to get into, rehabbing the non-working AC equipment.

  8. #48
    Forum Newbie MssnBlu's Avatar
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    Re: Drive shafts and u-joints

    The Powertrain rear shaft arrived in no time. Really good looking piece of work. Quick bolt on and no more clickety-clack emanating from the back.

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  9. #49
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    Re: Drive shafts and u-joints

    OK, I have what I believe isa new option for for those with non-replaceable U-Joints, Especially for those with 4WD (which I would presume has a shorter DS than the 2WD...

    Warning, this may not work for 2WD OR if you get lucky, it may be a bolt in!

    So this is 4WD rear shaft only on the 87 and up 4WD vans:

    Background:
    I also have 4 Samurais, (one parts rig) and the later, Post 88 Samurais happen to have the same drive flange bolt pattern as the 4WD Toyota vans, as well as the same size alignment rim for minimizing runout.

    That's good! However as short as the Samurai is, the rear DS is still longer than the 4WD Tvan DS. 5 inches longer. My parts rig is an 89.


    This next part I have done many times to make a custom length DS over the years:

    So I cut the weld and broke the yoke off the tube, (making sure it was clean and the shoulder was square (lathe work...)

    Then I used a tubing cutter to shorten the tube for an effective 5" total shortening of the completed DS.

    I deburred the tube (Half round file) aligned the yoke after pressing it on, (I used two arrow shafts wired against the side of the U joint holes and used those to sight the arrow shafts parallel).

    I used a pipe clamp to ensure the shoulder stayed solid on the tube end.

    After preheating (the yoke has more mass that the tube so I concentrate the heat there to eliminate "cold welds" ) I tack welded the tube to the yoke, in three places, then welded it up.

    I rechecked the alignment and proceeded to installing new reasonable U-joints.

    NOTE: I ALWAYS repack the new U-joints with Mobile 1 synthetic grease; (The factory grease is only useful for keeping the bearings from rusting, if that. get that crap out of there...)


    The welded yoke went right together easily. The other end had one tight side and I needed to clean the hole up. Don't force a cup as its hardened and can raise a ridge in the softer yoke which has to be removed... (best for this is a reamer, This happened to me here and I used a dremel sanding cylinder since I lacked the reamer)

    After than it was a simple reinstall to replace the DOA factory DS. (lasted 315K miles so decent life..)

    So this can be done in the home shop if you have the equipment. If not, visit a local DS shop that can do custom work and get a quote for shorting a DS.

    Samurai DS come up regularly on Eprey or even C-list. Assuming the DS prices are not silly money for a simple shortening job, this HAS to be cheaper than the custom new DS.

    The KEY here is to get the 88-1/2 or later Drive shaft (the rear one, the front is longer, so that may be a possibility for the 2WD model T vans if longer than the rear.

    Again the Early 85-88 Samurai had smaller bolt flanges, (you could use the later bolt flange with the early DS) (88 was a transition year and they changed the yoke flanges mid year...)

    BTW, the old U-joints were perfectly fine and I cleaned and repacked those, re-bagged them and they are now spares.

    I did this whole job with no out of pocket expenses as I had 6 or seven new U-joints in stock.

    Outlaw
    Last edited by outlawmws; 02-03-2020 at 06:54 PM.

  10. #50
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    Re: Drive shafts and u-joints

    Quote Originally Posted by boogieman View Post
    Name:  20170417_181015.jpg
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    so heres the GMB $7 rockauto u joint and a Neapco $27 delivered from ebay u joint with inner clips and grease fitting. the neapco pic on ebay was stamped made in usa, the box this u joint came in said made in china. im curious as to the rockford u joint and its country of origin and the size of the 'inner race'. the gmb is a beefy .625" or so...the neapco is .524" or so...i imagine because the cups are machined and have the clip grooves in them. i have machine tools and could cut outside clip grooves for the gmb but it would be a pain...ive also seen people stack washers on the outside of the cups and tack weld them to keep the cups in place....anyway..i guess i have too much time on my hands.

    So Boogieman, I see you went with the GMB branded u joints and stacked some washers and welded. Any issues with balancing? How are they holding up thus far? Happy with them?

    I am going to go the same route and was looking for feedback.

  11. #51
    Van Enthusiast boogieman's Avatar
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    Re: Drive shafts and u-joints

    ive got close to 20k on them with no issues...a fair bit of that offroad, i never had it balance checked but no vibrations of any kind...it would be nice to figure a zerk fitting out, it may be possible to tap that ujoint but its been a little while since i had it in hand...also maybe having the yoke machined for a clip or screw retainer would be cool....

  12. #52
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    Re: Drive shafts and u-joints

    Oh heck yah... info I wasd hoping to hear. I am getting three, two for the rear and one for the front (the one thats giving me some squealing right now). Will report back on the front as to fit and function!

    I actually like the idea of a couple small beads to hold them in place, as opposed to trying to re-stake them. The clips would be nice, but I have no lathe... welding is no issue though.

  13. #53
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    Re: Drive shafts and u-joints

    definitely pack the bearings i think theyre shipped with just enough grease to prevent corrosion, and i was concious of cooling the welds after each small bead as to not cook the grease...

  14. #54
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    Re: Drive shafts and u-joints

    Copy that man... will prolly just run 4 good tacks and call it good! Will still be stronger than the og staked in process, no doubt. What grease did ya use to pack em?

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