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Thread: Drive shafts and u-joints

  1. #21
    Van Fan Chardog1971's Avatar
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    Re: Drive shafts and u-joints

    Just heard back from my drive train shop. They said the yoke was too damaged to rebuild. It was pretty beat up. He quoted 360 for a new one with serviceable bearings. Im thinking I will have him do it. I think my 89 also needs one so, I thought I would get one from Powertrain Ind., and compare. The price is less locally so, I would like to support them. Plus, no shipping hassles. I have had work done here before and the results have always been good. I'll let you know how it turns out.

  2. #22
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    Re: Drive shafts and u-joints

    Anybody have any luck with the Rockford replacement u joints? Tim, you said something about the Rockford #430-10 working but needed to be machined slightly. What part of the shaft needs to be machined? Was gonna bite the bullet and try them out.

    Edit: Messaged Rockford Driveline on their Facebook page, hoping to get some more info. I mentioned the TVT forums and hopefully just like what happened with the Honda civic 4wd wagon community, rockford will either add the Van to their catalog under the 430-10 listing or realize that there are tons of people who would pay for a specialty for our vans and tool up to engineer us a specialty joint for our vans. Anything to keep these vans on the road!
    Last edited by Megadysart; 03-31-2017 at 10:30 AM.

  3. #23
    Administrator timsrv's Avatar
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    Re: Drive shafts and u-joints

    I've used the Rockford joints before, but not yet on a van. Based on what I've gleaned from other posts (from other van owners over the years), I believe that Rockford 430-10 is correct for the 4wd rear shaft (not sure about the front shaft or the 2wd shafts). I would think all vans would use a similar joint in all places, but can't say that for sure. If anybody can verify, this could be helpful for future readers.

    Regarding the machining, it doesn't necessarily require a machine shop (I've done this in my garage), but you might need a big vice or a hydraulic press to get the old joint out of there. When they put these together at the factory they crush the outside edges of the bores with a big press. This process is referred to as "staking" and it smashed down the edges of the bores to reduce diameter. This typically just affects the outside edge of the bore (perhaps 1/8" deep) and prevents the joint cups from falling out. It's this staking process that makes future joint replacement a PITA.

    In my case I have a monster vice bolted down to a work bench and that bench is bolted to the concrete floor. I use an old wrist pin as a driver and a socket to support the shaft. The hole in the socket gives the joint cup a place to go. then I use a huge cheater bar on my vice handle. With enough force you can drive these out (although I'll usually get in there with a small cutting wheel on my Dremel 1st to remove any big burs in the way). Once out I will clean-up the bores with a round file and a small drum sander attachment for my drill (just good enough so the new Rockford cups will slide in/out without too much trouble. The Rockford cups have grooves on the inside edge. Once the joint is in place, you install the "c" clips in the grooves and that's what secures the joint to the shaft.

    I'm a bit stubborn when it comes to doing things myself and I have more tools and equipment than the average guy. If you don't have access to a shop with lots of tools, I would think you're better off taking it to a drive-line shop. In reality, it would probably make more sense for me to do that too.......but like I said, I'm stubborn . Good luck. Tim

  4. #24
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    Re: Drive shafts and u-joints

    Thanks Tim. I got in touch with Rockford and they sent me a couple spec sheets with the dimensions of the u joint. I went ahead and ordered one for $42 shipped and it should be here on wednesday. I'm gonna go ahead and just replace it and I'll update here on the fitment and might upload some pics of the installation.

    UPDATE
    Got the joint in from Rockford, punched out the old joint with a punch and a BFH, the Rockford #430-10 fit perfectly. Quality part, came with a grease fitting and it actually looks bigger and much beefier than the original, even with the cutouts for the inside c clips. I might see if Rockford will add the Van to their catalog so more van owners will be able to find it without having to sift through forum posts. Anything to keep these vans on the road
    Last edited by Megadysart; 04-08-2017 at 09:23 PM.

  5. #25
    Van Addict boogieman's Avatar
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    Re: Drive shafts and u-joints

    thats good news im considering the same, but found rockauto selling GMB 2200024 ujoint for staked rear toyota van all...for $7. ill report back

  6. #26
    Van Addict boogieman's Avatar
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    Re: Drive shafts and u-joints

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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.

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    Re: Drive shafts and u-joints

    They look like they fit, I'd be super careful throwing cheap parts at a rotating part like a driveshaft. If that u joint breaks at 80 mph that driveshaft is coming through the floor and wreaking havoc.

  8. #28
    Van Addict boogieman's Avatar
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    Re: Drive shafts and u-joints

    id still like to know about the rockford joint but i imagine its the same as the neapco...the gmb seems like good quality despite the price and pretty sure its japanese..the only problem being staking it back in properly somehow..

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    Re: Drive shafts and u-joints

    Quote Originally Posted by boogieman View Post
    id still like to know about the rockford joint but i imagine its the same as the neapco...the gmb seems like good quality despite the price and pretty sure its japanese..the only problem being staking it back in properly somehow..
    The Rockford joint was really good quality made here in the US. It arrived from Rockford 3 days after I ordered. It fit right in no problem, the hardest part was getting the old joint out. Big hammer and a vice and it's ready to go. Clean the bores with a dremel or file to get rid of the stakes and pop the joint in, put the c clips in then grease and you're done.

  10. #30
    Van Addict boogieman's Avatar
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    Re: Drive shafts and u-joints

    thecvman on ebay is selling Rockford Driveline 430-10 replacement ujoints...when i asked him where theyre made he replied..
    "China. If you have any other questions let us know. If you're looking for parts that are not made in China good luck."

    ill probably try and press the old ones out and im going to try and use the GMB joint and stake it in with welded washers or similar....

    Rockford confirmed in a return email:
    "We do have the ability to mfg the bearing caps but the 430-10 is a bit smaller then we want to make so we have developed with a factory outside the states…rofl currently we have been using a china factory that builds them to our print specifications…rofl we have had 7 returns from 3 customers since 1/1/2017 – 1,335 sold in that time.rofl We offer a 1 year warranty on u-joint workmanship."
    with that being said, id order mine from thecvman as his are about half the price of buying directly from Rockford...
    Last edited by boogieman; 05-08-2017 at 06:38 PM.

  11. #31
    Van Enthusiast LightBlueToy's Avatar
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    Re: Drive shafts and u-joints

    Lifted my van in the rear with Aerostar springs and now I have a tink tink tink noise when i accelerate. I think it's coming from my drive shaft. Anyone experience this noise or have any ideas what is going on? I haven't seen anyone mention any issues when lifting the rear modestly like I have done. Not sure where to go from here. I just put a bunch of effort in working on the suspension of this van...and now this. Not sure where I should take it in the bay area or santa cruz to have it worked on for this issue, because I think it's beyond me somehow fixing the the propeller shaft / u joints. If that is even what it is. Help please!

  12. #32
    Van Enthusiast bikerjosh's Avatar
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    Re: Drive shafts and u-joints

    ,Sorry if I missed this but did you remove any of the coils on the Aerostar springs? I seem to remember (take that w/a grain of salt) that folks using thee springs have cut off a couple coil rounds.
    1987 4wd 5spd Cargo van (uncut)-modding in 3,2,1

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    Re: Drive shafts and u-joints

    Yeah I removed the top two coils like everyone else

  14. #34
    Van Enthusiast bikerjosh's Avatar
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    Re: Drive shafts and u-joints

    I have a pair that I haven't installed yet. If I get to it soon I'll report back any findings. -thanks Josh
    1987 4wd 5spd Cargo van (uncut)-modding in 3,2,1

  15. #35
    Van Enthusiast LightBlueToy's Avatar
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    Re: Drive shafts and u-joints

    Thanks, more data is always helpful. I am going to load up the back of my van (empty now) and see if some droop makes the sound go away before i tear into this more.

    EDIT: I hope this isn't straying too far off topic.. Loaded down the sound is gone. If you are lifting the rear of your van you might want to use an angle finder to note your pinion angle before lifting.
    Last edited by LightBlueToy; 05-13-2017 at 01:42 PM.

  16. #36
    Van Addict boogieman's Avatar
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    Re: Drive shafts and u-joints

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    so heres how i did it, i feel pretty good it should last another couple hundred thousand miles...and it was cheap!

    i recommend using a cutofff wheel and cutting the 'heart' of the bad ujoint out, then pressing or driving the cups inward away from the stakes. dremel or file the stakes down flush. its important that they are not proud as they can deform the cup

    i used the $7 rockauto GMB ujoint made in japan and very similar to stock, i feel it is a better/stronger ujoint than the clip styles that are available, but it takes some more work and special tools...

    to assemble i heavily greased the joint (it mentions on the.box that there is only enough grease for shipping/storage) and used a c clamp and socket to press the cups in..this can be tricky as its easy to catch an edge of a roller bearing and move it out of place so go slow...

    after eyeballing everything i chucked it up in the lathe and used c clamp to get it within .001", i noticed i had some slight ovalization in the shaft...i think it would be possible to do this on the van as well....

    next i used 2 washers per cup to bring the weld up close to flush with yokes to make it easier to grind off and maybe take more heat away from the cup..i used the c clamp to hold everything in place while i tacked it together, i went slow and cooled everything with a spray bottle...

  17. #37
    Van Fan Chardog1971's Avatar
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    Re: Drive shafts and u-joints

    Quote Originally Posted by Chardog1971 View Post
    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.

    i got my custom built drive line a month and a half ago and I put it on my 89. went on a 6500 mile trip which included some four wheeling. It performed like a champ.way stouter than my original.

  18. #38
    Van Addict AD2101's Avatar
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    Re: Drive shafts and u-joints

    Ugh, I just created a whole lot of work for myself, hoping someone can help me out before I ruin a second drive shaft.

    What happened was my van started to vibrate around 45mph. This vibration would mostly level out around 55mph. The vibration was coming from the back end and, since it seemed to go away with speed, I figured I needed to get my wheels balanced. Flash forward to a month or so later I would get a gnarly grinding noise coming from the back end, almost like the sound you get when your brake pads are all the way worn out. This was in addition to the vibration I was getting at speed. Being the knowledgeable van owner that I am, I deduced that my van does not have disc brakes in the rear so I went poking around the rear end (giggidy) to see what I could see. Anyways, I narrowed the problem down to the rear drive shaft, which was completely seized up on the differential end of it. Like seriously, I have to beat it against a wall just to get it to move even a little bit. The only movement in the u-joints is the play it has now, which is admittedly a lot.

    Ok so now to where things went south. I have a spare rear drive shaft I pulled from my parts van, and, in my haste, I decided to grease up the zerks with the replacement drive shaft still out of the van. This resulted in the drive shaft expanding and it becoming physically impossible to fit back into the van. What I had to do was separate the drive shaft and basically just scoop out all the excess grease until I could get it to fit underneath my van. My problems are twofold, first: is there a specific way the drive shaft needs to go back together? I followed the FSM's incredibly insightful directions to "place matchmarks on the differential and propeller shaft flanges." However, it didn't say anything about marking the sides of the drive shaft. There appear to be weights on the one side, so I'm assuming there is a specific way this is supposed to go back together. So, How do I "recalibrate" my drive shaft, so to speak. Second problem: While I was able to get my drive shaft onto the van, it took a Herculean effort to do so. As I was so focused on just getting it on, I wasn't able to get the bolt holes on the drive shaft to line up with the holes on the flange of the rear diff. Is there any way to get them lined up without pulling the drive shaft? I realise this point becomes moot if I have to pull my drive shaft to recalibrate it, but if I don't need to recalibrate the drive shaft I would very much prefer not to pull it, if at all possible.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated! Here is how the shaft looks currently in the van. Name:  B81P8CB.jpg
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Size:  56.0 KBYou can see the orientation of the two shafts (giggidy) as well as that the holes on the differential end appear to be 45 degrees offset from the differential flange.
    Last edited by AD2101; 07-26-2017 at 09:34 PM. Reason: Figured a picture would help

  19. #39
    Van Addict boogieman's Avatar
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    Re: Drive shafts and u-joints

    pretty sure you are out of 'phase' or yoke alignment by 90 degrees..i referenced this link when i had the same question..

    https://forum.ih8mud.com/threads/ali...ations.220571/

    the PO of my van also put so much grease in the zerk on the driveshaft that it hydrolocked it, i think he was hoping to see it ooze out the ujoint....that zerk is just to lubricate the splines dont fill it with grease!!!!! it needs to be able to slide...

  20. #40
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    Re: Drive shafts and u-joints

    Thank you for the information and confirming for me that I made a boo-boo. In that thread you linked to, someone said the FSM shows the proper orientation of the drive shaft put together. Can anyone confirm this? I mean it makes sense logically and I'd be willing to bet that this is the case, but confirmation or a picture of a non-borked drive shaft would help ease my concerns on this. Either way, it looks like I have to remove the shaft again so the second problem has been rendered moot (for now).

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