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Thread: Prop shaft balance

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Windham, Maine
    Posts
    115

    Default Prop shaft balance

    I'm pretty sure my rear prop shaft is out of balance. There's a rumbly vibration from under the back, especially at some speeds and on overrun. I pulled the tunnel cover and middle seat panel and drove around for a while. Its definitely from further back than the gearbox/xfer case area.

    I know there are lots of things that can cause vibration, but there is a reason I suspect the prop shaft. When I bought this truck, it was delivered by the PO on a car dolly. He took the rear prop shaft apart and removed it from the diff when he towed it and replaced it when he got here.

    I took it off at both ends and cleaned it up but don't see any sign of alignment marks anywhere. I've tried aligning the flanges both ways around, and also tried offsetting them 90 deg. each way. The vibration remains, though it is better or worse with some alignments.

    I have pulled, pushed, yanked etc. checking for other things. I can't get any play in the U-joints or diff other than a small amount of lash in rotation.

    Right now I have it back the way it was when I started. Short of trying every possible way of mating the 2 halves I don't know of any way for me to fix this. I'd like to avoid spending that amount of time if I can. Does anyone know of a shop in the Portland, ME area that can rebalance it for me? Any idea how expensive this sort of work might be?

    Thanks
    '72 88" - daily driver
    '64 109 SW - project in waiting

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    CT
    Posts
    216

    Default

    I had the same problem as you with the vibration and noise. I swapped mine with a used one that was with some parts I got from another truck and it was fine. Its wear on the u-joints and possibly on the splines of the shaft, if they all have a little play it all adds up to a big problem.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    The Granite State (NH)
    Posts
    3,435

    Default

    If you have ruled out the rear diff, then I'd swing down to your local auto parts store and spend the $20 (total) and put some new universals on and check for rumble/vibration again. If you still have the issue, take the shaft down to the local driveline shop and have it examined and balanced. They'd likely put new u-joints on to balance it anyhow.

    Did you say that the PO disassembled the shaft for towing? Usually folks just disconnect both ends from the diff/transfer case respectively, in which case I don't think it matters which way you put it back on as it won't affect the balance of the system. Yoinking the slip joint apart on the other hands could be a problem...
    --Mark

    1973 SIII 109 RHD 2.5NA Diesel

    0-54mph in just under 11.5 minutes
    (9.7 minutes now that she's a 3-door).

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Windham, Maine
    Posts
    115

    Default

    I'll give the universals a try. Yeah, he took the shaft apart. When I removed it the nuts at the e-brake end were siezed so bad I destroyed 2 of them getting them off. I expect that's why he took it apart in the first place.
    '72 88" - daily driver
    '64 109 SW - project in waiting

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Bloomfield, CT
    Posts
    1,382

    Default

    very close to the splined joint, there will be an arrow stamped on each half. They may be hard to see without a good de-grease, but they are there.They must point to eachother.
    Also, inspect the inner edge of the cups of both U-Joint. The boots will become torn and evidence of roller pin loss. Many times, merely checking a U-Joint by hand doesn't reveal a failing joint. Provided that all 8 snap rings are there and fully seated home, there should be NO movement of the yoke, side to side.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Windham, Maine
    Posts
    102

    Default

    If you need a good machine shop in the Portland area I would go to Brackett in Westbrook. They do excellent work and know their stuff.
    Tim R.
    '69 Series IIa Bugeye
    Tim's Photo and Project Website
    -----------------------------------------------------

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Windham, Maine
    Posts
    115

    Default

    Well, its a new prop shaft for me. I started on getting the old U-joints out adn noticed there was some play in the splines. When I cleaned all the grease off, there were several places where they were chipped and worn. New shaft on its way fro our hosts.

    I'm going to finish taking it apart and hang on to the flanges from each end. I guess there's no value to the shaft itself except holding the tarp down on my woodpile. I don't imagine the splines can be refurbished.
    '72 88" - daily driver
    '64 109 SW - project in waiting

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    411

    Default

    look for the alignment marks on that shaft. Landrover was especially picky about some parts matching, that and if any cups look like they've been removed lately then see if all the needles are in there.

  9. #9

    Default

    Ah, okay, Iíll take a look at that. I went ahead and ordered a new prop shaft, but still waiting for it to arrive. Thank you!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    CT
    Posts
    295

    Default

    My 1971 shafts had alignment marks about the thickness of a hair on them... Very easy to see under a microscope.
    Owner: James Leach Global Expedition Services.

    1995 110 Regular

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