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Front driveshaft noise

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Apr 8, 2018
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Apex, NC, USA
I took a trip to the coast this past weekend and on the return home my front driveshaft started to make a lot of noise. I know I should have serviced it sooner, but what is done is done.my question is should I just rebuild the stock shaft or go ahead and replace it with a Tom Wood shaft? The u-joints are not that bad, but the centering ball is shot and I feel lucky that it made it home without locking up and taking out my transfer case.
 

Blackjack

Evil Winch Doctor
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I took a trip to the coast this past weekend and on the return home my front driveshaft started to make a lot of noise. I know I should have serviced it sooner, but what is done is done.my question is should I just rebuild the stock shaft or go ahead and replace it with a Tom Wood shaft? The u-joints are not that bad, but the centering ball is shot and I feel lucky that it made it home without locking up and taking out my transfer case.
You will want to take it apart and inspect the pin the center ball rides on. It needs to be smooth, round and .5 inch in diameter. If it is good then I would just rebuild it.
 

freedom_in_4low

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You will want to take it apart and inspect the pin the center ball rides on. It needs to be smooth, round and .5 inch in diameter. If it is good then I would just rebuild it.

Just my own curiosity... How often does it get to this point and still have a usable stud? I figure there's probably a window where it can be saved with some Emory cloth.

I've rebuilt a couple but always done it out of caution, based on age/mileage and the convenience of it already being out for other reasons. Never had one give me the angry sparrows.
 

LarryTJ

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SoCal
I took a trip to the coast this past weekend and on the return home my front driveshaft started to make a lot of noise. I know I should have serviced it sooner, but what is done is done.my question is should I just rebuild the stock shaft or go ahead and replace it with a Tom Wood shaft? The u-joints are not that bad, but the centering ball is shot and I feel lucky that it made it home without locking up and taking out my transfer case.
I assume when you say "centering ball" you mean the double cardan is shot/gone bad? If were talking the same thing those are easy to rebuild and its your preference to go/not go with a new Tom Woods which are from my understanding top notch company and products.
 

Blackjack

Evil Winch Doctor
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Just my own curiosity... How often does it get to this point and still have a usable stud? I figure there's probably a window where it can be saved with some Emory cloth.

I've rebuilt a couple but always done it out of caution, based on age/mileage and the convenience of it already being out for other reasons. Never had one give me the angry sparrows.
Up here people spend five months out of the year in four wheel drive so front driveshaft service is a way of life. The majority of the time if they catch them when noise first starts about 80% time some Emory cloth, a new centering ball and ujoints and they are back in service.

Interestingly enough the angry sparrows that TJs get is a pretty good early warning before things get too bad.
 
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L J

Ranchos aren't real
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I rebuilt mine but if i had it to do over again I'd just order a new one from Tom Wood's's. I live in sunny and dry SoCal so YMMV.
 

Jerry Bransford

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The added cost of a completely new front driveshaft from Tom/Shawn Wood is not much more than rebuilding your existing driveshaft. I'd request Spicer 5-1310x u-joints.
 
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freedom_in_4low

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I rebuilt mine but if i had it to do over again I'd just order a new one from Tom Wood's's. I live in sunny and dry SoCal so YMMV.

I dunno, the last one I did couldn't have taken me 30 minutes start to finish with a couple of sockets and a BFH. I don't make $200 in 30 minutes of work at my job so it works for me to rebuild it.
 
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L J

Ranchos aren't real
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I'd rather have a bad anything on my Jeep than to have to live in sunny and dry Commifornia.
You wouldn't fit in anyway. California is weird but not TheBoogieman weird.
Any chance you'll take Kameltoe Harryass back? :cool:
p.s. Yes, there's a chance. A snowball's chance in hell.
I dunno, the last one I did couldn't have taken me 30 minutes start to finish with a couple of sockets and a BFH. I don't make $200 in 30 minutes of work at my job so it works for me to rebuild it.
Removing, rebuilding and reinstalling in 30 minutes? You're good. ~$165 worth of parts, time spent and the fact that it's still the OEM shaft ... I'd buy a new one from Tom Wood's's.
 

freedom_in_4low

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You wouldn't fit in anyway. California is weird but not TheBoogieman weird.

p.s. Yes, there's a chance. A snowball's chance in hell.

Removing, rebuilding and reinstalling in 30 minutes? You're good. ~$165 worth of parts, time spent and the fact that it's still the OEM shaft ... I'd buy a new one from Tom Wood's's.

rebuilding only. removing and reinstalling has to be done either way so it counts against both scenarios.

I ended up with a TW shaft anyway though because AFTER i rebuilt it and swapped axles and installed a lift, I found it too long at full droop.
 
OP
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Apr 8, 2018
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Thanks guys, the cheep ass in me won out and I found Oliver's Driveshafts just up the road had all the parts I need to rebuild it for $75.00 plus tax. They are all Spicer parts so I don't think I can go wrong.
 
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Shawn at Tom Wood's

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Thanks guys, the cheep ass in me won out and I found Oliver's Driveshafts just up the road had all the parts I need to rebuild it for $75.00 plus tax. They are all Spicer parts so I don't think I can go wrong.
Which parts did you get? $75 sounds like you got just the socket yoke (part number 211355X or 211544X). Either that or you got a really good deal. I'd plan on having at least one joint handy as you may lose some needle bearings in the process of removing the joint to get to the socket yoke.

Here's some info that might be helpful for the re-build process.
 

freedom_in_4low

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Which parts did you get? $75 sounds like you got just the socket yoke (part number 211355X or 211544X). Either that or you got a really good deal. I'd plan on having at least one joint handy as you may lose some needle bearings in the process of removing the joint to get to the socket yoke.

Here's some info that might be helpful for the re-build process.

Or worse, they're replacing 3 u joints and leaving the socket yoke 😳. Regardless, that price seems too good to be true since the last time I went through one, I had about $150 in parts.
 
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JMT

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I rebuilt my front OEM and my rear Adam’s. Parts alone were close to $150 each. That’s 3 Ujoints and 1 centering ball/shaft. It was worth it to me.
 
OP
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Apex, NC, USA
Which parts did you get? $75 sounds like you got just the socket yoke (part number 211355X or 211544X). Either that or you got a really good deal. I'd plan on having at least one joint handy as you may lose some needle bearings in the process of removing the joint to get to the socket yoke.

Here's some info that might be helpful for the re-build process.
Thanks for the info, I did get three joints and a socket, but stupid me I got them for a regular TJ, not a Rubicon.
 

dw0783

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I just got my rebuilt kit from Oliver’s, the kit was 75 and then I got a new dust cap too, ended up being 98 shipped 2F976A64-D201-4679-9364-3A0A613D5992.png
 

Shawn at Tom Wood's

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Thanks for the info, I did get three joints and a socket, but stupid me I got them for a regular TJ, not a Rubicon.
Oh dang! I was actually thinking/assuming you had a regular TJ too. The part numbers I listed for the socket yoke are wrong for your Rubicon. Instead you'd need a 211996X socket yoke, two 5-213X joints, and probably one conversion joint part number 5-212X. The stock rubicon front shafts usually have this weird thing where the drive shaft is 3R series at the slip yoke but uses a conversion joint to convert it to the 1330 series pinion yoke.