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Build your own drive shaft

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  • Build your own drive shaft

    I have built a few drive shafts over the years. When I can I turn the tubes in a lathe to get the ends accurate. When I can not cut the tubes on a lathe I have used a pipe cutter. But on the last two drive shafts I had to retube them and I had no way to cut the tubes to length that I liked. After spinning some stock tubes around while the drive shaft was in a truck, I was a bit surprised to see how much they wobbled. I figured I may as well give it a shot, I hate to say it but I cut the tube with a cut off disc in an angle grinder. I did this on both ends of two drive shafts. I simply wrapped the drive shaft tube using 2 inch wide tape and got the ends to line up. After that I used the tape as a guide and cut at the edge. The yokes did get turned in a lathe and the old welds were cut away. After that I tapped the yokes into the tube, used the lathe cut marks as a guide to get the yoke square and tacked the yoke in place. The shafts are now installed in my trash truck. Today while doing about 50 miles an hour I thought i could feel a small vibration that I had not felt before. Sure enough the transferase was in 4x4. Stopped and got it in 2 wheel drive and the vibration was gone. The punchline to this is the old OEM drive shaft would have vibrated me right off the road at that speed. Had a laugh as I figured that out while back at speed. Considering the shafts are a mish mash of yokes and tubes I had laying around I am happy with what it cost. I did put some time in to attempting to make everything run true but it was all pretty much done on a slab of plywood, using a share and a hammer to line things up. I even removed to old balance weights off the tubes - seems to have worked out fine.

  • #2
    Fantastic Bruce, somedays things just work out right.
    20 years ago when I was in the drag racing world an old Hot Rodder from back in the day had his shop north of town.
    The amount of driveshafts he built for people over the years was a huge amount. Never fancy but they always worked very well. I believe a steady hand, patience and experience has alot to do with this.
    1967 W200.aka.Hank
    1946 WDX.aka.Shorty
    2012 Ram 2500 PowerWagon.aka Ollie

    Life is easier in a lower gear.