Unlike the local parts store which may only offer one choice, most driveshaft shops keep a variety of quality parts in stock, including American made universal joints. Mopars used two distinct sizes of u-joint, commonly referred to as the big and small u-joint. Since often a rear differential swap results in a pinion yoke that doesn't match the driveshaft, most driveshaft shops offer adapter u-joints which go from one size to the other, saving the time and expense of changing the yoke or driveshaft. Central Florida Driveshaft offers same-day driveshaft service in most cases, ensuring your ride isn't off the road any longer than necessary to complete repairs. Since our driveshaft needed to be rebuilt with a new tube, we followed along to show you what is involved in rebuilding a Mopar driveshaft.
After it was initially determined that our driveshaft was pretty severely bent, the team at Central Florida Driveshaft quickly cut the ends off of our old shaft and found a secondhand driveshaft that was in good shape to use as a replacement. Since the majority of driveshaft damage occurs at the ends, mostly due to abuse and worn-out or dry u-joints, longer shafts can be cut down and used in shorter applications by welding on new ends. Having the right equipment is necessary to keep the driveshaft aligned and straight during the rebuild process, and the driveshaft must be rebalanced once the work is complete by welding weights to the outside of the shaft. The crew at Central Florida Driveshaft completed the work on our driveshaft and installed new, American made u-joints in a couple of hours. And after reinstalling our repaired driveshaft, our van drives great with no more vibrations. Now we can concentrate on getting our cool cruiser ready for this year's Hot Rod Power Tour by searching the internet for a disco ball, fender flares, TV aerial, and side pipes!
While we were at Central Florida Driveshaft we asked what the most common driveshaft failures were. According to the staff, lack of proper lubrication is the single largest cause of the failures they see, with abuse being a distant second. As you can see from the above examples, bad things can happen when a universal joint comes apart, and adequate lubrication can stop most failures. Central Florida Driveshaft recommends the u-joints be greased at each oil change and checked regularly for sloppiness or wear. If a problem is caught in time, it will require simply having new universal joints installed. If not caught in time, the problem could lead to failure of the u-joint and driveshaft and damage to other components of the vehicle or even injury to occupants. So, when's the last time you lubricated and inspected your u-joints?